Director – Programs

  • CDD
  • CDI
  • Dakar, Sénégal
  • Les candidatures sont actuellement fermées.

Open Society

Opportunity Description

This work will focus on supporting democratic practice and participation, civic activism, state and corporate accountability, accountability for human rights and free and fair elections in Africa. This work will focus on the intersection between democracy, economic participation, financing, technology, political agency, peace, and security in Africa. Areas for exploration will include identifying the right national approaches and regional efforts to strengthen democracy across Africa with a specific focus on youth and women as primary stakeholders and actors in Africa’s democratic transformation and futures.

Role Purpose

Directors are highly accomplished, well-networked in their field, and bring deep experience across different regions of Africa, and/or thematic areas related to Africa’s democratic transformation, constitutionalism, rule of law and human rights. Director of Programs oversees the Democratic Resilience in Africa Opportunity and is accountable for delivering on its outcomes and managing their teams at the highest level of professionalism.

The expectation is that the Directors will be field leaders, strong managers, as well as subject matter experts for this specific opportunity, able to build teams and work closely with the Program VPs, Managing Directors, and their fellow Opportunity Director colleagues in building a collaborative culture of both risk-taking and teamwork.

A Director may be designated by the Program VPs to serve as a Geographic Lead to coordinate OSF’s high-level approach to a specific geography and ensure a consistent and informed presence in each area.

In select cases, a director might oversee more than one opportunity.

Key Responsibilities

As Director of Programs, you will:

  • Accountable for articulating creative and transformative ideas, programs and interventions into a strategic plan based on clear goals and outcomes
  • Apply established metrics for monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) to ensure the required outcomes the Democratic Resilience in Africa Opportunity are being achieved
  • Ensure appropriate financial, risk, and legal management and control are articulated during the planning and implementation phase, and work with all relevant stakeholders to develop mitigation plans
  • Oversee and manage the Democratic Resilience team, collaborate with other Opportunity teams, and manage external partners
  • Engage with embedded staff from other OSF teams in close cooperation with senior leaders
  • Articulate budgetary and workforce needs for opportunity leveraging internal and external resources, as required
  • Regularly report on the progress of the opportunity to the Managing Director of Programs and the Executive Leadership team
  • Leverage OSF’s global character and work in close collaboration with OSF’s strategic capabilities, including impact investment, strategic litigation, and advocacy
  • Represent the Democratic Resilience in Africa Opportunity in regional, continental, and global policy reform
  • Grow a broad base of allies and network that includes civil society actors, social movements, national and local governments, regional economic communities, African Union Organs and Institutions, multilateral organizations, faith-based groups, grass-roots organizations, philanthropy, local experts, academia and think tanks, etc. to advance the opportunity. Depending on the opportunity this might include developing strong relationships with other funders and bringing them as partners into the opportunity
  • May be designated as a Geographic Lead representing OSF’s work in a critical geography (country or region) and leading a Geographic Policy Group, that defines OSF’s strategic approach to the priority geography and ensures a consistent and informed presence

People Responsibilities (Total Team/DRs)


Key metrics


Key internal relationships

Program Teams; Managing Director Programs; Managing Director Core Partner (+ teams); Grants Management; Advocacy; SEDF; Comms; Strategic Litigation; Operations; OGC (Office of the General Counsel) & Risk, Vice-Presidents Programs, President

Key external relationships

External partners, public and private sector leaders



Educated to a Master’s degree-level (or equivalent)


  • Post-graduate education relevant to social science, Law, Political Science,
  • International Relations, Economics, and/or other field relevant to the Democratic Resilience in Africa Opportunity



  • Prior experience in leading social change and system- change work in civil society, government, multilateral institutions, and/or the private sector that has resulted in positive societal impact
  • Demonstrable experience in policy advocacy research and working in multi-cultural environments and across at least two different regions of the African continent. Experience within areas of democracy, elections as well as economic transformation and peace + security
  • Extensive expertise in the specific topic area as set out in the “Opportunity Description” above
  • Prior financial ($20m+) or other comparable significant budget, legal and risk accountability at large-scale programmatic level
  • Extensive Network across the Democratic Governance sector in different regions of Africa, as well as demonstrable high-level engagements with national and local governments, multilateral organizations, faith-based groups, grass-roots organizations, philanthropy, local experts, academia, and think tanks
  • Proven people management experience (of individual contributors and external partners), preferably at a regional or continental level for at least 7 years
  • Prior experience leading programmatic or organizational level change within organizations and/or systems that have gone through significant transformation
  • Experience in multiple sectors and knowledge of philanthropic tools such as advocacy and communication, strategic litigation, and social impact approaches


Functional Competencies

  • Ability to design and plan complex programs/opportunities involving cross collaboration and articulating the time, budget, stakeholder and success measures
  • Skilled in building strategic external partnerships that promote the strategic objectives and values of open and democratic societies
  • Ability to nurture relationships with high level external partners whilst exercising considerable discretion
  • Ability to build synergies, strengthen movements, and identify and fill capacity gaps across fields
  • Demonstrate care and concern about partner organizations and the people who work in them

NB. The following will be added advantages: Skill in drafting and managing a proposal development processes and knowledge of grant making best practices and the field of philanthropy

Personal Competencies

  • Leadership capability and discipline; able to manage programs of work effectively, deliver on purpose and lead change
  • Ability to build consensus with diverse audiences/stakeholders
  • Possess cultural sensitivity to work respectfully and effectively in different settings
  • Ability to build consensus with diverse audiences/stakeholders
  • People leadership: ability to attract, grow and engage talent within direct teams
  • Demonstrates commitment to OSF’s core values of humility, commitment, collaboration, respect, inclusivity and integrity
  • Commitment to continuous learning and growth in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, antiracism, and social justice
  • A network weaver who routinely thinks about the web of connections and recognizes that our organization is uniquely positioned to convene and engage partners by collaboration


  • An excellent knowledge of English
  • French as a second language is preferred
  • Knowledge of other languages (appropriate to the location and/or opportunity focus are an asset)

Subject to local laws, regular employment contracts may be converted to fixed-term contracts to align with the intended duration of the employment for the purposes of working on that opportunity; or alternatively the current permanent contract will be kept in place, with a side letter confirming the duration of the assignment to the time-limited project

Competitive rates of pay apply.

Open Society Foundations is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and to building a diverse staff that reflects the movements, issues and communities that our mission serves. Candidates from all underrepresented backgrounds, identities and communities are encouraged to apply.

Deadline: 04/10/2024.

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