Programme Director, Fellowship
The Oxford Policy Fellowship (OPF) is an impact-driven not-for-profit initiative focused on supporting under-resourced governments to achieve their policy objectives in pursuit of better human development outcomes. The Fellowship places early-career professionals in embedded positions in government to work as civil servants for two years and convenes an annual forum of the Fellowship’s network of government officials.
The OPF is an initiative of Oxford Policy Management (OPM) and is a separate not-for-profit subsidiary entity set up to pursue and support OPM’s mission of reducing poverty and disadvantage in low-income countries through public policy reform. It is the first such initiative of OPM and represents the organisation’s continued focus on impact. The Fellowship is managed as part of OPM’s ‘Office of the Chief Economist’, and the role is accountable to the OPM’s Chief Economist, who also serves on the Fellowship’s Board.
The Fellowship has matured over its first four years of operation and is now looking for its new Programme Director to lead it forward into its next chapter of growth, vision, and sustainable change.
This role provides the right candidate with an exciting opportunity to grow a successful start-up into a mature programme, to apply their strategic vision to the Fellowship’s direction, and to lead a high-calibre team while building institutional networks in governments, donor, and practitioner organisations.
The role is responsible for the strategic decision-making of the programme and holds overarching responsibility to the Fellowship’s Board for the delivery of the programme. At a practical level, it is expected that this means dedicating broadly:
- One third of time to staff management and programme delivery;
- one third of time to fundraising and client relationship management; and the remaining time split between:
- working with the Board on strategy development and investing in OPF’s relationship with OPM’s senior level managers and specialist staff; and
- driving the communications strategy and increasing external visibility through building our interactions with professional networks.
We are looking for a dynamic leader with a passion and vision for growing an impact-driven programme. You will relish the opportunity to travel to low-income countries. You are equally comfortable building relationships with ministers and senior officials in low-income country governments as you are with potential programme funders in the public and private sector. You have experience working with a variety of aid funders and enjoy the challenge of energetically driving forward fundraising for the programme.
The role requires an individual who can not only provide the vision for the Fellowship, but also get into the substance, including providing guidance to the Fellowship team on our learning agenda and thought leadership. For this reason, the successful candidate will have demonstrable experience in international development as well as a university degree in a related subject, with a preference for an advanced degree in a related field.
The Fellowship’s Director needs be able to manage a variety of key stakeholders, requiring sensitivity to cross-cultural issues alongside excellent interpersonal and written communication skills. We are looking for someone with a desire to mentor and coach their team to success, demonstrating tested people management skills.
The below is an illustration of the duties to be delivered by the Programme Director, some of which may develop further as the Fellowship grows.
- Provide overarching vision for programme delivery, and drive annual strategy process and setting of delivery targets for the programme, in line with funder commitments, and in close consultation with the Board.
- Grow the programme’s profile and develop networks with professional organisations and communities of practice in the UK and in the countries where we work, including representing the Fellowship at high-priority events.
- Develop a long-term funding and growth strategy for the programme.
- Drive and deliver on a fundraising agenda to secure the Fellowship’s future by proactively pursuing and responding to funding opportunities, delivering on a financial target as a key KPI for this function.
- Meet with government partners during the lifecycle events of the Fellowship, including scoping missions and in-person interviews with stakeholders.
- Lead on the Fellowship’s communication strategy, safeguarding the Fellowship brand and reputation of the programme.
- Play a leadership role in defining the vision for the Fellowship Annual Meeting.
- Maintain strong client relationships with current funders, including ensuring the delivery of timely and accurate reporting.
- Manage the Fellowship’s Programme Manager, including developing their performance and development plans, and providing support to the PM in the management of their two direct reports), working closely with the PM on the vision for programme delivery.
- Act as port of call for escalation and problem solving on complex delivery challenges, such as troubleshooting issues that may arise from a Fellow being in post.
- Drive a constructive and broader collaboration with OPM, while also being responsible for ensuring appropriately balanced boundaries between the two entities are upheld.
- Present on the programme to internal and external stakeholders.
- Participate in the annual recruitment cycle of Fellows as part of the vetting process.
- Drive the Fellowship’s Board engagement, including preparing materials for the quarterly meetings and taking minutes.
- Maintain a strong financial understanding of the programme and be fluent in reporting on financial health to the Board.
- Hold ultimate responsibility for safeguarding, risk management, and general compliance.
This role is full-time, based in Oxford, UK. At this time, we are only able to consider applicants with eligibility to work in the UK.
Please apply through our website and follow this link: