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PASGR

Executive Director

About Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR)

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) is a not-for-profit organisation based in Nairobi, Kenya, aimed at strengthening African political and social science research, and the teaching of social science research and public policy in African higher education institutions.  To achieve these objectives, PASGR is organised around 3 core programmes:

  1. a Research Programme focused on governance and social policy projects, such as, “Features, Governance Characteristics and Policy Implications of Non-state Social Protection in Africa”, currently being undertaken by nine research teams in six African countries;.
  2. a Higher Education Programme involving African a collaboration among African universities in 9 countries to develop and launch a “Master of Research and Public Policy” programme and,
  3. a Policy, Outreach and Training Programme that provided various professional development activities for researchers and university teaching staff, such as PASGR’s “Multi Method Research” and “Orientation to Case Study Teaching” courses.

To date, PASGR programme activities have involved researchers, teaching staff and policy actors in over 25 countries.

Role Summary

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

Purpose

The Executive Director (ED) provides the vision, leadership and overall direction to the programme activities and administration of PASGR. He/she has ultimate responsibility for ensuring the achievement of PASGR 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.

Main 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 US 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

  • Ensuring the organisation operates in compliance with all legal requirements as set out in its bylaws, prevailing laws in the US 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.
  • 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 Director of Finance and Administration, Director of Research, Director of Higher Education, Manager of Policy, Outreach 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).

External Relations

  • Act as the lead spokesperson for the Board and PASGR, and serve as ambassador for the organisation with high-level stakeholders regionally and internationally.
  • Ensuring development of PASGR’s strategy on 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.

Governance

  • 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.

Desired Core Competencies 

  • Extensive organisational management experience, evidenced by successive positions involving administration and direct supervision of teams of people, ideally in comparable organisations to PASGR.
  • “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. 
  • Solid academic background, PhD level is preferred.
  • 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 comment 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.

PASGR is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, nationality, tribe, race, colour, religion, marital status, disability, HIV/AIDS status, political views or sexual orientation. The Executive Director is expected to lead by example, to ensure staff work collaboratively, and where the work of others is valued and respected. Women and men who are citizens of an African country are especially encouraged to apply.