Director for Leadership

Big Win Philanthropy partners with driven and committed African leaders to deliver on their transformational visions for children and young people. We seek to improve lives directly and to build demographic dividends for equitable economic growth, peace and security. As part of our new strategy, we seek to play an integral role in substantially and tangibly improving 23.5 million lives over the next five years.

Big Win Philanthropy’s core work centers around direct support for the implementation of government-led initiatives in Africa that have high potential to dramatically transform life opportunities for children and young people at scale. Alongside this direct support, Big Win supports a stream of “leadership development” activities intended to:

  • Grow the capacity of the leaders setting the direction for their cities, regions and countries to envision and deliver transformational agendas
  • Build a community among leaders across the continent ambitiously striving to bring about transformational change for their people
  • Shine a spotlight on those exemplifying exceptional leadership
  • Work toward a new narrative around leadership on the continent

Big Win Leadership activities currently embrace the following strategies

  • Convening annual forums for cohorts of public-sector leaders to challenge their mindsets around leadership, encourage them to establish “legacy” agendas, and support them with a framework for implementation bespoke to their legacy initiatives (examples include the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program for federal ministers and the AMALI program at the University of Cape Town for mayors and urban governors)
  • Cabinet workshops requested by a prime minister, governor, or mayor
  • Leadership Exchanges organized to examine a country’s, region’s or city’s exceptional progress on an area of common concern
  • Side Meetings at international gatherings
  • Conferences and reunions that foster a community of practice
  • Thematic workshops, armchair discussions and roundtables
  • Platforming the successes and acts of good governance delivered by leaders associated with Big Win

Main accountabilities

Working alongside Big Win’s President and under the direct supervision of the CEO, Big Win’s Director for Leadership will:

  • Ensure all leadership activities have a clear outcome-driven and cohesive arc intended to fully engage and use participants’ time judiciously and to concretely enhance their ability to envision and deliver transformative initiatives that optimize their time in office
  • Work with the President and the directors of Big Win’s institutional partners (such as the Executive Directors of the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Forum and the AMALI initiative) to conceptualize, shape, evaluate, and build on annual forums
  • Assume ultimate responsibility for all aspects of delivering high quality workshops, roundtables, conferences, leadership exchanges and other convenings delegated to the leadership development team
  • Propose and develop thematic workshops when appropriate that gather leaders to imagine and share solutions to shared pressing issues
  • Collaborate with the CEO and all relevant Big Win team members to collectively and seamlessly design programs that advance Big Win’s larger strategy
  • Oversee the matching of government leaders with coaches and mentors when doing so can critically advance a leader’s agenda
  • Take a public-facing role in delivering leadership development programs, including by facilitating sessions and presenting on adaptive leadership
  • Initiate and support communications activities that raise the visibility of leaders who are advancing transformational initiatives
  • Develop productive relationships with Big Win partner leaders and maintain an active community
  • Help source global experts to advance the work of Big Win partner leaders
  • Establish clear criteria of success in advance that justify the human and financial resources invested in each leadership development undertaking
  • Manage the design and implementation of a process for monitoring and evaluating progress toward each leadership development activity’s goal
  • Create an annual dashboard, workplan and budget for Big Win’s leadership development activities
  • Supervise and employ a deliberate plan to enhance internal capacity within the leadership development team

Candidate profile

Knowledge, skills, and attributes

  • Understanding of public sector leadership and belief in the ability of government to contribute to human capital development
  • Ability to understand and advise on implementation of an agenda in a complicated political environment
  • Familiarity with or willingness to study the technical aspects of adaptive leadership
  • Experience and standing to speak to senior government leaders as peers
  • Strong moral compass and adherence to rigorous ethical practice
  • Dedication to development on the continent across national and party lines
  • Willingness to work non-prescriptively
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of politics across Africa
  • Policy and legal experience appreciated
  • Fluency in spoken and written English required; knowledge of additional languages widely spoken in sub-Saharan Africa a plus
  • Strong communications, networking, and relationship building skills
  • Ability to travel extensively

Personal qualities and attitudes

  • Team player with excellent people skills and with highly developed communication, presentation, negotiation and influencing skills
  • Full alignment with the Big Win ethos of supporting the ambition of policy champions at national level without prescribing external agendas
  • Excellent research and analytical skills, with ability to synthesize learnings clearly
  • An eye for detail and an understanding of the high standards required by Big Win and its partners

Location: Based in London with travel to sub-Saharan Africa

Hours: Full time; physical attendance in our office is required on all working days

Salary: Based on experience

Other:  Equal opportunities employer

Interested applicants should email a cover letter describing the applicant’s interest and relevant experience, together with a full current CV, to Please include “Director for Leadership” in the subject line.