Africa Program Director, Alive & Thrive

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 12 May 2020
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Closing on 11 July 2020
  • Current

Job Description

Project Summary:

Alive & Thrive is an initiative to save lives, prevent illness, and ensure healthy growth and development. Good nutrition in the first 1000 days, from pregnancy to two years of age, is critical to enable all children to lead healthier and more productive lives. Alive & Thrive is scaling up improved infant and young child feeding and maternal nutrition through large scale programs in several countries in Asia and Africa and through strategic technical support and the dissemination of innovations, tools, and lessons worldwide. Alive & Thrive is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and other generous donors.

Position Summary:

The Program Director, Africa provides overall portfolio leadership for the Alive & Thrive country and regional programs in Africa including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for management, technical oversight and implementation to ensure these programs are effectively and efficiently implemented as well as other Africa based programs as they come on board. He/she fosters innovation and drives adoption of leading practices; shares new knowledge, learning, evidence and best practices within and across country programs through documentation and cross-country fertilization. The Program Director provides direct supervision and oversight to field-based Africa Program Directors and HQ-based Africa focused positions.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Provide strategic leadership and program management oversight across Africa programs to ensure strategic priorities are thoroughly defined, pursued and completed
  • Collaborate with the field-based Country Program Directors to develop and maintain a comprehensive program implementation strategy.
  • Provide strategic leadership during interactions with program teams, in particular to ensure a wide understanding and buy-in of Alive & Thrive’s global strategic positioning and value-addition model
  • Provide strategic guidance for activity planning and budgeting, and validate the final annual workplans and budgets (as well as major updates)
  • Ensure programs are designed according to organization and industry best practices, program framework and donor requirements.
  • Identify strategic opportunities for partnerships at regional and international levels and engage in partnership-building activities
  • Collaborate with technical and program staff to ensure that program implementation is managed closely through the development of structured work plans, progress reports and approved monitoring plans
  • Provide support for partnership management at national level as needed
  • Ensure rigorous program and financial monitoring systems are in place and senior field-based staff are capable of enforcement of compliance with these systems and are held accountable for this
  • Provide high level technical guidance as required, based upon expertise and knowledge of evidence-based methods and strategies, current practice, and established operational and research standards to ensure high quality and rigorous program design
  • Lead cross learning efforts between country programs and ensure best practices and lessons learned are shared with a wider audience, as appropriate
  • Ensure timely and quality donor reporting and communication
  • Communicate to A&T leadership about the status of the programs, provide reporting and governance of the portfolio’s status and financial health.
  • Participate in the A&T Senior Leadership Team
  • Represent A&T as international and national meetings and workshops


Masters degree in nutrition or public health highly preferred. Bachelors degree required.


Typically requires a minimum of 10+ years of project management experience.

Highly prefers 20 years of relevant experience required, with at least 5 years of field-based experience in nutrition programming. Additional program management experience will also be valued.

Specific Knowledge & Skills Requirements:

  • Ability to oversee a large set of programs with different strategic priorities and operating models
  • Demonstrated experience in leading and managing complex projects that are strategic in nature and international in scope
  • Ability to adapt his/her manage style to different profiles of Direct Reports
  • Experience in provision of technical support to nutrition programming
  • Experience with social and behavior change for nutrition
  • Demonstrated strategic planning, staff development and capacity building experience
  • Comprehensive knowledge of design, implementation, and management of international public health programs
  • Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written skills
  • Knowledge and experience in working with donor reporting and requirements
  • Ability to influence, motivate, negotiate, and work well with others
  • Proficiency in English required; knowledge of French preferred.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Field-based Africa Program Directors (Burkina Faso, ECOWAS, Ethiopia, Nigeria) and Africa focused HQ positions

Equipment Used:

  • Personal Computer, Microsoft Office (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), e-mail, telephone, printer, calculator, copier, cell phones, PDAs and other hand held devices.

Typical Physical Demands:

  • Typical office environment. Ability to sit and stand for extended periods of time; ability to lift 5-50 lbs.

Travel Requirements:

  • Minimum of 25%

This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

FHI 360 fosters the strength and health of its workforce through a competitive benefits package, professional development and policies and programs that support healthy work/life balance. Join our global workforce to make a positive difference for others — and yourself.

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FHI 360 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. FHI 360 is an equal employment and affirmative action employer whereby we do not engage in practices that discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other status or characteristic protected under applicable law.

About the Organization

About FHI 360: FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender, youth, research and technology — creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today's interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 70 countries and all U.S. states and territories. We are currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of: Director, Country Programs

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