Innovation Strategy Lead At International Rescue Committee

Job Overview/Summary:

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive, rebuild, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, today we operate in 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities.

The IRC’s Airbel Impact Lab designs, tests, and scales life-changing, cost-effective solutions for people affected by conflict and disaster. We created a new, simpler approach to treating acute malnutrition, we’ve developed a WhatsApp-based educational product to reach out-of-school students, and we’ve built a tool to simplify conducting cost-analyses and increase transparency in the sector. We’re a team of designers, strategists, finance experts, economists, behavioral scientists, and researchers all working together on critical problems. We’re looking for our next strategist to join the team.

The Innovation Strategy Lead will help Airbel teams develop strategies to take projects from idea to scale. The role will lead teams to define a vision, build a strategic roadmap, and develop an operational plan. The Innovatoin Strategy Lead will also play an essential role in developing quantitative modeling to drive critical decisions across the Airbel team.

Key Responsibilities:

Work with Global Research and Innovation Priorities (GRIPs) within Airbel to create and drive their strategic roadmaps and operational plans.

  • Drive strategy and strong execution for teams, in line with their strategic roadmaps so that they can collectively make rapid progress against an ambitious vision. Work in this area will entail deep analysis of key challenges, quantitative problem sizing, client segmentation, pathways to scale, and assessments/mitigation of key risks.
  • Develop operational plans that include budget, hiring, and timelines to structure team’s activities in accordance to strategy.
  • Develop effective and efficient processes to bring together key decision-makers and stakeholders and align them towards driving forward key actions and decisions.
  • Guide teams on pivoting and adjusting strategy as needed; work with team leads to continually assess the strategy against team opportunities, constraints, challenges, and external environment.
  • Articulate clear funding needs based on what is needed to implement strategic roadmaps; draft fundraising proposals when relevant, in collaboration with colleagues

Grow our team’s use of data-driven, quantitative modeling to drive critical decisions at Airbel and through the broader IRC.

  • Develop a consistent, repeatable approach to quantitative modeling to improve our ability to estimate size of client need across countries and programming areas. Work in partnership with country teams to project potential impact and scale for key interventions or opportunity areas.
  • Create an approach to visualizing data and insights from quantitative models that allow teams to understand implications of the model developed and make effective and efficient decisions on pathways to pursue.
  • Lead the operationalization of this new vision for how we can better leverage quantitative models to size client needs and respond accordingly; this entails working with many stakeholders, iterating on approach, and working rapidly to put feedback into action.

Provide strategy support to projects designing, testing and scaling new innovations across Airbel.

  • Support teams to effectively frame problems and possible solutions, to size and segment markets, to generate data-backed hypotheses, create project plans to execute, and analyze data from prototypes and pilots.

This role is a great fit for someone who likes developing new approaches to complex problems, who loves iterating ideas with colleagues, and can jump between high-level strategy and the details of operationalizing.

Job Requirements

Education and Work Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field or equivalent professional experience.
  • 5-8 years of experience in conducting strategic planning, leading on qualitative and quantitative analysis to define strategic pathways, and operationalizing plans.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

  • Demonstrated experience generating data-driven models to make strategic decisions.
  • Ability to solve complex-problems, bring together quantitative modeling and qualitative analysis, and distill data into actionable insights.
  • Able to engage and align an interdisciplinary team, communicate with senior leaders, and facilitate a group to make effective decisions.
  • Ability to work well in a distributed, multicultural, fast paced environment.
  • Familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies applied in medicine and social science.
  • Experience in humanitarian setting or development contexts and/or an international NGO.

Preferred Requirements:

  • Experience driving strategy at either a top tier strategy consulting firm, in the strategy development function of a global organization, or in a strategy role at a startup.
  • Fluency in French and/or Arabic.

Working Environment***:***

  • Standard work office environment
  • Up to 25% travel possible


Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity:

IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.

Gender Equality:

IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Professional Standards:

The IRC and IRC staff must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

US Benefits:

We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.


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July 2024