Director of Africa Regional Programs

Freedom House

Washington, DC, United States


The Director of Africa Regional Programs is responsible for providing strategic leadership and vision for Freedom House’s (FH) program activities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, and designing, obtaining donor funding for, leading the implementation of, and managing budgets for those programs in line with the over-arching strategy of FH’s International Programs Division (as well as FH’s overall mission, goals, and vision). The position requires a candidate with deep knowledge of human rights and civil society issues throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as relationships throughout the region including with civil society organizations (CSOs), governments, the diplomatic community, and USG donors supporting Africa human rights and civil society programs. These qualifications must be combined with a proven record of designing and implementing innovative USAID and/or U.S. State Department-funded human rights and civil society technical assistance, training, and subgrant programs throughout the region that produce verifiable results; experience effectively leading and managing diverse staff, including overseas operations; and experience managing USAID and State Department budgets including knowledge of rules and regulations governing these sources of funding. Experience directly implementing USAID-funded human rights and civil society projects on the ground in Africa is strongly preferred.


  • Strategic leadership and management. Lead the development of, obtain funding for, manage a program portfolio and team of staff, and implement an Africa regional programming strategy, in line with the over-arching strategy of FH’s International Programs Division.
  • Program design and implementation. Working with regional staff, and drawing upon technical expertise from prior programming experience, design innovative, impactful human rights and civil society projects (including technical assistance, training, and subgrant activities). Lead implementation of these projects efficiently and effectively, on time and within budget, and in compliance with donor rules. Measure/evaluate/manage/apply knowledge from program results.
  • Fundraising. Design and implement a fundraising strategy so as to ensure a consistent stream of donor funding for Africa programs. As part of these responsibilities, identify potential funding sources, develop productive, collaborative relationships with donors, conceptualize and author winning funding applications, and contribute to and participate in complex negotiations with bilateral and/or multilateral government agencies, donors or relevant audiences as authorized. Effectively manage the region’s Bid and Proposal funding, and oversee staff in developing and drafting funding applications.
  • External representation and relations. Represent FH as an Africa human rights and civil society expert in high-level public engagements, including congressional hearings and briefings, policy discussions, and media communications. Build strong external alliances and collaborative approaches with donors and the diplomatic community, congressional staff, partners and grantees, policy community, peer NGOs, and think tanks.
  • Staff leadership and management. Select, oversee, lead, and manage staff responsible for program implementation, including chiefs of party/office directors in regional offices, in a manner that fosters professional development, teamwork, trust, and collaboration.
  • Financial management. Proactively manage the region’s finances, including spending analysis and forecasting, to ensure effective, timely program implementation that is in full compliance with donor rules/regulations; ensure adequate staffing levels and effective use of Bid and Proposal funding.
  • Collaboration. Participate in FH activities geared toward organizational success and strength, including cross-team collaboration activities. Maintain an effective and collaborative working relationship with all other FH divisions and share and exchange information about regional activities, approaches, and strategies.
  • Ability to travel as needed, including internationally (approximately 10-15%).


  • Twelve or more years of experience designing and implementing donor-funded human rights and civil society technical assistance, training, and subgrant programs in Africa required, with minimum of two years of experience managing USAID-funded human rights and civil society project field offices in Africa strongly preferred;
  • Six or more years of experience leading and managing staff, including minimum of two years managing senior staff;
  • Mastery of human rights principles and governing international institutions, instruments, and processes;
  • Strong knowledge of human rights and civil society challenges in Africa and in-depth understanding of socio-political, economic, and anthropological factors affecting these challenges in Africa;
  • Strong knowledge of USAID programming approaches to addressing human rights and civil society challenges in Africa, and relevant USAID structures and processes; existing relationships of trust and collaboration at USAID and State Department;
  • Strong fundraising record including experience obtaining funding from USAID, State Department, and private funders. Previous association or work in philanthropic community is a plus;
  • Creativity and ability to engage a range of local stakeholders depending on project portfolio, including CSOs, government agencies, justice sector, human rights advocates, journalists, and private sector;
  • Proven ability to recruit and motivate staff, lead teams, and collaborate with others;
  • Ability to draft “camera ready” (i.e., final) documents of all types for external audiences including donors, congress, media, etc., is a MUST;
  • Proven understanding of USAID and U.S. State Department budgets including restrictions on use of funds and ability to manage and forecast expenditures so as to maximize use of available funds while not over-spending budgets and ensuring compliance with governing rules;
  • Fluency in spoken and written English; fluency in a second relevant language (e.g., French, Portuguese) is strongly preferred; excellent verbal communications skills.



  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations, or related field;
  • Master’s degree or equivalent in political science, international relations, or related field.

Training or Certification:

  • MS Office Suite, specifically Word and Excel;
  • Budget or financial management;
  • USG rules and regulations;
  • Program management;
  • Staff management;
  • Proposal writing;
  • Monitoring and evaluating USAID awards.

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