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Search for Common Ground

Country Director - Nigeria

Africa - West – Abuja, Nigeria
Department Africa - West
Employment Type Full-Time/CDD
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor

Position Summary

The Country Director manages the overall program in Nigeria from a programmatic and operational perspective, as well as leading on fundraising and donor relations. He/she leads the Leadership and Management Team (comprised of key senior staff) and leads the team in ongoing improvements. This position reports to the Regional Director for West Africa and collaborates closely with various Washington and Brussels-based divisions of Search, including the Africa Team, the Institutional Learning Team, Communications, Finance and Operations. The position is located in Abuja, with substantial travel to the other field offices as well as other states around the country.

Key Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities include:

Program Development and Implementation

  • Define programme priorities, plans and long-term strategy (in close collaboration with the Search Regional Director)
  • Oversee implementation of funded projects, collaborating with donors, partners, and other staff
  • Manage the country program with the highest quality standards and with well-documented results
  • Ensure sharing of results across different offices of Search Nigeria, across Search and with external stakeholders.
  • Responsible for ensuring lessons are learned and applied to future programming
  • Ensure that program planning and management effectively utilize available resources, and respond to gaps with fundraising and/or operational adjustments as needed
  • Report to donors according to contractual deadlines with quality narrative and financial data
  • Contribute analysis and programmatic capacities to the implementation of programming in Nigeria and other countries in the region as appropriate
  • Stay abreast of the international conflict transformation field to ensure that the program’s work remains innovative and professional
  • Be directly engaged in the continuing development of the organization, its mission and its staff, through the sharing of experience and knowledge, particularly contributing to its Institutional Learning efforts
  • Strengthen existing funding relationships and identify and pursue new potential donors in collaboration with headquarters in Washington, DC and Brussels, Belgium

  Financial Management

  •  Directly oversee and manage the country Finance Directors, ensuring financial compliance both with Nigerian laws, donor requirements and Search procedures across the organization.
  • Maintain regular communication with regional and HQ finance focal points on finance issues and ensure that the organization is ongoingly audit-ready
  • Identify potential shortfalls and strategize with the organization’s senior management as necessary to ensure the program’s financial sustainability.

 Staff Management and Development 

  • Develop and manage a team of diverse senior staff members (expatriate, national and third country nationals)  modelling effective communication and collaboration
  • Participate in the recruitment and selection of highly qualified staff, onboarding and ensuring ongoing staff opportunities for capacity development
  • Ensure adequate mechanisms for staff appraisals, staff feedback, and review of HR/operational issues
  • Strengthen the capacity of national staff and partners, contributing to Search’s legacy strategy of conflict transformation in Nigeria
  • Ensure compliance with Search Operations Manual policies and procedures
  • Ensure that country policies, contracts, and disciplinary procedures and processes conform to local labor laws
  • Ensure an updated security and evacuation plan is in place for all offices

 Organizational Representation 

  • Serve as Search's country representative
  • Develop and maintain proactive, positive and professional relationships with partner organizations, other NGOS, donors, clients, key government officials, civil society groups, etc.
  • Maintain responsible media coverage of program events and issues related to Search mission
  • Maintain regular written and oral reporting to Washington and Brussels on key country, regional, program, security and staff issues
  • Establish a direct line of communication with other African Country Directors in the region for program guidance toward strategic initiatives and staff cross-fertilization opportunities

As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key duties.


    You meet the following qualifications: 

    Minimum skills and experience:


    • Degree in relevant field (e.g. conflict transformation, security studies, media and communications, sociology, political science, or related fields)


    • Experience in managing large projects of at least $5 million, with multiple grants and donors
    • At least five years’ experience working overseas, preferably in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Skills and Competencies

    • Understanding of the conflict dynamics of Nigeria
    • At least ten years’ experience in program management, both programmatically and operationally, preferably on media and/or conflict transformation-related issues
    • Experience in managing diverse inter-cultural teams
    • Track record in successful fundraising
    • Experience with compliance to US government and EU donor rules and regulations
    • Experience in capturing results and overseeing reporting, monitoring and evaluation systems
    • Experience in managing multi-cultural teams, preferably in Africa
    • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills
    • A problem-solving approach to challenging situations
    • Ability to multi-task while leading a complex team 
    • Fluent spoken and written English

    To apply

    To apply, interested candidates should send the following items to our employment portal  here:

    • current resume
    • cover letter
    • writing sample 

    Please compile your writing sample and resume into one document as the system only has the functionality to upload two documents per application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

    Only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please. Please see our website www.sfcg.orgfor full details of our work.

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    • Location
      Abuja, Nigeria
    • Department
      Africa - West
    • Employment Type
    • Minimum Experience
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