Director, Middle East and North Africa

Position Title:              Director, Middle East and North Africa (MENA)
Organization:              PartnersGlobal
Reports to:                  President
Location:                     Washington, DC
Salary:                         Commensurate with experience.

Organizational Background:

PartnersGlobal (Partners), established in 1989, is an international, non-governmental organization committed to promoting transparent and accountable governance by strengthening civil society organizations and encouraging a culture of change and conflict management worldwide. Partners specializes in organizational development and social entrepreneurship, having provided the seed capital and technical assistance to establish 21 independent, local Centers throughout the world. Together, these Centers comprise the Partners Network. The Partners Network includes over 240 skilled professionals working to advance democratic governance and conflict transformation worldwide. There are currently four Partners Centers in the MENA region, Partners Jordan (established in 2005), Partners Yemen (established in 2009), Partners Iraq and Partners Lebanon (both established in 2018).

Partners believes in the power of participatory decision-making, collaboration, and consensus-building as the fundamentals of an inclusive and democratic society, and we promote the development of these skills in all aspects of our work. In the MENA region in particular, we support civil society and marginalized populations to apply these skills to: local peacebuilding; reconciliation and transitional justice; human rights protection; youth and women’s empowerment; and, preventing violent extremism.  The global Partners team includes process experts, facilitators, and trainers who apply those process skills to achieve concrete results in a wide array of fields, such as the rule of law, access to justice, security sector reform, and sustainable natural resource management.

The Position:

Primary Responsibilities: We are hiring a Director to lead the MENA team, based in our Washington D.C. office, together with the teams in Yemen and Iraq to oversee program implementation, lead new business development and fundraising, develop strategic communications to raise the profile of Partners work and disseminate the results, nurture positive relationships with donors and peer organizations, represent the organization externally at events, conferences and workshops, provide support to the growth and development of the Partners Centers and lead field assignments as needed.  Experience working in MENA is essential and an ability to speak Arabic is required.

The Director is part of the organization’s Senior Leadership Team and serves an integral part of strategic and policy decisions that help shape the way the organization operates, grows and develops.

We are looking for a seasoned international development professional with experience managing teams and programs in complex environments with multiple donors; we need a person with deep knowledge of and connections to the region; with a vision for the peacebuilding and democracy-building needs facing MENA; and, with the practical skills to make that vision a reality by building on the recent period of growth in our MENA portfolio. We have invested in the establishment of two new Partners Centers, in Iraq and in Lebanon in the past year who are starting up with a diverse focus on women peace and security, women’s labor rights, and arts for peace. Therefore, the new MENA director must have experience supporting local civil society’s organizational development and sustainability. We also have a very large program portfolio in Yemen, working closely with our Partners Yemen colleagues throughout the country. Experience managing teams in the field and bridging the realities of headquarters’ functions with the lived experience in the field is important; background of working in conflict affected environments is important. In addition, we have several current programs and opportunities for expansion in the Gulf. The successful candidate will be able to incorporate a regional perspective and facilitate collaboration amongst the regional Partners Network, as well as see connections to global trends and ensure the MENA region is fully participating and represented in the activities of our global network. The Director would lead the process of scoping and exploring regional growth of the Network and future Center investments.

PartnersGlobal seeks candidates with a strong background in:

  • Middle East and North Africa: with deep knowledge of the region and experience working and living in MENA, with credibility to oversee our current program portfolio and to lead the development of new initiatives and programming
  • Program Management: conversant in donor terminology, mechanics, and requirements. This knowledge should include specific knowledge of budgets, human resources, strategic communications, work-planning, and monitoring and evaluation. We are looking for an international development leader who combines technical expertise with proven management skills.
  • Peacebuilding/Democracy Building/International Development: to design and implement innovative approaches to meet donors and program requirements, focusing on applying PartnersGlobal core methodologies, such as Cooperative Advocacy, NGO Organizational Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Conflict Resolution, Mediation & Facilitation, Coalition-building, and Civic Participation. We are also looking for relevant expertise in one or more of our core areas of focus, such as Good Governance, Peacebuilding, Civil Society Development, Human Rights and Social Inclusion.
  • Business Development: to lead efforts to secure funding from USG donors, other bilateral and multi-lateral donors, and private foundations.
  • Networking and relationship-building: possesses strong abilities to form and maintain positive, strategic relationships with a variety of key stakeholders including donors, peer organizations, staff from Partners Centers, and colleagues within the DC office.
  • Team Leadership: a track recording in leading and managing effective teams in person and remotely.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Serve as the Regional Program Director for MENA programs supervising the MENA team (currently 4-5 staff) and legal affiliates in Yemen and Iraq.
  • Work with regional Partners Network members in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen to ensure their organizational success, including seeking out new business development opportunities to secure programs for regional cooperation.
  • Take a leadership role in designing new programs and initiatives in the MENA region. Oversee professional management of current portfolio.
  • Provide project management oversight and coaching to colleagues on the MENA team to ensure staff have the necessary technical and project management skills for our programs to be implemented professionally, in compliance with donor requirements, and with impact in the communities we serve.
  • Bring experience and connections with US Government and other relevant funders with a focus on the MENA region. Cultivate relationships with non-US donors and foundations
  • Represent Partners in an effective manner at appropriate professional meetings with peer organizations, political and civic leaders, donors, supporters and the foreign policy community.
  • Oversee the development and execution of strategic communications designed to raise the profile of Partners‘ work and disseminate the results of the MENA portfolio.
  • Use own professional networks to raise the profile of the work of Partners and position us for strategic partnerships and new program opportunities.
  • Coordinate with our other Regional Directors in D.C. and the affiliated Partners Centers in other parts of the world to ensure the sharing of program approaches, ideas and explore opportunities for global collaboration.
  • Oversee negotiations with project partners and contracting organizations.
  • Oversee the staff billability and budget management of the MENA portfolio to make sure the projections for the Fiscal Year are met.
  • Conduct country assessments in the region as appropriate to design expansion plans for new Partners Center investments.
  • Expected travel to the region 20-35% of the year.
  • Fulfill other duties as assigned.

Position Requirements:

Professional Background

  • Minimum 10-12 years of experience in program management in the areas of peacebuilding, democracy-building or broader international development, ideally with part of the experience working overseas in the MENA region. Minimum 5 years of supervisory/management experience.
  • Professional background and experience working on the MENA region required.
  • Relevant advanced degree required (International Relations, Development Studies, Conflict Resolution, Political Science, Public Administration, African Studies).
  • A track record of creating and sustaining strategic partnerships, supporting local civil society, nurturing donor relationships, and negotiating agreements with donors, prime contractors, and project partners.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and competency in one or more of Partners’ program areas (e.g. organizational development, conflict resolution, civil society, good governance, human rights and inclusive societies).
  • A strong relevant professional network upon which to draw for partnerships and expertise.

Management Experience

  • At least 5 years of experience in leading and managing effective teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and mentor junior staff.
  • Experience developing and implementing strategic plans in the region.
  • Good financial management background, preparation and oversight of program budgets, tracking staff billability and meeting spending targets.

Skills and Competences:

  • Must be a team player with a high level of interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity, with the soft leadership ability to corral the talents and focus of a broad network of colleagues globally. Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit with background in fund-raising, including donor development, proposal writing, and formulation of project budgets.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with ability to express complex ideas clearly, analyze, problem-solve, manage, and prioritize work in the context of multiple priorities.
  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally.
  • Experience with and ability to fulfill short-term field assignments.
  • Proven record of writing winning proposals for U.S. government and other relevant donors.
  • High level of interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively interact with U.S. and foreign national staff and civil society, government and the private sector actors.
  • Fluency in Arabic required.
  • Legal status to work in the U.S. is required.
  • Optimistic energy, flexibility and creativity a must!

Application Instructions:  Please submit a cover letter and resume by email only to Please indicate in the email subject line the position for which you are applying. No telephone calls, please. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled. We encourage potential candidates to apply as soon as possible as we hope to make a hiring decision quickly.

PartnersGlobal is an equal employment opportunity employer that does not discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status or any other status protected under applicable law. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.