American Institutes for Research

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager

Job Location US | US-VA-Arlington | US-CA-Sacramento | US-IL-Chicago | US-NC-Chapel Hill
Job ID
Job Location
United States


Established in 1946, with headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia, AIR is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research on important social issues and delivers technical assistance and capacity building services domestically and internationally in health, social development, education, and workforce to a growing roster of clients and partners. Our mission is to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world.


AIR’s International Development Division (IDD) strives to improve the quality of life in developing countries by using rigorous research and evaluation to enhance education and social development. We work across a wide range of topics including workforce development, agriculture/food/nutrition, early childhood development, education, refugees and migration, social protection, water/sanitation/infrastructure, and women's empowerment in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Central and Latin America as well as the Middle East. IDD generates policy-relevant evidence through rigorous monitoring, evaluations, and research; helps improve program design through continuous learning and adaptation; and works with local organizations and governments to build sustainable solutions based on evidence.


IDD is seeking an entrepreneurial, highly motivated Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager to support the Managing Director in leading business development and project implementation around the monitoring and evaluation (M&E), collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA), and knowledge management portfolio. The candidate will help lead the development and expansion of our MEL/CLA portfolio alongside management of existing M&E activities. S/he is expected to collaborate with HQ and field staff in supporting the design and implementation of a business development (BD) strategy, establishing and building relationships with key partners and clients (particularly USAID), conducting strategic capture for anticipated opportunities, and managing proposals. S/he will initiate and follow through on new business development opportunities and leads through market intelligence, solicitation tracking, and development of external partnerships, and will lead and contribute to submission of high-quality, competitive and well-written proposals, typically serving as technical lead, lead writer and/or reviewer. S/he will represent AIR in business development or project implementation meetings with staff, partners and clients.


In addition to strategic BD work, the MEL Manager is expected to have experience with the mobilization of awarded M&E contracts, and will play a primary role in the implementation of projects by providing technical expertise, as well as supporting project teams on management and contractual matters, and supervising other staff members within AIR’s MEL portfolio. S/he is expected to advise on the development of M&E/CLA resources, and have the capacity to lead MEL, CLA, and research and evaluation activities.


Ideal candidates for the MEL Manager will have demonstrated leadership capacity and ability to perform BD activities, MEL management and technical tasks, with specific experience on USAID-funded contracts and/or grants. International travel is expected for this position.


  • At minimum 7 years’ professional experience in MEL, CLA, evaluation, strategic planning and performance measurement, including indicator selection, target setting, reporting, database management, DQA, M&E capacity building, report writing, and developing M&E and performance monitoring plans, especially for USAID
  • A Bachelor's degree in international development/affairs, economics, or similar field required
  • Experience with USAID MEL, CLA, and implementation, particularly in TVET and LAC
  • Past success in designing, implementing, and efficiently operating project M&E systems from project initiation to closeout stages at the field-level
  • Experience building and maintaining working relations with stakeholders, and demonstrated ability to efficiently and effectively interface (and represent AIR) with donor agency counterparts, government officials, partner organizations, and other stakeholders
  • Proven success in supporting the management of large or complex USAID projects
  • Experience leading successful large USAID capture and proposal efforts
  • Proficiency in Spanish preferred
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced, small-team environment
  • Flexible, team-oriented attitude and strong organizational skills
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in cross-cultural settings
  • Ability to work well independently with limited supervision
  • Ability to travel overseas about 20% time


Preferred knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  • Past success in designing BD strategies in international development and winning contract/grant awards from USAID and/or other USG donors
  • Deep understanding of USAID programming and priorities (J2SR, private sector engagement, women’s empowerment, NPI)
  • Strong networks with USAID staff in Missions and USAID/Washington along with USAID implementers, particularly in the TVET space
  • Experience in/knowledge of Organization Development principles and models; may include USAID’s Human / Institutional Capacity Development (HICD)
  • Knowledge of Learning and Adaptive Management principles and models; may include USAID’s Collaboration, Learning and Adapting (CLA)


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability.


AIR adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 


Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the U.S. on a full-time basis. Employment-based visa sponsorship (including H-1B sponsorship) is not available for this position. Depending on project work, qualified candidates may need to meet certain residency requirements.




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