News & Events

Professor Jose Gomez-Ibanez named to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker's special MBTA panel

On February 20, 2015, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the selection of a special panel to perform an in-depth diagnostic review of the MBTA's core functions.  Professor Jose Gomez-Ibanez has been named as one of the panelists.  Read more about the panel on the Governor's press release here.

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Former Taubman Director Ed Glaeser appointed as IGC Research Programme Director

On February 19, 2015, the International Growth Centre announced the appointment of Edward Glaeser as a Research Programme Director for the IGC Cities research program.  Read more about the appointment and program here.

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Job Opportunity - Government Innovation Fellow with the HKS Social Impact Bond Technical Assistant Lab

The Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab (SIB Lab) is seeking to hire several Government Innovation Fellows to provide technical assistance to state and local governments interested in pursuing pay-for-success contracts using social impact bonds.

About the SIB Lab

The SIB Lab conducts research on how governments can foster social innovation and improve the results they obtain with their social spending.  An important part of our research model involves providing pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments implementing pay-for-success (PFS) contracts using social impact bonds (SIBs). Through this hands-on involvement, we gain insights into the barriers that governments face and the solutions that can overcome these barriers. The SIB Lab’s work supports broader government efforts to scale promising interventions, re-engineer service delivery systems, and increase the use of data in management and decision making.

Over the past three years, the SIB Lab has partnered with 10 state and local governments: Chicago, Colorado, Connecticut, Denver, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York State, Ohio, and South Carolina.  With the support of Government Innovation Fellows, these partner governments have launched four PFS projects, including the three largest in the world to date, and have another 10 projects under development. Project policy areas include early childhood education, child welfare, criminal justice, homelessness, and health. 

The SIB Lab has recently received funding to expand technical assistance to 10 additional governments over the next several years.  In these new projects, the SIB Lab aims to advance the PFS field by applying our technical assistance model to new policy areas, in new communities, and using innovative structures.

Position Overview

Government Innovation Fellows serve as the principal advisors to state and local governments receiving assistance from the SIB Lab.  Fellows are usually embedded full-time on-site with the government office or agency that is spearheading the PFS initiative.

Fellows function as the day-to-day project managers of the PFS initiative, and shepherd the project through conceptualization, design, contract negotiations, and initial implementation. Fellows develop substantial policy-area expertise, hands-on project management experience, technical skills (in areas such as benefit-cost analysis, financial modeling, and evaluation design), and deep familiarity with government processes.

Fellows receive supervision from the government’s PFS policy lead, an experienced SIB Lab Assistant Director, and Harvard Kennedy School Professor and SIB Lab Director Jeffrey Liebman.

Responsibilities

  • Drive interagency effort to identify and assess promising issue areas where PFS contracts could help improve results.
  • Conduct benefit-cost analyses of social programs, analyze existing evaluation studies, and review program literature to inform government selection of promising interventions.
  • Help governments access, match, and analyze government administrative data to identify project target populations and establish baseline performance outcomes.
  • Draft procurement solicitations and manage procurement processes, including the evaluation of proposals from service providers and/or intermediaries.
  • Coordinate project development, evaluation design, and implementation planning across state agencies as well as with the intermediary and service provider.
  • Support the design and documentation of a rigorous evaluation methodology.
  • Construct financial models to estimate budgetary impacts and inform government negotiations with services providers, intermediaries, and funders.
  • Assist with community outreach, legislative engagement, and communications, including organizing public forums, developing a communications strategy, and drafting press materials.
  • Contribute to key SIB Lab tasks, including representing the SIB Lab at public events, drafting policy briefs, and building organizational infrastructure.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrated passion for improving government performance and for ameliorating social problems.
  • Outstanding quantitative and analytical skills, with experience generating and using data to drive insights.
  • Excellence in both written and verbal communications, including policy memos, slide decks, and public speaking.
  • Exceptional project management capabilities and creativity in problem solving.
  • Track record of adeptly navigating complex organizations, developing trust with senior leaders, and building relationships among diverse groups of stakeholders.
  • Self-motivated with an orientation towards results over process and a track record of driving results with limited supervisory direction.  Willingness to learn, attention to detail, and ability to multi-task are critical.
  • Graduate level training in public policy, business, law, economics, or other related fields is highly preferred. 
  • At least two years of professional work experience is highly preferred.
  • An understanding of program evaluation concepts is highly preferred.

Additional Information

The positions are funded for one year, with a base salary ranging from $66,000 to $70,000. Depending on project status, there may be opportunities to extend the fellowship.

The exact locations for which Fellows will be hired have not yet been finalized as host governments are still being selected.  Sites are likely to include Arkansas, Baltimore, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC among other locations.  At least one Fellow will be based out of the SIB Lab’s Cambridge, MA offices. 

Positions are expected to begin in the summer or fall of 2015.

Application Instructions

To apply, please submit a brief cover letter and a current resume/CV to

hks-siblab@hks.harvard.edu. Current students and recent graduates should also submit a transcript. Please include “Government Innovation Fellow 2015” in the subject line.  All materials should be submitted as PDF or MS Word documents with the applicant’s name in all filenames.

The cover letter should detail how the applicant’s skills and experiences meet the qualifications of the position, and should also include contact information for three references. Applicants should also indicate any geographical limitations in their cover letter.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning in February 2015.

For more information on the SIB Lab, visit http://hks-siblab.org/.

Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Job Opportunity - Special Assistant for Data Analytics, Department of Innovation and Technology - City of Boston

Reports to:
Matthew Mayrl, Deputy CIO for the City of Boston

Position Summary:
The Department of Innovation and Technology is looking to hire a one-year fellow to join its new Citywide Analytics Team.  This is an extraordinary opportunity for the right candidate to be on the ground floor of organizational reform in Boston.  The Special Assistant for Data Analytics will report directly to Boston's Deputy CIO.  A successful candidate will bring deep analytical skills, paired with a willingness and capacity to engage in all aspects of organizational modernization, as directed.  This

Position Responsibilities:
Candidate must be enthusiastic about public service, able to program in statistical languages such as Stata and/or R, and good at taking initiative while managing multiple projects.  Candidates must demonstrate strong interpersonal skills, workinging with a wide variety of partners (both technical and operational) within a large, complex organization.

Primary Duties:

  • Build relationships with City agencies to learn about their data needs and opportunities for improving City operations.
  • Conduct statistical analyses using R or Stata.
  • Visualize data for City executives and managers.
  • Rapidly construct prototypes of possible reports to City executives and managers.

This position will be primarily around improving City operations, but there is opportunity to identify projects and randomized experiments which could be part of an ongoing research relationship between the Fellow and the City.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Masters in Public Policy / Public Administration or enrolled in a social science PhD program
  • Able to work ten hours per week in May and then start full-time in June

To apply please send frank.woods@boston.gov by March 6:

  • CV
  • unofficial transcript

Goals of the Data and Performance Analytics Team:

  • Ensure easy access to internal and external data relevant to city operations
  • Ask, and answer, better questions about city operations and process towards the administration's goals
  • Provide reporting and data visualization solutions that become deeply integrated into Department operations
  • Engage the public and ensure external accountability by surfacing practical, timely, and useful information via analytics
  • Inform and equip the Mayor and his senior management with tools that help monitor his team's progress and provide insight into complex policy and management issues

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Professor Jose Gomez-Ibanez named as panelist to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2015 Opportunity Agenda.

On January 20, 2015, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the formation of a seven-member panel for the twelfth part of his "2015 Opportunity Agenda."  Professor Jose Gomez-Ibanez will serve as a panelist for the Master Plan Design Competition, which looks to reimagine LaGuardia and JFK Airports.  A full copy of the press release and video of the Governor's announcement can be found here.