Languages: English

Chaning Jang


We’re all weird in our own way. Sitting at the intersection of behavioral science and development, I’m weird in the most pedestrian way – I’m your typical Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic human trying to build an organization that’s anything but. We make it a point at Busara to have all of our offices in the Global South, and to hire talented individuals from more than a dozen countries, but those are just indicators of a broader ethos – to build a behavioral science organization rooted in the context of the lives of the people we want to serve. 

As CEO of Busara, my job is to support more than one hundred talented humans that serve our mission to advance and apply behavioral science in pursuit of poverty alleviation. Whether that’s discussing strategy, building collaborations, advocating for the work we do, hiring and growing amazing people, no job is too big or too small. 

Besides the day to day of organizational responsibilities, I’ve been fortunate to work on projects spanning from mental health, to financial inclusion to natural resource management. I currently support the VAX-UP initiative, which is home to the Little Jab Book and its country offshoots in Kenya, the Philippines, Nepal and the MENA region and serve on the advisory council of the Vaccine Confidence Fund

I also coordinate our collaboration with MIT GOV/LAB and taught our jointly held Behavioral Science in the Field course in 2020. I lead our contribution to the Science of Behavior Change research network, in particular the work on the measures repository aimed at creating tools to make measuring behavior change easier and more open. 

Though my academic career is firmly in the rearview mirror, I’ve published on a variety of topics intersecting development and behavioral economics, from work on the origins of social preferences, exploring the effects of health insurance, or positive psychology, to basic science research on measures and cross-cultural many labs studies. While building the early Busara, I completed my PhD in Economics at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and a postdoc in Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. You can usually find me running, hiking or climbing with my wife and two dogs (and a cat that stays home).