Head of Tech for Development Policy Unit
Focus of the Role
With the right vision, policy and leadership, technology has the potential to transform the lives of people living in developing and emerging nations. We are seeking an exceptional candidate to lead a growing policy programme in relation to technology for development. They will develop and deliver thought leadership and practical proposals for how developing countries can work together to apply technology for the greater good, with a particular focus on:
- Closing the global digital divide and building out digital infrastructure e.g. cloud, identity
- Applied technology to transform healthcare, education and other public services
- Tech entrepreneurship and business growth in key sectors e.g. agriculture, energy
The post holder will be based at our HQ in London, and lead a policy unit of around 10 staff located in London and overseas. They will report to the Executive Director for Technology & Public Policy, and work closely with other policy unit heads as part of the TPP leadership team.
This policy unit has a particularly strong connection to the Institute’s Government Advisory division, working in particular with our Global Director Tech for Development, who will be leading a new tech transformation initiative that is being scaled across 30 countries. The post holder will deliver a policy framework and vision for this work and leverage on-the-ground insights from country teams to strengthen our policy programme.
The key objectives for the role are:
- Development of robust, evidence-based and politically actionable policy and strategy
- Delivery of policy products that influence the debate and inspire leaders to act
- Broad and meaningful engagement across the policy and tech sector communities
- Cultivation of supporters for our work (both intellectual and financial)
The post holder will:
- Be accountable for all of the policy work undertaken by their unit
- Be accountable for their unit’s expenditure vs budget
- Use agile techniques to maintain unit momentum and stay responsive to events
- Build high-trust relationships with senior stakeholders
- Raise their unit’s profile, representing it at public events and in the media
- Secure income from donors to support the programme
- Recruit, manage and develop members of staff in the unit
- Collaborate with other parts of the Institute (e.g. external relations, people, finance)
The following criteria must be met:
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, or equivalent practical experience
- 10+ years’ experience in public policy, consulting, tech / industry or similar
- A track record of leading and motivating high-performing teams to deliver results
- Extremely strong analytical and structured problem-solving skills
- An excellent communicator, both spoken and in writing
- Politically astute, with a flair for cutting through a complex and noisy debate
- Able to win the respect and support of senior leaders in tech and politics
- Able to travel frequently (1–2x per month)
The following is also desirable:
- Experience working in a developing country on tech policy / projects
- A strong network in the tech sector in Africa and / or Asia
About The Institute
The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. It exists to equip political leaders and governments with the tools to create open, inclusive and prosperous societies in a globalised world.
We do this within two connected divisions:
Our Government Advisory teams work directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.
Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas:
- Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics;
- Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and
- Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world.
What we believe in as an organisation:
- Open and Progressive – you’ll believe in the value of teamwork
- Bold and Pragmatic – you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity
- Optimistic Changemakers – you’ll be focused on results
TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work. It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you're successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.