Chief of Party, STEM Higher Education Project in Malawi

  • Posted on 23 March 2020

Job Description

Virginia Tech is seeking applications for a Chief of Party for an anticipated USAID-funded project to increase access to quality Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) degree programs at Malawian Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Chief of Party (COP) will provide overall day-to-day management and coordination of technical and administrative personnel and functions, including ensuring that appropriate technical and financial reporting requirements are met. These responsibilities include:

  • Provide management, vision, strategic direction and leadership in the design and delivery of the program;
  • Provide leadership for programmatic efforts related to the project objectives, activities and outcomes, to support Malawian universities to design and deliver high quality and diversified STEM programs that are inclusive, relevant, and responsive to market needs:
    • Seek out opportunities to facilitate partnerships between education service providers, private businesses, and appropriate government agencies to develop and deliver education and training appropriate to employers’ needs;
    • Address barriers that stop disadvantaged students from being selected into and succeeding in STEM subjects;
    • Enhance qualifications of academic and administrative staff and strengthen the theoretical training in STEM and the practical field;
    • Improve university collaboration with industry (public and private sector entities);
  • Manage relationships with USAID/Malawi, VT/CIRED, Government of Malawi representatives, project partners and other stakeholders to ensure the quality and timeliness of project implementation;
  • Oversee the development and review of annual work plans and budgets;
  • Oversee the preparation of quarterly and annual reports to USAID
  • Ensure project operations comply with Virginia Tech policies and procedures as well as USAID rules and regulations;


Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in a discipline relevant to higher education capacity building and administrative leadership, workforce development, and/or education in STEM fields; or Master’s degree with equivalent experience
  • Minimum 10 years of professional experience working in higher education capacity building and administrative leadership, and/or education in STEM fields, with preference given to experience in Malawi
  • Significant experience in leading large and complex donor-funded projects, especially USAID projects; previous COP and/or Deputy COP experience desirable
  • Experience in managing educational development projects in progressively more responsible positions, preferably focused on higher education
  • Demonstrated ability to establish innovative research and education partnerships, and partnerships with the private sector
  • Experience recruiting, forming, and successfully managing teams and ensuring the quality of their products
  • Knowledge of USAID policies and procedures
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Fluency in English

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience managing education-related projects in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Knowledge of the political, social, cultural, economic, and development context of Malawi

How to Apply

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume by email to:, with “Chief of Party, Malawi HE” in the subject heading. Applications will be reviewed beginning on 1 July 2020, and the position will remain open until filled. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Recruitment is contingent upon successful award of the project; this document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment.

Virginia Tech is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Anyone having questions concerning discrimination or accessibility should contact the Virginia Tech Office for Equity and Accessibility.

About the Organization

Virginia Tech’s Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED) manages and implements externally funded projects in developing countries.

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