Country Director

from GiveDirectly
Closing date: 31 Oct 2019

About GiveDirectly:

GiveDirectly (GD) aims to reshape international giving - and millions of lives - by allowing donors to provide capital grants directly to the world’s poorest. The Brookings Institution estimates that $70B of cash transfers would be required to eliminate the poverty gap; the aid sector currently spends $135B each year, much of which is spent on evidence-free interventions. GiveDirectly wants to change that, establishing a benchmark as Vanguard did for the financial industry (i.e., index fund), and in the process accelerate the end of extreme poverty.

GiveDirectly has raised over $250M in revenue and reached nearly 150,000 households, while being recognized as one of the most innovative non-profit companies by Fast Company. The New York Times Magazine writes, “The beautiful thing about GiveDirectly’s approach is that it lets people devise their own path out of poverty.” The growing movement toward cash transfers and GD’s role in that movement have also been featured in This American Life, Foreign Affairs, The Economist, and Business Insider.

We’re looking for exceptional talent to grow GiveDirectly and the broader cash movement. Our culture is direct, analytical, non-hierarchical, fast-paced, transparent, and hard working. We are open to candidates from any industry and typically recruit from top organizations - members of our team have come to us from private-sector companies (consultancies, law firms, investment banks, etc.), start-ups, and government. We value ability and willingness to learn over years of experience. We offer competitive salary and benefits and performance-based bonuses.

Project Overview:

In 2018, GiveDirectly doubled its country footprint, opening new offices in DRC, Liberia, and Malawi. We see the expansion of our operating base as a significant opportunity to demonstrate the potential of cash in more diverse contexts, and in the process make further strides towards transforming the aid sector. Malawi has the lowest GDP/capita of any of the countries we operate in and is significant aid recipient, receiving more than $1.5B in office development assistance in 2017. While both the government and donors are interested in cash, most aid in this country is still delivered in the form of in-kind or technical support.

GiveDirectly Malawi is currently implementing a project for USAID which will create a cash “benchmark”: that is, evidence on cash transfer outcomes in Malawi that USAID can use against which to measure the impact of non-cash programs. Our hope is that this benchmark will both raise the bar for impact measurement & transparency while also driving a greater portion of aid spend to direct cash, both in Malawi and more broadly. In addition to our benchmarking project, we will kick off an additional lump sum cash transfer project in 2020, and are keen to see our work in Malawi expand in the coming years.

Role Overview:

This is an exciting moment to join the GiveDirectly Malawi team, as the office is set up and we have a record of success in Malawi on which to build. You will oversee three primary workstreams: (1) completing the USAID Malawi project at an exceptional bar that sets us up to extend the partnership and amplify benchmarking results more broadly, (2) launching our first non-study cash transfer program in Malawi with the goal of attaining maximum efficiency, and (3) scoping and pitching new projects to relevant partners and donors (i.e. figuring out where cash is most likely to have influence, both in the lives of recipients and the thinking of donors). We’d love to hear from you if you believe that aid recipients should play a greater role in deciding how aid resources are allocated; enjoy new operational challenges; and are excited to take an entrepreneurial role in leading and growing a country office. (NB: Applications will be assessed and candidates contacted on a rolling basis.)


  • Deliver program at an exceptional quality bar

  • Manage field teams to deliver operations in line with GiveDirectly’s standard of excellence (robust anti-fraud playbook, high-quality customer service for recipients etc.)

  • Identify operational vulnerabilities (e.g. fraud, brand risk) and create solutions to de-risk

  • Ensure strong community relations and sensitivity to recipient feedback

  • Own revenue targets for the country and build relationships with external stakeholders

  • Build a robust pipeline of project and funding opportunities to enable further scale in Malawi

  • Serve as a leading voice to external actors (press, peer org's, funders) on GD's work in Malawi and the case for cash benchmarking

  • Building organizational culture and inspiring your team

  • Design and implement initiatives to instill GD’s values into team practices

  • Cultivate and grow exceptional talent

  • Support org-wide initiatives that promote productivity, well-being, and morale

Desired abilities/experience

  • Proven record of successful people management at a high performing organization (experience hiring and building a team preferred)
  • Excitement for partnerships and business development work (experience managing relationships with and delivering outcomes for institutional partners preferred)
  • Strong alignment with GD values (see below)
  • Exceptional ability to logic through complex operational questions & run robust analyses to inform management and programming decisions
  • Exceptional written & verbal communication skills
  • Experience in Malawi highly preferred