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Regional Director - Africa

Regional Director - Africa

Client:  International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES)

Location: Virginia, USA

Required:  Authorized to Work in the USA



The Regional Director is responsible for implementing IFES programs in sub-Saharan Africa guided by IFES’ new vision, mission and strategic plan. He/she is expected to grow a robust regional portfolio of innovative, high impact democracy and elections programming. The Regional Director and his/her team-located in both headquarters and in the region- manages the process of research, design and implementation of regional and country programs, and impact evaluation and learning.   He/she explores and develops potential sources of funding and collaborates closely with others to submit proposals for such funding. 


The Regional Director liaises with appropriate domestic and international public and private sector professionals, international, regional and national organizations, and institutions in order to champion the mission and capabilities of IFES.  The Regional Director plays an active role in the overall stewardship of IFES as a member of the organization’s leadership and serves as a regional and technical resource person for the organization.  He/she is responsible for mentoring headquarters and field staff within his/her portfolio.



·        Overall leadership and management of IFES’ Africa portfolio and team;

·        Contributing to the strategic management of IFES including through membership on the Senior Leadership Team.

·        Implementation of IFES’ strategic mission and vision in the Africa region drawing on and in collaboration with IFES’ global technical expertise;

·        Identification and cultivation of expanded and diversified funding;

·        Development of programs and projects within the regional portfolio;

·        Cultivation of partnerships with regional and international organizations and other actors as appropriate;

·        Serving as a regional and technical resource for IFES;

·        Other duties, as assigned.


POSITION SCOPE:  Lead and be responsible for IFES’ work in the Africa region.  Manage and perform a range of work and activities requiring ingenuity and capacity to evaluate and respond to new and changing issues.  Oversee varied activities and processes to support effective project management and implementation.  Monitor all aspects of project operations, business development, reporting and compliance.                                                                                                        


DECISION MAKING/PROBLEM SOLVING:  Identify and address risk factors with potential to disrupt achievement of program/project goals.  Analyze issues, problems or opportunities and propose appropriate courses of action based on knowledge of professional principles, innovation and best practices.  Participate in the development and implementation of strategies to track and mitigate risk and its potential impact.


FISCAL & FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:  Ensures the completion of department tasks in a timely manner and within the allocated budget.  Ensures compliance with IFES, USAID or other donor rules and regulations, particularly with regard to fiscal management for department and regional projects.  Exercise’s authority to approve program or project expenses, contracts and purchases, subject to established controls and procedures. Responsible for agile and innovative development efforts to grow the portfolio.


RELATIONSHIPS:   Manages and maintains collaborative working relationship with senior level stakeholders within and outside IFES to ensure timely and successful achievement of goals and objectives.  Represents IFES in global, regional, national and sub-national events and in international meetings, and at donor events and fundraising activities.


SUPERVISION EXERCISED:   Provides supervision of regional team in IFES HQ, oversight of country directors and field experts. 




Education:  Master’s degree in international politics, international development, or related field

Experience: Minimum of 10 years’ experience in international development, democracy and governance, or related field or relevant progressive experience; regional experience a must.


Related Skills or Knowledge:  Effective at translating vision and strategy to programs and projects through innovation, collaboration and leadership.  Outstanding communicator, both verbally and in writing.  Excellent presentation skills. Ability to lead and manage high energy teams, prioritize and oversee multiple activities in a fluid and dynamic environment. Organized, effective time and resource manager. Experienced collaborator and contributor to successful business development efforts, including experience with USAID grant and contract proposals, regulations, and procedures.  Experienced and successful business development leader with major bi-lateral donors. Recognized regional expertise and field experience preferred.


LANGUAGE SKILLS:  Fluency in English required.  Fluency in French is highly valued. 


TRAVEL: Travel required up to 50% of time*


PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS/WORK ENVIRONMENT: Standard office work environment.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

*Travel may be limited during the COVID-19 global pandemic.



  • Medical, Dental, and Vision insurance
  • Monthly Benefit Allowance paid directly to all employees
  • Employer paid life and AD&D insurance at 3x base salary
  • 401(k) retirement plan with 1:1 employer match up to 6%
  • Employer paid Short and Long-Term Disability insurance
  • Generous vacation (starting at 3 weeks and increasing with time of service), sick leave, and personal leave
  • 11 Paid Holidays
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Employee Assistance Program


To Apply: IFES has contracted Global Recruitment Specialists to assist with this recruitment effort. Please email a cover letter and updated resume/CV to:


Patrick Shields, Search Manager


Global Recruitment Specialists "Positioning You for Success"

Norwalk, CT 06851 USA

Telephone: +1- 203-899-0499




IFES is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

All qualified applicants/employees will receive consideration for employment/promotions and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.  IFES takes affirmative action with respect to the employment and promotion of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. IFES will also take affirmative action on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.