Mastercard Foundation is a global foundation based in Toronto, Canada with several offices in Africa. Our programs promote financial inclusion and advance education and learning in Africa, primarily for young people, and in Canada for Indigenous youth. The Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. From inception, the Foundation was designed to be a separate entity and independent from Mastercard. Our policies, operations, and funding decisions are made by our President and Board of Directors.

The Foundation believes that youth employment is key to unlocking prosperity, both for youth and their societies. Enabling young women and men from disadvantaged communities to secure dignified and fulfilling work will ensure inclusive development and economic growth in Africa.

Values are timeless, they transcend and rise above all. They guide everything we do, as employees of the Foundation.  We share a common vision of a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. We make mistakes, we reflect, and we grow so that we can impact our world – it’s why we are here. We are ambitious and driven. We encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work. We laugh at ourselves and with each other. We are a team. Our journey together makes our impact even more meaningful.

We have entered a very exciting time at the Foundation as we scale up our operations across Africa to realize our Young Africa Works strategy. If you are an experienced Program Management professional ready to build something new and increase your impact, read on!


Improving the quality and relevance of secondary education, so that it equips young women and men with the skills and knowledge that they need to succeed, is core to the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy.

The Foundation believes that teachers are the key to improving the quality of secondary education. Beyond any other school-based factor, research has shown that teacher effectiveness is the single most significant predictor of student learning. However, there are a number of challenges impacting the quality of teaching and learning across Africa in terms of teacher recruitment, motivation, training and professional development.

In response to these challenges, Mastercard Foundation launched the Leaders in Teaching (LIT) Initiative in 2018. This multi-country initiative is comprised of a portfolio of partner programs, each focused on addressing challenges across the teacher lifecycle, including the recruitment of qualified teachers, strengthening pre and in-service teacher training, ensuring teachers receive effective support and mentorship from school leaders and elevating the status of the teaching profession. LIT was first established in Rwanda in 2018 and will be adapted to other country contexts across the continent. The Foundation is also exploring opportunities to expand its education programming in Rwanda. Read more about Leaders in Teaching.


Reporting to the Country Representative at Mastercard Foundation’s Rwanda office in Kigali, the Program Partner, Leaders in Teaching (LIT), will be responsible for managing the LIT initiative in Rwanda, including overseeing a portfolio of partner programs, developing new education programming and partnerships, contributing to the development of initiatives in other priority countries and ensuring effective collaboration with government, development partners and implementing organizations.

The successful applicant will lead the Rwanda LIT team and will be responsible for representing the Foundation on local government, donor and development partner task forces, working groups and coordination platforms relevant to the education sector, particularly in secondary education. The Program Partner will also engage on a regular basis with senior government representatives at the Ministry of Education and the Rwanda Education Board, and will be expected to contribute to the Foundation’s thought leadership in education in Rwanda and internationally. They will collaborate closely with Foundation colleagues in Toronto and across the continent, to share program learning and contribute to the strategic direction of the Foundation’s work in education and the adaptation of the Leaders in Teaching initiative in other country contexts.

As part of the Foundation’s country strategy implementation in Rwanda and other priority countries, the Program Partner may also be responsible for the development and management of new partnerships and programs focusing on education in support of the Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Rwanda.


  • Lead the Foundation’s Leaders in Teaching initiative in Rwanda, overseeing a portfolio of education programs and ensuring program objectives are achieved.
  • Facilitate the coordination of partner activities and ensure ongoing coordination with government education initiatives and other donor-funded programs in education. Participate and contribute actively to local education and development partner coordination working groups.
  • Represent the Foundation as education lead in Rwanda, build and maintain relationships with partner organizations, government stakeholders and other key education stakeholders at the country-level.
  • Deepen the Foundation’s education work in Rwanda, identifying teacher development gaps, issues and trends that affect the quality of teaching and learning, as part of the Foundation’s country strategy and program development processes, lead the development of new programming and partnerships.
  • Undertake regular partner/site visits to monitor progress and capture program learning.
  • Plan and co-chair bi-annual initiative Technical Working Group meetings and coordinate with the Country Representative and program colleagues on the planning and management of bi-annual Advisory Committee meetings.
  • Provide education expertise, with a particular focus on secondary education, to support Foundation colleagues’ design and management of programs in other priority countries.
  • Assist in expanding the Foundation team’s capacity relating to teacher training and development, by sharing learning.
  • Support the design and delivery of appropriate mechanisms to monitor effectiveness and impact of teacher development interventions in close collaboration with the Impact team, initiative Learning Partners and LIT colleagues.
  • Oversee the planning and management of annual learning events and partner coordination workshops.
  • Provide support as needed to the Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning, located at the Mastercard Foundation Rwanda office.
  • Other duties as required.


  • Graduate degree in education and/or a youth development-related field.
  • Minimum 10+ years of relevant experience leading program interventions with partner organizations/grantees; education sector experience is desirable.
  • Minimum 5 years of leadership and management experience including managing staff and coaching, mentoring and providing feedback.
  • Expertise on the key issues, challenges and trends in basic education, particularly secondary education in Sub-Saharan Africa and teacher development. Understanding of the TVET sector would be an asset.
  • Significant experience in global grant-making in education and/or leading education-focused programs in the non-profit or public sectors.
  • Solid familiarity with the key organizations, development partners, donors, international organizations and other actors relevant to education globally and particularly in Africa.
  • Excellent project management skills, including in multi-stakeholder projects.
  • Knowledge of education policy and reform in one or more African contexts, preferably Rwanda.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to be flexible and adaptable and comfortable with ambiguity.
  • Able to confidently engage with a range of stakeholders, including senior government representatives.
  • Proactive, engaged and a self-starter.
  • Exceptional organizational skills and demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Proficiency with MS Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Demonstrated written, presentation and spoken communication skills in English required. Fluency in other languages relevant to the work, particularly French or Kinyarwanda would be an asset.
  • Experience living and/or working in Rwanda is highly desirable.
  • Willing and able to travel internationally when required.


The Mastercard Foundation values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the Foundation and are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone. We appreciate your interest, and advise that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted directly.

Completion of satisfactory business references, background checks (criminal and credit) and proof of education are essential conditions of employment.

If you require accommodation during the recruitment and selection process, please contact the People and Culture Department. We will work with you to provide a positive recruitment experience in a confidential manner.

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