Regional Director - Sub-Saharan Africa

Reports To: Chief Operating Officer
Location: Chicago, or Regional Office
Travel: 30-50%
Heartland Alliance International (HAI) is the youngest and fastest growing part of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, which is a family of organizations that has been leading anti-poverty and social justice work in Chicago for more than 125 years. HAI is comprised of nearly a dozen country offices operating programs on a broad range of human rights issues globally. HAI is making significant investments in its programming and leadership in the fields of trauma-informed mental health care and access to justice for marginalized people. It is also an industry leader in access to high-quality and stigma-free health care.
The incumbent will be responsible for leading the establishment and management of a Sub-Saharan Africa regional strategy to support growth. She or he will be responsible for managing a dedicated human rights team that is delivering high quality programs in existing country offices throughout the region, as well as growing new country offices, in line with HAI strategies and priorities. The new director must be extremely versatile, interested in inaugurating a regional strategy and working in a “start-up” environment, and prepared to aggressively pursue program development for the region. Collaborative, hard-working, and visionary, the candidate will have exceptional leadership skills and the ability to grow HAI’s portfolio in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
HAI has country programs in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. The existing portfolio includes mental health services, HIV/AIDS prevention services, gender-based violence, access to justice, women’s rights and leadership, policy advocacy, access to equitable services for LGBT populations, among other technical areas.
This is not an exhaustive list of duties. The need for flexibility is required and the incumbent is expected to carry out any other related duties that are within the employee’s skills and capabilities whenever reasonably instructed.
Leadership and Management
  • Lead the establishment and oversee the management of a Sub-Saharan Africa regional strategy in line with HAI’s global strategy
  • Scan the operating environment for opportunities and threats, maintain an overview of legal, political, human rights and other relevant developments within the region
  • Recruit and manage country directors, including those working remotely, ensure performance is managed and talent is nurtured; this requires coaching and mentoring
  • Lead on promoting regional cohesion by engaging with all HAI country offices and affiliates in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and promoting adherence to globally agreed standards and priorities
  • Ensure that the values, standards, priorities of HAI are instilled and adhered to; be able to support change management and promote organizational culture across varied country programs
Program Development
  • Aggressively pursue program development and a growth strategy for the region consistent with the global strategic plan
  • Enhance HAI’s profile and presence in the Sub-Saharan Africa region by developing cutting edge human rights programs that respond to development challenges, and by representing HAI before various forums and donors in the region
  • Conduct the strategic positioning necessary to ensure growth; this includes visioning, donor mapping, cultivation of key relationships, proposal submission, and required follow-up
Quality Assurance and Reporting
  • Ensure compliance with globally developed quality assurance and assessment methodologies to ensure consistency, quality, and measure impact
  • Ensure that the regional team reports with sufficient clarity and detail on the impact of their work, including to funders
  • Ensure the timely delivery of work plans and reports
  • Be accountable for all outputs from the regional team in line with globally agreed standards, including research, policy, and publication standards
Finance and Risk Management
  • With support from the Finance Team and Chief Operating Officer, ensure regional compliance with relevant laws, policies and practices and ensure best practice, including good financial management and regular financial audits as required
  • Assist the Country Directors in setting, monitoring, managing and reporting on budget and expenditure for the region
  • Develop and fundraise for a regional presence and budget
  • Accountable for duty of care of staff, including where necessary, development of internal security, health & safety and human resources polices and standards, supported by the Chief Operating Officer and the Heartland Alliance Business Services Team
Knowledge and experience:
  • A Master’s Degree (or equivalent education and years of experience) in international relations, social work, public health, development studies, political science or a related field;
  • 5 years of management experience in key leadership roles with an international development/humanitarian relief/international human rights work, preferably in an INGO; experience must include strategic planning, program design, staff development, field assessments, evaluations, and developing M&E systems; experience with USAID and/or State Department funding; and experience developing, reviewing and tracking budgets and burn rates.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to advancing human rights; demonstrate knowledge and experience of the human rights, development, and political context in the region
Language Skills:
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills in English required
  • Fluency in English and French required – Able to communicate with accuracy and fluency in order to participate fully and effectively on a wide range of issues and concepts, and tailor language to a variety of audiences.
Part two: Competencies
  • External Representation - Effectively designates a portion of time to external representation. Prioritizes donor communications and maintains positive relationships with donors. Regularly develops partnerships and relationships with external organizations as relevant to position. Actively seeks out opportunities to present, network, or engage externally to represent HAI.
  • Leadership - Leads by example and serves as a model for others. Creates an environment where people feel valued. Humble demeanor. See problems as opportunities and provides solutions through inspiring and empowering others. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of others to improve performance. Takes responsibility for oneself or one’s employee’s performance. Provides constructive feedback and develops team members. Integrity to do the right thing even when it’s difficult or not popular.
  • Decision Making - Models and trains staff in decision making. Even in the most difficult situations, recognizes problems or opportunities and determines whether action is needed, assesses risks, takes charge of and ensures integration of feedback from a group when it is necessary to facilitate a decision, and makes decisions in a timely manner under ambiguous circumstances and when there exists considerable risk.
  • Change Management - Initiates the change process and energizes it on an ongoing basis through facilitating groups or teams to problem-solve and think creatively to develop and implement new approaches or systems. Helps employees to develop a clear understanding of what they will need to do differently, as a result of changes in the organization. Implements or supports various change management activities (e.g., communications, education, team development, coaching). Establishes structures and processes to plan and manage the orderly implementation of change. Able to identify when change is needed and focus on why changes are beneficial or necessary to successfully implement change.
  • Forward and Strategic Thinking - Leads strategic planning processes and unites team members to achieve goals within the strategic plan. Demonstrates long-term thinking, planning and decision-making to help the organization achieve its goals. Ability to generate unique insights to improve HAI's competitive advantage through clear understanding of HAI’s strengths and weaknesses compared to peers and competitors and knowledge of trends within the field. Able to engage, encourage collaboration, and effectively elicit a variety of perspectives on critical and complex issues to maximize engagement of all levels of staff in the strategic and other planning processes.
  • Professionalism - Understands how they are perceived by others. Takes actions calculated to have a positive effect on others. Able to coach managers with vague concerns or complaints about a team member’s lack of professionalism, to clearly identify and articulate how the individual is not meeting expectations, as well as advise how to address that concern.
  • Reliability -Shows commitment/ dedication and accountability not only in one’s work, projects, and goals, Takes responsibility for own mistakes; does not blame others.
  • Teamwork and collaboration - Promotes and generates cooperation among one’s peers in leadership to achieve a collective outcome; fosters the development of a common vision and fully participates in creating a unified leadership team that get results. Able to leverage relationships across offices or HA partner companies to broaden managers’ knowledge and understanding of internal resources for collaboration and who the members of the team are.
  • Integrity and Authenticity - Skilled at building trust, sincerely soliciting input with clear understanding of how input will be used, able to create and maintain a culture that enables staff to learn and grow from mistakes, and challenges others who are not acting with integrity. Maintains confidentiality regardless of pressure from others, admits mistakes and takes stands based on principles and values in spite of the potential for negative consequences.
  • Cultural Humility and Interpersonal Awareness - Consistently open and approachable when resolving highly sensitive and complex issues; including with parties holding opposing viewpoints. Treats staff at all levels of the organization in accord with the 4R’s. Able to appropriately challenge others who are not demonstrating cultural humility.
  • Resilience and Stress Tolerance - Able to not only recognize and mitigate personal stressors, but is skilled at coaching middle managers on how to anticipate increased stress in teams and implement systems to minimize the impact, and able to recognize and respond to changes in individual employee's stress levels.
  • Service Orientation - Able to recognize need for assistance or guidance without being asked, able to guide managers or team leaders on reprioritization and/or short and long term strategies to address staffing or other resource needs. Recommends or makes connections between staff across departments and/or countries to foster knowledge sharing.
  • Written Communication -Uses an appropriate, grammatically correct business writing style. Tailors written communications to effectively reach an audience. Able to make persuasive and compelling arguments.
Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Incumbent is required to travel internationally between 30%- 50%, sometimes to insecure, remote, and/or limited resource environments.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.

Please apply at Heartland Alliance's career center :
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