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Southern Africa Trust

Chief Executive Officer

The Southern Africa Trust is searching for a CEO to drive its work reducing poverty and inequality in Southern Africa by strengthening the voice of poor people in public policy processes. We are looking for a CEO who has strong relationship skills, both in leading staff and relating to key stakeholders across the region. The CEO should be politically and strategically savvy; able to mobilise resources; committed to driving a regional agenda; and innovative in their commitment to build a financially, socially and environmentally sustainable organisation.

About the Southern Africa Trust

The Southern Africa Trust was established in 2005 to support civil society organisations in southern Africa to participate in policy dialogue so that the voices of the poor can have more impact in the development of public policies. The Trust is involved in public policy; official poverty reduction processes; human rights; stakeholder engagement; and human and economic development research training and capacity building. In delivering its mandate to strengthen the voice of poor people in public policy processes, the Trust endeavours to reduce poverty and inequality in Southern Africa in ways that promote regional links and a regional agenda.

Purpose of the Role

The CEO will provide strategic leadership and direction to the Trust, delivering on the short and long term strategic objectives for the mandate of the organisation. The CEO is also responsible for ensuring that the Trust is a recognised, sustainable and preferred strategic partner by all its stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Development

  • Develop the 5-year Business Plan for the Trust, in consultation with the Executive team and the Board, to ensure alignment with the regional integration, poverty and inequality that informs regional and national pro-policy choices and actions.
  • Identify key challenges facing constituencies and design appropriate strategies and interventions to create a platform for regional policy development.
  • Participate in internal and external forums to drive the Trust vision, mission and strategy that enhances civil society social capital and strengthens multi-sectoral linkages and collaboration.
  • Report to the Board and Donors on organisational performance against the set strategic objectives and annual business plans.

People Leadership and Management

  • Oversee the attraction, development and retention of line management to improve organisational health.
  • Provide strategic support to the Executive team and inspire them to deliver on key performance.
  • Manage performance of direct reports ensuring agreement of annual goals, measuring performance against agreed goals and dealing with areas of non-performance.
  • Provide leadership to the organisation and define reporting structures for the company in terms of people, systems and resources.
  • Direct the transformation agenda for the Trust, ensuring that targets are set and attained.

Strategic Risk Management and Governance Oversight

  • Keep informed of developments in human services, nonprofit management and governance, philanthropy and fund development.
  • Monitor that departments are sufficiently resourced and are enabled to achieve the departmental strategies.
  • Provide oversight of the risks that the organisation faces and the utilisation of the comprehensive risk framework to respond to the risks.
  • Provide direct contribution to the development and execution of strategy to the Board and Board Committees and advise management of implementation of strategies.
  • Advise the Board on responsibilities and functions, facilitate the provision of training to Board members and oversee the relationship between management and the Board thereby ensuring that the Board exercises its fiduciary duties.
  • Provide assurance to the Board that the Trust operates within the ambit of its mandate by monitoring and impact on industry policies, research trends, contribution to key legislation and advising stakeholders on key issues and developments.

Stakeholder Management

  • Develop and build relationships with global players to understand the thrust of poverty, inequality and human rights, while advising on improvement of the industry.
  • Be the face of the Trust on matters of poverty, inequality and human rights regulations and control in the SADC region.
  • Share experiences with key stakeholders on common issues and develop common positions on policies strategies to further enhance regulatory framework.
  • Liaise with government, private sector and public sector in the provision of technical support and advice to the stakeholders and partners.
  • Negotiate with internal and external stakeholder to promote the organisation and service objectives of the company.
  • Maintain a strong working relationship with the Board and the Chair of the Board in order to execute the mandate of the organisation and facilitate communication / feedback from the Board to Management.

Drive Sustainability Initiatives

  • Establish and evolve formal sustainability processes and systems to drive organisation performance.
  • Drive financial sustainability by:
  • Identifying new income streams to increase revenue
  • Networking to raise funds and friends
  • Identifying opportunities for creating profit making entities
  • Driving partnerships and alliances to enhance organisation sustainability.
  • Drive social sustainability by:
  • Providing critical information to all key stakeholders and constituencies on
  • Soliciting key strategic inputs from donors, stakeholders, partners, constituencies, etc. on sustainability matters.
  • Drive environmental sustainability by:
  • Identifying the impact of sustainability on future generations
  • Identifying sustainability matters on the concept of value for money and climate change.
  • Lead the preparation of the annual sustainability report.

Financial Management

  • Provide oversight in the management of company resources, including properties, inclusive of the Trust’s budget and finances.
  • Review activity and financial reports to measure progress against set budgets and financial plans.
  • Oversee financial remedial plans and measures as required.
  • Monitor the execution of proper reporting on budget and cash flow matters.

Operational Management

  • Improve the operational systems, processes and policies in support of the Trust vision and mission, specifically: support better management reporting, information flow and management, business process and organisational planning.
  • Analyse service delivery gaps and challenges, define service delivery operational measures and targets, and implement remedial action strategies.
  • Audit adherence to procedures and guidelines, taking appropriate corrective action so minimising potential risk to the Trust.

Process Innovation

  • Promote the value of innovation to all stakeholders, partners, alliances and constituencies.
  • Make a business case for innovation and reach agreement amongst partners, constituencies, stakeholders and the Board.
  • Design and establish a continuous improvement process for the Trust.

Skills and Experience

  • At least 10 years of relevant experience, of which at least 5 years must have been at an Executive Management level.
  • Relevant Master’s degree or above.
  • Experience in mobilising funds from institutional and other donors. Familiarity with new funding models, such as an endowment or social enterprise income streams preferred.
  • Experience in motivating, building capacity, and developing a strong organisational culture that retains and develops a talented team.
  • Experience in working with a board.
  • Regional knowledge of Southern Africa, including a strategic outlook on regional policy developments, political trends and opportunities.
  • Strong representational, external relations & networking skills and experience within Southern Africa, ideally with governments, SADC, NGOs and CSOs.
  • Financial management and operational oversight experience of at least one million USD annually.