Educate! is seeking a dynamic manager/operator looking to take the next step on their leadership path to join our industry-leading non-profit social enterprise as U.S. Country Director. This US-based role of our East African organization reports directly to the Executive Director and is focused on people and team leadership, managing operations to achieve results, and owning execution of our fundraising workflow. You’ll draw on your experience managing high performing teams to lead our 14+ person global external relations and U.S. operations teams at a pivotal point in Educate!’s growth trajectory.
Fundraising experience is NOT required for this role. Work experience outside the U.S., ideally in Africa, is very helpful but not absolutely required. To excel in this role, you will need exceptional abilities to swiftly understand & translate strategy to action, pragmatically prioritize & organize work to results, and warmly connect and collaborate with coworkers across time zones and cultures — along with a passion for efficiently turning collective effort into social impact. (Please see below for much more detail on the role and qualifications.)
This role would be a great fit for someone who has been working abroad in a management or leadership role at a social enterprise, NGO, or social-impact startup, and is now looking for opportunities in the U.S. Must love achieving results through a team, including improving how people work together through strong management processes, developing teams and people to do their best work, and overseeing detail-oriented projects. Sound like you? Apply below!
Educate! prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy.
We tackle youth unemployment by partnering with schools and governments to reform what schools teach and how they teach it, so that students in Africa have the skills to start businesses, get jobs and drive development in their communities. Our model is delivered through practically-trained teachers and youth mentors. Educate!’s goal is to make this practical, skills-based model part of national education systems.
We are a team of 200 staff and 300+ youth mentors, that has been backed by top foundations such as Omidyar Network, Global Innovation Fund, Peery Foundation, Big Bang Philanthropy, and Global Innovation Fund. We believe our talent is our best resource, and our members have earned fellowships including Echidna Global Scholar, Ashoka, Mulago, and Echoing Green, and team alumni have become founders of their own organizations. We believe in cultivating local leadership and our team is 98% East African nationals. Educate! is a member of the Million Lives Club 2019 and of UN’s Generation Unlimited as 1 of 20 innovative youth solutions; won a 2019 Transforming Lives Award, the 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize and a 2015 WISE Award; and has been featured by Bill Gates, in an Al Jazeera documentary, Forbes 30 under 30, and The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies in their global scaling education learning initiative.
In 2019, we’re partnering with the government to pilot in 60+ schools in Kenya, working in 175+ secondary schools in Rwanda and 750+ schools in Uganda (25% of the country) reaching over 44,000 students intensively and 545,000 more broadly. Three rigorous external evaluations, including two randomized controlled trials, find that towards the end of secondary school, participants of our program earn nearly DOUBLE the income of their peers and are 44% more likely to launch a business. Girls benefit even more. Recently we found our results persist: Following a group of Educate! graduates four years on show, for example, statistically significant improvement in creativity and grit, and other important benefits, especially for women. Our graduates change their lives and their communities, such as Lillian Aero who employs over 100 AIDS-affected women.
Educate!'s long-term vision is to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year.
US & External Relations Team Leadership
You are the captain, air traffic controller, standard bearer, cheerleader, and ambassador for Educate!’s External Relations (fundraising & communications) team as well as for all of Educate!’s US team. This lean group drives our organizational-wide revenue, which has grown by 5x in the last 5 years, moving at a rapid pace and evolving dynamically to consistently meet our fundraising targets, share our message to key audiences, and tightly run our US operations. You will own the performance of this team as it levels up over the coming years to meet the stretch goals we set for ourselves as an organization.
You’ll use your naturally strategic style to prioritize where to focus and your rock solid judgment to make the important decisions. Despite working mostly remote from each other, our team is a tight-knit group of kind, collaborative, and motivated team players, and you’ll use your ability to perceive and understand people and dynamics to connect with the fantastic, diverse individuals on the team and support them to succeed.
- Strategy alignment: You quickly absorb and internalize organizational strategy, and communicate strategy to the team. You translate that strategy directly into team priorities and goals, and adapt them as strategy shifts in course inevitably arise.
- Team leader: You are the holder of the organization’s vision on our team, so you share regular messages to the team reinforcing our purpose and impact, which drives everything we do. You inspire, motivate, and connect people to the way their work connects to the broader organization and strategy. Team members feel connected to you personally, and your presence and availability is felt by team (even though you work remotely from most of them most of the time). You understand team dynamics, areas of conflict, areas of team flow, motivation levels and can address them. You call out where we are falling short, and more importantly generously praise when people shine. The team hears from you regularly and timely, and they feel their input and voice has been heard. There is team alignment on decisions and strategy.
- Principles, philosophies, and standards: You understand and have articulated the principles, philosophies, and standards that are core to the team’s work, and where possible you build them into systems. You make these foundational ideas explicit in order to empower the team to do more and make more decisions without directly involving you.
- Risk management: You assess & understand key risks to the team and greater org in terms of probability and impact, you flag when high risk issues arise and watch, address, or escalate appropriately.
- Budget: You manage the team’s budget to align to our goals and strategy.
- Best-in-class grant proposals, reports, and prospect visits: From an operational perspective you’ll be where the buck stops for the fundraising team (fundraising experience is an asset but definitely not required). Our team regularly receives praise for our timely, methodical, clear, and transparent reporting, we’re proud of our high success rate on written proposals, and when potential partners visit our programs, the fundraising team ensures they have an exceptional experience. You will own final quality control for these documents and experiences that are mission critical for our revenue, through managing the East Africa Director of External Relations, who directly manages the team executing this work.
- Fundraising team work plans, work flow and capacity planning: You work with the team to set annual and termly goals that align to org systems, track progress, and support the team to prioritize and issue spot. You ensure that work is allocated in alignment to both ER team structure and individual skills, and workload is reasonable even across the team (taking into account ebbs and flows, and different levels), and you anticipate potential coverage gaps.
- Fundraising systems: Systems for ER ops including compliance dashboard, grant & report pipeline, visits pipeline, grant tracking, and others manage to key results, ensure quality control, work efficiently, and are built for growth.
US & Global Finance & Ops
The US team leads execution of global finance and revenue for the entire organization, so running US operations smoothly, efficiently, and proactively is fundamental for the organization as a whole. We have a strong Head of US Finance and Operations who you’ll manage on this key work channel, and you’ll also work with our excellent Regional Operations and Finance Director based in Nairobi, to whom global finance is ultimately accountable.
Educate! also has robust finance teams in each country, and their finances are consolidated in the US. As a result our US finance function owns our consolidated global books, leads our annual global audit, and liaises with the Board on finance. The US finance function is also responsible for finances supporting our fundraising, including external financial reporting and compliance and drafting and managing budgets for grant proposals.
HR systems and processes--e.g. contract management, HR policies, and payroll--also sit under the US & Global Ops function.
- Finance & operations team work plans, work flow and capacity planning: You ensure the finance & operations function has annual and termly goals, and has the resources and support needed to meet them. You manage the team to the core objectives of working efficiently and flexibly with a mission to serve the US and global teams and ultimately Educate!’s work and impact.
- Quality & financial integrity: You manage the US finance and operations systems and people to standards of quality, in addition to outputs. You are ultimately responsible for the integrity of the US financial system, and you keep a sharp eye out for areas that could leave the organization exposed in collaboration with Regional Ops & Finance Director. US procurement practices are ethical, fair, efficient, cost effective, and achieve quality results in a timely manner.
- Finance & Ops Systems: Working with the US Head of Finance & Ops, you oversee the systems and processes to manage key finance, operations, and HR functions, ensuring they exist where needed (and not where they aren’t), and that they are efficient and only as complex as necessary.
US & External Relations Talent
Talent is one of Educate!’s core strengths, and we invest a lot of time, effort, and resources into recruiting, developing and supporting exceptional talent now and in the future. Owning the US and external relations teams’ talent function is a central part of your leadership role.
- Team structure, capacity, and pipeline: You’ll ensure the current structure of the team is designed to align to org strategy and allows team goals to be met, and you have a plan for how the team structure will change in the future in response to changing org goals and growth needs. You understand team-wide capacity broadly including key risks, and you ensure team capacity is matched to goals. You know who are the rising stars and essential performers carrying key loads on the team, and you ensure they are managed with a view to ensuring a robust pipeline. You have in place training and coaching programs to support individual and team growth. Contracts are reviewed and revised in advance of expiration and align to team strategy. You oversee recruitment and training strategies to ensure high-quality hires and integration into the team.
- Culture: You model Educate!’s five cultural tenets. The team sees rewards and promotions are earned and awarded to culture bearers based on performance. You ensure phenomenal culture bearers are retained, are prioritized, and see a clear path for themselves at Educate!.
- Performance Management: You ensure performance standards are set, communicated and reinforced across all teams. Performance reviews are regular, promote performance and growth, and the team perceives them to be fair and effective.
- Policies: Team policies are aligned to market, culture, and strategy. They are clear and communicated to team, and updated as appropriate.
- Compensation: Salaries and benefits are market, match value to org, and are understandable to the team.
- Minimum of 5 years of work experience, 7-10 years preferred
- Excellent manager with at least 3 years of experience of managing teams, great “EQ” (emotional intelligence), and ability to manage to results without micromanaging or being too hands-off
- Process oriented, organized and orderly thinker & worker
- Quickly understands & applies strategy; used to prioritizing and re-prioritizing regularly in alignment to strategy
- Known for your good judgment and integrity and able to work independently
- Enjoys working at “medium altitude” -- bridging the gap between vision/strategy and day-to-day execution
- Fits our Five Cultural Tenets (see What is Educate! About? below); Learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here
- Ability to work and make friends across cultures, time zones, and personality types.
- Experience working overseas (ideally in Africa) strongly preferred
- Willing to travel internationally and domestically (likely 2x/year international travel and 2x/year domestic travel).
- Candidates must be authorized to work in the U.S.
Educate! constantly strives to take actions to provide an inclusive, equitable, and welcoming environment for all who we serve and work with. In creating this environment and in line with our values, we encourage exceptional people of all races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, cultures, classes, genders, sexual orientations, abled and disabled, family statuses, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.
- Salary will be based on market factors and commensurate with experience.
- Benefits include fully paid premium for health insurance with global coverage, flexibility on work hours and remote work, 403(b) savings account access, paid leave plus one week of office closure over the winter holidays, and more.
- This job is intended to be based in our Denver office, however, our small NYC office or remote work are also potential options for the right candidate. If remote, additional domestic travel may be necessary, especially for the first 6 months.
Application deadline will be rolling, but interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by December 5th. The goal is to fill this position ASAP, to enable our current US Director to move into a new role focused on strategic revenue growth.
What Is Educate! About? Educate!’s Five Cultural Tenets
We’re ambitious. Are you? Educate! is growing fast, so new opportunities are opening up and expanding all the time. We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey. Read more about our culture here.
- We Put Youth First - The youth we serve come first. Always. In everything. That means we wake up thinking of ways we can serve youth even better and get the highest impact out of every dollar that we spend. It means Educate! doesn’t own a single vehicle, because we’d rather take the bus if it means one more student can participate. It means making every decision like the future depends on it — because if we get our way, it does.
- We Are Always Learning - When you work at Educate!, educating yourself is part of your job too. We encourage every employee to find the best book on management; share the latest article on graphic design; bring in your favorite college mentor; or meet the researcher pushing the edge of the field. We are always thirsty for knowledge and love to share.
- We Only Solve a Problem Once - We are allergic to band-aids so we love the person who brings the new system to solve the problem for good, even problems we haven’t recognized yet.
- We Are Flexible - We thrive on change — we’re driving it. We are growing every day, so we have to adapt quickly to meet new challenges, and our team keeps up.
- We Exceed Expectations - We assume we can achieve the impossible because we already have, year after year. We want our staff to create their own challenges, ask the toughest questions, and dream scary big!
Every person at Educate! — from interns to the executive director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.