Director of Program Operations, Africa Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya

Center for Reproductive Rights 

Position Title: Director of Program Operations, Africa

About the job

Department: Programs, Africa

Center Background: The Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center) is a global human rights organization working to ensure that reproductive rights are protected in law as fundamental human rights around the world. With offices in New York City, New York; Nairobi, Kenya; Bogota, Colombia; Geneva, Switzerland; and Washington, D.C., the Center is a non-profit, non-partisan organization changing law and policy throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the United States. Our 230+ diverse professionals are committed to advancing the Center’s human rights mission through game-changing litigation, legal policy, and advocacy work. This has powered the Center’s exceptional growth to an operating budget of over $50 million and won the respect of law firms in countries around the world, with an additional $29 million annually of donated legal services, representing the work of countless lawyers from more than 46 countries.

The Center’s Strategic Plan sets a high mark for impact: By 2030, half of the world’s population will be living under stronger protections for reproductive rights than they are today. The Center has a track record of success to back up this ambitious goal. Since our founding in 1992, the Center has transformed how reproductive rights are understood and applied by courts, governments, and human rights bodies worldwide on issues including maternal health, abortion, assisted reproduction, and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). We have won groundbreaking cases before national courts, U.N. Committees, and regional human rights bodies. Additionally, the Center has led the development of historic, proactive legislation advancing robust protections for reproductive rights and has built the legal capacity of women’s rights advocates in more than 65 countries and counting.

The Role: Under the supervision of the Vice President, Africa, the Director Program Operations, Africa will provide leadership, standard setting, capacity building and quality assurance towards ensuring high quality design, planning, budgeting, delivery, reporting and resourcing of Africa programs measured against globally recognized standards towards the realization of the Center’s strategic objectives.

The incumbent will also carry out supervisory functions for the Africa Program Operations team responsible for, among others, regional program finance, program management and development, monitoring and evaluation and program administration.

Primary Responsibilities:

Africa Program Strategy and annual work plan development and implementation oversight

  • Working closely with the Vice President, Africa, ensure that the Center’s Global Strategy is understood and guides decision-making throughout the Africa region.
  • Work closely with the Vice President, Africa to design, develop and deliver the Africa regional Program strategy that aligns with the overall Institutional Global Strategy
  • Work closely with the Vice President, Africa to capitalize on regional opportunities and experiences to further strengthen and develop (both thematically and geographically) the center’s programming in the region.
  • Integrate and link program management components with ongoing implementation, including strategy and planning, budgets, grants and contracts, and development.
  • Lead in the design, definition, and implementation of the program operations and administrations strategy, standards, protocols, and tactical plans across the Africa Program including ensuring functional communication, workflows, timelines, responsibilities, and decision authority.
  • Coordinate Africa region contributions to strategic and planning processes and support the Vice President, Africa to monitor the uptake and implementation of the strategic plan including work force planning and strengthening Africa’s program operating model aligned to the Center’s Global Operating Model.
  • Oversee annual planning and periodic reporting and budget projections (internal and grants-based).
  • Work with SEAL and the Program Management Department (PMD) in the Program Division to support development and implementation of new organizational systems for monitoring, evaluation and learning with and for the Africa region. 􀁸
  • Contribute to increasing the profile of the Center as a leading reproductive rights organization in the region.
  • Coordinating with the Office of Strategy and Operations (OSO) and PMD in ensuring human resource capacity, optimization and safety and security across the Africa Program.

Leadership and Coordination

  • Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely performance feedback, and leading documented periodic performance reviews.
  • Provide leadership to increase program coordination, collaboration, communication and harmonization of programming with the broader Global Program Management Department (PMD) and other regional program teams.
  • Drive seamless coordination between programming and operations and outcomes, with the objective of improving the quality of the Center’s programs and impact on our beneficiaries.
  • Oversee tracking of program implementation and facilitate coordination within the program and across other regions and departments.
  • Facilitate close and efficient coordination of Africa program support to the partners in the focal countries and with HQ departments on common programming, operational and funding
  • Participate in key cross-departmental and cross-functional teams as representative of the Africa region, as needed.
  • In close collaboration with the Senior Regional Director and technical leads, maintain oversight of the Africa region’s portfolio, managing operational and administrative budgets and working closely with key staff on their program budgets.
  • Support development of increased and strengthened internal channels of communication from and through departments and regional offices.
  • Role modelling and supporting the development of an organizational culture within the Africa program team that reflects the Center’s Values, mandate, and promoting accountability and high performance.
  • Oversee operations for Africa program, including all aspects of internal processes and systems.
  • Support the Senior Regional Director-Africa in ensuring a functional, cohesive, and high performing Africa Programs Team.

Program Management and Quality Assurance

  • Work closely with the PMD to strengthen program management across the unit, including building program and project management capacities in the Africa region and disseminating learning and best practices.
  • Working closely with the PMD and other relevant teams within and outside the Africa Program to ensure internal and external compliance and accountability for the Africa Program including functional and clear systems, tools and timelines and decision-making structures for program financial fiduciary management, reporting, and compliance (such as Center/donor compliance and lobbying compliance).
  • Oversee the entire grant portfolio for the Africa program, ensuring all programs are delivered in line with donor standards and aligned to the Center’s Principles, Values and Strategy.
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented in support of the Center’s vision on cost effectiveness, outcome-driven and evidence-based programming.
  • Drive/Establish/strengthen processes, develop structures and provide technical guidance on project cycle / grant management for Africa including sub-grant management and partnership aligned to the Center’s policies, guidelines and principles including the Center’s Partnership Principles.

Program Integration and Impact Reporting

  • Oversee the Africa Program team’s translation of the technical results from all programs work into impactful case studies/stories, including ensuring appropriate and timely Africa internal program reporting and carrying out of learning interventions within the Center and externally with key funding and technical partners.
  • Support the integration into Africa’s program’s work of the Center’s programmatic strategies, systems, processes, and tactical plans to maximize impact.

Business Development and Partnerships

  • Play a key role in new efforts to secure funding, especially government funding for the Africa program and to integrate related donor-obligated systems and processes into the region’s operations.
  • Oversee the program’s resource generation (fundraising and pipelines) including research (including on funding opportunities, comparative systems/approaches), agreeing to funding thresholds, new compliance and accountability policies or standards and supporting the Africa program to meet these resource stewardship-focused standards or policies through, among others, capacity development support, internal reviews and feedback processes.
  • Work with the Vice President, Africa oversee a rolling program of process and systems changes as required to support the Center’s ability to secure, manage and sustain funding.
  • Any other relevant function related work that may be assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in social science related studies including law, public health, Management, or a related field required. Post-graduate qualifications such as master’s degree in relevant disciplines relating to law, international human rights, SRHR, international development and/or program management will be a significant advantage.
  • 15-20 years of professional experience, with a significant part being in program portfolio management for international non-profit organizations, particularly in the SRHR or the broader human rights sector.
  • Demonstrated experience in program and project management, donor relations, report writing, strategy development and program risk management including highly developed experience in designing and managing complex programs.
  • Demonstrated experience in program/project planning, budgeting, and reporting.
  • Experience in organizational development and/or system/process improvement.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communications skills including ability to present issues clearly, concisely, and logically and communicate information, however complex, to non-experts.
  • Professional language proficiency in English. Proficiency in other Africa Union languages would be an added advantage.
  • Experience effectively managing and/or collaborating across teams working in different geographies in a global organization.
  • Excellent IT skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to change and manage and prioritize a diverse workload.
  • Solutions-oriented approach with strong analytical/reasoning skills.
  • Must be able to work proactively and independently, multi-task, and work under tight deadlines; and,
  • Dependability, diplomacy, strong organizational skills, and a sense of humor are necessary.
  • Strong commitment to the Center's mission, purpose, and values.

Don’t meet every single requirement? At the Center, we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you are excited about this role but your past experience does not align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

Leadership Competencies:

  • Leading the Work (Strategy and Implementation): Generates new ideas, develops long-term objectives and strategies that align with institutional priorities, and translates them into actionable plans.
  • Leading Others: Inspires commitment; develops and empowers staff; identifies and mentors the next generation of organization leaders; establishes results-oriented culture in teams.
  • Leading by Personal Example: Models organizational values; takes action and is courageous; projects confidence and steadiness; learns from experience and is self-aware.
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Attracts, develops and retains a diverse team; recognizes the many dimensions of diversity and the particular harms of anti-Black racism and colonialism; considers equity in decisions and processes internally and externally; demonstrates inclusive leadership behaviors.

Compensation: This position's annual salary is KES 14,900,000.


  • Health: The Center pays up to 95%* of the premium for a comprehensive health insurance plan with no in-network deductible and best-in-class reproductive healthcare coverage, including infertility. The Center also offers Dental and Vision coverage. (* % may differ in various countries)
  • Flexibility: The Center currently operates in a hybrid model, allowing staff to work 3 days in the office and work 2 days from home
  • Well-being: The Center offers resources to help prevent and recover from burnout through different programs that enable mental, physical and community well-being. The Center offers generous leave including paid parental leave, personal days, vacation, and sick leave. We are also closed the last week of December to allow staff to spend time with their loved ones.
  • Growth: You will be working with and learning from some of the top legal and operational minds, all passionate about the mission of advancing reproductive rights around the world. You will also be eligible for a stipend to use towards professional growth.
  • Global: You will get a front-row seat to update on the fight for reproductive rights in the global space. You will also have access to Employee Resource Groups to connect to colleagues that share similar interests/backgrounds/views.
  • Investment: After the first year of employment, the Center will contribute 7.5%* of your annual salary to a 401(k) (* only applicable in US and Kenya)

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Center is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage people from all communities to apply. If you are excited about this role and unsure about whether your past experience aligns with the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be the right candidate for this or other roles.

Our hiring processes and our work culture offer support and flexibility for staff with a variety of needs. Should you face an accessibility barrier in the application and interview process please let us know by contacting We will work with you to provide the accommodation that works best for you.

To learn more about the Center’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), please visit Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Center for Reproductive Rights

Learn more about the Center for Reproductive Rights, go to

How to apply

Please complete the application at to apply. A cover letter and resume must be included in your application. Please include these application materials as attachments.

Please note that all genuine Center openings must be applied through the Center website. The Center does not charge a fee at any stage in the recruitment process (application, interviews, or selection). Nor does it request any medical examinations or bank account information as part of this process. If someone contacts, you on behalf of the Center requesting payment for your application please notify before taking any further action.

Our hiring processes and our work culture offer support and flexibility for staff with a variety of needs. Should you face an accessibility barrier in the application and interview process please let us know by contacting We will work with you to provide the accommodation that works best for you.

Deadline for applications: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible.