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Offer: Representative, Ford Foundation, Eastern Africa

The Ford Foundation.
Nairobi, Kenya.

Summary Description:

The Ford Foundation seeks to hire a dynamic, creative and innovative leader to serve as its Representative in Eastern Africa. Building on Ford’s rich legacy in and longstanding commitment to promoting social justice in the region, the Representative will manage the Foundation’s activities and oversee its program development, external relations and administrative operations in Eastern Africa—primarily Kenya with some work in Uganda and Tanzania.

The Representative directs the Foundation’s activities in Eastern Africa, providing overall leadership to the Foundation’s grant-making programs, managing the office in Nairobi, and representing the Foundation to government, business, nonprofit leaders and the donor community. The Representative reports to a supervising Program Vice President based in New York.

The Representative is the Foundation’s ambassador in the region to many important constituencies. Specifically, the Representative assesses local political, social, cultural and economic developments and helps shape the Foundation’s strategy in the region and guides its programming and grant-making priorities in alignment with the Foundation’s mission, values and set of global initiatives. The Representative seeks to promote innovative grant-making; enhance the quality and impact of programming; and promote a collaborative working environment in the office and across areas of expertise that maximizes the diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills of staff to accomplish Foundation goals. In collaboration with the thematic Directors based in New York, the Representative supervises and works closely with program staff in developing, monitoring and evaluating grant programs and projects within the office’s major fields of concern.

Additionally, the Representative prepares and manages the office’s $15 million annual grant and management budgets, oversees all legal matters, and supervises local administrative staff with responsibilities for accounting, grants administration, and general services functions. The Representative facilitates development of communications strategies; and maintains effective ties and promotes strategic partnerships with local leaders, governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, the press and other donors to leverage of new resources, scale impact, and advance the goals of the office.

The Representative also manages a modest grants portfolio of his/her own; collaborates with the Foundation’s other representatives in Africa to develop and implement Pan-African grant-making strategies; and works with senior management staff from around the world in helping shape various aspects of the Foundation’s work globally.

The Foundation’s programs in Eastern Africa, organized around the theme “Fulfilling the Promise of Democracy” current strive to:

Strengthen democracy through increased civic and political participation and building civil society movements, networks, groups and organizations
Promote secure and well-defined rights to land and natural resources
Support sustainable models for livelihood development to help poor people increase incomes, accumulate assets, enhance resilience and move out of poverty
Address gender inequalities through the gains made by women's rights movements and exploring how women's rights play a part in issues of poverty, HIV/AIDS, gender violence and reproductive health rights
Promote content development and alternative sites of free, fair and ethical expression, where the life experiences of all people are amplified and affirmed.

Criteria for Success:

Proven record of leadership, planning, and management success
Substantial previous experience in and deep knowledge of the history and culture of Eastern Africa or sub-Saharan Africa
A proven ability to think analytically, critically with agility to translate ideas and insights into action through coherent and viable program work
An action oriented, entrepreneurial person who is a self starter that can work independently, as well as in teams
Ability to effectively lead a local office within a larger global organization with headquarters in New York
Demonstrated people management skills, including the ability to manage complex relationships with private and public sector stakeholders in the region
An understanding of the civil society landscape in Eastern Africa
Administrative skills, in particular an appreciation for the importance of strong fiscal management
Strong facilitation skills – the ability to listen and learn from diverse perspectives
Exemplary communication skills, both oral and written
Demonstrated organizational skills, and the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously
Strong time management proficiency
Sound, mature judgment and integrity
Personal qualities of humility and capacity for self-reflection
Ability to motivate staff through effective leadership, mentoring, coaching, development, facilitation, evaluation and rewards
Commitment to FF's mission and core values of equity and fairness, diversity, voice and participation, knowledge and creativity, humility and respect, and honesty and integrity


An advanced graduate degree in public policy, law, business or related fields
Ability to travel extensively on behalf of the Foundation
Creativity, energy and non-traditional thinking capacity
Sense of humor

To Apply:

Please apply online at:

Application Deadline: Until filled.

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