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Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR)

Executive Director

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) seeks to increase the capacity of African academic institutions to produce research that informs social policy and governance. As the Executive Director, you will lead a Pan-African organisation that is faithful to African ideals while advancing social science policy. You are an academic leader in the field of social sciences, with a vision for strengthening the capacity of social policy research on the continent.

About the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research 

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) is a not-for-profit organisation based in Nairobi, Kenya, that seeks to increase the capacity of African academic institutions and researchers to produce research that can inform social policy and governance.

PASGR strengthens research capacity by providing opportunities for the professional development of teaching staff and researchers, supporting collaborative initiatives aimed at strengthening graduate education in research for public policy, financing research and providing technical as well as policy outreach and communication support.

To achieve these objectives, PASGR is organised around 3 core programmes:

  • A Research Programme with a structure and supporting apparatus appropriate for social policy and governance research and responsive to policy needs in the region.
  • A Higher Education Programme involving African universities working in formal partnership towards master’s and possible doctoral-level programmes focused on social science research for public policy.
  • A Professional Development and Training Programme that supports the Research Programme, the Higher Education Programme and the broader African research community through intense and extensive capacity-building initiatives in research methods, leadership and policy analysis training as well as generates interest and demand for research evidence within the African policy community.

About the Role

To provide overall guidance and operational direction of PASGR in line with the overall strategies set out by the Board of Directors, including the development of the organisational aims, objectives and goals, in accordance with the governing documents, legal and regulatory guidelines.

Purpose of the Role

The Executive Director provides the vision, leadership and overall direction to the programme activities and administration of PASGR. They have the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the achievement of PASGR’s strategic objectives as established by the Board, and for the achievement of the organisation’s operational goals, by providing leadership to the senior management team and staff in respect of all professional, financial and administrative activities.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership

  • Supporting the Board in determining the strategic directions of the organisation and ensuring the development of key associated documents including, but not limited to, multi-year strategic plans, budgets and fundraising strategies, operational plans and budgets, annual reports and reviews.
  • Translating the strategic directions established by the Board into a visionary, organisational leadership role for social sciences and governance networks within Africa, and positioning PASGR within the university, think tank, policy and civil society networks on the continent.
  • Guiding the management team and staff in the development and execution of programme-specific plans, and setting the tone for the organisation to operate collegiately, and with a high standard of excellence and efficiency.
  • Ensuring the organisation operates in compliance with all legal requirements as set out in its bylaws, prevailing laws in the United States and Kenya, as well as international audit standards.
  • Ensuring continuous development of organisational and staff capacity, identifying requirements for organizational capacity-building and the development and implementation of capacity building activities for staff in the organisation.
  • Guiding the preparation, approval and implementation of key financial, administrative and human resource policies and establishing clear delegation of authority and accountability to senior staff.

Management and Accountability

  • Providing oversight and accountability for planning, programme design and delivery of objectives, strategies, plans and budgets in compliance with PASGR’s contractual obligations with funders, Board-approved policies and direction and principles of good corporate governance.
  • Ensuring the delivery of agreed outputs of the programmes in accordance with the established budget and Board approved plans.
  • Monitoring the expenditures of the organisation in accordance with Board approved plans and policies, maintaining accountability for financial probity and risk management (including financial risk, risk to staff, reputational risk etc.).
  • Providing day-to-day supervision and mentoring of senior PASGR staff including the Head of Finance and Administration, Head of Research, Director of Higher Education, Programme Manager, Professional Development and Training and the ED Executive Assistant.
  • Mentoring staff and guiding the development and management of human resources including succession planning.
  • Providing direction and oversight of quality assurance of performance measures (e.g. theory of change, programme logic models, outcome indicators, milestones, and the efficacy of the overall monitoring and evaluation systems).
  • The ED will exercise ‘duty of care’ responsibility that will ensure that health, safety and general welfare are prioritised by PASGR’s Board and Staff, partners and other stakeholders are prioritised including the implementation of safeguarding and other related policies.

External Relations

  • Act as the lead spokesperson for PASGR, and serve as an ambassador for the organisation with high-level stakeholders regionally and internationally.
  • Ensuring the development of PASGR’s strategy on the engagement of programme beneficiaries, stakeholders, and funders, representing PASGR in public fora and the media.
  • Managing the relationship with current and prospective funders, including oversight of reporting to donors and the development and coordination of a resource diversification and expansion strategy involving the board and management team.


  • Preparation of agendas/minutes/reports for Board meetings, reflecting priorities, challenges and opportunities for the organisation.
  • Serve as ex-officio member of the Board, the Finance and Audit Committee in accordance with by-laws.

Skills and Experience

  • Extensive organisational management experience, evidenced by successive positions involving administration and direct supervision of teams of people, ideally in comparable organisations to PASGR.
  • A leadership presence that is evidenced by regional and international credibility to funders and programme partners in one or more of PASGR’s three areas of programme activities — higher education, professional development training and policy-oriented research. Strategic leadership should be evidenced by examples of taking an initiative relevant to higher education/research and/or capacity building through from conceptualisation to execution.
  • A strong track record of academic achievement, with a qualification at PhD level.
  • Technical and contextual expertise, demonstrated by a combination of training and experience in skills relevant to an African organisation concerned with research and higher education capacity building, as well as extensive familiarity with African institutions and actors and the dynamics and forces that shape them.
  • Project and task management experience demonstrated by a record of ability and willingness to lead from the front, as circumstances require, by taking a share of “hands-on” work, such as preparing critical materials, reviewing and contributing comments on papers, chairing some events and representing an organisation in high profile external fora.
  • Experience in fundraising in an international development context, preferably in Africa, evidenced by past accomplishments in generating revenue and established networks within the donor community.
  • Exceptional English language presentation and communication skills demonstrated verbally and through examples of written materials (reports, publications, research) that indicate a high standard of skills. Command of French and/or Portuguese would be an asset.
  • A high level of familiarity with information and communication technologies and tools associated with research, education, communication and networking.