Research Assistant – US Development Policy


The Center for Global Development, an independent, non-partisan research organization in Washington, DC seeks a Research Assistant in the US Development Policy Initiative (DPI). The successful candidate will have experience working on issues related to aid effectiveness, including familiarity of US budgeting process, foreign aid accounts and the Foreign Assistance Act, and the politics and interagency dynamics of foreign aid. The successful candidate must demonstrate strong analytical, writing and communications skills, as well as a track-record and capacity for teamwork.

The Research Assistant will contribute to DPI’s work through a mixture of research, data analysis, writing, and organizational activities. S/he will support and participate in ongoing and future collaborative research projects related to US foreign assistance policy, practice, and results, with a focus on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and the Department of Defense as well as the US foreign assistance budget.

The successful candidate will perform a range of research, data analysis, and coordination duties in support of the initiative, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Perform duties requiring independent judgment and analysis related to data gathering, report preparation, and special projects related to foreign assistance effectiveness.
  • Conduct literature and data searches for ongoing research projects.
  • Organize data, provide descriptive statistics, and run other statistical analysis using Excel or other software tools (Stata) and prepare publication quality graphics to convey results.
  • Collaborate with researchers and members of the CGD's communications team to draft blogs, policy briefs, and notes on research findings.
  • Lead the drafting of a quarterly DPI newsletter.
  • Understand and track the US budgeting process for foreign assistance, primarily the 150 Account.
  • Maintain and update CGD’s DPI webpages.
  • Work with the events coordinator to schedule events, working group meetings, and luncheons.
  • Attend meetings related to research priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

The successful candidate will have the following qualifications and skills:

  • Bachelor’s (or Master’s) degree in international development, economics, political science, public policy, or a related field.
  • 1-2 years of professional experience dealing with substantive issues in US foreign assistance policy.
  • Superb written and verbal communication skills.
  • Competence and experience conducting quantitative research. Experience with statistical software desired.
  • Familiarity with current issues, actors and debates in foreign aid and related topics; familiarity with USAID, MCC, and/or DOD highly desirable.  
  • Proven ability to be a team player and to successfully manage multiple and changing priorities in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, all while maintaining a good sense of humor.
  • Poise, confidence, and outstanding organization and time management skills, with an attention to detail.
  • Proficiency in written English usage, grammar and punctuation.
  • Essential software skills: Microsoft Office (specifically Excel), Stata proficiency a plus.

Applicants for vacancy should send a short cover letter and CV to Please use the title "Research Assistant – US Development Policy” in all e-mail correspondences. No phone calls please. 

CGD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All persons regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age or sexual orientation shall have equal access to positions, limited only by their ability to do the job. Finalists will be subject to a pre-employment background verification as a condition of a job offer.