Country Head


The job has expired.

Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Fixed Term/Full Time
Contract Details:
Working Hours:
35 Hours per week
Closing Date:
Job Category:
Business Area / Division:
Advisory - Africa
Business Unit:
The Gambia

Focus of the Role

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) has been working in the Gambia and supporting the President’s Office in The Gambia since 2017. The administration of President Barrow has been looking to strengthen the capacity of the government to implement his vision for development. Following the 4 December 2021 Presidential election, TBI is looking to enhance its support to the Government of The Gambia, as the administration implements its plans for unity and development.

TBI have been a key partner to the Presidency helping to strengthen its delivery and implementation mechanisms, primarily through the establishment of the Department of Strategic Policy and Delivery (DSPD) but also supporting reforms in other areas such as private office, communications, and cabinet administration.

In addition to strengthening delivery in the Presidency, the project seeks to strengthen the connections with other key ministries and agencies, both in the centre (the Ministry of Finance Economic Affairs) as well as key sector Ministries, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Trade, the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) and others.

At the sub-national level, TBI plays an active role in the enhancement of service delivery for urban residents in the country’s largest local government authority, Kanifing Municipal Council.

We are seeking a Country Head to lead our work in The Gambia and grow our work in country. This is an initial fixed term contract of 2 years. For successful candidates not based in Gambia, a relocation package will be provided if required.

Key Responsibilities

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The Country Head role is an important role in the TBI Government Advisory Division.

The Country Head provides leadership and management to the project, sets and delivers project goals, maintains relations with the Heads of State as well as senior government counterparts, manages the project budget and impact of work, drives in-country fundraising, ensures a successful technology for development programme, and provides the link between The Gambia project team and the rest of the organisation.

The Country Head is ultimately accountable for project success and delivery as per agreed upon mandate between the Government of The Gambia and TBI. This is a demanding role, which calls for strategic leadership, innovative thinking, management skills and diplomacy.

The key competencies that we look for in our Country Heads are set out within the duties below:

Understand and engage with principal stakeholders

  • Build relationships with the President, Vice-President, Secretary General and relevant Ministers, their direct teams and advisors as well as key officials in charge of priority sectors TBI is involved in, with a view to enhancing government delivery and converting emerging opportunities that are beneficial for the country
  • Be propositional and support the development of transformational technology solutions that are at the core of the President’s development vision, particularly in the areas of agriculture and infrastructure
  • Build a clear understanding of the wider country context, including the role of development partners, local and international private sector, civil society and other key players
  • Deploy resources outside of the team –  including TBI’s leadership, sector practices, relevant central teams and strategic partnerships within TBI’s network – to support The Gambian Government as appropriate

Set the strategic direction of the project and, together with the executive management, lead the annual project strategy setting, quarterly performance reviews and measurement of impact

  • Develop a strategic direction for the project based on TBI’s mission and approach within the particular country context
  • Look at how the wider TBI model can be applied in The Gambian context using an agile methodology to test, learn and iterate quickly to meet government needs
  • Lead the annual strategy setting process for the country project and the quarterly review process to assess whether the strategy is ‘working’ and to adapt rapidly in response to new challenges and opportunities
  • Using the organisational Theory of Change and impact tools to ensure the project has a clear measurement framework

Contribute to wider leadership and development of TBI

  • Contribute to the wider leadership and development of TBI as an organisation by engaging in corporate decisions both within the Centre of Government pillar and the wider organisation
  • Contribute to organisational learning by identifying innovations and factors which contribute to or inhibit success and impact

Build and maintain a license to operate

  • Ensure that risks to the project and staff are identified and managed adequately and emergency protocols are in place to maximise the safety and well-being of the team, including ensuring all security and safety protocols are upheld and kept up to date
  • Ensure timely completion of financial processes e.g. invoices and country tracker, and review and approve all services and suppliers relating to the project
  • Set and manage the project budget, including putting in place appropriate financial controls
  • Ensure that all legal requirements are met for operating in country, including initiating and supporting all legal status activities relating to the project and TBI staff in country
  • Ensure policies, procedures and the Code of Conduct are adhered to at all times

Delivering through your team

  • Build and lead a high calibre advisory team that is bought into the shared strategy, is aligned across workstreams, solves problems together and holds each other accountable for impact
  • Supervise TBI staff, including leading in the hiring, professional development and evaluation process, setting specific goals and providing ongoing performance feedback
  • Performance manage staff effectively, including building a culture of feedback and nurturing the next generation of TBI leaders
  • Ensure strong teamwork across the team at all times and provide support as needed to team members

Person Specification

We are looking for outstanding individuals with a proven track record of leadership and delivery in the public or private sectors. All candidates will be required to have at least 10 years of experience in a leadership role, managing teams and project budgets.

Above all, we are looking for individuals with high levels of enthusiasm, resilience, adaptability and a can-do attitude. We seek to create international and multi-disciplinary teams and are looking for individuals with a solid background in public policy, strategy consulting, finance or international development.

Candidates should be able to demonstrate the majority of the following:

  • Relevant experience and strong acumen to interact and succeed at the highest levels of political, diplomatic and business life in The Gambia to deliver the requirements of the role, including a realistic fundraising strategy for the project
  • Experience of living and working in developing countries, and The Gambia in particular, is strongly desirable
  • An ability to think strategically and translate opportunities into concrete and implementable plans, including strong analytical, strategic planning, and project management skills
  • Significant experience in influencing, coaching and delivering change through others, including leading high-performing and diverse teams
  • A creative and entrepreneurial approach to resolving problems
  • Willingness to travel, sometimes at short notice
  • Strong sense of ethics, discretion and perseverance required
  • Fluency in English is required and fluency in French is an asset

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 works with a variety of partners 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 Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results 

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\'re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.