Operations & IT Associate - J-PAL North America

Posted by

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, MIT

Published 19 days ago

January 11, 2021
This full-time (40 hour per week), non-exempt position is classified by MIT as a grade 5 position. Current MIT salary levels are publicly available at

J-PAL North America, a policy lab within the Economics department at MIT, is actively recruiting for an Operations & IT Associate to contribute to its mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. J-PAL North America conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs. As a regional office of the global Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, J-PAL North America leverages research by affiliated professors from universities across the world to generate and disseminate rigorous evidence about which anti-poverty social policies work and why. 

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At J-PAL North America we understand that inequity is often institutionalized into policies and systems, and that these inequities contribute to cycles of poverty and a lack of opportunity for a great portion of the population, particularly women, people of color and other marginalized populations. We approach our work with the following staff values and are actively engaged in creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture where everyone can feel a sense of belonging and effectively contribute to the work. We seek applicants with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences that can help to broaden our perspective and approach to economics research and policy. To learn more about our work and team culture, visit

Opportunity Overview

As a member of the J-PAL North America team, you’ll be part of a Nobel-prize winning scientific movement that can transform US policy making. The Operations & IT Associate helps to ensure the smooth implementation of J-PAL North America’s operations by providing complex administrative and technology support. The Operations & IT Associate ensures that staff have the supplies and equipment they need to be efficient, and that the organization’s information management and technology resources are efficient, reliable, user friendly and cost effective. The Operations & IT Associate also helps in creating new and improved systems and processes that maximize current technological resources to meet J-PAL North America’s operational needs. We are looking for candidates with office administration experience, level 1 technology support experience, strong attention to detail, excellent organizational skills and the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing to staff at all levels of the organization. Some experience with Salesforce and Asana administration is useful.

Key Responsibilities

Office Administration (50%): 

  • Manages and maintains office space
  • Manages and maintains the physical office space, including managing office keys and access, making sure supplies are stocked, handling maintenance requests, ordering special supplies, distributing mail, and managing parking passes
  • Serves as the point person for administrative and office management questions, manages office subscriptions, monitors general office phone and email accounts, orders catering and makes other purchases for the office as needed
  • Assists with onboarding new staff, including preparing workspaces, ensuring employees have any necessary supplies and equipment, working with HR to be sure onboarding materials are prepared and conducting onboarding sessions on office operations/policies
  • Provides administrative support
  • Supports the Associate Director of Finance & Operations with scheduling complex meetings; attends high-level meetings; records, drafts, and distributes minutes
  • Processes travel reimbursements for visitors and new staff as needed
  • Composes and edits correspondence, presentations and other documents
  • Maintains databases using programs such as Excel Researches and gathers information for complex projects
  • Creates filing systems Initiates changes and updates to policy and procedure documents
  • Coordinates mass mailingsMay manage emergency contact lists and shared documents

IT Support (50%):

  • Provides first-tier desktop support on routine technical issues, such as hardware/software installation, operation, and maintenance and for audiovisual equipment in conference/meeting rooms; Installs and updates basic hardware/software and network systems.
  • Works with J-PAL NA financial staff to purchase technology and audiovisual equipment and software licenses; tracks and manages licenses for J-PAL NA subscriptions, such as Asana; tracks and monitors internal assets to ensure accurate inventory record and documents staff requests for new software/hardware Assists with onboarding new staff, including creating accounts, configuring software/hardware, and conducting onboard sessions to equip staff with a basic understanding of how to use their computers and access J-PAL NA/MIT systems; archives and wipes files from laptops as part of off-boarding process
  • Responds to emails, tickets and calls from staff, identifies which issues to escalate and follows up on outstanding requests and ensures timely resolution; coordinates with J-PAL Global and MIT IS&T staff as needed to resolve issues
  • Develops, implements, and maintains policies, procedures, and associated training plans; trains staff on basic software and equipment
  • Oversees the maintenance of organizational systems for effective file storage and knowledge management, ensuring that staff are trained on and effectively maintaining records in Google Drive, Dropbox, Asana and Salesforce.
  • Schedules semi-annual record cleaning days
  • Helps staff with conducting data entry and clean-up of contact and information management systems through the use of Salesforce and other platforms
  • Maintains printers and shredders to be sue paper and ink are stocked and equipment is functionally properly
  • Performs standard testing of equipment; monitors and documents system status and generates necessary reports on hardware/software issues
  • Researches improvements and upgrades for IT and AV systems


Commitment to Mission & Values: Cares personally and deeply about policy that has the potential to reduce poverty and the rigorous research that informs it. Demonstrates interest in poverty alleviation in the North American (primarily the United States) context in particular. Demonstrates a commitment to J-PAL North America’s values. 

Education: A high school diploma or equivalent is required. 

Experience: Three years of relevant administrative and IT computer user support experience in a professional work environment is required, which may include experience gained through part-time work, college level coursework, related internships, or volunteer opportunities. Working knowledge of common software applications and processes and familiarity with computer hardware and software installation, function and maintenance is required.

Technical Skills: Actively demonstrates the technical skills and expertise to successfully execute tasks to which they are assigned. Demonstrates ability to support connectivity, AV, personal computers, OS and Windows desktops and laptops in an enterprise environment. Familiarity with service desk applications and/or incident management environments desired. Experience with supporting Microsoft office and/or Google applications and comfort learning new applications is required.  

Ownership of Work: Takes responsibility/is accountable for effectively completing assigned discrete tasks or projects with high attention to detail under direct supervision. Produces high quality work in the time expected; identifies and follows up as needed to ensure assignments are completed on time. Written Communication: Accurately and succinctly communicates in writing with minimal supervision from senior-level staff. Clearly communicates technical information to non-technical audiences.   

Oral Communication: Demonstrates strong active listening skills and accurately and succinctly communicates information orally with minimal supervision from senior-level staff.  

Task & Project Management: Takes on a process-oriented task, plans and organizes work, delegates appropriately, coordinates with others, establishes appropriate priorities and timelines, exercises follow through, and adds overall value to the process.  

Problem Solving/Decision Making: Demonstrates ability to take a logical and structured approach to troubleshooting and decision making with an emphasis on superior customer service. Demonstrates adeptness at analyzing facts, judgment, and strong decision-making ability. Responds to problems, issues, and opportunities. Collaborates as needed to identify a solution or response.  

Other: Ability to lift and/or move objects weighing 10 to 20 lbs.

J-PAL North America, a policy lab within the Economics department at MIT, is actively recruiting for an Operations & IT Associate to contribute to its mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • High School Diploma Required


 J-PAL North America staff are MIT employees, which means they are eligible for a wide array of institutional benefits. Some of these MIT benefits include comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match up to 5% of salary plus a pension-based retirement plan, tuition assistance up to $5,250 per calendar year, commuter benefits (including fully subsidized unlimited MBTA pass), MIT community discounts, access to MyLifeServices, a generous vacation policy, plus an additional 12+ paid Institute-wide holidays per year), paid leave for sick time, and much more.

Professional Development

J-PAL North America supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend weekly seminars, engage in small-group discussions with other J-PAL staff, participate in workshops and take classes for credit at MIT or elsewhere with our generous tuition assistance program.  

 J-PAL North America staff are MIT employees, which means they are eligible for a wide array of institutional benefits. Some of these MIT benefits include comprehensive health…


400 Main Street, E19-201, Cambridge, MA 02142

How to Apply

Ready to join a team of collaborative, inclusive, and inquisitive colleagues? Apply now. 

This position may be remote initially, with the option to work remotely at least until February 1, 2021, and in the future will be based at the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. This position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship. Submit an application via MIT’s human resources system. Visit, search for job ID 19063 (Operations & IT Associate - J-PAL North America), and complete an application.

In a single PDF uploaded to the resume field, please include:

  1. Cover letter addressing: 
  2. Your interest in this position
  3. Your qualifications, and how they have prepared you to be effective in the this role
  4. Resume

We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis as we receive them. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a technical exercise and phone interview. Finalists will be called for a final interview. MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.

Ready to join a team of collaborative, inclusive, and inquisitive colleagues? Apply now. 

This position may be remote initially, with the option to work remotely at least until…

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