Managing Director, Global Partnerships

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is a rapidly growing adolescent health organisation that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilise at-risk youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities. Since 2002, GRS has reached over 2 million young people in 50 countries with life-saving HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health information and services. Grassroot Soccer is looking to significantly scale its impact via partnerships over the next five years, and reach over 1 million young people annually.

The Managing Director (MD) of Grassroot Soccer Global Partnerships is responsible for programme delivery, operations, and impact demonstration in her/his business unit (“Impact Team”) and holds a critical position on the Grassroot Soccer (GRS) Global Senior Management Team (SMT), which includes Directors of each business unit and the senior global leadership team. The Managing Director works collaboratively with GRS senior leadership in leading and directing her/his Impact Team to contribute to Grassroot Soccer’s global mission and 5 Year Strategic Plan.

The Grassroot Soccer Partnerships (GRSP) Team oversees GRS relationships with a wide a range of implementing partner organisations across over 50 countries, with a focus on Nigeria, Malawi, Kenya, and Mozambique. With GRS support, implementing partners integrate the GRS model into their youth programming. The GRSP team supports these organisations with our Technical Assistance approach to replicate the GRS model and provides remote and in-person technical support to these organisations to increase their capacity to deliver GRS interventions in their communities and engage the community to build responsive systems to address the needs of adolescents.

Position Summary
The Managing Director (MD) is a seasoned manager with 10+ years’ experience implementing, overseeing, and managing health and/or education programmes in a comparable geographic context. The Managing Director is a skillful people manager with demonstrated expertise in all aspects of project, programme, and partnership management – s/he is a teambuilder and a delegator, and has demonstrated success in developing systems and holding individuals accountable. The successful MD is a resourceful manager with excellent interpersonal skills, sound judgment, adept problem-solving abilities, a collaborative approach to building partnerships both internally and externally, while ensuring effective implementation of youth-centered programmes that make a real impact.

In addition, s/he thrives within a matrixed organisation, which requires consulting, collaborating, and soliciting input across the global organisation to achieve the GRS mission. This position reports to the Regional Director, Southern Africa.


  • Programme Delivery and Excellence: Oversee programme strategy and excellence in delivery and implementation in accordance with grant agreements and the GRS 5 Year Strategy. Monitor and ensure program quality through routine programme data monitoring, evaluation, research, and grant management. Ensure excellence in GRS programme delivery via partner consortia and technical support to partners implementing GRS curriculum and model. Adhere to grant and project requirements in line with donor expectations, coordinating closely with the Global Business Development team. Drive program improvement through periodic reviews of routine monitoring of data, research, and evaluations.
  • Operations & Financial Management, and Human Resources: Ensure strategic, efficient and fiscally responsible use of organisational resources for optimal impact and sustainability. Develop and effectively implement annual strategic workplans with input from Global Functional Teams, the approval of the Regional Director, and adherence to organisational policies. Develop, seek approval for, and implement annual budgets in accordance with grant commitments, Global and national strategies and priorities, with the approval of the Global Finance team. Build, mentor, and retain a high-quality team to support key organisational functions: programmes/grant management, finance, monitoring & evaluation, and business and partnership development.
  • External Relations, Partnership Cultivation, and Business Development: Identify, prioritize and capture new opportunities with the 5 priority geographies (Tier 1) and determine strategic level of programming in Tier 2 and 3 geographies to enable GRS to scale while delivering consistently high-quality programming through successful partnerships. Develop and implement national strategies for government influence, integration and adoption of GRS programmes and/or approach. Cultivate and manage relationships with government agencies, INGOs, CBO/FBO, research institutions, UN agencies and other international development partners to explore and build a pipeline of strategic partnerships and new business. Work collaboratively with the Global Business Development and Partnership Strategy teams to assess and respond to relevant funding and partnership opportunities (Go-No- Go decision-making). Represent GRS at global, national, and local events and be able to speak on behalf of the organisation as a whole.
  • Please see full job description for additional responsibilities.

Specifications & Competencies

  • Experience: 10+ years managing programmes and/or operations in a national or multinational nonprofit. At least 5+ years in a senior management position. Experience overseeing implementation of organisational or programme budgets of at least $5M annually. Demonstrated experience working with a range of different stakeholders (e.g. global headquarters, prime partners, ministry officials, local boards and programme teams). Demonstrated experience strategising in complex scenarios, forecasting possible outcomes and proactively managing against those outcomes.
  • Communication Style: Excellent written and oral English communication skills required, additional languages preferred (French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swahili, Yoruba, Igbo, and Amharic are primary languages in GRS priority geographies). Build relationships with wide range of staff and partners, and operating within diverse social and cultural contexts, often virtually over multiple continents and time zones. Communicate effectively, both oral and written, with wide range of external and internal stakeholders (e.g. Ambassadors, Ministers, Civil Society leaders, board members, senior leadership, staff, young people).
  • Work Style: Inspire and lead teams while holding them accountable for results. Maintain oversight over a large range of programmes, projects, and partnerships while ensuring effective prioritisation of time and effort. Manage change and complexity in a growing organisation. Proactively manage programmes and projects and ensuring challenges are attended to before they become problems. Ability to see and tell stories from numbers in budgets and programme data. Willingness and ability to travel (approximately 30% of time; up to 50% in busy months).
  • Please see full job description for additional information and how to apply.

Job Overview

Date Posted

August 21, 2019


Cape Town, South Africa

Job Type

Full Time