Working at the GPL

GPL Fellows

Opportunities to Work at the GPL



Assistant Director of Research & Writing

The Assistant Director will work closely with the GPL’s senior leadership to develop and distribute products capturing key insights, evidence, and lessons learned from GPL projects in the field, spread them to state and local government leaders across the country, and elevate the role of the GPL as a thought leader.

To apply, please submit your application using the GPL Application Form.



Fellow Positions, Summer 2022

We hire and train full-time Fellows who provide support to government agencies and collaborate closely with government innovators in leading impactful reform projects. Most of these projects are focused on solving difficult social problems such as criminal justice reform, child wellbeing, economic mobility in historically marginalized communities, among many others. At least two years of professional work experience is preferred for this role. Possible projects and locations are listed in the GPL Fellowship Job Description.

In lieu of attaching a cover letter, please answer the following three questions that we hope will allow us to learn more about your interest in the GPL and relevant experience.

1) Why are you interested in working for the Government Performance Lab? (125-word maximum)

2) Select one project from your personal or professional experience. Describe what you did to move the project forward, including the specific role you played and how you used one or more skills related to the ones used by GPL fellows. See the description of core GPL fellowship skills below. (250-word maximum)

Key GPL fellow skills include being able to use quantitative or qualitative data (including interviews and resident experience) to produce incisive hypotheses about what is not working, generate promising potential solutions, independently manage projects to meet their goals on time, develop trusting and professional relationships with others that advance the project, and produce high-quality written and oral deliverables that communicate complex ideas in clear, compelling ways.

3) Describe a concrete example of state and local government operations or services making a difference in residents’ lives (positive or negative). Personal experiences, whether from work or life experiences, will be weighted more than general observations. (125-word maximum)

Read the Frequently Asked Questions for Fellowship Applications.

Fellowship Virtual Informational Session   
Watch the recording of the Info Session hosted on February 4th.

Unpacking the GPL Fellowship Experience   
Watch a conversation with current GPL team members.





Policy analysts and community organizers, management consultants and social workers -- GPL team members put their skills to work helping governments tackle their hardest problems. Whether working to solve chronic homelessness, connect nurses and low-income mothers, or break the cycle of incarceration, GPL team members support innovative government leaders in creating solutions to serious social challenges and improving the way government works.  

Responsible for designing and executing on-the-ground work in partnership with government leaders, our team members build policy area expertise, enhance their analytical skills, develop experience leading public sector teams, and manage initiatives that directly impact the lives of individuals in their communities. GPL alumni go on to leadership positions in the public and private sector, putting their GPL experience to use in government agencies, philanthropy, and service providers.

The GPL is a vibrant and values-driven community. We actively seek applications from candidates who demonstrate a commitment to building diverse and inclusive communities. Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to diversity and welcome people of varied backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and disciplines. We actively  seek applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, military veterans, and persons with disabilities and underrepresented backgrounds.

Descriptions of government-facing positions with the Government Performance Lab can be found below. Links to employment applications will be posted above throughout the year as opportunities open with the Lab. Please check back if no positions are posted at this time, and sign up for our quarterly newsletter to stay engaged in the Lab’s work.



Fellows work directly with state and local governments and are the backbone of the Lab’s model for providing high-quality pro bono technical assistance to governments. Fellows typically come to the GPL within a few years of completing a graduate degree in public policy, public administration, business administration, law, or related fields. Throughout the course of their fellowship, Fellows guide significant performance improvement projects forward, usually based on-site in the government, and receive training in skills including data analysis and project management. Previous fellows have led projects to reform city procurement, expand re-entry services to individuals released on parole, and improve the delivery of services provided to families interacting with the child welfare system.

Robert FisherI’ve been fortunate to situate the learning experience of my fellowship in the context of a place that means so much to me—my home state. Over time I’ve come to see this as the most valuable aspect of my experience at the GPL. The opportunity to learn through hands-on, project-based work has offered so much insight into the myriad ways cities, counties, and school districts can expand opportunities for young people. But doing that work alongside communities that I cherish has made my experience at the GPL so relevant and deeply rewarding.” -- Robert Fisher, Fellow 2017 - 2019


Project Leader

Project Leaders drive forward GPL engagements with state and local governments and may oversee GPL fellows on intensive projects. Project Leaders may be former GPL fellows who have progressed within the organization or may join the GPL after multiple years of post-graduate work experience.

Megan Toohey"Working with the GPL has allowed me to roll up my sleeves and take ownership over exciting, meaningful projects early in my career. I could not have guessed that two years out of a master’s degree in social work, I’d be deeply entrenched in my home state’s efforts to reduce recidivism, digging into analysis around safety in youth prisons and employment outcomes post-release, leading efforts to improve programs in correctional facilities statewide, and meeting weekly with agency leadership to brainstorm and support department priorities.” -- Megan Toohey, Project Leader 2018 - 2019 


Assistant Director

Assistant Directors manage engagements with governments, overseeing a team of fellows administering technical assistance. Assistant Directors also spend substantial time on GPL enterprise activities, such as scoping new government engagements and training new fellows.

Sarah Allin


“The GPL has given me opportunities to develop in so many ways -- I’ve briefed mayors and agency leadership, worked closely with a jail’s assistant director to write procurements, gotten into the weeds of Medicaid billing data systems, spoken with moms who were receiving nurse home visits, and learned from individuals in jail custody recovering from substance use disorders -- that variety makes me a more dynamic contributor to the government leaders I support and adds great flexibility to a range of roles I can pursue after my time at the GPL.” -- Sarah Allin, Assistant Director 2017 - 2019


Program and Managing Directors

Program and Managing Directors lead GPL's technical assistance practice, overseeing our engagements and supporting the professional development of our team members. As issue experts, Program and Managing Directors advise senior leaders in government on reforms in specific policy areas and develop new ideas for producing better results for social service programs and procurements.


GPL Alumni

An important goal of the Government Performance Lab is to train future government and social sector leaders. We’re proud that our government partners often hire and promote our fellows once their fellowship has finished. No matter where they go, our alumni put their GPL experience to work in leadership positions solving difficult problems. Read about some of our recent alumni in this blog post.

“Our GPL fellow was amazing. Halfway through his fellowship, I hired him directly to run some of our critical and high priority projects, and he had an immediate impact. He brought a high level of analytic and commercial ability that our agency did not possess internally, and he led the team that executed a very complex set of procurements.” -- Brian Shortsleeve, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Chief Administrator, 2015-2017


GPL alumni have taken roles including:

Director of Performance Management, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Chief Transformation Officer, Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority

Chief Strategy Officer, RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Data and Analytics Manager, Boulder Department of Human Services

Economic Prosperity Programs Manager, Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

Strategic Operations Consultant, Massachusetts Governor’s Office

Head of UK Government Centre for Social Impact Bonds

Senior Policy Officer, Results and Delivery Unit, Prime Minister Trudeau’s office

Director of Program Innovation, Center for Employment Opportunities

Director of Results-Driven Government, Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Management Consultant, McKinsey & Company

Program Director, Innovations for Poverty Action