Project Director, Education for Development

  • Posted on 15 May 2019

Job Description

Position Summary:

Creative seeks a Project Director (PD) for the Education for Development Division, focusing on countries affected by protracted crisis. The PD will be responsible for performing complex work within the project area. Project Directors assume responsibilities for management of projects typically of $20M+ in funding, depending upon variables such as the complexity, projected timeline of the projects, and geographic location of the work. The PD is responsible for technical, financial, compliance and accountability for the performance of assigned projects. The PD supervises project management and support staff to ensure quality programming, and achievement of financial targets and contractual outcomes. The PD travels internationally to perform many of the functions of the role and also participates in new business initiatives within the assigned portfolio or geography. As a senior team member, the Project Director also contributes to thought-leadership in specific education-related technical areas of priority at Creative, by providing inputs into research, theory-of-change development, tool development and guidance authoring.

Reporting & Supervision:

The Project Director is supervised by the assigned Portfolio Management Director.

NOTE: Different projects require different levels of project management leadership skills based on their strategic importance, project profile and complexity, specificity, scope, and geographic location. Creative formally sanctions, and reserves the right to modify, the skill and position level(s) needed for each project.

Expected Outcomes:


Projects under PD oversight receive guidance and management support. Senior Project Managers, Project Managers and other project management staff manage projects purposely, cohesively and efficiently. Project aims are clear on the strategic (outcome level—technical), tactical (output level—managerial and financial) and operational (milestone-level transactions) fronts. Challenges and potential implementation issues are preemptively identified and proactively addressed. The client is being effectively served and is satisfied with Creative’s service and offerings. Senior Management is kept abreast of significant threats, implementation deficiencies and opportunities.

Project Management

Projects under PD oversight perform well–they meet contractual obligations, and fiscal targets. Projects are well-planned so that inputs—such as human resource deployments, STTA, procurements—can be timely and effectively supported by HQ. Project staffing, project obligations, and reporting meet anticipated levels and high-quality standards.

Financial Management

Projects under PD oversight meet performance targets and revenue projections. PDs proactively manage vacancies, non-billables, and foregone revenue. Projects requiring important course corrections or corporate support receive the attention of upper management.

Staff Management

Senior Project Managers, Project Managers, and other staff under PD oversight are tangibly supported technically, managerially and professionally; their professional objectives and personal needs are well understood, as are those of key staff in the field. Performance reviews of are meaningful and constructive and are administered timely. Projects honor all aspects of programmatic and fiscal compliance.

New Business Development

Projects under PD oversight demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit; they are able to seize opportunities in the local marketplace, position the company, pave the way for the realization of new business opportunities and serve as a lead proposal writer and provide expertise in project design for education programs. Opportunities for new business generation are created and nurtured. The company is visibly represented before stakeholders. Specific new business pursuits are well planned and timely executed. Activity design is conducted with insight and intellectual curiosity.

Learning & Adaptation

Projects under PD supervision have a heightened awareness of the value of learning and adaptation. Projects have explicitly defined learning agendas, M&E plans that track progress towards learning, and course corrections that are informed by data. Project interventions and innovations are well documented and catalogued. Pause-and-Reflect events capture salient programmatic aspects with potential for replication or scale up. Salient activities are celebrated and promoted through Creative’s Communications Department.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Oversees assigned other project management and support staff, as assigned;
  • Ensures that Projects under PD oversight achieve contractual deliverables with technical distinction, meet fiscal targets, are well planned and resourced;
  • Represents projects on behalf of Creative Associates at professional networking events and meetings, conferences, and other public forums
  • ommunicates regularly with client representatives, i.e. CORs and AORs, partner organizations and, as appropriate, host country officials;
  • Tracks aspects of project performance; oversees project implementation of approved activities, monitoring of timelines, tracking budgets, and supporting subcontract performance and financial management;
  • Provide education technical expertise in one of more of the following: literacy and numeracy education, teacher professional development, education in emergencies, inclusive education, curriculum and teaching and learning materials (TLM) development, and/or school and educational system improvement.
  • Resolves issues in project start-up and close-down; manages project backstopping, key field personnel support, consultant agreements; processing of project finance transactions, approval and handling of all travel and related logistics, and grant management implementation;
  • Ensures compliance of project-related documentation including work plans, staff records, communications, and transactions ensuring they are properly documented;
  • Elevates risks and opportunities to portfolio directors and/or division VP
  • Ability to lead in pertinent new business development endeavors for the Education in Development division; significantly contributes to and/or leads business development efforts to include prospect identification, capture management, project design, and proposal writing in technical/geographic areas closely aligned to the education portfolio and priority expansion areas;
  • Reviews, and/or prepare project reports, required documented deliverables and other requested communications materials such as success stories on interventions and innovations;
  • Participates in project collaborative learning and data driven adaptation; and
  • Serves as a liaison with Creative’s support units, including HR, Finance & Contracts, Procurement, Field Operations, Communications, etc.

Minimum Skills & Qualifications:

NOTE: Your job title is based on the role you perform and you must meet the minimum qualifications for that job title. Greater (higher) education and experience than minimum qualifications do not automatically classify you into a higher-level job title/position.

  • Master’s degree (PhD preferred) in relevant field and ten years of relevant experience, or Bachelor’s degree in relevant field and twelve years of relevant experience;
  • Specialized knowledge and experience in technical aspects of education programming: for example: teacher professional development, education in emergencies, inclusive education, formative or summative student assessments, curriculum development and teaching and TLM development, and/or school and educational system improvement;
  • Field experience implementing education projects at both operational and managerial levels
  • Supervisory experience;
  • Demonstrated ability to assume responsibilities for projects typically totaling $20M+ in funding, depending upon the complexity, projected timeline of the projects, and geographic location of the work;
  • Considerable knowledge within education (previous teaching experience desired);
  • Exceptional skills in team-building and collaboration as well as experience in coaching or mentoring others in project implementation;
  • Experience in working with field staff, providing technical and financial oversight on projects to include budget realignments;
  • Experience in reviewing & approving project procurements, grants and purchase order agreements;
  • Decisive evidence-based decision-making skills;
  • Experience in quickly producing results on a range of assignments in diverse country and programmatic contexts; in developing/monitoring proposal and project budgets;
  • Experience in leading project start-ups and close-downs;
  • Exceptional skills in managing teams, building team capacity and collective team engagement, multi-tasking handling tight deadlines;
  • Skill and experience in U.S. government donor relations and client management;
  • Well-versed knowledge of USAID Programs and Regulations;
  • Demonstrated excellent oral, experience in making formal presentations to clients, peers and other groups;
  • Demonstrated excellent written communication skills to include successful proposal writing, donor report writing, and other key deliverables;
  • Demonstrated track record of leading winning business development efforts for education-related proposals (prior experience with Proposal Management, Championing, Writing USAID proposals);
  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally on short notice, including to conflict and crisis affected countries; and
  • Fluent English-language verbal, written and reading skills.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Fluency in French highly desired; and
  • Knowledge of DFID and/or European Union regulations.

About the Organization

Creative Associates International is a dynamic, fast-growing global development firm that specializes in education, economic growth, democratic development and post-crisis stabilization. Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Since its founding in 1977, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.

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