Portfolio Manager (Africa Region)


Kansas City, MO, United States 🇺🇸


Category: Full-time position
Status: Exempt
Reports to: Senior Regional Manager, Africa
Location: Kansas City, MO

660 million people – about one in ten – lack access to safe water. More than twice that many, 2.4 billion people, don’t have access to a toilet. These are the people Water.org serves. We are a global non-profit based in Kansas City, Missouri working to ensure safe water and sanitation for all. We go beyond traditional approaches to safe water and sanitation, addressing the underlying causes of this global crises and innovating to deliver large-scale and sustainable change. Co-founded by Gary White and Matt Damon in 2009, Water.org has impacted more than 4 million lives and transformed thousands of communities in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Learn more at Water.org.

We seek a highly motivated, adaptive, and creative individual who will work on the International Programs team as Portfolio Manager for the Africa region. This position provides technical, and operational oversight of and support to existing programs and engagements, executes donor-funded initiatives, assists in exploring new geographies and types of partnerships, develops an ongoing pipeline of new projects, and participates in evaluation, learning, and capacity development activities. This full-time position will be based in Kansas City, MO (headquarters) with regular travel to Africa. The Portfolio Manager reports to the Africa Senior Regional Manager and works closely with regional staff, other members of the International Programs team, and other US-based teams.

The Portfolio Manager will be assigned a program portfolio in the Africa Region. Her/his portfolio may also include operational activities and special projects based on regional needs. Below is an illustrative, although not comprehensive, list of key functions and activities:

Program Management: 50%

  • Manage and coordinate the achievement of initiative-level deliverables for assigned region.
  • Determine sizes of programs – number of people served, total budget, number of loans – based on available funding and commitments to donors.
  • Work with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team to develop monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plans for initiatives. Assist with providing program information to inform evaluation design and activities. Review and provide input on evaluation reports.
  • Monitor initiative-level progress toward deliverables and budget burn rates and course correct as needed to remain on time and on budget.
  • Respond to requests within Water.org for program data and/or validate data for internal stakeholders.
  • Support risk mitigation at the initiative level by addressing areas of risk and creating and implementing risk mitigation plans.

Growth, Expansion, and Exploration: 15%

  • Assist with developing programmatic strategy and facilitating research and development of new models for implementing programs and/or developing new channels for implementation.
  • Assist with identifying opportunities for creation of new markets for Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) finance services in region. Assist with drafting TORs and advertising for consultant proposals.
  • Cultivate potential future partnership opportunities for the region, support partner selection based on regional goals and available funding, and contribute to partner due diligence activities.
  • Support exploration of and research in new geographies within the region.

Program Design and Implementation: 10%
• Provide technical support and advice to partners and Water.org field staff with program design and implementation.
• Prepare or assist field staff in preparing and finalizing partner grant agreements and corresponding documents and templates for new programs. Oversee partner payments and payments to third parties executing work related to program implementation.
• Troubleshoot or assist field staff with troubleshooting when program elements are off track (e.g. fact- finding, discussions with partners, developing solutions, and developing mitigation plans).

Program Monitoring and Evaluation: 10%

  • Maintain updated partner and program information and data on a regular basis in Water.org’s internal database. Regularly review and analyze program data and send feedback to key stakeholders. Ensure issues with program data are resolved in a timely manner.
  • Review and analyze partner program data and metrics, make recommendations, and share observations with internal stakeholders as required.
  • Assist with programmatic and impact evaluations, including contributing to evaluation design, facilitating evaluation activities, and reviewing reports.

Donor Support and Fundraising: 10%

  • Support fundraising team in securing funding for program implementation, managing donor relationships, and drafting progress reports to donors for assigned region. Assist with determining funding needs for new programs and initiatives.
  • Assist with developing budgets and narrative for funding proposals.
  • Participate in program and/or initiative review meetings with the fundraising team to update stakeholders on progress of program implementation.

Global Learning and Advocacy: 5%

  • Provide program information and content to MEL, WaterCredit Adoption, and Global Advocacy teams for learning materials, publications, and stakeholder engagement activities.
  • Support the MEL, WaterCredit Adoption, and Global Advocacy teams in planning for learning events such as exchange visits and stakeholder forums.

Individual contributor with no subordinates.

Manages multiple projects and processes within the department.


  • Program Management – Skilled at managing a project lifecycle, overseeing the implementation of several related projects, mitigating risk, and handling multiple unrelated projects and activities at one time.
  • Sectoral Knowledge – Sound and up-to-date knowledge of concepts, methodologies, and techniques including demonstrated expertise in at least one specialty area within finance, WSS and/or international economic development. Clear understanding of issues related to gender and inequality in development and demonstrated commitment to promoting gender equality and pro-poor strategies within the organization and in program work. Innovative mind-set oriented toward constructive problem-solving, proactive strategic development and thought leadership. Familiarity with capacity building and technical assistance programs in the finance and WSS on sectors.
  • Networking – Possesses strong contacts within local financial institutions (e.g. microfinance institutions, commercial banks, mobile network operators, cooperatives, etc.), relevant local governmental institutions, the local development sector, the WSS sector, and other relevant stakeholders. Demonstrated ability to identify new opportunities, establish cross-sector partnerships and design programs that are creative and leverage different stakeholders’ capacities.


  • Customer Focus – Building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions.
  • Nimble Learning – Actively learning through experimentation when talking new problems, using both successes and failures as learning fodder.
  • Drives Results – Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances.
  • Collaborates – Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
  • Self-development – Actively seeking new ways to grow and be challenged using other formal and informal development channels.
  • Optimize Work Processes – Knowing the most effective and efficient processes to get things done, with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Manages Ambiguity – Manages ambiguity by operating effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear.
  • Instills Trust – Gaining the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.
  • Financial Stewardship – Demonstrates fiscally responsible decision making as applicable to one’s role.


  • Master’s degree in related field required. Additional relevant certifications, trainings and coursework also considered and preferred.
  • At least five years of project or program management experience required.
  • At least five years of relevant experience within the areas of international economic development, international finance, public-private partnerships, and/or market-based approaches to Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS). Must be able to demonstrate increasing levels of experience and responsibility.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in facilitation and capacity building to ensure collaboration and linkages between staff, donors, partners, and stakeholders.Must be fluent in English, both written and verbal. Proficiency in one or more languages in region a plus.
  • Must have US citizenship, permanent residency, or an H1-B work visa.

Willingness to travel up to 30% domestically and internationally.

This position offers full-time benefits, including medical/dental insurance, life and disability insurance, retirement program and periodic review for merit and incentive pay based on organizational and personal achievement. Salary will be based on education and experience, and will coincide with similar nonprofit organizations in international development.

Please apply at http://water.org/about/careers/. Please title your attachments with lastname, firstname. Submissions will be reviewed as they are received.


Water.org is an equal opportunity employer and does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment.