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IRC is seeking a Chief of Party (COP) for a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project, the Pakistan Reading Project, to support Pakistani-led efforts to introduce and institutionalize improvements in reading instruction and reading assessment in grades one through five in public and private schools throughout Pakistan. Reporting to the Regional Director (ACME), the COP will be responsible for ensuring that the proposed project is implemented in accordance with the cooperative agreement, USAID regulations, and internationally recognized quality of assistance standards. The COP will be the primary representational link with USAID staff.  The COP will work closely with the Regional Mission to provide project updates, discuss strategies, obstacles, performance plans, and indicator success.  The COP will liaise with USAID contracting officers, technical support staff, outside contractors, and implementers of other USAID-funded initiatives as required. The COP will represent the project to all key stakeholders, government officials and donors at coordination and other related seminars and meetings. The COP will ensure that project initiatives adequately address the needs of the beneficiary population in the most cost-effective manner.

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Job Responsibilities:

  • Provide strategic leadership and direction, define and implement activities to achieve the greatest coverage and impact possible;
  • Review, in coordination with key project staff, yearly work and performance plans to ensure long-term and short-term priorities are on track;
  • Manage the overall project by planning, monitoring and evaluating project activities in accordance with the cooperative agreement;
  • Manage relations with consortium partners;
  • Work with all key staff to identify technical assistance needs and arrange for the provision of assistance;
  • Oversee the Deputy COP for Operations and for Programs as they provide financial and technical management to ensure the best use of resources by preparing sound budgets, monitoring project expenses and ensuring timely submission of financial reports to the donor. Also oversee SMT of PRP to ensure timely and effective execution of activities and smooth running of daily operations;
  • Report to USAID through both formal and informal debriefings, annual and semi-annual reports;
  • Maintain an on-going dialogue with the USAID AOTR and respond timely to AOTR’s inquiries;
  • Manage a solid cooperation with partner organizations and government officials;
  • Manage external relations by representing the project and the organization in the public and ensuring the distribution of information about project achievements and lesson learned;
  • Manage project properties according to the IRC and USAID regulations;
  • Support project staff by creating and maintaining a work environment that promotes teamwork, trust, mutual respect, and empowers staff to take responsibility;
  • Manage and evaluate project staff performance;
  • Ensure that project initiatives adequately address the needs of the most vulnerable beneficiary population in the most cost-effective manner;
  • Oversee the DCOP for Operations and for Programs as they supervise and assist with compliance-related matters, including handling and documenting compliance-related inquiries.

Desired Skills and Experience

Requirements:

  • Advanced degree (PhD) from an accredited university in international education or other related field, or 15 years of leadership and management experience in the education field;
  • At least 10 years of experience in managing and implementing education programs in developing countries. Experience with projects supporting teacher training, reading instructional and supplemental material development, or education system management preferred;
  • Demonstrated exemplary diplomatic, management, and interpersonal skills;
  • Previous experience as COP of USAID-funded programs preferred;
  • Solid understanding of the Pakistani context, with previous experience in Pakistan or the region preferred;
  • Strong negotiation skills and the ability to develop relations with local counterparts, donors, and other stakeholders;
  • Demonstrated innovation and success in staff capacity-building and in participatory, flexible, and gender-sensitive programming and implementation;
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written;
  • Fluency in English is required, knowledge of Urdu is a plus.

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