Search for Common Ground
Title: Regional Director, West Africa
Reports to: Senior Vice President, Programs
Department: Global Programs
Team: Program Implementation
Location: Dakar or within a country office in the region
Search for Common Ground is the world’s largest dedicated peacebuilding organization, founded in 1982. With programs across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the United States, Search transforms conflict with a diverse set of tools inspired by its Common Ground Approach. Search is currently implementing a 10-year strategy aimed at driving enduring change and transforming many of the world’s most consequential conflicts. The West Africa region comprises a diverse portfolio of programs in seven countries, with 260 staff and about $20 million in annual forecasted revenue across 25 projects. The programming streams include stabilization, preventing violent extremism, access to justice, civil society strengthening, media and digital peacebuilding, security sector reform, and support to women and youth-led organizations.
The Regional Director (RD) offers leadership and oversight in the execution of Search’s 10-year strategy across the West Africa region. S/he is a member of the Global Leadership Team, contributing to key organizational initiatives and policy or strategy changes with particular attention to the suitability for field-level implementation.
The position oversees three key areas of leadership and management:
★ Strategy execution
★ Program Management
★ Thought leadership, reputation & external relationships
The RD champions the iteration and execution of programming in the following countries: Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Benin.
S/he plays a leadership role in driving excellent performance through the management of the program portfolio in the geographies under his/her supervision (management of people and resources). The RD plays a critical role in coordination (through matrixed relationships) with all other functional departments to achieve performance targets, ensuring resources are strategically oriented and prioritized.
The RD ensures that Search’s program portfolio reflects best practices, codified methodologies and embraces reflective practice and adaptive management. S/he leads teams towards capturing results that demonstrate impact as per Search’s Peace Impact Framework.
S/he supports the development of a team spirit and collaborative office culture in each country and throughout the region, respecting diversity, equity and inclusion and reflecting Search’s values in practice and through supporting teams.
The RD is responsible for ensuring excellent program design and implementation in compliance with Search and donor policies and regulations. The RD supports outreach, advocacy and networking for the region and Search at-large, pursuing partnerships and ensuring Search’s reputation remains strong and
- Champions the iteration and execution of the conflict geography strategies in West Africa. This includes the Sahel and the Lake Chad conflict geographies. – Drives excellent performance through the management of the program portfolio in the geographies within his/her supervision (management of people and resources). Performs a critical role in coordination (through matrixed relationships) with all other functional departments to achieve performance targets, ensuring resources are strategically oriented and prioritized. – Ensures that Search’s program portfolio reflects best practices, codified methodologies and embraces reflective practice and adaptive management; Leads teams towards capturing results that demonstrate impact per Search’s Peace Impact Framework. – Supports the development of a team spirit in each country and throughout the region, respecting diversity, equity and inclusion and reflecting Search’s values in practice and through supporting teams. – Ensures program implementation in compliance with Search and donor policies and regulations. Supports outreach, advocacy and networking for the region and Search at-large, pursuing partnerships and ensuring Search’s reputation remains strong and relevant.
- Regional Strategy Execution
Finance & Operations
- Lead execution of conflict geography strategies, including facilitating regular review of the strategy execution at the conflict geography level;
- Lead on shifts in the geographic coverage of the program portfolio, including opening and closing offices, identifying new sub-offices, in line with the conflict geography strategy
- Oversee annual planning (OKRs) for each conflict geography and facilitate regular review of performance dashboard and OKR progress
- Ensure that program design is aligned with strategy
- Support the engagement of country and conflict geography leadership with current and new donors in line with annual targets and in line with Search’s program development strategy
- Actively participate in prioritized bids including: contributing meta-level strategic inputs at the design phase, cultivating strategic partnerships, ensuring that the resources proposed will enable compliant and timely implementation with attention to minimum capabilities in each conflict geography;
- Delivering a range of management, technical, and operational support to empower and enable program leaders to achieve time, scope and budget objectives as per their OKRs and the conflict geography strategies
- Ensure program implementation in compliance with Search and donor policies and regulations
- Ensure that program implementation teams are equipped with access to Search’s library of tools and methodologies, and that they embrace a culture of reflective practice and adaptive management
- Maintain ongoing communication and close collaboration with key donors and partners to ensure strong relationships during implementation.
- Recruit, supervise, mentor and support the professional development of country-level Senior Management Teams and the Regional SMT members.
- By empowering staff and leading by example, promote a culture of inclusion, learning, support, diversity and innovation.
- Demonstrate and promote Search’s culture and values.
- In coordination with the Finance department, ensure that the leadership in the portfolio ensure efficient and compliant financial management of the program portfolio. This includes regular participation in organization-wide financial performance reviews, annual budgeting and quarterly reforecasting
- Ensure efficient and compliant opening and closing of country offices in line with Search’s strategy and local legal requirements
- In coordination with the People and Culture department and in particular the Safety and Security team, , support on mitigating risk and efficiently managing security, legal or other operational challenges.
Thought Leadership, Reputation and External Relations
- Other duties that are broadly in line with the above key contributions as assigned.
- In coordination with the Global Affairs and Partnership team, develop and strengthen new and existing relationships with public and private sector donors and work to position Search as a partner of choice.
- Represent Search’s regional portfolio and thought leadership with current and prospective donors, professional networks and other key stakeholders.
- Promote interregional and global learning through the support of thought leadership through regional exchanges and peer learning.
- Assess and keep abreast of the emerging trends in international peacebuilding, including business intel on opportunities.
- Ensure that program portfolio reflects best practices, codified methodologies and embraces reflective practice and adaptive management
- Amplify outcomes of program quality, reflection, and learning through external engagement
- Lead teams towards capturing results that demonstrate impact as per Search’s Peace Impact Framework
- Infuses organizational Values into all work.
Education and Experience
BS/BA and typically overall 15 years’ experience with 10 years senior management experience
Successful track record of fundraising and excellent skills in the cycle of design and proposal development;
Financial literacy and management skills, including a familiarity with the basic funding guidelines of major donors;
MS/MA preferred with a concentration in conflict resolution, international relations, international development or a related field (equivalent of 2 years’ experience)
Fluency in English and French (written and verbal), is required
Working Conditions and Physical Requirements
Usual office environment conditions; ability to travel internationally at least 30%.
Four Country Directors, one Chief of Party (Niger), the WA regional Program & Grants management staff
Regional Finance Controller, Regional Design, Monitoring and Evaluation specialists, Regional Human Resources Business Partner, Africa Hub Program Development Snr Manager and PD team members; Global Leadership Team
Annual budget of approximately $20 million.
Compensation and Benefits
Salary according to salary scale and profile of the incumbent + monthly housing allowance
Yearly employment, renewable depending on funding and performance
25 days of annual leave per year
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