Special Assistant - Nigeria
Ford Foundation
Lagos, Nigeria
1h ago
source : Philanthropy New York

Description : BACKGROUND


  • The Ford Foundation is a philanthropy organization guided by the vision of social justice- a world in which all individuals, communities, and peoples work towards the protection and full expression of their human rights;
  • are active participants in the decisions that affect them; share equitably in the knowledge, wealth, and resources of society;
  • and are free to achieve their full potential. Across eight decades, the mission of the Foundation has been to reduce poverty and injustice, strengthen democratic values, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

    The Ford Foundation works in eleven regions across the world, including Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America to make a global impact on the systems and structures that perpetuate inequality.

    The Office for West Africa, Ford Foundation, located in Lagos, Nigeria, works across Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana.

    As is known, despite West Africa’s rapid democratization and significant economic progress, it remains among the world’s poorest regions.

    While rich in natural resources, the vast abundance of the region has not been used to benefit all its people. Poor and rural communities shoulder most of the costs of natural resources extraction (financial and otherwise), but get few benefits in return.

    For women, these challenges are compounded by cultural norms, laws, and high rates of violence that inhibit economic opportunity and limit participation.

    Though they make up about half of West Africa’s population, women are significantly underrepresented in elected positions, and their voices are often missing in decision-making.

    In this regard, the West Africa Office, works in two program areas to address the rising inequality and issues across the region- Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice (GREJ), Natural Resources and Climate Change (NRCC) through an Intersectional approach.

    Ford Foundation seeks to hire a Special Assistant to the Regional Director who will function as the key program support person to the Regional Director (RD), and whose primary responsibility is to support the Regional Director in initiating, developing, and managing strategic and tactical activities that optimize strategic opportunities for the Office for West Africa.


    Principal duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to :

  • Support the Regional Director in managing, reviewing, and assessing the strategic issues in the office including :
  • Continuous analysis and documentation of key learning from the implementation of the office strategy and thematic areas by the Program Associate.
  • Assessment and monitoring of grantmaking under the office strategy by the Program Associate.
  • Identification of opportunities for collaboration within the office and in alignment with thematic areas of the office strategy by the Program Associate.
  • Analysis of data and identify trends and opportunities for cross-program collaboration and refinement of office strategy by the Program Associate.
  • Facilitating internal and external communication from the Regional Director by preparing appropriate responses to queries and correspondences on his behalf.
  • Drafting of preparation documents for internal meetings and external presentations by the Regional Director. This involves doing research and preparing PowerPoint presentations.
  • This may involve locating appropriate articles or illustrations from various internal and external sources.

  • Preparing correspondences, including letters to various external contacts; assemble and provide materials on programs, projects, and other activities as requested.
  • Proactively identifying potential issues and challenges within the office and assists the Regional Director in finding solutions to them.
  • Managing ongoing projects and responsible for conducting a variety of research, analysis and follow-up and synthesizing information in concise and clear professional memoranda and / or reports.
  • Accurate presentation of information and viewpoints of the Regional Director to the Program Officers.
  • Attending grantee meetings, conferences, or convenings with the Program Officer team.
  • Coordinating with the Office of Communications on press and promotional materials relating to the office of the Regional Director as well as reviewing news and other media reports affecting the Lagos office notifying the Regional Director of any areas of interest to the Foundation.
  • Ensuring that the Program Associate carries out continuous analysis and documentation of key learning from the implementation of the office strategy and lines of work.
  • Ensuring that the Program Associate carries out assessment and monitoring of grant making under the office strategy by the Program Associate.
  • Working with the Program Associate in Identification of opportunities for collaboration within the office and in alignment with thematic areas of the office strategy by the Program Associate.
  • Ensuring that the Program Associate carries out analysis of data and identifies trends and opportunities for cross-program collaboration and refinement of office strategy by the program Associate.
  • Building and maintaining a list of thought leaders whom the Regional Director should know and who could act as resources for the office learning agenda as well as being consultants to the office.
  • Identifying, developing, designing, and managing special assignments on behalf of the Regional Director.
  • Facilitation of donor liaison with key donor partners and donor networks in the Region.
  • Work with the Regional Director to facilitate government and private sector engagements as may be required.
  • Preparing and processing Small Program Action Grants on behalf of the Regional Director.
  • Making entries into FLUXX and following up with prospective grantees of the Regional Director’s discretionary Fund.
  • Participating in office committees and task groups as required.
  • Preparing half-yearly government report to National Planning Commission
  • Developing and overseeing an office-wide correspondence control system to help track responses to the public.
  • Organizing incoming correspondence of the Regional Director including electronic mail, word processing and document preparation.
  • Maintaining the Regional Director’s calendar appointments and group meetings
  • Participating in the Programs and Senior Management meetings of the Office of West Africa, take minutes of meetings.
  • Participating in the programs and senior management meetings of the Office of West Africa.
  • Coordinating and managing the Regional Director’s grant making role including making entries into FLUXX and following up with prospective grantees of the Regional Director’s discretionary fund, reviewing proposals, preparing draft strategy alignment summaries, and draft OAs and PGIs for review by the Regional Director.
  • Co-coordinating the collection, collation and writing of relevant Office documents such as Brochures, FAQs, Briefing Books; among others
  • Provide support to the Regional Director in his performance management functions.

  • Master’s degree,
  • Minimum of five year work experience in the development sector
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in ongoing organizational development.
  • Excellent research, analytical, planning and organizational skills; Good project management skills; Time management; Report writing; Presentation skills
  • Location : Lagos, Nigeria


    This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine / printer.

    Additionally, domestic / international travel will be expected, but also to attend team conferences, retreats and meetings.

    Target Start Date : August 1, 2022

    Salary : is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity. A generous benefits package is provided.

    How to Apply :

    Submit your application via the Ford Foundation Career Site

    The application must contain the following materials :

  • CV / Résumé
  • A personal statement : Describe your motivations, reason for applying and career goal
  • Alignment to Culture and Values

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams
  • Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation / affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

    The Ford Foundation does not discriminate against formerly incarcerated individuals.

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