Country Director, Nigeria

  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year

Search for Common Ground

Reports to: Regional Director, West Africa

Department: Global Programs

Team: Programs Implementation

Location: Abuja, Nigeria

About Search for Common Ground

Search for Common Ground is the world’s largest dedicated peacebuilding organization, founded in 1982. With programs across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the United States, Search transforms conflict with a diverse set of tools inspired by its Common Ground Approach. Search is currently implementing a 10-year strategy aimed at driving enduring change and transforming many of the world’s most consequential conflicts. The West Africa region comprises a diverse portfolio of programs in seven countries, with 260 staff and about $20 million in annual forecasted revenue across 25 projects. The programming streams include stabilization, preventing violent extremism, access to justice, civil society strengthening, media and digital peacebuilding, security sector reform, and support to women and youth-led organizations.

Search for Common Ground Nigeria

Search started working in Nigeria in 2004 in the Niger Delta Region and now works across all of the 6 geopolitical zones through our Abuja country office and 5 sub-offices, with an annual revenue of more than $3 million dollars, Search Nigeria works with a diversity of donors, including the European Union, UN Agencies, the US Department of State, the Embassy of the Netherlands, among current and former donors. Search in Nigeria tackles a large variety of the most pressing issues affecting the dynamics of conflict and peacebuilding in Nigeria, including farmer/herder conflict, freedom of religion and belief, DDRR, conflict analysis and research, early warning and early response mechanisms, security sector reform, digital listening and analysis, and electoral violence prevention, all using Search’s Common Ground Approach and our peace architecture methodology. Search Nigeria is one of the countries of the West Africa region which has 6 countries: Burkina, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.

Position Summary

The Country Director (CD) offers leadership and oversight in the execution of the different projects implemented in Nigeria. S/he is a member of the West Africa Team, contributing to key organizational initiatives and policy, and assuring the suitability for field-level program implementation. The position oversees three key areas of leadership and management:

* Program Management – Supervise the Program Implementation team,

* Lac Chad Strategy execution and business development,

* Thought leadership, reputation & external relationship

The Program Implementation team has oversight for the implementation of Search’s programs and projects in its country offices, in accordance with Search and donor policies and procedures. The Program Implementation team works on the full life-cycle of the project, from the start-up phase to the full close-out. This involves designing work plans, implementing activities, reporting, financial management, and staffing management. The Program Implementation team collaborates with other departments, including Finance, Institutional Learning, Programs, Global Affairs and Partnerships, People & Culture, and Information Technology


    • Oversight for Program Implementation
      – Leadership for staffing, operations, and employee development


  • Program Implementation: provide strategic input and guidance on implementation strategies/approaches

    Compliance: Enforce processes to ensure internal policy and donor compliance; oversee management of organizational legal issues and compliance

    Financial management: Oversee development of country operational budget; ensure accurate forecasts and revenue projections; enforce finance policies and procedures; ensure program-finance team coordination

    Reporting: Develop and maintain country internal reports ; oversee development of country quarterly and annual reports

    Personnel management: Supervise Director-level staff including Heads of Office /

    External engagement: Lead engagement with international actors and donors in the region

    Program management, quality, and project design: Ensure that program portfolio reflects best practices, codified methodologies and embraces reflective practice and adaptive management:

    Program development and new project design: Make go/no-go decisions/

    Operations: Lead Senior Management Team (SMT):

    Infuses organizational Values into all work.

    Other duties that are broadly in line with the above key contributions as assigned.

    • Monitor senior-level team management and address management issues,
    • Develop country staffing plan,
    • Ensure implementation of HR policies and processes,
    • Participate in Executive/Director-level recruitments
    • Lead government engagement and relationship building,
    • Represent Search at national and international events,
    • Ensure Search’s reputation remains strong and relevant to position Search as an excellent potential partner
    • Monitor program quality, reflection, and learning initiatives,
    • Advise on areas to improve program quality, reflection, and learning,
    • Amplify outcomes of program quality, reflection, and learning through external engagement.
    • Lead identification of unsolicited opportunities,
    • Coordinate input from program teams for new project design and proposal development,
    • Ensure new project budgets support the country office needs.
    • Member of the SMT for conflict geography structure group,
    • Lead strategy development and planning,
    • Lead country Objectives and Key Results (OKR) development,
    • Ensure strategy is supported by operational structures and across functional areas,
    • Ensure projects support strategy implementation,
    • Adapt operations and logistics systems to fit the needs of the country,
    • Ensure systems can support quality program implementation,
    • Ensure safety and security protocols are in place and followed,
    • Initiate development of new safety and security measures,
    • Management of the operational presence of country team

Competency Behavior Indicators (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)

    • Motivates colleagues and direct reports to develop while resolving problems within the context of a proactive and broad vision set by the organization.
      – Builds and maintains collaborative relationships with vendors, organizations, professional associations, partners, funders, and Search’s network of experts to facilitate work intended to provide a service to Search.
      – Manages and contributes to both routine activities and initiatives while also making progress on continuous improvement efforts.
      – Juggles multiple demands and adapts to new situations with fresh ideas or innovative approaches.
      – Contributes to the development and implementation of departmental strategy based on organizational goals and objectives.
      – Confirms and socializes standards across functions globally within or in collaboration with Shared Services teams while allowing for thoughtful collaboration in an international context.
      – Practices ethical behavior to meet Search’s expectations for conduct, minimizes ambiguity, and sets an example for others.
      – Builds a framework and sets in motion a plan to overcome challenges by making sense out of complexity and an uncertain future, staying cognizant of the implications of a choice for the department, and being decisive while also applying flexibility for further change as needed and with changing work plans to meet environmental factors.
      – Sets up procedures and team building to ensure high quality of work (e.g., review meetings).
      – Seeks out creative solutions within a complex and international environment while working within an organizational framework of compliance, ethics, best practices, and standards.
      – Shares information, advice, and suggestions to help others to be more successful; provides effective coaching.
      – Sought out as an expert to provide advice or solutions in their technical or functional area.
      – Convenes groups or teams through the problem-solving and creative thinking processes, leading to the development and implementation of new approaches, systems, structures, and methods in a Shared Services environment.
      – Involves team members in thought leadership discussions and decision making to lead to continued growth and development for team, department members, and Shared Services colleagues.

Type and Nature of Contacts

    • Routinely coordinates with colleagues and consultants on-site and in the field and resolves problem situations with tact. Has multiple and regular high-level external donor and partner contacts. Is externally-branded and visible.
      – Represents, as assigned, selected programs or projects and other organizations, including donors, vendors, and international and local partners.
      – Interacts with the country office and regional staff.

Education and Experience

Typically BS/BA in Humanitarian development, Project Management or relevant field with minimum 16 years’ experience or Master degree with 14 years of experience.

A minimum experience of Senior leadership (Chief of Party, Program Director, Country Director) is required.

A relevant experience in Nigeria is preferred.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements

Usual office environment conditions; ability to travel internationally at least 20%.

Occasional international trips in the region and/or to the headquarters in Brussels and Washington DC may be necessary.

Supervisory and Budget Responsibility

The Country Director leads the Senior Management Team and supervises the Heads of Nigeria Departments and Offices (about 8-10 direct reports).

The Country Director is also the Budget owner of the Nigeria and Cameroon Program.

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