Home Managing Director, Africa

Managing Director, Africa

The Global Policy and Advocacy (GPA) team is comprised of the Foundation’s regional offices in Asia and Africa, the Convenings & Bellagio Center team, and the policy, communications, partnerships, and program influence and campaigns functions. As a strategy and service unit, the team operates with four primary aims: setting the table for action-oriented convenings and consensus in support of global goals; shaping the conversation around food, health, power and jobs, and building optimism for solving problems that will improve life for the world’s poorest through compelling story-telling and impact-focused narratives; building allies for our program teams and their work by creating, nurturing and extending networks that will help The Rockefeller Foundation’s investments and ideas travel farther and make an impact faster. Finally, the team aims to partner for impact, forging alliances, shared funding vehicles, and advocacy strategies that amplify our reach, influence, and impact.

The Managing Director (MD) of the Africa Regional Office is responsible for scaling up the Foundation’s impact and influence across the region by building effective partnerships with key national, regional and global actors, across sectors. The MD serves as the senior leader for the Foundation in the region, helping to integrate knowledge and drive efforts to amplify the impact of our global programs (e.g. Power, Food, Health, Innovation, and Co-Impact etc.).

The MD is responsible for ensuring strong coordination and synergies between regional offices and program leadership, ensuring that the Foundation maintains a well-coordinated and coherent presence. The MD is a key internal and external thought leader responsible for shaping the strategy and execution of the Foundation’s portfolio in the region, especially bringing outstanding contextual intelligence on potential synergies and risks across our investments. As the Foundation’s regional leader the MD is also responsible for building a high performing regional platform with operational excellence, a positive organizational culture, and fostering a highly collaborative team environment. The MD is responsible for managing the functioning of the Africa Regional Office effectively and efficiently and ensuring compliance with all legal and financial requirements.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides leadership in the Region and ensures that in region activities, external engagement, and grant making align with the Foundation’s global strategy and performance standards.
  • Represents the Foundation within the region and builds strong partnerships with National Governments for The Rockefeller Foundation’s strategic countries.
  • Leads overall strategic planning within the region in collaboration with VP, Global Policy & Advocacy and manage operations across the continent.
  • Serves as an indispensable partner in executing initiative and innovation strategies to have the deepest impact on human lives in the Region by providing a regional perspective based on Government, private sector and other stakeholder priorities.
  • Serves as source of intelligence, relationships, and expertise in region to drive innovation, generate new knowledge, and engage regional influencers.
  • Works closely with the MD of the Asia Regional Office on aligned regional office strategy and execution.
  • Develops and builds strategic relationships with a strong network of Donors, Banks, Private Sector, UN, HNI, Think Tanks, and others in the region to leverage significant resources to scale impact of the Foundation’s work.
  • Builds and maintains the Foundation’s credibility and profile in the region through media interactions, Op-eds and speaking opportunities at key events.
  • Provides support for development and execution of The Rockefeller Foundation initiatives.
  • Effectively manages the Africa Regional Office, including People management – recruit, orient, nurture and coach Regional Office staff.
  • Manages an annual budget for programmatic grant making and administrative expenses in the region.
  • Is the liaison between the program and operation teams in region to ensure that the Foundation works as a cohesive entity.
  • Works effectively with all the other units within GPA under the leadership of the Vice President for GPA on issues that directly influence the region.
  • Oversees and manages all of the operational requirements of running the regional office, including budgets, financials, payroll, benefits etc., working closely with the global heads of operations areas such as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer in New York. Oversees any in house expertise dedicated to security including oversight of security protocols.
  • Establishes practices and processes to identify and mitigate risks to the organization; ensure compliance to requirements of legal provisions, policies and regulations of both the organization and local governments.

Supervision Received

Vice President, Global Policy & Advocacy. The Managing Director an experienced leader who is able to lead independently with minimal supervision.

Supervision Exercised

The MD manages a staff size of 10 or more which includes in region GPA and Operations staff.

Education, Experience and Skills

  • Advanced Degree in International Development or related field with knowledge and experience of working in complex environments in Africa.
  • 20 years professional experience leading complex operations and significant budgets in a global / developing world context, with evidence of producing results and at least 10 years of which will need to be in a senior management role.
  • Writing, issuing and managing grants a plus.
  • Proficiency in Swahili and/or French a plus.
  • Experience leading teams and mentoring staff development.
  • Experienced at external representation in regional and global contexts.
  • Experience in setting priorities in dynamic environments.
  • Demonstrated expertise in strengthening the capability around building and driving results-oriented partnerships.
  • Leadership and senior management experience in leading the delivery of complex operations and program strategy with a multi-disciplinary team, working with multiple external stakeholders, across locations and time zones.
  • Powerful conceptual and analytical skills, with a track record in using data and analytics to inform dynamic strategy shaping, priority setting, and decision-making.
  • Experience in communicating externally, either in large groups, or in smaller engagements for representational and influencing purposes.
  • Commitment to The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission and Core Values – effectiveness, equity, integrity, innovation and leadership.
  • Excellent judgment and professional standards, with a proven ability to handle sensitive or  confidential organizational issues, and to apply appropriate judgment in complex situations.
  • The ability to travel (40-50%) both domestically and internationally and a willingness to be flexible in working hours working across different time zones.
  • Has a deep understanding of political, economic and social trends in Africa, with an ability to work across sectors in that environment.

Is able to manage and function:

  • In a geographically very large and diverse region, varying from fragile states to successful emerging market countries, a potentially highly influential continental organization and a rich diversity of cultures and many official languages.
  • In a region with successful long term development programs as well regular large scale responses to both natural as well as conflict caused disasters.
  • In a multi stakeholder environment with competing priorities.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Leadership: Ability to develop a vision, spot opportunities and turn a broad set of ideas and insights into action with limited resources, using an entrepreneurial, constructive, and adaptive approach.  Proven ability to manage towards and successfully realize outcomes-based projects.
  • Strategic Ability: Ability to identify patterns and trends in dynamic, complex systems across a wide range of content domains and to evaluate opportunities and risks using analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Decision Making and Risk Management: Sound judgment and decision-making in complex situations; alerts others to risks inside and outside the organization; willing to make judgments about managing risks and ready to take responsibility for such judgments.
  • Partnership and Relationship Building: Ability to engage with a diverse range of teams and partners. Comfort building strong working relationships, quickly establishing credibility in new areas of work, and mobilizing people at all levels towards collaborative goals.
  • Influencing: Track record & experience in negotiating and influencing private sector, government, donors, and civil society organizations at senior level.
  • Communications: Excellent ability to synthesize from complex activities into simple and well-structured deliverables. High level of comfort communicating to diverse audiences. Able to understand stakeholder needs and tailor information for them.
  • Creativity: Ability to think out of the box and take risks.
  • Change Management: Lead change process with confidence, empathy and transparency.
  • Execution: Strong project management skills, deadline management, sense of responsibility and accountability and the ability to effectively multi-task.
  • Building Effective Teams and Partnerships: Collegiate – acting as a team player, even if this results in adjustment of own priorities; develops mutually trusting relationships with complex partnerships to deliver excellent business outcomes.
  • People Management: High level of self-confidence with a direct, honest, respectful, and empathetic approach and ability to effectively provide feedback. Able to manage team members towards their own accountabilities, to manage team collaborations where integration and group problem-solving is necessary, and to manage upwards to enable effective senior oversight and appropriate involvement. Supports learning and a sense of mutual purpose in diverse teams; sets a strong learning culture in their part of the organization; effective coach, equally at home with high performers and those in difficulty; uses opportunities across the Foundation to develop others.
  • Integrity: Ability to use best judgment when handling confidential, sensitive and proprietary information as it related to the foundation or its grantees, partners and staff.
  • Self-awareness and Resilience: Remains calm and positive under pressure and in difficult situations; plans own learning and development; aware of impact on others and adjusts own behavior accordingly; has a positive impact on those around them; leads major change while keeping staff and partners on board.

All applicants to apply by sending an application to responses@russellreynolds.com with the subject line “Rockefeller Foundation MD Africa.”

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and to compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.

The Rockefeller Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer