Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Through its Young Africa Works strategy and Canadian EleV program, the Foundation works with partners to ensure that millions of young people, especially young women, access quality education, financial services and dignified work. Mastercard Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is independent with its own Board of Directors and CEO.


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. Our role at the Mastercard Foundation is to be a catalyst. Our Young Africa Works strategy focuses on working with others to spur systemic change so young people have the opportunity to find work that is dignified and fulfilling.

The Foundation has opened offices in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda, building a broader leadership presence in Africa to develop specific strategies that support youth employment.  Within a country, we work with governments, the private sector, educators and other funders to improve the quality of education and vocational training, prepare young people for the work force, expand access to financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and connect job seekers to dignified and fulfilling work.

We are ambitious and driven. Our values transcend and rise above everything else as our guide. 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.

If you are a Head, Program Planning ready to build something new and increase your impact, read on!


The Head of Planning is a newly-created position at the Foundation and will lead one of the three enabling programmatic functions that will serve and be informed by ongoing core program delivery implemented by Regional and Country Heads and the Head of Scholars. The role comes at an exciting time of growth for the Foundation as it implements its bold new strategy, Young Africa Works, aimed at addressing youth unemployment in Africa.

Reporting to the Chief Program Officer (CPO), the Head of Program Planning provides strategic planning support to the CPO, coordinating programme strategy and operations across countries. They hold primary responsibility for ensuring that the implementation of Young Africa Works is being planned for and adequately resourced, that the Foundation has and maintains the right strategic Partnerships to achieve it, whilst also overseeing, managing, and closing-out the portfolio of previous programmes outside of Young Africa Works and Scholars.

Program Planning

  • Ensuring that implementation of Young Africa Works strategy is being planned for, adequately resourced and is proceeding in a coordinated manner at a strategic and operational level across countries. They will ensure Country, Regional and Scholars Programs are following appropriate processes and that key milestones are tracked and coordinated.
  • Coordinating program strategy and portfolio development processes across countries and departments (including Finance, Legal, Communications, etc.), ensuring alignment with overarching Young Africa Works strategy and supporting regular country strategy and portfolio reviews.
  • Developing and overseeing portfolio and program iterative and approval processes, and implementing new programming approach.
  • Identifying interdependencies and linking programming activities across countries and with the rest of enterprise functions.
  • Maintaining an enterprise-wide view of program implementation status and impact for regular executive and board updates.
  • Communicating programming plans and progress to senior leadership and other stakeholders as needed.
  • Coordinating shared resources across programming teams (eg Design & Learning and external experts) and providing support to country teams through core programmatic processes.
  • The Head of Planning is also responsible for the design and iteration of processes to approve country portfolios and the implementation of new programming approaches.

Strategic Partnerships

  • Conceptualising and structuring the Foundation’s strategic partnerships to achieve Young Africa Works, including developing, structuring, and managing partnerships with strategic collaborators and ensuring the right set of partnerships are in place.

Current Portfolio

  • Overseeing, managing and closing out portfolio of previous programs outside of Young Africa Works and Scholars.

People Leadership

  • Identifying and recruiting talent for program planning team, effectively leading colleagues within the function, ensuring high quality of work, alignment with Foundation values, access to development opportunities and a supportive and collaborative work environment.


  • Coordinate program strategy and portfolio development processes across Country, Regional and Scholar program teams, guiding delivery and Mastercard Foundation to its 2030 goal of seeing 30 million young Africans, particularly women, have dignified and fulfilling work. This entails broad consultation with key stakeholders and in-depth understanding of the drivers of economic growth and employment, and sectors that offer the greatest opportunities for young people, tailored to local country requirements.
  • Cultivate and manage key relationships with strategic partners to drive impact and achieve Young Africa Works strategy.
  • Liaise effectively across the various Program delivery teams and broader operational functions to ensure strategic and operational alignment and delivery.
  • Represent the Foundation at relevant events.
  • Build and lead a team and support their performance. This includes coaching and professional development of staff, while holding people accountable and recognizing achievements.
  • Develop, build and maintain relationships with the team across Africa and in the Toronto office for stronger collaboration and to ensure overall success.


  • You have 15+ years of experience of increasingly senior management experience working in Africa for a global or regional organization in international development or the private sector.
  • You hold Master’s/MBA in global development, education, public policy or another related field.
  • Strong leadership experience in international relations, education, development and/or government or public policy within non-profit organizations, international NGO’s and/or learning institutions.
  • Minimum of 6 years of exceptional leadership experience, building and managing new programs or services in Africa across multiple countries and regions.
  • Expertise in working with development, political and social issues across Africa.
  • You demonstrate a clear drive towards impact, maintaining laser focus on results and addressing gaps in program results.
  • Superb interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders at different levels; solid experience of interacting with high level government officials, corporate CEOs, and intergovernmental bodies that require a high degree of political astuteness.
  • Strategic mindset with ability to advise senior leadership on critical decisions, always putting Young Africa Works at the centre.
  • Client service mindset, always seeking was to create impact for Programs teams – collaborative and open to others’ ideas and views.
  • Think and works in a systematic, holistic way, taking broad systems opportunities and constraints into account when setting goals and planning.
  • Able to have clear nuanced conversations – pulling disparate views into shared interests and outcomes.
  • Strong leadership experience to effectively plan, resource and execute enterprise-wide initiatives.
  • Creative and innovative mindset, capable of identifying opportunities for improving and scaling programming.
  • Ability to travel across Africa and internationally (c.30%).
  • Flexible, adaptable, and able to execute a range of job duties and changing priorities.
  • Possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
  • Possess professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
  • You have a commitment to Mastercard Foundation’s values and vision
  • French language and/or local language skills are an asset


The Mastercard Foundation values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the organization and we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.

Completion of satisfactory business references and background checks are essential conditions of employment.

For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit http://www.mastercardfdn.org/
Follow the Foundation on Twitter at @MastercardFdn



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