Country Director - Africa (country TBC)

Africa (country TBC) Full-time

About GiveDirectly:

GiveDirectly (GD) aims to reshape international giving -  and millions of lives - by allowing donors to provide capital grants directly to the world’s poorest. The Brookings Institution estimates that $70B of cash transfers would be required to eliminate the poverty gap; the aid sector currently spends $135B each year, much of which is spent on evidence-free interventions. GiveDirectly wants to change that, establishing a benchmark as Vanguard did for the financial industry (i.e., index fund), and in the process accelerate the end of extreme poverty.

GD has reached over 100,000 households (benefiting ~500,000 individuals) since launching in 2011 and has been celebrated as one of the most innovative non-profit companies by Fast Company. The Guardian writes “GiveDirectly…has sent shockwaves through the charity sector", while the New York Times Magazine adds “the beautiful thing about GiveDirectly’s approach is that it lets people devise their own path out of poverty.” The growing movement toward cash transfers and GD’s leading role in the movement have also been featured in This American Life, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, and  Business Insider.

We’re looking for exceptional talent to help grow GD and the broader cash movement. Our culture is honest, direct, analytical, non-hierarchical, fast-paced, transparent, and hard working. We are open to candidates from any industry and typically recruit from top organizations - members of our team have come to us from private-sector companies (consultancies, law firms, investment banks, etc.), start-ups, and government. We value ability and willingness to learn over years of experience. We offer competitive salary and benefits and performance-based bonuses. 

Role Overview:

You will be responsible for starting up and managing all aspects of a new GiveDirectly country office. Your role will involve building the team, organizational culture, and processes that both enable the achievement of short-term goals (i.e. annual KPIs) and create the conditions for long-term growth. You will be able to draw on resources from the fundraising team, data & tech and finance & operations verticals, and the Regional Director, but will ultimately be accountable to both recipients and donors for delivering a gold-standard product.


Establish new, high-quality country office

  • Obtain government's permission for GD to operate in a new country
  • Recruit initial team in-country from top 10% of local talent pool
  • Live GD values and instill them in the new team

Formulate and deliver on annual targets

  • Design ambitious work-plans and accompanying budgets
  • Ensure that country office achieves annual KPIs for household enrolment, operational efficiency, and key user-experience metrics
  • Ensure that operational reports are being reliably generated and actioned

 Increase the organization’s capacity for scale without compromising quality of product

  • Build capacity of managers at all levels by ensuring that they have clearly defined metrics for success and regular feedback on progress
  • Build systems to enable rapid scale-up of a high-quality team
  • Assess, on an on-going basis, resource/capacity gaps across the organization

 Identify and mitigate risk

  • Identify vulnerability to fraud and rule-breaking across the operating model and design appropriate controls
  • Identify key areas in need of redundancy planning and buffering to reduce the impact of unanticipated operational roadblocks
  • Build networks with local actors/institutions that will help identify and protect against macro risk

 Build organizational culture

  • Define and communicate a set of practices and norms that animate GD’s core values
  • Support org-wide initiatives that help to promote productivity, well-being, and morale
  • Build systems for monitoring and actioning feedback from the team

Represent GiveDirectly to external stakeholders

  • Manage relationships with donors funding country operations
  • Work with national and local government officials to secure permissions for expansion and maintenance of programs
  • Proactively seek out funding opportunities in-country
  • Communicate GD’s model to visiting donors, journalists, partners, etc. in a way that demonstrates our core values and effectively contextualizes field operations

We are looking for people with:

  • The ability to rapidly assess and understand a complex operating environment with a view to the long-term (i.e. success is building an organization that can double in a year)
  • A strong preference for fast-paced and nimble environments, where ownership means creating a new playbook for success
  • A high degree of autonomy, grit, and resilience
  • A meaningful track record of building and managing teams in professional environments preferred