Educate!, a fast-growing and award-winning social enterprise, is seeking a senior strategic operator to support our Chief Operating Officer and country leadership teams through the next phase of Educate!’s ambitious growth plans. In this role, you’ll work closely with the COO on strategic projects and managing Educate!’s operations. In line with our dynamic approach to matching the best talent with the organization’s developing needs, the title and job description will be finalized based on the skills of our top candidates. Possible titles include Chief of Staff to the COO, Director of Africa Operations, and others. Either way, this role will be a critical member of our high-performing leadership team with big growth opportunities ahead.
The right person for this role will be a driven, strategic, creative problem-solver who is motivated by removing obstacles to help teams design and scale high-impact solutions. The ideal candidate will also bring significant leadership, management, and operational experience.
Educate! prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy. We tackle youth unemployment by partnering with youth, schools, and governments to design and deliver solutions that equip young people in Africa with the skills to attain further education, overcome gender inequities, start businesses, get jobs, and drive development in their communities. Our goal is to design skills-based education and employment solutions which impact youth life outcomes sustainably and at scale.
In 2019, we partnered with the governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya and measurably impacted over 46,000 youth in and out of schools while reaching 470,000 learners more broadly, making us the biggest youth skills providers in East Africa. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve pivoted to create and deploy a distance learning model based on our proven in-school experience and reached over 100,000 students by October 2020. Read here to learn more about Educate!’s distance learning model.
Two rigorous external evaluations of our flagship in-school model, including a randomized controlled trial, found that towards the end of secondary school, participants of our program earn nearly double the income of their peers. A follow-up RCT found that four years later, youth achieve strong and lasting shifts in skills, coupled with significant improvements in education and gender equity-related outcomes, especially young women. Our graduates change their lives and their communities, such as Daniel who opened a rural health clinic in his community employing two people and conducting about 350 checkups per month.
Educate! supports governments with integrating skills-based curriculum nationally. This includes partnering with Uganda’s government to integrate curriculum and a Student Business Club structure into Uganda's entrepreneurship course nationally and serving as a technical advisor to both Rwanda and Kenya on national education reforms.
Educate! is a non-profit social enterprise with over 160 staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We have been backed by top foundations such as MasterCard, Big Bang Philanthropy, Echoing Green, Ashoka and Global Innovation Fund. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize (and was featured in a video), a 2015 WISE Award, and was highlighted by Bill Gates, in the World Bank’s S4YE's Impact Portfolio, 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. Educate! was also selected by the UN’s Generation Unlimited as 1 of 20 innovative youth solutions and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a Goalkeepers Accelerator.
Educate!'s long-term vision is to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year.
Strategic Projects: As the right hand to Educate!’s Chief Operating Officer, you’ll lead strategic projects that directly impact Educate!’s ability to scale and expand our impact. Past examples of strategic projects that you would be likely to take on this role include:
- Building new management and learning & development framework for our 250+ youth mentors to support lean operations at scale.
- Creating new staffing strategies for key functions to respond to changing leadership needs during the COVID pandemic.
- Planning retreats and periodic communications to ensure strategic alignment across a dispersed leadership team.
- Researching and rolling out new project management tools to support more efficient operations across the organization.
Country Performance Oversight: This function will depend on the operational experience of the candidate. If you are coming to the role with significant experience leading operations, the role could encompass direct supervision of country leadership, including:
- Manage teams to goals and stay up to date on progress towards goals; unlock support for the country's leadership team to ensure they can reach their goals.
- Manage teams to strategy: check team plans and understanding against org-wide strategy; identify areas of strategic misalignment and facilitate the process of resolution.
- Identifies and shares risks with COO and CEO: When notices issues of dysfunction or greater risk to achieving the country’s broad objectives, these issues are brought to the COO and CEO for greater organizational risk management.
- Financial Oversight: Approve additional budget requests for country operations. Ensure country directors submit budgets on time. Ensure budgets are in line with the country’s cost model and funding strategy.
- People, Performance, and Culture: Support country leadership teams to ensure the right skills are in place to meet goals, roles are designed well and filled appropriately, succession plans are in place, and that there is a culture of high performance and team connection.
Country Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual Planning Oversight
- Overseeing planning process to ensure budgets and goals are submitted on time and monthly goals reflect org priorities
- Manage org-wide goal-setting system: Ensures directors and head submit goals according to goal-setting process (monthly during COVID, termly system previously).
- Manage Planning Cycles to Country Strategy: Ensure CDs are having the right conversations with their teams to create plans around high-priority strategic initiatives.
- Ensure budgets and plans are submitted by CDs on time.
Matrix Coordination: Educate! operates across a three-dimensional matrix that includes product leaders, functional leaders, and country leaders. In this role, you will collaborate with our COO to ensure that the three dimensions of our matrixed organization work smoothly together and each add value in the right places. Projects and/or responsibilities are likely to include:
- Integrating functional priorities into country priorities: Ensuring country goals reflect functional priorities, helping functional directors resolve issues of poor performance in certain departments, staffing challenges, cross-departmental coordination challenges.
- Raising important issues to functional directors: Sharing relevant areas of need with functional directors to ensure appropriate support is given.
- Identifying where greater training or new processes are needed to support collaboration across the matrix, and collaborating with the COO to develop training or processes for this.
- Proven to be a highly organized operator
- Ability to work well with executives, and able to lead and influence across multiple levels and functions of an organization.
- Strong orientation to team culture and cross-functionality.
- Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with 8+ years of work experience
- A good fit with our Five Cultural Tenets (see “What is Educate! About?” Below; learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here.
What Is Educate! About?
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.
- 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.
Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.