Policy Lab Director

Job description

Role and Responsibilities

ideas42 is looking for a seasoned policy professional with a track record of success to join its senior team leading and build ideas42’s new policy lab. This position will be responsible for translating behavioral insights into specific and actionable policy recommendations and draft legislation and regulation, as well as collaborating and coordinating with other organizations to get those recommendations enacted at federal, state, and local levels.

The Policy Lab Director will report to the Executive Director, and work closely with ideas42’s Managing Directors, who oversee our various strategic focus areas (e.g. safety and justice, education, economic justice, climate change, etc.). The policy lab will initially focus on more equitable financial health in the United States, but will grow to encompass most of the areas ideas42 works on. The Policy Lab Director will set the policy area priorities for the organization, in collaboration with Senior leadership, and will recruit and manage additional policy team members and outside consultants as the lab grows.

This unique opportunity goes beyond traditional areas associated with financial health such as savings, credit access, and debt. It includes areas such as benefits access, the connections between physical and financial health (including, but not limited to medical debt and health insurance access), housing access, and human capital development . A significant focus of the policy lab is to translate insights from behavioral science into the specific language for changes in statutes, rules, and/or regulations at the federal, state, and local level.

Responsibilities include:

  • Leading ideas42’s policy efforts
  • Working with the Executive Director and Managing Directors to set policy priorities and execute them
  • Overseeing and conducting research on prioritized policy topics to understand the current landscape
  • Drafting of legislative and regulatory language that translates insights from behavioral science into specific policy changes
  • Leveraging and expanding the ideas42 network, building relationships with advocacy organizations, elected officials and executive agency leaders
  • Collaborating with other organizations to amplify policy efforts and enact proposed policy changes
  • Writing policy position papers and white papers in conjunction with other Senior team members that support specific policy recommendations
  • Helping to raise funds to support the growth of the Policy Lab
  • Building and managing a policy team


Required qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent practical experience in policy or related fields
  • 8-10 years of full-time relevant work experience
  • Substantial experience in policy matters related to financial health
  • Experience drafting legislative and regulatory language at the federal or state level
  • Experience building & working in coalitions of organizations to pass laws or regulatory change
  • General awareness of and basic knowledge about the field of behavioral science, and expressed interest in learning more
  • Experience managing others
  • Excellent written and verbal communication with a commitment to high-quality output
  • Low-ego, excels at collaboration with others
  • Mission-aligned, self-starter, and able to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment

Preferred qualifications

  • Master's degree or equivalent practical experience such as a JD, MPP or MPA
  • 10+ years of relevant full-time experience
  • Deep expertise in behavioral science
  • Experience in other policy areas where ideas42 works besides financial health (e.g. education, climate change, public health, social protection, criminal justice, economic justice)
  • Experience managing and working across functions in an organization with multiple issue areas.
  • Experience managing a team of more than 3 people

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