The Director for Afghanistan Programs will be responsible for the overall management and oversight of the Government and Civil Society Strengthening (GCSS) Practice’s three programs in Afghanistan, valued at approximately $50 million. Reporting to the Vice President of Government and Civil Society Strengthening, the Director will supervise the Chiefs of Party (COPs) in Kabul to effectively manage this project portfolio. In close coordination with the COPs, the Director will ensure that USAID is engaged and informed about program developments, ensure program revisions and work planning meet all donor expectations and requirements, and ensure executive-level engagement from Counterpart HQ on all aspects of the Afghanistan programs. Supported by administrative and technical staff at HQ, and working in daily collaboration with the team in Kabul, the Director will be responsible for ensuring that programs deliver according to work plan, and spend according to budget. The Director will maintain and manage relationships with key international and local program partners (USAID, other USG clients, Afghanistan government counterparts, and implementing partners), and ensure effective communication among all program stakeholders. The Director will oversee quality in program results and impacts; coordinate and liaise with the Finance and Compliance, Security, and Human Resource service units for timely support to field programs; provide ongoing input and support to knowledge management and documentation efforts; proactively identify, mobilize resources; and serve as the GCSS Vice President’s primary manager for Afghanistan programs. The Director will also work with Chiefs of Party to identify program expansion opportunities within Afghanistan. The Director is expected to travel regularly to Kabul, spending up to 30% of his/her time in Counterpart’s Kabul office.
Counterpart contracts with a leading international security management company to provide top-of-the-industry, dedicated, on-site professional security support and guidance. Strict security protocols are followed, including controlled movements, reinforced perimeter security, armored transport, and personal security protection. The security of Counterpart’s team in Afghanistan is closely monitored and managed.
Supervise the Kabul-based Chiefs of Party and all headquarter staff dedicated to Afghanistan programs.
Manage the relationship with key international program partners.
Supervise all program re-design and work-planning efforts to ensure responsiveness to client requirements and feasibility of plans for Counterpart.
Oversee the program budget and burn rate, ensuring that COPs are managing both effectively; and ensure that project pipelines are used as a monitoring tool to track project burn rates and expenditures per line item
Engage with COPs on a daily basis to ensure alignment between Kabul and HQ
Ensure that the HQ-based staff assigned to Afghanistan provide effective backstopping and technical inputs for the program, and mentor HQ-based staff to improve project support
Liaise with internal business and support units for program management
Identify consultants to provide technical assistance to the projects, and coordinate GCSS’ in-house Technical Advisors’ support to the field – ensuring that our internal expertise is maximized for the benefit of the programs in Afghanistan
Oversee and participate in regular field monitoring and evaluation of the programs in Afghanistan
Report monthly to GCSS VP on financial, technical, and managerial performance
M/E and Knowledge Management:
Serve as critical link between field programs and HQ in knowledge management practices and activities
Oversee and support the development and regular revision of project workplans and the monitoring systems to track progress against milestones and performance objectives
Oversee the finalization of program reports and deliverables; ensuring high-quality reports at all times
Support program development activities by providing guidance on best practices from ongoing programs
Guide designated staff person in charge of communication activities
Work to integrate effective GCSS practices and methodologies into the work led by other Counterpart Practice Areas
Directly engage with USAID Mission in Afghanistan; and with the US Embassy in Afghanistan as required
Directly engage with USAID Washington and policy makers on the Hill to share project success and accomplishments
Regularly engage partners to ensure strong relationships and open communication on technical, administrative, and new business matters
Proactively identify and promote public outreach and representation opportunities and serve as GCSS surrogate at such opportunities – in Afghanistan and globally as appropriate
Reports to Vice President of GCSS
Supervise Chief of Party in Kabul and HQ-based Afghanistan backstopping staff
Collaborate, coordinate and share management and technical leadership with other GCSS senior HQ staff
Liaise with and deploy Technical Advisors to support work in Afghanistan
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Minimum of 7 years’ experience as Chief of Party or Country/Regional Director on USAID funded development programs (preferably in civil society, policy, government strengthening or economic stabilization – or any combination thereof)
Advanced degree in relevant field
Minimum of ten years’ previous work experience in international development (including the 7 as COP)
Experience working on complex programs in conflict environment (multiple components, over $40 million in total value)
Demonstrated track record of responsible management, problem solving, and proactive management skills
Demonstrated ability to manage partner relationships (other organizations as sub-contractors or sub-grantees on a field program, or through institutional partnerships)
Ability to communicate to create consensus and find common solutions in intercultural settings
Strong written and verbal communication skills
Ability to multi-task and prioritize
Willingness and ability to travel up to 30% of time to Afghanistan
Thorough knowledge of MS Office Suite of programs
Fluency in written and spoken English