Educate!, an award-winning non-profit social enterprise, is seeking a Managing Director to lead operational excellence across our programs and support functions in Rwanda. This is a leadership role ideal for someone who loves managing people and projects to seamless execution and is driven to maximize impact through excellent management practices, processes, and attention to detail. The right person for this role will have a history of achieving results through teams and experience managing projects (including budgets and support functions). Private sector or social enterprise experience is strongly preferred.
You are the right fit for this role if you:
- Are a strategic thinker who can move deftly from vision to execution—perceiving emerging opportunities, building a goal-oriented strategy, aligning internal and external stakeholders around a shared vision, and driving implementation.
- Ability to thrive in dynamic and fast-changing environments, comfortable with uncertainty and change
- Have experience managing teams to execution and helping a team that is scaling or in the early stages of scale.
- Ability to manage goals, guide others through major changes, encourage teamwork, develop team capabilities, and motivate team leads to meet deadlines.
- Professional and interpersonal skills with the energy, vision and drive to succeed in a fast-paced, high-performance culture.
- Must be able to help the team set up systems, identify those needs, using and optimize those systems.
- Ability to deeply understand a complex strategy, ability to make choices that support that strategy.
- Demonstrated financial acumen, a good understanding of budgeting, and experience drafting proposals.
What if there was a way to measurably change the trajectory of the lives of youth across Africa? Since its launch in 2009, Educate! has worked to do just this, delivering outsized impacts at scale and at disproportionately low cost, through a product-led approach to youth development. As a disruptive, not-for-profit, social enterprise, our team leverages an obsession with evidence and entrepreneurial drive to tackle one our planet's greatest challenges - unlocking the potential of its youngest continent.
Educate!’s core model combines training in key skills with access to practical experience starting a business and mentorship, a formula that has been validated by several independent evaluations. This model is distributed through products targeting two lead channels. First, Educate! works with governments to help reform education systems at scale through policy change, teacher behavior change and tech-enabled products targeting systems-level sustainability, while also working directly with select schools. Second, Educate! builds employment-focused bootcamps and business support services targeting out-of-school youth left out of the education system. To date, more than 200,000 youth have been meaningfully impacted by this model across Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya and along the way Educate! has become the largest youth skills provider in East Africa.
Educate! is a team of over 160 largely African staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We prioritize building an engaging, fulfilling and growth oriented work environment. 50% of our top 30 leaders have been with us for over 5 years, 10+ alumni have started other organizations and 5 current or former team members were Acumen Fund East Africa fellows.
We have been backed by top foundations and product leaders such as Imaginable Futures, Big Bang Philanthropy, Echoing Green, the 1st Google Employee’s foundation, the head of Google Search and Rippleworks Foundation. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize and a 2015 WISE Award, and has been highlighted by Bill Gates, in the World Bank’s S4YE's Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, BBC, 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 Planning and Implementation - 25%
- Collaborate with Deputy Chief Operating Officer to create the country’s multi-year strategy goals, program model, growth strategy, revenue strategy sustainability strategy.
- Lead workforce planning by creating a country org chart, defining functions of roles, approving JDs, and proposing solutions for capacity gaps.
- Drive succession planning to ensure a strong pipeline of critical roles for the country's operational health.
- Build alignment around strategic plan and country priorities so that teams speak the same language and manage towards the same priorities, challenges, successes, and long-term vision.
- Collaborate with functional directors and strategists to ensure alignment between functional strategies (M&E, finance, government, and talent) and country execution.
Operations Oversight- 30%
- Oversee the operations team, including HR, finance, procurement, and administrative duties. Manage employment benefits & legalities (contracts, payroll, tax, health)
- Manage department according to functional strategy management systems eg. Quarterly BvAs, Risk Register, etc. Work with the team to ensure that all operations reports are submitted and reviewed in a timely fashion, with system improvements being made accordingly, and collaborate with the CFO to revise Rwanda’s finance strategy as necessary
- Provide financial leadership to maintain a stringent environment of financial management and integrity
- Quickly address employee performance issues with a caring approach and an eye towards their improvement, while being comfortable exiting non-performers to drive highest quality team performance and growth
- Manage financial constraints strategically to optimize impact against cost and position Educate! to continue to accelerate growth year over year
- Exemplify clear and consistent communication to all levels of the organization Oversee strategic management of key risks facing the organization
Program Strategy and Implementation - 20%
- Collaborate to ensure proposed program design is aligned to sustainability strategy, national program advocacy goals, and designs co-created with government partners. Identify and propose opportunities and mechanisms for experimentation to improve program delivery and impact
- Responsible for planning, reviewing, and prioritizing our mid and long-term goals for program success.
- Oversee country evaluation strategy and ensure strategy responds to impact data. Identify and propose systems/structures for experimentation to create efficient delivery mechanisms.
- Manage, and provide support to, the Head of Program Implementation to ensure programs are delivered as designed
- Create growth and staffing strategies in line with program projections and revenue strategy
Team Leadership & Performance Management - 25%
- Build, lead, and coach a highly results-oriented team to deliver our goals
- Develop field team recruitment and training strategies to ensure high-quality deliverance and scalable cost model.
- Conduct performance management of the team at all levels and fair and accurate performance reviews for the team.
- High-growth staffing strategy: Create a culture of high performance by coverage of gaps, career planning for star performers, developing rising leaders, pipelines, and ensuring training and coaching programs are in place. Continuously model our five cultural tenets and ensures rewards and promotions are earned and awarded to high performers who live Educate!’s culture.
- Maintain a pulse on team dynamics through formal and informal checks about team dynamics, culture, areas of conflict, areas of team flow, and motivation levels. Involve official and non-official team leaders to build a healthy, high-performing team
- Dynamic experience from different sectors is highly preferred, with demonstrated ability to operate well in complex and fast-changing environments
- 8+ years of work experience, with 5+ years of management and/or leadership experience
- Experience managing medium to large-size teams and balancing multiple priorities
- Financial integrity and budget management experience
- Passion for Educate!’s mission is a must, but past work in education or youth development is not required. We value diverse perspectives and encourage applications from people with a variety of backgrounds.
- This role is open to candidates with experience working in East Africa.
- Fits our Five Cultural Tenets (see What is Educate! About? below); Learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here
- Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience
- Benefits include medical insurance
- This position will be based in Kigali and have a 3 year contract with a posibility of extension depending on program operations.
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 your 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.