Regional Director, Sahel

Job Reference: tbigc/TP/22858/266
Number of Positions: 1
Contract Type: Permanent/Full Time
Salary: Competitive
Working Hours: 40
Closing Date: 20/04/2021
Job Category: Advisory
Business Area / Division: Advisory - Africa
Business Unit: Senegal
Location: Sahel

Focus of the Role

A significant part of our Advisory Practice compromises our long-standing work in Africa. We work in 14 countries across East, West and Southern Africa with c. 130 employees. 

Our work supports leaders to incubate and deliver their visions for their countries and supports their governments to build institutional capacity and resilience. Our work in Africa is funded through a mix of philanthropic sources, grants and contracts and our high-performing teams seek to combine ambitious talent from the private, public and NGO sectors recruited both locally and internationally.  In 2021 and 2022, we have exciting growth plans, both expanding into new strategic geographies e.g. the Sahel, and DRC and rolling out an ambitious new tech-based partnership. 

To support this growth we are looking to strengthen and build on the existing regional management structure. Reporting to the Institute’s Executive Director, Africa, this senior management team will be responsible for the successful growth and delivery of the practice’s work across the continent.

Specifically we are looking to recruit:  

  • An East and South Africa Director, based in Nairobi or Addis 
  • A West Africa Director, based in Accra 
  • A Sahel Director, based in Senegal or the Sahel region

The Regional Director for the Sahel will  provide overall management and direction to our Sahel programme, comprising 3-5 country projects as well as the design and direction of our regional strategy. We currently work in Burkina Faso and Mali, with plans to expand further in the region.

The Regional Director will provide leadership and management  to the relevant teams, including all aspects of people, programme, risk and financial management. They will develop the existing team to build and maintain deep relationships with political leaders across the region; and they will contribute to the overall leadership of TBI requiring close working relationships with the Institute’s Executive Chairman, CEO, Middle East Government Advisory practice, new Tech for Development programme as well as Policy Futures, External Relations and Institute Resources teams. Reporting to the Executive Director, Africa, the Regional Director will contribute to the strategic development and expansion of our work on the continent.

Key Responsibilities

  • Strategically lead and manage a portfolio of 3-5 country programmes, ensuring the delivery of high-quality advice and programmes in support of partner governments and the leaders we support. This will include management of our existing work in Burkina Faso and Mali and overseeing further growth in the region
  • Support and lead the new focus on tech transformation within our Advisory work, working with the newly created Global Director for Tech for Development 
  • Work with and support the existing Sahel strategy team to establish effective and trusted relationships with senior politicians in government, including Presidents, PMs, Ministers and Special Advisors, securing mandates with multiple key counterparts as a regular point of contact in order to develop a policy and advocacy agenda to influence the wider international community’s approach to the Sahel region
  • Develop and position the TBI Government Advisory value propsition to strengthen and increase our positioning, reputation and financial sustainability in a competitive market
  • Build, lead, coach and direct up to five to six direct reports and a wider team of up to 30 to 40 staff based across three to five countries and working collaboratively with the Executive Director Africa, Global Director Tech for Development and Executive Director Middle East to: 
  • Establish, review and maintain the strategy, objectives and key results for the region as a whole and each country programme, with a clear measurement framework; 
  • Support and design a policy and advocacy agenda at the regional level;
  • Ensure our work is strategic, relevant and technically excellent, and delivers our mission to equip leaders to build open and inclusive societies in an interconnected, global world;
  • Act as a thought partner to teams to help provide innovative solutions to government and leadership problems and frame them in a compelling way;
  • Be propositional with our growth tech for development initiative and ensure that the work delivered across our practice supports and complements our initiative  
  • Ensure the growth and development of a high-performing culture and provide a continued focus on learning and development with the ability to build and lead multiple teams
  • Oversee and be accountable for recruitment within the region, supporting Country Heads to hire, manage and develop, critically providing quality control of new hires and mentoring 
  • Work with the existing team to build and utilise regional level networks, including with relevant multilateral fora, and act as a representative of TBI including public-speaking and media engagements 
  • Working closely with our fundraising team, the Regional Director will be help deliver fundraising strategies, including relationship building, identifying and targeting donors, managing donor relations , and engage with key stakeholders  such as other not for profit organisations, media, suppliers and agencies
  • Work collaboratively with our Extremism Policy Unit (and the wider Policy Futures teams) to develop thought leadership on issues relevant to the Sahel region
  • Manage and be accountable for the regional budget, including all funder reporting (c$5m, together with future growth)  
  • Ensure expenditure is utilised in line with budget, with robust management accounts and accountability established amongst budget delegations 
  • Ensure all necessary risk, legal and financial processes are in place for the successful delivery of work and safety and security of employees  
  • Be an active member of the TBI leadership cohort, building strong, collaborative relationships across TBI and actively champion TBI’s values
  • Provide direct advice to the TBI Executive Chairman as well as CEO, Board and wider leadership team 

Person Specification

  • A minimum of 8 years’ experience in government, government advisory, management consulting or other organisational leadership
  • Extensive experience in government relations and understanding of the workings of politics in government
  • Strategic, entrepreneurial, can challenge the status-quo and develop plans for the successful delivery of challenging objectives
  • A track record of success in budget and risk management, generating new business and developing an organization
  • Demonstrable expertise in economics, public policy, or international relations 
  • Outstanding leadership and management skills and the proven ability to build and inspire teams to achieve exceptional objectives
  • Skilled communicator and influencer, from executive office level through to technical level. Adept at advising senior leadership, know how to navigate ambiguous environments and comfortable at managing up and beyond hierarchy  
  • Has worked or consulted in developing and emerging economies and is sensitive to a diverse range of cultural and regional norms, and fosters a positive spirit of collaboration  
  • Fluent French is essential
  • Experience in technology enterprises or programmes is advantageous  

About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people.

We do this within two connected divisions:

Government Advisory

Our Government Advisory teams work directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.

Policy Futures

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas:

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics;
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world.

As an organisation the core beliefs we all embrace are:

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity
  • Optimistic Changemakers: you’ll be focused on results