Head of Research and Policy

Center For Strategic Development
Location Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Application deadline 1 September 2017
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The Center for Strategic Development is an independent institution established by decree of the Council of Ministers. The vision of the CSD is to be Saudi Arabia’s premier economic think tank.

The Head of Research will lead and oversee the research function of the Center for Strategic Development (CSD). This is a senior and pivotal position that is central to the think tank’s operations. The Head of Research will play a strategic role in CSD’s core business, direct the research agenda of the Center, and manage/supervise all levels of the policy/research team, including researchers and senior researchers. The responsibilities associated with this role include, but are not limited to: leading and supervising the analytic work of CSD core teams in researching, analyzing and designing economic policy and national strategies including through the application of economic modeling, econometric analysis, behavioral economics or “nudge” analysis, and the techniques of systematic strategic foresight. The ideal candidate will have a strong record of driving a team of analysts to produce a steady stream of world-class economic policy analysis products. The Head of Research must have deep academic and professional expertise in economics and economic policy as well as managerial skills and strong soft skills. Command of the Arabic language is a plus.

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Lead the development of the CSD research program and its capabilities to fulfill the vision and mission of CSD.
  • Lead the annual development and ongoing refinement of the CSD research agenda.
  • Serve as a central member of the organization’s leadership team and contribute to the development of strategy and the execution of strategic decisions.
  • Play a leadership role in the process of recruiting, selecting and hiring key research personnel; lead the supervision of research unit directors and research staff.
  • Set departmental and individual employee goals and provide regular evaluations of progress toward these goals.
  • Ensure reports, models and other outputs are produced at the highest standards of quality and timeliness.
  • Proactively monitor and review academic and private sector thought-leadership and other relevant activity in designated policy areas to ensure CSD research agenda is consistently relevant and current. Determine gaps in existing research and analysis to provide differentiated perspectives.
  • Develop and oversee budgets and policies and procedures for the research program.
  • Evaluate research tools and emerging technology and coordinate vendor relations as appropriate.
  • Participate actively in international policy and research networks and deliver presentations on relevant topics at conferences and meetings, serving as a leading intellectual ambassador of the CSD.
  • Build and maintain relationships with key CSD stakeholders, including government officials and staff, civil society bodies, and research agencies to ensure intimate, detailed and up-to-date understanding of their requirements.
  • Engage stakeholders in the identification of priority issues and scoping of projects.
  • Brief CSD leadership on progress in different research units, impact analysis and future trends.
  • Perform duties as assigned.

Background & experience

  • Ph. D. in economics preferred, Ph. D. in a relevant field considered (e.g. Political Science, International Relations).
  • 15+ years of professional research experience required.
  • Experience in a leadership capacity in a relevant discipline gained within an academic or think tank environment preferred.
  • Experience working for or with the government sector is a plus.
  • Proficiency in English is required and Arabic is preferred.
  • Extensive publication history in economics or related field (relevant strategic, economic modelling or policy formulation projects).
  • Experience leading a research team(s) involving other subject matter experts, preferably as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Experience of working with a mixture of private and public sector colleagues preferred.
  • Experience producing output for a range of academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Experience designing effective work-flow management policies; developing staff and delegating responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated track record of strategic thinking and integrity.

Competencies and Skills

  • World-class analytic skills, particularly in economic policy analysis (including econometric analysis and economic modeling).
  • Policy design and implementation.
  • World-class analytic content creation in economics and/or related fields
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Strategic planning and a demonstrated ability to design and achieve strategic goals and objectives
  • Project management •Relationship-building to expand CSD network
  • Extensive supervisory experience
  • Research and data management

Behavioral Competencies

  • Leadership
  • People management
  • Communication (oral and written)
  • Listening skills
  • Ability to lead in a team
  • Collaboration
  • Time management

Subject Matter Expertise

  • Demonstrated knowledge leadership in economics, economic policy, development economics and/or related domains
  • Demonstrated knowledge of international best practices regarding economic policy formulation and implementation, economic modelling, and analysis of market dynamics
  • Subject matter expertise in the forces of change shaping the policy and strategy landscape, including, but not limited to: geopolitical trends and dynamics, social developments in KSA, macroeconomic principles and development trends, knowledge of environmental trends, technological trends, and effect of legal dynamics on economic growth.

Type of contract:

Full Time