Country Director

Helen Keller International
  • Location
    Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 15

Position description

We are currently seeking a Country Director (CD) in Tanzania to represent Helen Keller, develop new programs, expand our programming and scale, and lead the country office and its programs in a manner that reflects our mission and values.

The CD provides strategic leadership and develops action plans that both further the mission of Helen Keller and meet the evolving conditions in Tanzania. They have overall responsibility for ensuring technical and operational excellence in the delivery of all activities to achieve the objectives established in grants and strategic plans, as well as to disseminate findings and secure and expand funding for project activities in Tanzania. This position is based in Dar es Salaam with regular travel to project sites required.

Functional Relationships

The CD reports directly to the Regional Director, Eastern, Southern and Central Africa and leads the Country Management Team (CMT). The position directly supervises a team of professional level staff, works closely with colleagues at all levels of Helen Keller’s global management structure and may be called upon to participate in global working groups or steering committees. Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.

Helen Keller’s programs require close relations with governments, partner universities and NGOs, private industry, donors, and UN agencies. The CD will represent Helen Keller at relevant external meetings.

Specific Responsibilities

Overall Management and Leadership

Provide strategic vision and direction for overall program design, implementation, and proposal development.

  • Lead and oversee the implementation of country programs and the management of the office.
  • Represent Helen Keller in formal and informal meetings with government officials, international donor agencies, and national technical advisory groups pertinent to our project activities.
  • Identify opportunities and generate funding from international and bilateral agencies and donor agencies.
  • Develop and nurture in-country donor relationships and identify potential partners to participate in joint proposals.
  • Lead and prepare concept papers and proposals and provide other information as needed for submission to donors and others for fundraising and marketing purposes.
  • Model collaboration for your matrixed team: effectively consult and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in your office and elsewhere in the global organization to maximize performance.
  • Build a highly effective Country Management Team, recruiting, supervising, mentoring, and evaluating staff, and engaging in frequent performance conversations with team members.
  • Delegate authority, consult with, and guide staff to achieve goals and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
  • Ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues, and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.
  • As a senior leader in the organization, participate in global working groups, the recruitment process of global colleagues and other activities, as requested.


Oversee and coordinate the program portfolio to ensure the highest level of project quality and accountability, while fostering continuity through building local capacity.

  • Provide technical input to the government, international donors, and technical advisory groups pertinent to project activities.
  • Ensure implementation of strong program monitoring, evaluation, and learning functions.
  • Oversee research design, methodology, and dissemination of information needed to monitor and evaluate project activities and/or advance programmatic and policy changes.
  • Disseminate findings from Helen Keller projects that are of importance to decisionmakers in a position to fund or implement projects in Tanzania and internationally.
  • Keep the national partners and others informed about progress of the projects, plans for the development of new programs/projects/activities and donor involvement in the overall program.
  • Ensure safeguarding measures are integrated into program design and implementation at all levels.

Operations and Finance

Provide oversight to finance and administrative services including procurement, property management, human resources management, vehicle and facilities management, and staff safety and security.

  • Supervise all aspects of people management in the country office; including hiring and managing human resources, leading initiatives to develop staff capacity, and promoting team morale and retention.
  • Work with global colleagues to manage the development and implementation of annual country budgets.
  • Authorize expenditures for grant or contract allocations and ensure compliance with procedures required by grant or contract agreements.
  • Ensure the accurate and timely submission of financial and narrative reports that comply with grant or contract agreements and ensure compliance with all aspects of donor funding and Helen Keller policies.

Required Qualifications and Competencies

  • Minimum ten years of field experience in international public health, especially Neglected Tropical Disease or nutrition programs, including demonstrated experience in program development, implementation, and evaluation; plus a minimum master’s degree in public health, nutrition, international development or a related field; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Technical knowledge in an area related to Helen Keller’s mission and programs.
  • Experience managing all aspects of program and operations management in a large country office including demonstrated experience and ability to:
    • lead and manage people;
    • supervise and guide safety and security;
    • manage compliance with diverse donor requirements (USAID, DFID, GAC, EU, etc.);
    • supervise financial management, develop and create budgets monitor financial status, and hold budget owners accountable;
    • supervise key administrative, procurement, and logistics functions;
    • lead program development and management, and strategic planning;
    • design and implement workshops, seminars, surveys, monitoring systems, and evaluations;
    • design research, and analyze and interpret data; and
    • integrate safeguarding measures.
  • Demonstrated ability to:
    • undertake high-level representation and advocacy; and
    • mobilize program funding including donor cultivation and write proposals.
  • Experience working in Tanzania and/or elsewhere in East Africa, with Ministries, international and local NGOs, and donors based locally, is a substantial asset.
  • Familiarity with and experience promoting health systems strengthening and ensuring the sustainability of program activities in developing contexts.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including an ability to effectively lead a team, communicate a vision, make timely and transparent decisions, and manage conflict.
  • Very good oral and written English language skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communications.
  • Well established and practiced organizational and planning skills.
  • Computer literate in use of word-processing, spreadsheet and statistical software; experience in data analysis and interpretation is highly desirable.
  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented. An ability to maintain balance when under stress.
  • Ability and willingness to:
    • flex work hours to accommodate multiple time zones, as needed;
    • travel at least 15-20% within Tanzania and, periodically, internationally;
    • NOTE: All staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel internationally.
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.
  • Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and goals and the values embodied by our namesake and co-founder: courage, integrity, rigor, and compassion.

Application instructions

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