The Nigeria Director will lead the development and execution of a strategic plan that secures those changes in law, regulation, and policy needed to advance the foundation’s programmatic priorities focused in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Director will lead a growing team charged with developing and coordinating across several cross-division and cross-foundation issues focused in Nigeria on behalf of the foundation. Acts as the highest-level principle Nigerian liaison with key programs leads/program strategy teams (PSTs) in Seattle.
This role works closely with the foundation senior leadership, our key partners, and the programmatic teams to multiply the foundation’s effectiveness and impact. The Director will represent the foundation at the highest levels of government and other global gatherings. Towards that end, this role must balance these priorities and have the diplomacy, gravitas and both external and internal negotiating skills necessary to resolve differences and get results.
The Director will be responsible for providing policy and political advice and local information for the foundation's priority areas, and strengthen relationships with the Government of Nigeria and key partners.
The role will also oversee policy, advocacy, and communications activities and efforts to expand the foundation’s partnerships with assigned governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), donors, multilateral organizations, media, and other groups.
The Director manages people and is responsible for hiring the talent needed to achieve our goals, ensuring successful employee onboarding, communicating performance expectations, creating goal alignment, integrating project and change management, giving and seeking feedback, providing coaching, measuring progress and holding people accountable, supporting employee development, and recognizing achievement and lessons learned.
Key duties and responsibilities:
- Lead the Nigeria country office- including foundation’s Nigeria working group, coordination with a range of foundation program staff;
- Support leadership trips, learning, engagement opportunities, and other appropriate activities to foundation staff relative regarding visits to Nigeria;
- Gather and provide country-level information about priority issues and strategies that are important to the foundation, such as new policies, local investments, financial regulation, biotechnology, and other key health and development priorities. This role is responsible for high quality interactions and clear and consistent communications with grantees and partners in the field;
- Government relations- Further establish and strengthen critical relationships with Government of Nigeria (GON) including local, state, and federal governments;
- Team Leadership - As a leader provide an environment that enables respect, trust, transparency, and creating energy. Actively demonstrate key leadership responsibilities of nurturing people and building great teams, prioritizing our collective success, and modeling courageous inquiry and intellectual integrity;
- Foundation partners- Further establish and strengthen critical relationships with key foundation partners, including funders, media, NGOs, multilateral organizations, and the private sector to boost political will and help bring in new resources;
- Create and maintain productive, collaborative and coordinated relationships/engagement with grantees;
- Liaison/Management of program strategy team work in country– in close partnership with foundation’s Seattle teams and global offices and programs, etc.;
- Support and advance strategic goals and priority strategies of the foundation for various programs and cross-cutting issues. Some experience in multiple initiatives is a strong plus. Strong experience in at least one initiative is required;
- Reports to: Director, Africa.
- Master’s/MBA, MD or PhD degree with at least 12 to 15 years of significant management experience at a high level in global organizations. Strong leadership experience in international relations, economics, government or public policy, with senior level-representation experience in Africa and, ideally, at least exposure to international issues and experience related to Nigeria;
- Experience building and managing high performing advocacy and programmatic teams in a growing office with proven success;
- Deep understanding and experience in at least one of the sectors in which the foundation goals operates (e.g., health, agriculture, financial services, water & sanitation, urban and emergency relief);
- A minimum of 10-15 years of in country experience working to improve Africa’s (Nigeria preferred) health, development, and political processes including strong knowledge of political and social/cultural issues in Africa (with some knowledge in Nigeria);
- Excellent written and oral communications skills in English; some fluency in any of the Nigerian languages is preferred;
- Proven experience effectively engaging with high-level government officials, key partners, media executives/reporters, business leaders, other influential personalities and grantees on a wide range of issues;
- Strong familiarity and understanding of the foundation’s priorities and culture;
- Ability to prioritize among competing priorities;
- Ability to focus and achieve results;
- Ability to work with the media, private sector, and civil society;
- Ability to work with flexibility, efficiency, enthusiasm, and diplomacy both individually and as part of a complex team effort.
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