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Director of Science and Technology Policy
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Focus of the Role
We don’t just talk, we do. Lead the change with us.
At the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, we work with political leaders around the world to drive change. We help governments turn bold ideas into reality so they can deliver for their people. We do it by advising on strategy, policy and delivery, unlocking the power of technology across all three. And by sharing what we learn on the ground, so everyone can benefit. We do it to build more open, inclusive and prosperous countries for people everywhere.
We are a global team of nearly 800 changemakers, operating in more than 30 countries, across five continents. We are political strategists, policy experts, delivery practitioners, technology specialists and more. We speak more than 45 languages. We are working on over 100 projects, tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re all here at TBI to make a difference.
In a world of ever more complex challenges, we believe diversity of background and perspective is a strength. We pride ourselves on a culture that values and nurtures difference. We are dedicated to unlocking potential, not only for the countries we work in but also for each of our team members. No matter where you’re from or who you are, if you’re passionate about the transformative power of progressive politics, we invite you to build a better future with us.
The Director of Science and Technology Policy is a new role within the Policy and Politics division, leading a team covering all elements of science and innovation policy. This will include thinking about sectors and industrial strategy in areas such as AI, agritech, biotech and cleantech, as well as the infrastructure, institutions and environment that accelerate innovation, such as compute and quantum, basic and translation research and radical new models of funding and R&D.
The Director will play a leading role in connecting Policy work to TBI’s Strategy and Partnerships division. The understanding and network possessed by the holder of the post will be vital in identifying companies with whom we can work and opportunities for deeper partnership.
The Director is also expected to work closely with other policy teams on issues such as skills, fiscal framework, net zero, transport etc to ensure the overall policy package we develop globally is ambitious but also coherent and affordable.
The work of this role will be crucial to our credibility and success and will help shape the Institute’s policy agenda. TBI should be seen as a trusted provider of politically-relevant climate policy thought leadership by Heads of Government, Opposition Leaders, Chancellors, Finance Ministers and their teams.
This role reports to the Executive Director, Policy, and requires close working relationships with the Institute’s Executive Chairman, CEO, senior global Advisory colleagues, our Strategy and Partnerships and Internal Operations teams.
The holder of this position will:
- Lead a research programme to explore global science and technology trends and policy challenges
- Develop analysis of issues and policy responses, including specific recommendations for governments and policymakers
- Oversee production of very high-quality published work and private briefing material, either for science and technology specialists, government counterparts, partners, or a general political audience
- Provide direct advice to senior leaders in TBI, and to external clients
- Advocate for the Institute’s point of view in external meetings and conferences, or through the media, growing our reputation in the field
- Provide collaboration and specific science and research expertise to other strands of policy work
- Lead a stream of work within the Future of Britain programme, contribute to the overall policy strategy and play a part in its presentation and advocacy
- Support Advisory and Strategy and Partnerships colleagues to develop our reputation for science and tech policy around the world, through appearances at forums outside the UK and work on regional or national policy questions
- Support senior leaders in the Institute in their external engagements on science and technology policy
- Manage and be accountable for the team’s budget, ensuring expenditure is in line with budget, with robust management accountability
- Build, lead, coach and direct a team that operates in a globally integrated way across TBI
- Ensure the growth and development of a high-performing culture and provide a continued focus on learning, development and employee well-being
- Oversee and be accountable for recruitment across the practice
- Build strong, collaborative relationships across TBI and actively champion TBI’s progressive values
The successful candidate will:
- Have a sustained and extensive track record producing cutting-edge work in science and technology policy within government, business, academia or a policy organisation
- Have deep familiarity science and tech policy including supporting new and emerging industries, funding and encouraging innovation, and getting value from infrastructure and tech assets and have ideas of how to make each of these better
- Have deep knowledge of how policy can drive basic research, including in high-risk, high reward areas such as DeepTech, and translate this research into commercial opportunities for growth companies
- Have a very extensive and deep network of global contacts through industry, academia and policymaking in science and technology
- Have experience of working closely with political leaders
- Have a sustained and extensive track record of public speaking and advocacy on science and technology policy, including via broadcast media
- Have an outstanding ability to communicate complex issues to a range of audiences, from executive office level through to technical level
- Have a track record of leading high-performing teams and proven ability to build, inspire and retain teams to achieve exceptional objectives
- Have excellent teamwork skills to work successfully within a complex and diverse organisation
- Be strategic, entrepreneurial, and challenge the status-quo and develop plans for successful delivery of challenging objectives
The following attributes are advantageous:
- Have achieved national or international recognition of their work in the field, e.g. through citation, media coverage, formal recognition or awards
- Academic qualifications in a scientific field, and/or experience working directly in research
- Experience of working in a more than one national setting