Executive Director

Dakar, Senegal
Apply by 16 March 2018
Executive-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 19 February 2018

Job Description

OSIWA is recruiting for an Executive Director to be based in Dakar, Senegal.

The Executive Director is responsible for developing and delivering on OSIWA’s strategic vision through her/his leadership and management of internal and external processes in line with the organization’s objectives. The Executive Director, specifically, provides ethical leadership and direction of OSIWA strategy, programme and budget development, OSIWA’s grant-making portfolio, advocacy, communications and enhancement of OSIWA’s brand.

The Executive Director is accountable for delivery of OSIWA’s strategy and budget, including through the accuracy and quality of strategic, programmatic and financial reports to the Regional Board as well as the Open Society Foundation (OSF) network as a whole through its Regional Director. The Executive Director serves as OSIWA’s spokesperson and representative in the sub-region by articulating OSIWA’s values and mission to sub-regional bodies and governments, academic institutions, civil society, other interested parties and the general public.

The Executive Director reports to OSIWA’s Board and to the OSF network as a whole through the Africa Regional Director. As the leader of the foundation, the ED has oversight over all OSIWA’s Programme Managers, its Human Resource Manager, its Finance Director and its Country Officers.

The responsibilities of the Executive Director include, but are not limited to, the following:

Policy and Strategy Development

Provide overall policy and strategic direction by developing and recommending appropriate policies and strategies to OSIWA’s Board for approval and ensuring their implementation in line with its values, vision and mission:

Ensure strategic plans, annual operational plans and related budgets are developed, approved, implemented and monitored; Provide leadership and management of OSIWA’s programme, grantmaking, advocacy, communications, human and financial resources, including through the development and implementation of relevant policies, processes and systems as needed; Act as a bridge between OSIWA, the broader OSF network, its stakeholders and the outside world; Ensure OSIWA has the human and financial resources necessary to deliver on its strategy.

Team Leadership

Ensure direct reports each have job descriptions and performance objectives (clearly defined objectives aligned to OSIWA’s strategic and annual objectives); Review and discuss direct reports’ progress against objectives on a regular basis and provide support and guidance where needed; Conduct mid-year and annual performance reviews; Recognise and celebrate outstanding performance; Ensure poor performance is managed appropriately.

Organisational Culture

Create and maintain a positive work environment, which motivates and engages employees and supports constructive working relationships on all levels.

Lead by example in respect of all managers and staff; Adhere at all times to OSIWA and the OSF network’s values and mission and ensure all managers and staff are doing the same; Ensure compliance with OSIWA’s human resource policies and procedures, as well as those that are relevant from the broader OSF network; Ensure that performance management policies, processes and systems are in place and implemented; Ensure employees have the resources required to meet their performance objectives; Ensure high levels of employee engagement and performance by supporting learning and development; Conduct regular management and staff meetings and ensure management and staff are involved in and aware of decisions arising.

Governance Compliance and Financial Management

Oversee the annual budget drafting and submission process; Oversee management and monitoring of as well as accounting for OSIWA’s financial resources in line with its values, mission, strategic priorities and related budgets; Ensure OSIWA’s compliance with all relevant legislation and internal policies, including of the broader OSF network; Ensure decisions are made within OSIWA’s approved authorisation levels; Manage financial and other risks to OSIWA; Ensure the Board and the broader OSF network is kept up to date on all financial matters, including through regular, timely and accurate financial reports.

Communications and Public Relations

Provide guidance and input on communications between OSIWA, the broader OSF network, its grantees, the media and the general public; Serve as OSIWA’s spokesperson; Maintain and develop OSIWA’s positive reputation.

Management of Relations and Key Stakeholders

Manage relationships and communication with all stakeholders to ensure they understand OSIWA and its objectives and OSIWA understands their needs and how best to address them.

Board Membership and Reporting

Report to the Board and participate in Board meetings as an ex officio member, including through the provision of regular information, advise and support, so that the Board can exercise its oversight role in respect of OSIWA; Consult regularly with the Board on all matters of strategy and policy and report fully on implementation of the same; Nominate staff to serve on Board sub-committees as required; Ensure a high level of governance compliance, including through the management of conflict of interests as they may arise; Act at all times in terms of policies laid down by the Board and the broader OSF network as well as decisions of the same; Prepare periodic reports and make presentations as required; In cooperation with the Board Chair, prepare OSIWA’s annual report; Communicate Board decisions as well as those of the broader OSF network to staff as required.

Candidate Profile

Knowledge and experience:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of West Africa’s human rights/justice, political and economic situation, including its political and civic actors, its grantmaking terrain and substantive leadership experience working on the same;
  • Experience in strategic leadership, programme and project management, including monitoring and evaluation, as well as financial management and grantmaking;
  • Advocacy experience in/on the sub-region.

Professional skills:

  • Ability to listen to and communicate clearly and effectively with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds;
  • Ability to inspire, mentor and positively influence others, enhance employee engagement and empower managers and teams to achieve results in OSIWA’s best interests;
  • Ability to understand, support and drive the effective functioning and operationalisation of organisational structures, policies, processes and procedures to achieve strategic goals;
  • Ability to determine importance, urgency and risks, and make clear, timely decisions in the best interests of the organisation;
  • Ability to negotiate with tact and use diplomacy to advance OSIWA’s goals;
  • Ability to assess problems, identify causes, demonstrate open-mindedness in accommodating alternative views on possible solutions and make recommendations on the same.

Technical skills:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and French;
  • Word processing and spreadsheet proficiency.

Key Behavioural Attributes and Traits

Ethics: Understand ethics and multiculturalism in an organisational context and ensure own behaviour and the behaviour of others is consistent with the same;

Build Relationships: Maintain positive working relationships that build confidence and trust, both internally and externally, to achieve the organisation’s goals;

Foster Teamwork: Work cooperatively and effectively to set goals, deliver on the same, while making decisions and resolving problems to enhance organisational effectiveness;

Adaptability: Demonstrate willingness to be flexible and versatile while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency.

Desired work experience:

At least ten years previous work experience, with significant experience at a senior management level. Previous work experience in a sub-regional, regional or international organization with a mandate similar to that of OSIWA’s is highly desirable, but not required.

Minimum academic qualifications:

Post graduate degree, or its equivalent, in a discipline related to the work of OSIWA, which may include, but is not limited to: law, economics, development studies, international relations, political science, social sciences or related humanities.

How to apply:

Please follow the link below to submit an application:


Deadline: Friday, 16 March 2018.

About the Organization

The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is an advocacy and grant making Foundation that forms part of the global Open Society Foundations Network. OSIWA is based in Dakar, Senegal with country offices in Abuja, Monrovia, Freetown and Conakry. OSIWA’s work supports the creation of open societies in West Africa marked by functioning democracy, good governance, and rule of law, basic freedoms, and widespread civic participation. Our primary objective is to make democracy deliver on good governance and economic development and ensure that state resources work for the benefit of the ordinary citizen. The Foundation works in the following thematic programme areas: economic governance and advancement; political governance and democratic consolidation; and gender, equality, justice and human rights.

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