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Country Director

Helen Keller International
Location: Cote d'Ivoire
Last Date: February 12, 2011
Email: (Reference:


Helen Keller International
Job Announcement – Country Director – Côte d’Ivoire
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Established in 1915 with Helen Keller as a founding trustee, Helen Keller International (HKI) works to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Headquartered in New York City, HKI currently conducts programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia as well as in the United States. HKI is known for sustainability, reliability, efficiency and the highest level of technical expertise in fighting and treating blindness and malnutrition. To accomplish its work, HKI builds the capacity of local governmental, civil society and private sector systems and infrastructure, and promotes the development of sustained, large-scale programs that deliver effective preventative and curative eye health and nutrition services. The hallmark of HKI’s work is its proven effectiveness in developing, testing and scaling-up health interventions, and integrating them within government and community structures. HKI works with partners around the world to help meet key provisions of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), selected by all 191 United Nations member states, as well as VISION2020, The Right to Sight. With over 700 staff and an annual cash operating budget of over $45 million, HKI is seeking a Country Director for its Côte d’Ivoire program.

Country Program Overview:
HKI started its programs in Côte d’Ivoire in 2000. HKI supports government’s efforts in the fight against malnutrition by implementing a wide range of activities including: Vitamin A supplementation, food fortification, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (IYCN) and Nutrition for People Living with HIV/AIDS. HKI has supported the national Onchocerciasis Control Program for 10 years and expanded this engagement to provide technical assistance to the national program to control Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). HKI’s program in Côte d’Ivoire is funded by a number of donors, including, the Global Alliance to Improve Nutrition (GAIN), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP), Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) and UNICEF.

Scope of the Position:

HKI is seeking a Country Director (CD) to head operations based in Abidjan. The primary responsibilities are the day-to-day management of the Côte d’Ivoire country office and program; developing and monitoring the implementation of country strategic plans and work plans, securing funding for program continuation and identifying opportunities and funding for program growth. The position requires close cooperation with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, partner NGOs, donors and UN agencies. The CD supervises a team of 10 technical and operational staff members and oversees the implementation of HKI country programs and manages project personnel to achieve the stated objectives in grants and contracts. She/he is responsible for overall program design and proposal development; program oversight to ensure a high standard and quality of implementation; timely reporting; and grant management, fiscal planning, and human resource planning. The CD represents HKI in formal and informal meetings with government officials, international donor agencies, UN agencies, and national technical advisory groups pertinent to HKI project activities.

Specific objectives for the incoming CD include developing innovative strategies and actions in response to the renewed socio-political crisis in Côte d’Ivoire and generating funding from international and bilateral agencies, corporations, and individuals to continue and aggressively expand project activities in response to huge unmet needs in nutrition, eye health and NTD control. The CD reports to the Deputy Regional Director for West Africa and collaborates closely with the HKI Africa Regional Office, based in Dakar, and headquarters staff as well as the HKI affiliate, HKI-Europe, based in Paris. The CD position is based in Abidjan, but will require travel within country and some international travel around the Africa region or beyond. As with all Africa Region staff, the CD may be called upon to provide assistance to other country offices as needed.


• Minimum masters degree in public health, nutrition, or a related field.
• Minimum seven (7) years’ demonstrated leadership experience in program development, implementation and evaluation, including strong background in management of large-scale public health programs; preferably with specific experience in management of international public health nutrition programs as well as capacity building of local Governmental and non-governmental counterparts.
• Experience managing USAID-funded projects and familiarity with USAID policies and regulations are an advantage.
• Experience in, or willingness to learn about NTD control necessary.
• Demonstrated ability to manage a professional team in a multi-cultural environment.
• Demonstrated ability to mobilize program funding including donor cultivation and grants writing.
• Demonstrated successful financial, human resource and administrative management of complex, multi-donor programs with multiple sub-offices.
• Demonstrated ability to develop and create budgets and monitor financial status.
• Demonstrated experience in data analysis and interpretation.
• Demonstrated ability to undertake high-level representation and advocacy.
• Ability to design and implement workshops, seminars, surveys, monitoring systems and evaluations.
• Fluency in both English and French. Candidates not meeting this requirement will not be considered.
• Excellent oral and written English and French language skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize complex technical and programmatic issues into concise communications.
• Proficient in the following computer programs: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, EPI-INFO and/or SPSS and Internet use.
• Given the nature of the position, a premium will be placed on interpersonal skills.
• Given the current situation in Côte d’Ivoire, experience in managing in crisis situations is highly desirable.

To Apply:

The initial contract is for two years with possibility of renewal depending on funding. Interested persons must submit: (1) cover letter, (2) current curriculum vitae in English, and (3) short writing samples (2-3 pages) in both English and French, to Mr. Douglas Steinberg, Deputy Regional Director,  and Human Resources at . Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.



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