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Senior Director, Higher Education job at Mastercard Foundation

About the Organization

The Mastercard Foundation is an international non-governmental organization established by Mastercard in 2006. The organization, which is based in Toronto, Ontario, has supported work in 49 countries. In 2018, Mastercard Foundation shifted to a specific focus on Africa, through its Young Africa Works strategy.

Job Description

Reporting to the Executive Director, Education & Transitions, the Senior Director, Higher Education will be responsible for leading the Foundation’s efforts in initiating and managing strategic collaborations with institutions of higher learning. The primary focus of this role is to develop and implement higher education initiatives that accelerate opportunity generation for African youth.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Identify opportunities to create impact through higher education and developing interventions to provide access for Scholar’s program participants.

  • Develop a comprehensive strategy for engaging and forming partnerships with institutions of higher learning across Africa, aligned with the Foundation’s mission and goals.

  • Lead the conceptualization, design, and execution of innovative higher education initiatives that address the needs and aspirations of African youth, promoting skill development, entrepreneurship, leadership, and community engagement.

  • Identify collaboration opportunities within existing partner network and potential new partnerships.

  • Lead the integration of higher education initiatives with broader Scholar’s program and alignment with Young Africa Works strategy.


  • Oversee all aspects of program implementation, ensuring timelines, deliverables, and budgetary requirements are met effectively.

  • Provide support to partners and Scholars colleagues with implementation of higher education initiatives, including existing initiatives, ensuring safeguarding high quality of experience for scholars.

  • Build and nurture strong relationships with key stakeholders, including universities, academic leaders, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and industry partners.

  • Manage relationships with senior stakeholders at educational institutions and the broader Scholars community.

Qualification, Experiences and Competencies

  • A master's or doctoral degree in a relevant field (e.g., Education, International Development, Business Administration).

  • Fifteen (15+) years of experience of significant senior level experience driving strategy and program success with organizations across multiple countries in Africa.

  • Ten (10+) years leadership and management experience of which at least seven years was gained in a multi-country environment in Africa, with a preference for private sector experience.

  • Experience in education, development and/or public policy within nonprofit organizations, international NGO’s and/or learning institutions is also helpful.

  • Experience leading major transformative programmatic change involving multiple stakeholders and rapid growth in the Education space.

  • Proven experience effectively engaging with senior government officials, key partners, media, business leaders and other influential individuals.

  • Deep understanding of the African higher education landscape, including challenges and opportunities.

  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to influence and engage a wide range of stakeholders.

  • Skilled communicator and influencer, from executive through to technical levels and external constituencies, know how to navigate ambiguous environments and are comfortable at managing up and beyond hierarchy.


  • Ability to build and engage teams. Effectively develop, lead, and provide strategic direction to a diverse team of leaders across multiple countries. Commitment to equality, diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Fosters a positive spirit of collaboration in a complex environment.

  • Results Orientation, innovative and entrepreneurial.

  • Visionary thinker with a passion for youth empowerment and social impact

  • Flexible, adaptable, agile, and able to execute a range of job duties with multiple deadlines and changing priorities.

  • Proven excellence in verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures and to distill complex information and data into accessible conversation and written pieces.

  • Possess professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.

  • You have a commitment to Mastercard Foundation’s values and vision.

How to Apply

APPLICATION FOR THIS POSITION MUST BE DONE ONLINE:
Are you interested? Click the "APPLY" button below to submit your application.

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