Sahel Director (Dakar)

This vacancy is now closed

Job reference
International | International Operations
Closing date


About Us:


Marie Stopes International (MSI) is a global organisation providing personalised contraception and safe abortion services to women and girls. Our local teams of professionals are passionate about the work they do in communities across 37 countries. The services we provide give a woman the power to choose when she has children so that she’s free to pursue her plans and dreams for herself and her family.

The primary responsibility of this role is to further MSI’s Goal: The prevention of unwanted births and its mission of ensuring an individual’s right to: children by choice, not chance


The Role:


As a dynamic and results-oriented leader in the Francophone West Africa region, you will be responsible for a sub-region within MSI, called MSI Sahel. Composed of four country programmes - Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal -the objective of this sub-region is to achieve greater impact in the provision of high quality family planning and post abortion care services as a single entity, by harmonising strategies, sharing resources and attracting new investment.

As the Sahel Director, you will oversee an annual turnover which in 2019 will be an estimated £15.2 million, with approximately 620 staff delivering services worth just over 1.6 million ‘couple years of protection’ (CYPs). Under the direction of the Regional Director and in collaboration with the Regional Operations Director and MSI technical teams, you will be responsible for implementing the Sahel strategy which is a key part of MSI’s global strategy “Scaling Up Excellence”.

You will lead and supervise the Country Directors / Représentants Résidents and the Sahel regional team, with the primary purpose of leading the four countries as an operational sub-region which delivers on a shared business plan, attracts additional investment and builds capability and efficiency. 

You will be responsible, together with the WACA Regional Director for improving the operating model of the Sahel, defining management and governance frameworks and resources, harmonising best practice service delivery models and promoting the vision of the sub-region both externally and internally. You will ensure good communication, shared and specific accountability at country and regional level in order to achieve delivery of results that align with MSI’s mission and strategy.


About you

To succeed in this role, you must have:


  • Demonstrable ability to deliver motivational leadership that achieves results and change through others.
  • Ability to coach and lead by example.
  • Proven ability to effectively communicate ideas, proposals, issues and implications at executive level.
  • Highly numerate and able to construct and deconstruct P&L to understand financial impact of decision making.
  • Understanding of major policies/issues of large bilateral/multilateral donors and strong working knowledge of donor related business practices.
  • Understanding of the issues surrounding provision of reproductive health care services internationally.
  • Fluency in spoken and written French and English.




  • Extensive experience running a complex country programme or regional office, (or equivalent scale private sector entities), including accountability for Profit and Loss (P&L).
  • Experience of developing and successfully implementing business plans and growth strategies, with a track record of aligning resources with key priorities, keeping management teams focused on critical milestones and consistently achieving results.
  • Proven experience driving significant strategic cultural and structural change (processes and technology) within an international multi-site organisation.
  • Experience in managing complex operational and service delivery models, analysing outputs and making changes to achieve synergies and efficiencies, ideally in the region or Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Demonstrable experience of fundraising or campaigning with the donor community to raise substantial financing for development projects


Qualifications and Training:

  • Educated to degree level (essential).
  • Relevant post-graduate qualification (desirable).


Personal Attributes:

  • Energy, drive and unwavering commitment for MSI’s mission, with the ability to push boundaries, make tough decisions and challenge others in line with MSI’s mission.
  • Passionate about MSI’s clients and strives to consistently meet and exceed expectations, putting the clients at the centre of everything and ensuring we deliver high quality, high impact services that meet their individual needs.
  • International mind-set with an understanding of, and empathy for, the development sector, together with an appreciation for cultural differences.
  • Strongly developed interpersonal skills. Ability to communicate easily and effectively with a variety of people, at different levels, backgrounds and often remotely.
  • Ability to work with a head office in the UK and regional offices in four country programmes, managing down and up the different levels and accountabilities with ease.
  • Comfortable and familiar with working in organisations that are in “change management” and therefore can manage ambiguity with ease.
  • Willing and able to “roll up sleeves” to get things done and lead by example.
  • Ability to influence key stakeholders at all levels both internally and externally. A true MSI ambassador.
  • Commercial mind-set, understanding the levers for profitability for success within the marketplace.
  • Results-focused, ensuring long term sustainability and increased impact.
  • Aware of emerging developments within the sector, with the ability to focus and articulate a vision of the future which inspires and excites others, while understanding the detail and looking for the evidence.
  • Ability to travel extensively throughout the Sahel and internationally to represent the sub-region both internally and externally, (up to 40% travel, sometimes to fragile and unstable areas).


For more information about the role, please view the job framework on our website.


In addition, you will be pro-choice


Location: Sahel (Dakar)


Closing date: 12/08/19 (midnight GMT). Interviews may take place before this date for exceptional candidates.


Salary: 61,340-81,000

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