Senior Advisor: US State and Local Government

Senior Advisor, State and Local Government, the Behavioral Insights Team

Full time (40 hours per week); Based in New York City with up to 30% travel; Up to 2 roles

The Behavioral Insights Team (BIT) is looking for exceptional candidates to become Senior Advisors in our New York City Office. We are looking for applicants to lead work on applying behavioral insights to the challenges facing our state and local government partners and evaluating the results. You will be based in Brooklyn, New York, and will manage relationships and projects with government partners across the country. You will report to the Head of the US office and will have management responsibilities.

BIT was created by the UK Prime Minister in 2010 with a remit to apply insights from the behavioral sciences to public policy in the UK. In February 2014 we became a social purpose company and have expanded to meet the demand for our work. We now have offices in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the US, as well as our two UK offices.

Roles and Responsibilities

As a Senior Advisor, you will be the main point of contact for senior city and state government officials, and other clients and stakeholders on a regular basis.

Senior Advisors each manage a portfolio of projects in a specific business area (in this case, US state and local government). While the subject matter and depth of the projects taking place will vary, each one will follow a similar set of steps that a Senior Advisor would oversee as follows:

  • Target: leading your team and partners in the process of turning large and complex policy issues into a specific program of work that will allow BIT to contribute to improved policy outcomes through the application of behavioral science;

  • Explore: leading quantitative and qualitative research to understand the nature of the issues involved and to identify specific pain-points and opportunities to tackle the issue;

  • Solution: leading the team in generating evidence-based solutions appropriate for a public service environment;

  • Trial: Ensuring a quality evaluation is designed and implemented so we can find out what worked and what didn’t. This will typically involve using a randomized control trial. Lastly, the project ends by reporting the findings to our partners in a clear a concise manner.

While successful candidates may not be expert in all aspects of behavioral science and evaluation, you do need a strong understanding of the approaches used and the ability to manage others with specific expertise. It will be your responsibility to ensure that projects are managed and delivered to tight deadlines and budgets. To help you meet these goals you will line-manage a small team of Advisors or Associate Advisors.

In addition to delivery, you will also have the opportunity to lead on winning new work and business development once you have proven your ability to deliver on existing projects. Senior Advisor roles have high growth potential for those looking to advance.


We are looking for candidates with a proven track record of directing activity to deliver complex projects on time and on budget to a very high standard. This skill set is critical to success in this role.

In addition you should have:

  • Experience working on the development or delivery of government policy;

  • A strong understanding of the behavioural science literature and how it can be applied to help solve complex policy problems;

  • A proven ability to oversee the design and delivery of rigorous evaluations, including Randomized Controlled Trials.

You will also need to demonstrate experience or understanding in the following areas:

  • Directly managing a team (note: we may ask you for a reference from someone you have managed)

  • Strong written and verbal communication (for example ability to write short, to-the-point memos for Mayors or senior officials);

  • Creative thinking and problem solving;

  • Sales skills. For example, writing proposals and responding to competitive tenders.


Finally, it would be desirable if you have:

  • A Masters or PhD in a relevant subject area (e.g. public administration, behavioral economics, psychology, design thinking, evaluation methods).

Role posted - 2017-05-12T16:22:28Z 5:22pm, 12th May 2017 BST