Associate Director, Water
The University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Posted in Education and Training

Job Info


Becker Friedman Institute - Development Innovation Lab

About the Department

The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) works with the Chicago Economics community to turn its evidence-based research into real-world impact. BFI takes a unique approach to bridging the divide between academic researchers and decision-makers in the business community and government by translating and packaging the rigorous work of the Chicago Economics community into accessible formats, and proactively sharing those findings with relevant decision-makers and thought leaders around the globe. BFI is a collaborative platform serving the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the Law School. For more information visit

Job Summary

The Associate Director of Water will build on research by Michael Kremer and coauthors suggesting that water treatment is among the most cost effective interventions for reducing child mortality (, DIL scaling up research and policy implementation to increase access to dilute-chlorine solution for household-level water treatment in low- and middle-income country.

To do this, DIL is looking to hire an Associate Director of Water to work as a leading member of the DIL water team focusing on scaling this intervention through partnerships with various government offices in several countries. Reporting to the Initiative Director, the main role of the Associate Director of Water will be partnership management and stakeholder engagement while also including evaluation support, project management, research design and management, as well as policy writing and outreach. We are looking for candidates with an understanding of impact evaluation, economics and statistics, water and public health policy, and government program implementation. Candidates are expected to be equipped with excellent oral and written communication skills, attention to detail, strong project management skills, and who can take ownership of their work independently and collaborate effectively with other members of the team.

This position will travel to Kenya and/or one of the other countries where we have projects. Applicants must be willing to travel frequently to remote areas of the countries involved. This is a full-time position for one-year with possibility for renewal.


  • Supports engagements with government officials, policy practitioners, and researchers working on chlorine/safe water projects in various countries.
  • Builds and maintains strong relationships with key partners in the relevant government offices.
  • Scopes work for developing research and policy designs in several countries, including background research on chlorine practices and clean water access as well as travel and fieldwork to meet with potential partners and conduct interviews and focus group discussions among target populations.
  • Shares feasibility assessments and initial analyses with policymakers and researchers through in-person meetings, memos, and phone calls.
  • Supports DIL researchers and our partners on the study design. This includes refining the program's theory of change; identifying constraints and potential threats to the integrity of the study; and providing deep local context and cultural sensitivity to the project design.
  • Supports DIL researchers and our partners with the implementation and potential scale-up of projects. This includes the execution of piloting, roll-out, and data collection plans.
  • Reports regularly to PIs and DIL senior management on project progress. Flags potential problems such as delays, overspending, data quality issues, or threats to validity; and recommend solutions to the problems.
  • Manages processes for establishing and executing research projects. This includes managing the development of proposals; maintaining funding initiative records and tracking compliance with donor requirements; and organizing policy outreach webinars and events and engaging with stakeholders.
  • Drafts publications and presentations that summarize and synthesize the policy implications of key research results.
  • Creates guides, documents, and presentations on research processes and methods that can serve as resources for policymakers and implementing partners.
  • Provides expertise to researchers on compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives and mandates.
  • Provides expertise to researchers and research support staff. Oversees activities related to data collection and analysis.
  • Leads the establishment of new laboratories and provides assistance with purchasing new laboratory equipment; ensuring efficient operation of laboratory, including overseeing maintenance and repair of laboratory equipment.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.


Preferred Qualifications

  • A Master's degree in economics, public health, or a closely related, quantitatively rigorous field.

  • Minimum of seven years of previous job experience.
  • Experience working with non-profit organizations and government officials on WASH projects.
  • Background in randomized controlled trials.
  • Experience interacting and collaborating with government officials, non-governmental organizations, and other key stakeholders in a developing country context.
  • Experience with presenting research findings at public forums, including non-research focused audiences.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:
  • Complete fluency in English.

Preferred Competencies
  • A background (education or experience) in water is strongly encouraged.
  • Strong quantitative, analytical, and financial management skills.
  • A strong track record of managing complicated projects in the field, particularly in a matrixed environment.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Work independently and problem-solve, as well as enlist the support of other teams within the organization.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong knowledge of the social and cultural context in relevant countries.

Application Documents
  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
  • Three Professional References Contact Information (required)
  • Writing Sample (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUSTbe uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

More Education and Training jobs

University of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Posted about 1 hour ago

University of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Posted about 1 hour ago

University of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Posted about 1 hour ago

Improve Job Search

Subscribe to job alerts and add your resume to our resume database for employers!

Sign up now

Share diversity job

Associate Director, Water is also posted to sites within our Diversity Job Network.

African American Job Search Logo
Asian Job Search Logo
Disabled Job Seekers Logo
Hispanic Job Exchange Logo
LGBT Job Search Logo
Seniors to Work Logo
US Diversity Job Search Logo
Veteran Job Center Logo