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Oxfam International

Regional Director – Horn, East & Central Africa

About Oxfam International

Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries. One person in three in the world lives in poverty. Oxfam is determined to change that world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty. Around the globe, Oxfam works to find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive. Oxfam saves lives and helps rebuild livelihoods when crisis strikes. Oxfam also campaigns so that the voices of the poor influence the local and global decisions that affect them. In everything they do, Oxfam works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty.

About the Role


Nairobi, Kenya (subject to being able to establish a contract of employment and obtain the right to work).

Reporting to:

Oxfam International Program Director.

Staff reporting to this post:

10 Country Directors (Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo) and key regional roles.

Total Workforce:

Approximately 1,400 staff based across 10 countries.

Annual Budget:

Approximately 125 million euros (may vary depending on humanitarian response).


Oxfam is currently undergoing a period of transformational change, which envisions a future where Oxfam is a more interdependent network, driven by knowledge, organized for internal simplicity and globally balanced. Oxfam strives to have affiliates in southern countries that can raise their own funds, run their own programs, make their own alliances with local people’s movements, and lobby their own governments and businesses.

The Horn, East & Central Africa region (HECA) is one of the poorest and least developed regions of the world, and one of the largest regions where Oxfam works. All ten countries in the region are currently affected by natural and/or man-made humanitarian crises, and this is having an impact on Oxfam’s role in the region. In addition to country specific Oxfam strategies in each of the 10 countries for the period 2015-2019, Oxfam also has a statement of strategic intent for the region, reflecting the key strategic priorities and objectives for the entire region. They include prevention and response to humanitarian crises; enabling women in HECA to claim their social, economic and political rights; supporting the development of civil society, and the improvement of accountable, democratic governance; and supporting the improved resilience of those with vulnerable livelihoods to climate change, insecurity and other risks. The HECA region also hosts the Pan-Africa Programme.

In order to help drive and deliver this ambitious vision in the HECA region, Oxfam is currently seeking an outstanding and distinctive Regional Director. This leader will have demonstrable strategic and creative leadership, management and coordination skills in a network setting, a multi-cultural worldview and understand the systemic challenges and strengths of being a global organization. Excellent communication skills, including fluency in English are essential, as is a sound working knowledge of French.

Purpose of Role

The Regional Director will contribute to and implement Oxfam’s Global strategy, by providing vision and strategic direction to all of Oxfam’s work in the region. This includes Oxfam’s humanitarian responses, long term development, program design and implementation, advocacy, policy and influencing. They will be responsible and accountable for the strategic direction and effective management of the region, ensuring development, continued improvement in quality and impact, and effective financial and human resource management in line with Oxfam policy.

The focus of the Regional Director role will change over time from a management focus to one of increased facilitation and coordination of the Oxfam country programs as they move towards the Oxfam 2020 Vision. This aims to create a stronger Oxfam that is globally coordinated and relevant in every country in which Oxfam works.

Role Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  • Accountable to the Oxfam International Global Programmes Director for the leadership, delivery, effective management and monitoring, evaluation and learning in respect of the programmes in all countries within the HECA region against Oxfam’s Strategic Plan (OSP), 2020 vision and achieving Oxfam standards.
  • Remotely line manage 10 geographically dispersed Country Directors within the HECA region. Where applicable, manage other HECA regional staff, budget, assets and funding.
  • Responsible for the development and management of an effective and efficient regional structure, including the direct line management of certain positions within that structure; ensures that the regional structure includes all the key functions needed in HECA and that it is supportive to the ten country programmes.
  • Provide vision and strategic leadership support to the Country Directors of Oxfam’s programmes in the HECA Region, both directly and through the Country Governance Groups.
  • Work closely with the relevant affiliates involved within the Region in a number of different ways to ensure the good relationships are maintained in order to develop and deliver all Country and Regional Programmes.
  • Responsible for aligning Country Programmes towards the Oxfam 2020 Vision and leading Oxfam through major transformational change to shift towards the Affiliate process in countries and region as appropriate.
  • Ensure that the One Oxfam Stakeholder Structure change activity is implemented successfully.
  • Responsible for approving Oxfam Country Strategic plans, fundraising strategies and annual plans and budgets in line with the Oxfam Strategic Plan and having taken on board CGG feedback and views.
  • Represent Oxfam within the HECA region and globally. Working with internal and external audiences at the most senior level to influence and inform decision makers at the highest levels, and work collaboratively with leaders in Oxfam and externally, building alliances and networks within the Poverty movement.
  • Ensure that Oxfam’s work in the HECA region is adequately funded, both internally within Oxfam and externally. Build relationships with external donors and proactively identify new donors for Oxfam’s work in the region.
  • Ensure that countries take a One Program Approach in tackling poverty and inequality so that development, campaigning and humanitarian work is strategically aligned and balanced to maximize impact and influence.
  • Responsible for the delivery of all Country and Regional Programmes. Ensure that programmes are of the highest quality and meet the required standards. Work with the Country Directors to ensure that quality standards are met in the country: for programme, programme management, Human Resources (including but not limited to the Code of Conduct), finance, security, health and safety etc.
  • Ensure that programmes are monitored and evaluated. Promote sharing of learning with others and drawing on learning from across Oxfam and externally and utilising the results to inform programme decisions and enhance institutional knowledge.
  • Contribute to the overall leadership of Oxfam, as a member of the Regional Management Group (RMG) to ensure that the voice of the Region is effectively heard, and influence the direction of Oxfam through the contribution and leadership of the Region and organization wide activities.
  • Responsible for anticipating and managing risks that could threaten the organisation’s reputation, operational viability and security. Responsible for managing security in line with Oxfam Policy.
  • Ensure HECA is fulfilling agreed standards in disaster preparedness, mitigation and management including humanitarian response activities for Category 1 / 2 / 3 emergencies.
  • Facilitate the provision of Shared Services to countries within the HECA Region.
  • Be a member of Oxfam International’s Global Programmes Department team, headed by the OI Programme Director.

Skills, Experience & Knowledge

Geographical, Political and Regional Knowledge:

  • Understanding and knowledge of the politics, economics and political context within the Region.
  • Ability to manage the development of, and contribute to, the high level analysis of factors driving poverty, inequality and vulnerability in developing country contexts, including the ability to ‘think politically’ by understanding motivations, pressures and challenges faced by colleagues, partners and other actors.

Management and Leadership:

  • Significant senior leadership experience of managing and motivating multi-disciplinary, multicultural, geographically remote teams, preferably at the regional level. As well as the development and delivery of large scale impactful long term programme and humanitarian strategy, either with partners or directly, in multiple challenging contexts.
  • Significant experience of leading and managing complex change processes and relationships involving a wide range of both internal and external multi-cultural stakeholders across a variety of disciplines and geographical areas.
  • A high degree of self-awareness and an understanding of how to drive and support excellent team performance and individual development. Act as a role model and demonstrate exceptional leadership in line with Oxfam’s values.
  • Understanding and experience in humanitarian and well as long term development issues as well as an ability to include and lead in the further development of programme policy.
  • Committed to maximize OI’s influencing capability across the humanitarian as well as long term development mandate.
  • Track record of managing multiple campaigns/ programs/ humanitarian crisis.
  • A excellent reputation of high integrity.

Strategic Analysis:

  • Ability to oversee the development of, and contribute to, high level analysis of factors driving poverty, marginalization and vulnerability in developing country contexts, including the ability to ‘think politically’ by understanding motivations, pressures and challenges faced by colleagues, partners and other actors across the Region.
  • Proven analytical skills, able to take and manage calculated risks based on evidence based assumptions. Able to think strategically, to maximize adaptability and agility, encourage forward thinking, new ideas and learning from experience beyond the country program context while acting within a global framework.
  • A track record or driving programme quality improvements through evidence based learning. A focus on outcomes and accountability enabling countries to build on learning and effectively share and manage knowledge within Oxfam and externally.

Finance and Funding:

  • Competent financial and asset management experience. Ability to manage budgets of over $60m, mitigating and controlling financial risks – including managing donor funding and relationships, across a large number of countries and programs.

Risk Management:

  • Able to take calculated risks based on evidence-based assumptions. Ability to access and analyze the external context of the organization enabling the development of realistic strategies to maximize adaptability and agility, encourage future thinking, innovation, new ideas and learning from experience, as well as sound judgment on when to stop as well as start new initiatives.
  • Track record of making sound judgments in uncertain and pressurized situations. Including experience of crisis management leadership.

Representation and Communication:

  • Track record of advocacy, and representation to the highest level, including understanding of an experience with media.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to motivate, influence, and negotiate within a multi-cultural environment which includes decision makers in government, media and pivotal figures in society. Able to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • Fluent in English and a good working knowledge of French language.


  • Committed to a rights based approach including an active commitment to putting women’s rights at the heart of all Oxfam’s work as well as the rights of other marginalized people in all aspects of an organization’s work.


  • Willingness and ability to travel away from home, often to remote sites within the Region as well as to Global Headquarters, for several weeks per year.