Chief of Party - Girls Leadership Empowerment through Education

Catholic Relief Services, Mali

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
22nd June, 2017

Job Description

CRS is currently seeking applications from qualified Chief of Party candidates for an anticipated USAID-funded girls’ education project called ‘Girls’ Leadership Empowerment through Education in Mali, a $10-20 million, four-to-five year program.

Position Summary:

The Chief of Party is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the project, while ensuring achievement of strategic objectives and performance expectations through adherence to high standards of technical and management quality. The Chief of Party will ensure that technical strategies contribute to the agency’s global quality improvement in education programming through documented learning, while ensuring alignment of project and donor strategies. The Chief of Party will leverage the project to attract additional resources, while establishing strong partnerships and collaboration with USAID, government and public and private sectors.

Key Responsibilities:
Strategic Leadership

  • Ensure programs’ strategic objectives and results are fully accomplished and meet expected technical quality standards, engaging implementing and technical assistance partners meaningfully to achieve results;
  • Ensure development and implementation of innovative strategies that support agency strategy and align with donor strategies. Responsible for employing and documenting use of innovative products and/or tools used to advance strategies;
  • Oversee regularly technical reviews, inclusive of consortium partners, government and other actors, as relevant, to ensure best practices are followed and manage changes in project strategies;
  • In collaboration with technical staff, provide guidance and technical oversight to consortium members to ensure that lessons of sound practice are documented and disseminated;
  • Oversee program's monitoring and evaluation, accountability and learning system, supporting use of data as the basis for measuring performance and adapting project interventions;
  • Cultivate and define relationships with government, public and private actors to maximize donor investment and project outcomes, while leveraging these partnerships for sustainable outcomes;
  • Ensure delivery of quality training, technical assistance and administrative and financial support to all partner agencies and government, including the selection and coordination of sub-grantees and consultants.

Management and Administration

  • Manage program budget, including tracking of financial and material resources, ensuring collaboration between financial and technical staff;
  • Ensure accurate and timely reporting of project finances against progress and/or outcomes, review actual financial performance against the budget, and account for variances in expenditure;
  • Approve program expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost modification requests to donors and from implementing and technical assistance partners;
  • Ensure staff understanding of and compliance with all CRS administrative and operational procedures and policies as well as applicable donor regulations;
  • Collaborate with CRS compliance and finance staff and project management team to plan, organize, oversee and monitor financial and compliance checks for CRS and partners, including internal and external audits, and identify plans to address any weaknesses identified.

Representation and Advocacy

  • Provide overall leadership and oversight to the consortium, ensuring that sub-recipients adhere to their assigned scopes of work and sub-award terms, and ensuring all members of the consortium work cooperatively and productively to achieve project objectives;
  • Act as primary program contact to USAID Mali, taking responsibility for addressing all matters related to award administration, including technical strategies and resource management;
  • Strengthen linkages with existing and potential partner agencies, with specific emphasis on government, donor and private sector;
  • Manage relationships with the Government of Mali (GoM) at national, provincial and district levels;
  • Oversee program communication strategies, including compliance with donor's branding and marketing requirements and CRS marketing and communication procedures;
  • Leverage project to grow country program resources with particular emphasis on integrated education and empowerment projects.

Performance Management

  • Lead, manage and supervise team of CRS and consortium partner staff to deliver high-quality services and achieve project objectives;
  • Conduct periodic reviews of staff performance in keeping with CRS' performance management system and mentor staff to ensure high levels of motivation, commitment, capacity, and teamwork;
  • Identify training needs for staff under his/her supervision and support capacity building through CRS trainings, non-CRS trainings, exchange visits/TDYs, and e-learning;
  • Manage recruitment portfolio for the program, in collaboration with CRS country program management, to ensure optimum service delivery through recruitment of competent and qualified staff;
  • Supervisory Responsibilities: Deputy Chief of Party, Operational Excellence; Technical Quality Coordinators; Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Manager.

Key Working Relationships:

  • Internal to CRS: Country Representative, Head of Programs, Head of Operations and Finance Manager, Senior/Regional Technical Advisors, HQ Award Management Officer;
  • External to CRS: USAID CO/COR, implementing partners, technical assistance partners, donor representatives, GoM representatives (national, provincial and district levels); private sector; other stakeholders, as relevant.

Personal Skills:

  • Proven leadership skills and ability to build and motivate diverse and talented teams;
  • Cultural sensitivity, patience and flexibility;
  • Demonstrated personal accountability and drive to serve others;
  • Strong organizational and planning skills, detail-oriented;
  • Able to prioritize work, multi-task and meet deadlines;
  • Able to analyze problems and design solutions at strategic and functional levels;
  • Maturity and discretion.


  • Master’s Degree with a focus on Education, Gender, Social Work, International Development, or other related field required;
  • Minimum 10 years’ of progressive management responsibility with non-profit, development and/or humanitarian organizations in developing countries, including experience designing and implementing girls’ education and/or empowerment programs;
  • Experience managing large, complex USG contracts; knowledge of relevant rules and regulations (FAR, AIDAR);
  • Experience working in francophone Africa required, with experience working in Mali or West Africa preferred;
  • Experience working with education, gender, empowerment and community-engagement initiatives preferred;
  • Experience motivating diverse teams of local and international NGOs to deliver results on time and on budget;
  • Strong communication and analytical abilities;
  • Experience working in conflict environments strongly preferred;
  • Written and spoken fluency in English and French required;
  • Willingness to travel throughout Mali, including Northern regions required (25%).

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