Regional Director, Africa

Category: Full-time
Reports to: Global Operations Director
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Effective: April 18, 2019

About Water.org

844 million people – about one in nine – lack access to safe water. 2.3 billion people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are Water.org. We’re here to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible and cost-effective because we believe that water is the way to empowering a bright future that we can all share in, worldwide. We are an international nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we pioneer market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. For more than 25 years, we’ve been providing women hope, children health and families a future. 


Summary 

Water.org has been growing steadily in Africa and is now seeking to dramatically accelerate growth. We seek an outstanding, seasoned and strategic leader as Regional Director with experience scaling an organization who will drive significant impact and help transform lives.   

The Regional Director, Africa within the Global Impact department will be the organization’s strategic and business lead for the region, with overall accountability for establishing a successful roadmap for organizational growth and impact delivery.   The Regional Director will inspire and direct strong, dynamic leads and experts at the country and regional levels. The Regional Director will advance Water.org’s market expansion and strategy execution in the region to cultivate and design partnerships and initiatives that mobilize capital for water and sanitation for those in need. The Regional Director is a thought leader for Water.org and represents its interests with government, business and sector leaders across the region, advocating for change that will help realize our impact.  

The Regional Director, Africa role is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Key responsibilities

Strategic Vision and Leadership (30%)

Demonstrate a personal drive for and embodiment of Water.org’s mission and leadership values that motivates and mobilizes effort to rapidly scale impact. Key activities include, but are not limited to: 

  • Direct and coalesce strategy across the region to identify and seize most significant opportunities to scale and/or accelerate impact via regional and country-level partnerships and initiatives.   Ensure integration of this framework across strategic execution in the region. 
  • Lead and contribute to efforts to galvanize productive changes in policies and investment practices that mobilize capital for water supply and sanitation (WSS) financing solutions.
  • Oversee country directors where Water.org has operational presence and provide direction on strategic execution and market positioning within those countries. 
  • Collaborate with Water.org global team to ensure integration of efforts, effective deployment of shared resources, and dissemination of knowledge gained from implementation, best practices, insights and innovations.
  • Review and determine best fit of business activities with appropriate local legal entities and registration in countries with operational presence, allowing Water.org maximum flexibility to achieve its strategy and enhance revenue generation.  
  • Direct assessment and review of new market entry and launch, including requests to establish in-county operations.  
  • Contribute to and support marketing, branding and development strategies to ensure consistency throughout the organization and enhance revenue available for deployment to country-level execution.
  • Scan, develop and/or attain insights on market trends that affect strategic execution.

Planning & New Business Development (30%)

Position Water.org as a partner of choice and thought leader. Direct teams to develop and sustain growth of key partnerships and priorities for impact at country and regional level. Key activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead building of Water.org’s reputation and brand, acting as the primary representative of Water.org to key government, media, enabling partners and other influencers as well as contributing to building an evidence base to enable full range of impact and foster innovation.
  • Cultivate and expand direct and collaborating partnerships with an array of key enablers, such as financial and non-financial practitioners, enterprises, policy and regulatory bodies as well as multilateral organizations in country to unlock and deploy new sources of capital for water supply and sanitation.    
  • Identify avenues for debt/equity investment, credit enhancements, and public/private investment partnerships among existing and new potential partners. 
  • Periodically review and update strategy milestones and targets. 
  • Direct teams and org experts to identify key interventions, trends and relationships that could significantly enable and/or scale impact in country. 
  • Lead cultivation of key regional and country-level partnerships and stakeholder relationships with gravitas. 
  • Direct development, acquisition and scaling of country and regional-level interventions, partnerships, and business operations to ensure responsiveness and competitiveness of Water.org’s offerings in target markets.

Talent Management (20%)

Provide overall leadership for talent in region. Define and build the teams/functions needed to attain success. Key activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead, develop and inspire high-performing country directors and teams, with appropriate levels of delegated authority, guidance and role clarity.   
  • Direct leads and teams to maintain adequate staffing levels in country in accordance with approved budget. Contract with consultants as needed to temporarily fill staffing gaps.
  • With HR, co-develop and deploy global standards and best practices for in-county recruitment, job training, and onboarding processes for staff to ensure acquisition and retention of top talent.  
  • Lead performance management with direct reports by providing clear performance goals, offering regular, specific feedback on job performance, organizing team meetings and retreats, and working with individual direct reports to set and achieve professional development goals. 

Organizational Strengthening & Excellence (20%)

Ensure Water.org builds and retains a stellar reputation for integrity and transparency. Position and scale the organization to address market expansion and operational complexity.   Other activities include but are not limited to:

  • Partner with HR and other global functions to define appropriate org design and structure for region and country offices within region. 
  • Ensure global policies and standards for corporate security and safety are enforced and integrated into business operations, including direct accountability for duty of care for all staff working and visiting countries without operational presence in the region.  
  • Contribute to and support global practices to improve organizational health.  
  • Undertake as assigned or directed, key initiatives to improve organizational efficiency and productivity.  
  • Ensure country offices integrate Water.org global standards into all aspects of their operations.  

Management responsibility 

  • Supervises work of others. Responsible for hiring, discipline, and pay administration of their subordinates.
  • Positions supervised include: Country Directors, Regional Operations Director, Lead, Business Strategy & Development, other specialists and experts. 

This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required. Some duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.

Scope data  

  • Deliver of regional impact as measured by Tier 1 metrics/select Tier 2/3 metrics
  • Co-own “go/no go” decision on all regional partnerships and initiatives.   Approves country-level partnerships and initiatives. 
  • Ensure legal compliance of country/regional entities (if applicable)
  • Accountable for duty of care for all staff and visitors in countries with no operational presence 
  • Accountable for annual budget /budget mgmt. for region
  • Lead in country talent management and development metrics, including acquisition, development and retention of top talent. 
  • Accountable for adoption and uptake of Water.org global standards and policies.  

Skills and competencies 

  • Strategic Mindset – Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies.
  • Builds Effective Teams – Building strong-identity teams that apply their diverse skills and perspectives to achieve common goals.
  • Business Insight – Applying knowledge of business and the marketplace to advance the organization’s goals. 
  • Decision Quality – Making good and timely decisions that keep the organization moving forward. 
  • Cultivates Innovation – Creating new and better ways for the organization to be successful.
  • Ensures Accountability – Holding self and others accountable to meet commitments. 
  • Manages Ambiguity– Operating effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear. 
  • Plans and Aligns – Planning and prioritizing work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
  • Courage – Stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said. 

Qualifications 

  • 15 years relevant experience required, with at least 5 years at the executive level. Minimum of 6 years as a people manager required. 
  • Master's degree in business preferred. Additional relevant certifications also considered.
  • Experience with development finance, capital markets, blended finance and/or innovative financial mechanisms.
  • Proven track record of successfully leading enterprises or organizations through high growth and/or expansion. 
  • Excellent coalition building skills with an ability to communicate and work effectively with a variety of internal and external stakeholders; a persuasive negotiator able to achieve consensus amongst differing opinions.
  • A financially savvy and politically astute leader with the ability to set clear priorities, delegate, and guide investment in people and systems; keen analytic, organization and problem-solving skills, which support and enable sound decision making.
  • Strong commitment to the professional development of staff; successful track record of recruiting and retaining a diverse team.
  • Outstanding presentation and communication skills and the experience and proclivity to be a compelling spokesperson, relationship builder, and fundraiser.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in facilitation skills to ensure collaboration and linkages between staff, donors, partners and stakeholders.
  • Experience managing and expanding successful collaborative and/or philanthropic partnerships required.
  • Fluent in English (oral and written) and local language(s). 
  • Experience working in globally matrixed organizations strongly preferred. International experience strongly preferred, preference for experience in U.S.

Travel requirement

  • 25%-50% of domestic and global travel. 
  • This position does require travel both domestic and global to fulfill responsibilities, such as leading/convening Water.org events, representing the organization at conferences, events and other key activities.  

Salary and benefits 

This position offers full-time benefits, including medical/dental insurance, life and disability insurance, retirement program and periodic review for merit and incentive pay based on organizational and personal achievement. 

Water.org is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing an inclusive environment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, military and veteran status, genetic information, and any other status protected by law.  We provide qualified applicants and employees reasonable accommodation, when necessary, to enable individuals to complete the application process and/or perform the essential functions of the job.