Education Finance Specialist

Palladium International, United States

Skill Required:, Finance and Accounts
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
13th December, 2019

Job Description

Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact - the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits.

For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved - and is committed to continuing to improve - economies, societies and most importantly, people's lives.

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.

Project Overview and Role

The Education Finance Specialist will be responsible for unlocking commercial capital for investments in education in developing countries served by USAID. The Education Finance Specialist will design and oversee interventions (including co-investment, research, and technical assistance) that improve the risk-return profile of education businesses to develop and execute a pipeline of investor-grade deals in education. Target investments must achieve measurable improvements for students from low income households. The Education Finance Specialist will be an important part of the USAID-funded $250 Million CATALYZE project, which will mobilize $2 Billion in blended finance to target sectors and countries over an eight-year period.


  • Lead and participate in technical assignments
  • Engage with education entrepreneurs, governments, USAID, and other donor and commercial projects in target countries to catalyze interest in innovative finance and identify investable opportunities in education
  • Engage with a broad network of stakeholders including businesses, financial intermediaries, NGOs, and service providers to develop a pipeline of investor-grade deals (or deals that could be made investor-grade with blended finance interventions) in education
  • Provide direction and guidelines to technical teams and implementing partners in the development and execution of a robust pipeline of innovative financing transactions in education
  • Engender new approaches and innovations in blended finance for education through research; networking; and rigorous monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • Develop and maintain relationships with a network of investment support providers and potential investors in education, as well as consultants and partners who can provide technical expertise
  • Contribute to research, analysis, and publication of technical studies, case studies, policy and program briefs to demonstrate thought leadership
  • Other duties as required

Lead and support project management

  • Lead or contribute to project work planning, budgeting, progress and financial reporting
  • Manage sub-awardees and consultants, both international and local, to ensure that their performance meets or exceed technical and financial contractual requirements
  • Identify project performance and contract issues and lead or support their timely resolution as appropriate
  • Utilize an adaptive management approach to advise project senior management to quickly adopt and scale cost-effective strategies and activities


  • The role reports to the Executive Director, CATALYZE
  • The role will be required to liaise closely with members of the Home Office Project Management Unit, field staff, home office staff, implementing partners, and clients
  • The Education Finance Specialist is a member of the Economic Growth Practice, Americas Business Partnership, Palladium International LLC


  • Highly desirable candidates will have
  • Master's degree in education, business administration, finance, or another relevant field
  • Minimum of 8 years of relevant work experience, ideally in education, finance, and development
  • Key competencies and professional expertise required
  • Proven technical excellence in education, including at least two of the following:
  • Early children education
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education, tertiary and vocational education
  • Alternative education
  • Socio-emotional learning and soft skills development, and
  • Ancillary education services
  • Proven technical excellence in inclusive and blended finance, including, SIBs and DIBs
  • Strong relationships with existing local, regional, and/or international investors
  • Familiarity with relevant ecosystem actors including USAID, IFC/World Bank, OPIC, impact investors, education quality thought leaders, etc
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Working proficiency in Spanish or French (preferred)
  • Sound client relationship management skills
  • People management skills
  • Sound problem solving and decision-making skills
  • Willingness and ability to travel and work in developing countries (and elsewhere) a minimum of thirteen weeks per year


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