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Head of Public Services

Careers Site Advertising End Date:
29 Mar 2019
About Tony Blair Institute for Global Change:
Renewing the Centre is the main UK-facing policy and research unit of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. We produce, commission and curate high-quality empirical analysis with a view to developing a radical but practical policy platform to renew the centre ground of politics. With a primary focus on the UK, our aim is to develop an exciting, positive agenda for change to improve people’s lives and strengthen liberal democracy against a rising tide of angry populism.


For the past 30 years an evolving programme of public service reform has been based around the principles of New Public Management: the use of incentives, targets and competition to maximise the efficiency of public service delivery. Differences of approach between administrations over the period do not obscure the common philosophical threads. But particularly since the financial crisis and under the intense pressure of subsequent fiscal retrenchment, much of the purpose seems to have dissipated from the public services reform agenda.

The challenges facing public services are changing, the fiscal headwinds look set to continue, and technological innovation offers opportunities to refocus services on more cost-effective prevention. But in the face of these developments, today’s policy debate is sterile. While some of the solutions propounded by the Right appear to have failed, the Left’s instinct today is to reverse course, reaching for solutions that are as uninspiring as they are unlikely to work, such as a return to greater state control.

Focus of the Role:
In light of this, we are looking to hire an exceptional candidate to work closely with the Executive Director of Renewing the Centre, leading the development of a new and radical approach to the provision of public services in the UK. What should be the principles by which we seek to get the services the public wants at a cost they are willing to bear?

As well as having overall responsibility for our public services agenda, the Head of Public Services will lead the Institute’s work in one major policy area, such as health or education, and have extensive experience of policy development and analysis in that sphere. You will develop sophisticated analysis on the emerging challenges in your area of specialism, generate radical but credible policy responses, and build relationships with a network of stakeholders to propagate those ideas and influence policy. All of these aspects of the work should cohere within the broader vision and narrative for public services that you will be responsible for developing as the team leader.

You will lead a team of researchers with expertise in the other major service areas, and be responsible for giving them strategic direction and support, as well as ensuring that their work adheres to the wider narrative.

As an experienced policy analyst, you will be adept at producing or commissioning quantitative analysis to guide and justify your policy prescriptions. You will combine a sound grasp of policy detail, giving you credibility with external stakeholders, with a clear sense of the big picture necessary to motivate an exciting centrist political agenda for public services reform.

Close attention to detail and a commitment to excellence will be hallmarks of your work and, as an excellent communicator, you will be adept at conveying complex policy and analysis, as well as its implications, to a wide audience including politicians and the media.

You will also be an agile team player, capable of working with other teams across RTC to bring policy knowledge and analytical skills to augment the wider work of the pillar.

Job description

Key elements of the role include:

  • Responsible for developing and delivering a coherent, radical centrist agenda for public services.
  • Managing the analytical and policy work of a small team, ensuring timely delivery and a high standard of work that coheres within the broader vision for public services.
  • Developing and involving an influential network of external stakeholder and experts to maximise impact on the public services policy debate.
  • Conceiving and developing panel events and seminars with external experts to inform the Institute’s thinking.
  • Commissioning and managing analytical work in one policy area (such as employment services, education or health) with external specialists.
  • Developing radical and credible policy ideas grounded in robust analysis.
  • Writing compelling reports that elucidate the policy challenges and solutions in your specialist area.
  • Contributing to the work of other teams within RTC.
  • Representing TBI in the media and other public forums.
What We Look For in Our People:

  • A passion for using analysis and creativity to provide radical policy solutions for public services that can help to revitalise the centre ground of politics.
  • Strong experience of working in a major area of public services policy, together with a grasp of the wider public services reform agenda of recent decades.
  • Ability to use and develop or commission robust quantitative analysis to motivate your analysis and policy proposals.
  • Willingness and ability to cultivate a network of key stakeholders to assist in the development of the Institute’s thinking and the impactful dissemination of its emerging views.
  • Creativity to produce radical but practical solutions backed by rigorous analysis.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • At least ten years of post-graduate work experience as a policy advisor or researcher in a think tank, government, academic or consulting environment, including experience at a senior level.


  • Familiarity with the public service reform agenda of the past 20 years.
  • Management skills.
  • Media experience.
  • A record of thought leadership.
  • A postgraduate degree in a social science.

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