Innovations for Poverty Action - Director, Household Finance

Director, US Household Finance Initiative
Reports to:  Deputy Executive Director of Research and Policy
Location: New Haven, CT 
Deadline to apply:  Applicants are reviewed on a rolling basis
Desired start date: As soon as possible
Length of Commitment: 9 months
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is an international non-profit research organization. Based in New Haven, CT, with offices in New York, NY, Washington, D.C. and worldwide, IPA works with development partners and academic researchers to create and evaluate approaches to solving development problems, to communicate “what works” in development and to scale up successful projects in a variety of fields, including health, education, microfinance, governance and agriculture.

Program/Project/Initiative Summary: The U.S. Household Finance Initiative (USHFI) at IPA works to build secure financial futures for American households.  Using insights from behavioral economics, USHFI partners with financial service providers and social service organizations to develop, test, and scale new approaches to financial products, pricing, marketing, communication, and education.  USHFI was founded by longtime IPA researchers Dean Karlan (Yale) and Jonathan Zinman (Dartmouth).  Under their leadership, USHFI has upwards of 15 completed or ongoing projects with financial service providers in markets ranging from small-dollar credit and savings, to personal financial management, to debt collection.

Position Summary:   The Director will lead the development and growth of the Initiative, by working with partners, representing the initiative and IPA in public forums, growing the research network, fundraising, and disseminating results and informing policy. The Director will also initiate and supervise ongoing impact evaluations, and work with Principal Investigators to generate a body of evidence on the comparative impact and cost effectiveness of a variety of programs and financial products to help people increase savings, manage debt, and improve overall financial decision making.


Leading the ongoing development of a strategic plan for the Initiative;
Financial oversight and fundraising;
Expanding the network of partner organizations;
Represent USHFI and IPA to important stakeholders;
Expand network of Initiative researchers;
Refining the initiative research agenda in collaborate on with Principal Investigators and other stakeholders;
Initiating the development of new research including engaging with researchers on the technical design and funding support for projects;
Lead growing and high-performing staff to produce cutting edge research, disseminate results and mobilize implementing organizations to scale up proven interventions

This is a leadership position with IPA that requires both strong technical and management skills.
Masters or PhD in economics, public administration, public policy, or related field;
Five years minimum experience in economics or social science research, with a background in randomized control trials; related work experience may also be applicable. Combination of work and research experience is preferred;
Fluency in English, with strong oral and written and communication skills. Proficiency in Spanish is preferred but not required;
Excellent communication skills with the ability to represent IPA in public forums and to present results and pitch research ideas to partners, donors, and policymakers;
Excellent management and organizational skills; exceptional attention to detail; flexibility; self-motivation; and an ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently;
Experience in asset-building or economic development programs in the United States targeting low-income American households
Application Instructions:

To apply, please click here

Innovations for Poverty Action is an EO Employer-MF/Veteran/Disability.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class.  

IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at or via phone at 1-203-772-2216.

DISCLAIMER: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the Director.  The statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. Please note that IPA will never request any form of payment from an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to confirm the information listed above with IPA prior to releasing any extensive personal information to the organization. Please direct questions to

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.

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