TechnoServe Project Director Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya


Position Title: Project Director

Requisition Number: PROJE003036

Reports to: Country Director

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Grade: 11

TechnoServe Background: Everyone deserves the opportunity to build a better future. This simple idea has been at the heart of TechnoServe’s work around the world for over 50 years.

TechnoServe is a pioneer in leveraging the power of business and markets to create sustainable pathways out of poverty.

The low-income communities in which we work are full of enterprising people. Their small-scale farms and businesses are the keys to economic development.

But they face many challenges: low literacy, lack of access to jobs and markets, unpredictable political dynamics and, increasingly, the effects of climate change.

For many women and young people, the challenges are even more daunting. Working with TechnoServe staff, people around the world are lifting themselves out of poverty.

The results are amazing…when incomes increase and living conditions for families get better, they are able to access health care and education previously out of reach.

Communities and even whole countries are better off.

Program Description: TechnoServe, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is embarking on an innovative, three-year program to validate, design, and rapidly pilot solutions that channel excess fruit & vegetables towards offtakers serving low-income consumers; to reduce food loss and waste; and simultaneously increase access and affordability of F&V.Following an initial exploratory phase, including an in-depth Human-Centered Design (HCD) process with stakeholders across the horticultural market system, TechnoServe will facilitate the design, development, and deployment of a model (or models), with clearly identified stakeholders who are able and willing to continue this initiative long-term.

Position Description: TechnoServe seeks a Project Director to provide overall strategic, technical and administrative leadership and expertise over the program.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Lead overall implementation and management of the anticipated program, from inception to close-out
  • Provide strategic guidance, leadership, management, and general technical oversight of the program
  • Served as the primary liaison with BMGF as well as government and private sector partners, and stakeholders involved with the program
  • Recruit, lead, manage, and supervise implementation teams comprising long- and short-term team members and partners
  • Continuously develop operational efficiencies and driving innovations in delivery, ensuring that the program meets established objectives and targets and delivers value
  • Provide oversight of project activities, set work plans
  • Oversee the project budget both external and internal to TechnoServre
  • Coordinate internal and external evaluations, and report to the Foundation and project partners on delivery and progress.
  • Serve as the spokesperson for the program and present its work regionally/globally
  • Identify and communicate critical program learnings
  • Identifying issues and risks related to implementation in a timely manner, suggesting appropriate program adjustments
  • Represent the project at strategic meetings, partnership negotiations, and learning events.

Required Skills, Knowledge, Experience and Abilities:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, supply chain management, or another relevant field, and at least 12 years of experience in relevant private sector roles, ideally within a top-tier management consultancy or technology firm. Or a Master’s degree plus 7 years of relevant experience.
  • Significant project management experience in commercial agriculture and/or supply chain management.
  • Proven success working in an innovative environment and in the development of digital products and services.Ideally, experience leading digital transformation initiatives within agricultural supply chains, including 5 years at a senior management level with demonstrable success in achieving results
  • Fluency in English required. Understanding of Amharic, Swahili, and other native languages is an advantage.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills and ability to effectively motivate and manage teams in a multi-cultural environment
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines while managing multiple tasks and activities
  • Ability to develop well written, cohesive analyses and reports
  • Understanding of capacities and constraints of smallholder farming and agribusiness development
  • An honest broker who is able to build win-win partnerships between multiple agriculture sector stakeholders, including agribusinesses, public sector, financial institutions, technology providers, and others
  • Ability to clearly communicate a high-level strategy to internal and external stakeholders, while driving execution of a workplan and achievement of short-term milestones. Ability to use adaptive management principles to make strategic, data-driven decisions in the face of uncertainty and complexity

Preferred Qualifications:

Additional qualifications that would make a candidate more desirable. We seek candidates who bring experience with:

  • Leading complex horticulture or other agriculture programs in Kenya, Ethiopia and/or Sub-Saharan Africa strongly preferred
  • Influencing and collaborating with senior management of agribusinesses (input suppliers, producer organizations, processors, traders, etc.), financial institutions, and other private sector actors to achieve partnership results
  • Implementing Human Centered Design approaches
  • Sourcing and delivering demand-driven technical assistance and business development services particularly through technical assistance facility mechanisms
  • Designing and implementing inclusive business models that integrate women and youth (farmers, entrepreneurs) and successfully removing structural barriers that bar entry from entering or thriving in agricultural value chains
  • Designing and implementing climate-smart approaches that improve the resilience of value chain actors and agricultural sectors as a whole
  • Implementing consumer-facing campaigns to promote food safety and nutritious diets
  • Implementing large, complex programs funded by BMGF

Success Factors:

Competency is a combination of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) directly related to successful performance on the job.

Core Competencies include:

  • Integrity and honesty: Is widely trusted; seen as a direct, truthful individual; presents truthful information in an appropriate and helpful manner; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; does not misrepresent himself or herself for personal gain.
  • Team Work/ Relationships: Works co-operatively and flexibly with other members of the team with a full understanding of the role to be played as a team member and/or leader, to achieve a common goal. Ability to build and maintain effective relationships and networks.
  • Learning attitude: Proactively takes advantage of opportunities to learn. Actively identifies new areas for learning; applies and shares new knowledge and skill appropriately.
  • Diversity/Inclusiveness: Demonstrates an understanding and appreciation for diversity and supports diversity efforts. Interacts effectively with and inclusively with people of all races, cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, ages, and genders.
  • Communication: Expresses ideas effectively in individual and group situations. Listens effectively; shares information, ideas and arguments; adjusts terminology, language and communication modes to the needs of the audience; ensures accurate understanding; acts in a way that facilitates open exchange of ideas and information; uses appropriate non-verbal communication.
  • Decision making/Problem Solving: Is able to analyze situations, diagnose problems, identify the key issues, establish and evaluate alternative courses of action and produce a logical, practical and acceptable solution. Is able to make effective decisions on a day-to-day basis, taking ownership of decisions, demonstrating sound judgement in escalating issues where necessary.
  • Results Oriented/ High Quality Deliverables: Stays focused on the efforts necessary to achieve quality results consistent with programmatic or departmental goals. Demonstrates the ability to achieve effective results; works persistently to overcome obstacles to goal achievement.
  • Accomplishes tasks by considering all areas involved, no matter how small; showing concern for all aspects of the job; accurately checking processes and tasks.
  • Planning & Time Management: Establishes a course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a specific goal. Effectively plans, schedules, prioritizes and controls activities; identifies, integrates and orchestrates resources (people, material, information, budget, and/or time) to accomplish goals.
  • Prioritizes work according to the program or department’s goals, not just own job responsibilities; manages own time effectively.
  • Business Acumen: The ability to use information, ask the right questions and take decisions that make an impact on the overall business performance.

Job Specific / Technical Competencies include:

  • Partnership/Donor Management: program staff should understand and apply techniques to develop, maintain and manage business relationships with clients, donors and internal or external partners in order to implement and manage projects and/or identify new business.
  • Financial & Resource Management: an important competency program staff must possess to enable them budget properly based on facts and change course when necessary, knowledge of finance to develop and manage budgets.
  • Innovative Mindset: program staff should know how to ask questions and seeks out information from multiple sources, learn from mistakes, and see change as an opportunity.
  • Analysis, Research, Report Writing: Experience in business planning and analysis, modeling for feasibility and execution. Able to analyze and express oneself clearly in business writing.

Managerial Competencies include:

  • Emotional Intelligence: Empathetic, understands attitudes, interests, needs of others; predict others behavior. Self-aware and keeps own emotions from interfering with work. Understanding both the strengths and limitations of others.
  • Trust to Delegate: Appropriately allocates decision‐making authority and/or task responsibility to others; maximizes the organization’s and individual’s effectiveness.
  • Strategic Thinking: Formulates objectives and priorities, and implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization in a global environment. Capitalizes on opportunities and manages risks.
  • Staff Development: Planning and supporting the development of individuals’ skills and abilities so that they can fulfill current or future job responsibilities more effectively.
  • Coaching/Feedback: Recognizes and acknowledges strengths in others. Provides timely guidance and feedback to help others develop knowledge and skill areas to accomplish tasks or solve problems


When required

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Four senior level staff including tech specialists and business and supply chain analysts. Experience leading multi-disciplinary teams is desired.

Application Procedure

CLICK HERE to apply online.

The deadline for submitting the applications is on 29th November 2022.

We encourage all qualified individuals who share TechnoServe’s vision of improving the lives of others through proven business solutions to apply.

With our commitment to diversity, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and affirmative action employer and do not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, HIV/AIDS status, protected veteran status, disability and all other protected classes.

We are also proud of our commitment to protecting staff, partners, and beneficiaries from abuse and exploitation and thoroughly vet all final candidates through rigorous background and reference checks.

If you have a disability that affects your ability to use our online system to apply for a position at TechnoServe please contact the Human Resources at or call +1 202 785 4515.