844 million people – about one in nine – lack access to safe water. 2.3 billion people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are Water.org. We’re here to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible and cost-effective because we believe that water is the way to empowering a bright future that we can all share in, worldwide. We are an international nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we have been pioneering market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis for more than 25 years, giving women hope, children health and communities a future.
Water.org seeks an outstanding leader as Country Director who will drive significant impact and help transform lives. S/he will lead execution of the new five-year country strategy, building and sustaining partnerships that mobilize capital for water supply and sanitation (WSS) for those in need. S/he represents Water.org and its interests with government, business, and sector leaders in country, promoting change that will help realize our impact.
The Country Director is responsible for overall management of the country office, including oversight of operations, finance, and administrative functions, as applicable. S/he will build an in-country team that is equipped and supported to rapidly scale impact from partnerships and related initiatives. The CD will be responsible to ensure adequate systems for capturing learning and emerging practices to test and validate internal and external innovation.
Partnership & Business Development (35%)
Oversee development, execution, and sustained growth of key partnerships and priorities for impact in country and in the region, as requested. Key activities include, but are not limited to:
- Cultivate and expand direct and collaborating partnerships with an array of key enablers, such as financial and non-financial practitioners, enterprises, policy and regulatory bodies as well as multilateral organizations in country to unlock and deploy new sources of capital for WSS.
- Identify avenues for debt/equity investment, credit enhancements, and public/private investment partnerships among existing and new potential partners.
- Identify, negotiate, and implement business development activities, creating near- and long-term value for the organization.
- Contribute to design of new grants and programs, as applicable.
- Ensure integration of Water.org global standards and practices into all aspects of work.
Team Leadership (25%)
Manage workforce in country, ensuring global standards and policies related to recruitment, staff compensation, performance management, and talent development are integrated into country-level people management practices and outcomes. Define and build the teams/functions needed to attain success. Key activities include, but are not limited to:
- Lead, manage, develop and inspire a high-performing team, with appropriate levels of delegated authority, guidance and role clarity.
- Maintain adequate staffing levels in country in accordance with approved budget. Contract with consultants as needed to temporarily fill staffing gaps.
- Develop and/or enhance best practices for in-county recruitment, job training, and onboarding processes to ensure acquisition and retention of top talent.
- Establish and maintain an empowering, productive, and collaborative environment for staff by providing clear performance goals, offering regular, specific feedback on job performance, organizing team meetings and retreats, and working with individual direct reports to set and achieve professional development goals.
- Coordinate the performance management process by working with direct reports to develop annual goals and assessing them against their goals throughout the year in accordance with Water.org HR processes.
Strategy Execution (20%)
Demonstrate a personal drive for and embodiment of Water.org’s mission and leadership values that motivates and mobilizes effort to rapidly scale impact. Key activities include, but are not limited to:
- Provide overall direction for the execution of the country strategy and integration across all areas of Water.org’s work in-country.
- Contribute to in-country efforts to galvanize productive changes in policies and investment practices that mobilize capital for WSS financing solutions.
- Support enhancement of Water.org’s brand and reputation as a thought leader in the country. This could include serving as the primary representative of Water.org to key government, media, enabling partners, and other influencers as well as contributing to building an evidence base to enable full range of impact and foster innovation.
- Collaborate with Water.org US teams to ensure integration of efforts, effective deployment of shared resources, and dissemination of best practices.
Country Office Management (20%)
Establish and optimize the country office environment, including effective operational and fiscal health and financial stewardship of Water.org resources. Ensure that Water.org meets/exceeds all grant commitments. Key activities include, but are not limited to:
- Oversee development and execution of annual operations plans and budgets.
- Ensure appropriate risk management mechanisms are in place relative to fiscal management, asset control, vendor and contracting procedures, and related operational matters. Assess office security and approve security measures to protect staff and organizational assets as needed, in partnership with US office leadership.
- Develop and enhance policies and standard operating procedures, including financial management, employee manuals, and other guides to inform optimal environment for compliance with Water.org global standards and practices.
- Organize and support local boards, including meetings, activities, communications and legal documents, as required or assigned.
- Ensure local office requirements are in place and maintained such as legal registration, bank accounts, and office space.
- Ensure governmental reporting requirements and obligations are met to maintain legal entity in good standing in the country.
Positions receiving direction include, but are not limited to:
- Senior Program Manager
- Program Manager
- Engagement Manager
- Financial Auditor/Accountant
- Administrative Officer
Skills and competencies
- Ensures Accountability – Holding self and others accountable to meet commitments.
- Action Oriented – Taking on new opportunities and tough challenges with urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm.
- Manages Ambiguity – Operating effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear.
- Manages Complexity – Making sense of complex, high quantity and sometimes contradictory information to effectively solve problems.
- Business Insight – Applying knowledge of business and the marketplace to advance the organization’s goals.
- Courage – Stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said.
- Customer Focus – Building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions.
- Decision Quality – Making good and timely decisions that keep the organization moving forward.
- Develops Talent – Developing people to meet both their career goals and the organization’s goals.
- 10 years relevant experience required, with at least 5 years at the senior leadership level. Minimum of 6 years as a people manager required.
- Experience in a high-growth environment required.
- Depth of knowledge in development finance, capital markets, blended finance, and/or innovative financial mechanisms.
- Experience managing and expanding successful collaborative and/or philanthropic partnerships required.
- Demonstrated understanding of government engagement as a tool for change, fluency with national policy and regulatory environments, and success working within these environments and in influencing change.
- Demonstrated proficiency in facilitation and capacity building skills to ensure collaboration and linkages between staff, donors, partners, and stakeholders.
- Master’s degree in business preferred. Additional relevant certifications also considered.
- Fluency in English (oral and written) and Kiswahili.
- Experience working in complex global organizations strongly preferred. International experience strongly preferred, preference for experience in U.S.