Executive Director, Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    Nairobi, Kenya
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 14

Position description

Executive Director, Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa. Nairobi. Posting Date: 03/02/2020. Deadline: 03/27/2020

The Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) was founded in 2005 as a part of the global Open Society Foundations (OSF) network. OSIEA's vision is'a just, inclusive and vibrant Eastern Africa where all people live in dignity, equality and participate meaningfully in society.' Since 2005, through support to individuals, organisations, coalitions, movements and government agencies, OSIEA has contributed towards efforts to: strengthen democratic governance, rule of law and accountability; protect the rights of the most marginalised including persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, women and youth; promote food security particularly among pastoralist communities; advocate for accountable use of natural resources; and promote inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth and economic justice. Our contributions have been through grant-making, research and advocacy.

OSIEA seeks an Executive Director to be responsible for developing and delivering on OSIEA's strategic vision, managing a high-calibre and geographically-dispersed team, and overseeing internal and external processes, in line with the organisation's objectives, policies and procedures. The Executive Director reports to OSIEA's Board of Directors and to the OSF network as a whole through the Africa Regional Director.

As the Executive Director of OSIEA you will:
  • Lead the development, implementation and monitoring of the organisation's strategic plan;
  • Provide overall technical guidance on programme formulation and implementation with all OSIEA programmes;
  • Be Secretary to Board meetings; provide accurate and timely programme, human resource and financial reports to the Board and maintain excellent communications and working relationships between the Board and staff;
  • Matrix manage to the OSF network through the Africa Regional Director and keep the African Regional Office and OSF's leadership up-to-date and well-briefed on developments within the countries under OSIEA's mandate, with particular attention to enabling coordinated advocacy on the same when necessary;
  • Represent OSIEA within the OSF network; nurture and develop collaboration with regional and national foundations in addition to geographic and thematic programmes;
  • Oversee management and monitoring of, as well as accounting for, OSIEA's financial resources in line with its values, mission, strategic priorities and related budgets;
  • Develop the professional capabilities of a high-level team, encouraging team members to own the work of the foundation as a whole;
  • Ensure that OSIEA's operations are based on the principles of equity, inclusion and diversity.


Candidate profile

The successful candidate will demonstrate significant personal, professional and political commitment to the advancement of open society values across east Africa and the Horn and detailed understanding of the region's historical context and economic, political and social landscape. S/he will bring substantive analytical skills to bear in designing strategy that meaningfully promotes human rights and social justice in east Africa and the Horn.

S/he will need to be experienced in and enjoy navigating a complex stakeholder terrain, and have an instinctive understanding of how to build and leverage relationships in support of OSIEA's mission. Operating on the highest ethical and fiduciary standards will be fundamental to success in this role and the Executive Director is expected to embody the values that OSIEA seeks to promote.

We are looking for:
  • Comprehensive knowledge of east Africa and the Horn's human rights/social justice, social, political and economic situation, including its political and civic actors, its grantmaking terrain and substantive knowledge of the field;
  • At least 15 years work experience in a non-profit foundation, association of NGOs and/or a nationwide or sub-regional NGO, think tank, academic institution, public administration, media or other areas requiring strong leadership, management, and communications; including at least eight years of managerial experience at senior level in a complex institution;
  • Experience in strategic leadership, programme and project management, including monitoring and evaluation, as well as financial and human resources management and grantmaking;
  • Advocacy experience in/on the sub-region;
  • An effective listener and communicator with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds;
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire, mentor and positively influence others, enhance employee engagement and empower managers and teams to achieve results in OSIEA's best interests;
  • Proven success in driving the effective functioning and operationalisation of organisational structures, policies, processes and procedures to achieve strategic goals;
  • The ability to determine importance, urgency and risks, and make clear, timely decisions in the best interests of the organisation and OSF as a whole;
  • Excellent analytical, communication and organisational skills;
  • Ability to assess problems, identify causes, demonstrate open-mindedness in accommodating alternative views on possible solutions and make recommendations on the same;
  • Excellent verbal and written English language skills; additional languages of east Africa and the Horn a plus.


If this sounds like the position you have been looking for, please submit your CV and a cover letter to apply.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

We aim to build an inclusive workforce that is reflective of the populations we support, and actively seek applications from those who are marginalized and underrepresented. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants and colleagues with disabilities.
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