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Country Director Nigeria (3 year contract)

Abuja (Nigeria)


Country Director Nigeria (3 year contract)


Classification: B8 -  Country Directors

Work Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Direct Reports: 5

Travel Required: Up to 25%


The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) was launched at the UN in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition. GAIN is a global, Swiss-based foundation that mobilises public-private partnerships and provides financial and technical support to deliver nutritious foods to those people most at risk of malnutrition. By building alliances we develop innovative and sustainable models that increase access to affordable nutritious foods. Our programs enable better diets via nutritional products, such as fortified staples foods, including cooking oil and flour, and condiments like salt and soy sauce. We also support improved maternal and infant health by promoting breastfeeding and specialised products for infants over six months and young children. In addition, we partner with local businesses to improve the quality of food along agricultural value chains.

GAIN is currently seeking an exceptional leader with solid experience working in Nigeria, an entrepreneurial mind-set and who possesses a broad understanding of our area of work. We are looking for someone who can represent GAIN in an authoritative and credible way, think critically, innovate to develop solutions that drive impact at scale and who can build and maintain strong alliances with key partners to position GAIN as a significant contributor to addressing malnutrition



Overall Purpose:

The Country Director (CD) provides the strategic vision and leadership for the Country Office and is responsible for representing GAIN and for establishing and sustaining productive relationships and political influence with government officials, donors and strategic partners. Furthermore, the CD is responsible for ensuring the design and implementation of quality programs, fundraising, financial management and for attracting and retaining a motivated and professional team. S/he also contributes to GAIN’s global strategy, organisational management and supports the generation of evidence to strengthen the global evidence base.

Key Areas of Accountability:

Strategic Leadership:

  • Provide vision and direction for the Nigeria country programme and ensure ongoing review of progress against key country and organisational level objectives, indicators and targets
  • Lead a high performing team to deliver against GAIN’s strategy
  • Ensure ongoing analysis of the national nutrition, socio-economic and political situation in-country
  • Build and maintain strategic alliances with multiple stakeholders, including the private sector, to strengthen their contribution to resolving nutrition challenges
  • Contribute to global organisational efforts, knowledge and learning 

Representation, Communications and Advocacy:

  • Network actively and play a lead role in representing GAIN’s interests with Government, Private Sector, Academia, Donors, UN Agencies, international and local NGOs
  • Develop and maintain strong working relations with influential stakeholders to strengthen GAIN’s reputation and position us as a partner of choice to further GAIN’s influence and impact
  • Participate in high level forums to influence the nutrition agenda and drive policy change
  • Actively engage with social media and in-country media and link with the Head Quarters (HQ) Communications Team on other relevant media issues

Resource Mobilisation:

  • Act as the principal point of contact for in-country Donors to ensure strong working relationships and to secure programme funding locally where possible
  • Lead in-country resource mobilisation efforts through developing and maintaining a high level of understanding of Government and Donor priorities and regular coordination with HQ
  • Explore the feasibility of developing potential partnerships and/or alliances

Programme Design and Implementation:

  • Be accountable for in-country programmes and ensure that they are in line with technical best practice and national policies
  • Support high-quality project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in line with policies, systems and guidelines. Ensure projects are managed in a timely and cost-effective manner, according to pre-determined plans and budgets. Identify areas for HQ support
  • Promote a team approach and positive learning environment utilising GAIN staff and partners to consistently enhance the quality of design and implementation. Identify and document best practices and lessons learned that can be successfully replicated and ensure program staff integrate them into their work 

Human Resource Management:

  • Ensure that GAIN attracts and retains high calibre staff
  • Foster a collegial, transparent, supportive and respectful culture within the country team
  • Pro-actively develop and mentor staff to optimise their potential in pursuit of GAIN’s objectives
  • Ensure effective implementation of HR policies and procedures at country level, in line with HR policies, procedures and guidelines and local labour law 

Financial Management and Corporate Governance:

  • Ensure effective financial management systems, processes and controls are in place and are fully compliant with GAIN, donor and host government requirements
  • Provide timely and effective oversight of the financial position of the country program including identification and implementation of required changes to manage funding levels
  • Ensure that partner organisations are assessed in relation to financial management and governance standards and are supported to address any capacity weaknesses
  • Ensure that audits are undertaken in a timely and efficient manner in line with policy, donor and local government requirements and follow-up on recommendations arising out of audits taking appropriate actions where necessary
  • Ensure adherence with all local government requirements in relation to registration, taxation, labour law, auditing, fraud etc. 

Security Management:

  • Develop and manage country security plans and procedures in line with policies, systems and guidelines.
  • Ensure all staff adhere to security guidelines


Key Organizational Relationships

  • Reports to the Director, Country Program Operations
  • Nigeria country team
  • GAIN Strategic Management Team Senior Management Forum, HQ Technical, Resource Mobilisation and Corporate Services Teams
  • Government, Donors, NGOs, Private Sector, Academia and others


Job Requirements


Setting Direction

  • Proactively identifies significant long-term issues for the organization
  • Anticipates how the organization and the external environment will respond to identified solutions
  • Strategically provides information to key decision makers
  • Creates new and innovative concepts or models that have wide-ranging impacts on the organization
  • Is up to date with latest specialist field research and development 

Delivering Results

  • Maintains focus on the organization’s goals and deliverables despite conflicting priorities
  • Defines standard methods and processes to deliver efficient, compliant and high quality services to external and internal clients
  • Pushes external/internal clients to consider difficult issues
  • Meets goals of performance contracts in a timely manner 

Energizing and Empowering Others

  • Considers team members’ skills and development needs when assigning activities
  • Structures activities and projects to enable a reasonable work/life balance
  • Delegates responsibility and authority when staff have the capability
  • Is available and approachable to team members and treats them respectfully
  • Acknowledges and rewards creative and innovative solutions to meet the organization’s goals 

Acting as a Role Model

  • Brings enthusiasm and creativity to address challenges to the implementation of GAIN’s strategy
  • Ensures issues are addressed in a timely manner and individuals are treated in a respectful and fair manner
  • Strong communication, representation, influencing and negotiation skills
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Recognizes innovation and celebrates success
  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrit


  • Minimum of 10 to 15 years of experience leading and developing projects in a multi-cultural environment in the private sector, food industry or international development, with at least three years in a senior management position
  • Experience of working in Nigeria with a sound knowledge of the country context and key government and civil society stakeholders
  • Broad understanding of the nutrition-food systems nexus, public health and community development
  • Demonstrated inā€depth understanding of program issues and policy work at national and international levels
  • Entrepreneurial with a track record of business development and successful fundraising including experience liaising with in-country donors and working with large, complex donors
  • Experience in successfully building and managing various forms of partnerships and/or alliances
  • Experience of building effective personal networks at a senior level including collaborative relationships with donors, business leaders and government counterparts
  • Demonstrated success in building and managing multi-disciplinary teams
  • Excellent understanding and experience of risk, programme, financial and operational management


  • Masters in agricultural science, food science, public health, nutrition, economics, business administration or equivalent

Other Requirements

  • Fluency in written and verbal English
  • Fluency in written and verbal of one of the local languages (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, Fulfulde or Kanuri) is desirable
  • A willingness and ability to travel in-country and overseas as and when required 
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: GAIN - Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
  • Location: Abuja (Nigeria)
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Economics
    • Nutrition
    • Management, Administration and Finance
  • Closing Date: 2017-02-28

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