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Project Director, USAID Power Africa Initiative Support Mechanism



Customer Service
Posted on Friday, May 24, 2024

Position Description

EnCompass LLC seeks Project Director candidates for the anticipated five-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Power Africa Initiative Support Mechanism (PAISM). PAISM will provide support to the Power Africa Coordinator Office (PACO) teams, which includes the Energy, Partnership, and Program offices, through targeted monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and collaborating, learning and adapting (CLA) advisory services; knowledge and relationship management support; technical assistance, database management, and capacity strengthening that improves organizational and development outcomes for Power Africa. Power Africa is a US Government initiative that aims to advance Sub-Saharan African development through universal access to clean energy and achieve the objectives of ending energy poverty, accelerating a carbon free future and bolstering competitive private sector investment and innovation in the energy sector.

The Project Director will provide leadership, management, and technical direction for the project, facilitate learning and build relationships with all Activity stakeholders, exhibiting high political acumen and strong conflict prevention and management skills. The Project Director will bring significant experience working in sub-Saharan Africa on activities in the energy sector that have advanced environmental sustainability, economic and social development, and women’s empowerment, with a firm understanding of key topics including clean energy and renewable and cleaner energy technologies, on and off-grid/beyond grid energy, energy sector investment (including climate finance), and energy trade, among others. The Project Director will also bring a strong background and experience overseeing and/or implementing contracts for international donors, including USAID, that provide technical assistance and advisory services, including in monitoring, evaluation and learning, knowledge management, and data management and reporting.

The Project Director will have experience in strategic decision-making, quality control, budgeting, contract compliance and project learning inclusive of adaptive management, preferably in the USAID context and with USAID’s CLA practices. The Project Director will also bring demonstrated experience focusing on results and impact, with strong strategic vision and an understanding of systems approaches to programming. The Project Director will understand how to foster a culture of continuous improvement and learning and maintain high self-awareness and personal improvement skills. The Project Director exhibits flexibility and emotional resilience and leads with a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.

The position is full-time and based in Pretoria, South Africa with occasional travel to Washington, D.C., or to a Power Africa Initiative supported country.

Position Duties and Responsibilities

Essential functions:

  • Serves as the main point of contact for USAID in strategic, managerial, contractual/financial and technical matters, including responsibility for ensuring quality of all deliverables, contract compliance, responsible stewardship of project funds, and making key decisions and solving programmatic and operational challenges in a timely manner.
  • Provides overall vision, direction and leadership for the Activity, including managing the Activity team and providing technical guidance to and direct supervision of PAISM Activity personnel, ensuring the technical and operational capacity and professional development of staff. Provide technical assistance and backstopping when required.
  • Oversees the engagement of short-term consultants, subcontractors and vendors as relevant.
  • Establishes and maintains highly collaborative working relationships with USAID Power Africa teams and key decision-makers, USAID Africa Bureau as required, and with all relevant Power Africa country specific stakeholders and partners.
  • Ensures that all activities are undertaken in full compliance with EnCompass’ standard operating procedures, USAID policies and regulations, and national policies and laws.
  • Leveraging significant experience in the energy sector, responsible for providing direct technical assistance and guidance to USAID in areas such as strategy and program design, and for coordinating consultancy services and/or surge support for power sector technical guidance and support for USAID and Power Africa stakeholders, including the U.S. Interagency, the Private Sector, and African Governments.
  • Ensures documentation and dissemination of findings, impact, innovations, and lessons learned.
  • Ensures optimal use of human, financial, and physical resources to successfully meet project milestones, objectives, deliverables, and targets.
  • Oversees budget formulations and realignments and contract modifications
  • Promotes sustainability of PAISM activities through effective networking, linkages to other relevant programs, and maturing relationships with and engagement of locally-based partners and experts.

Other Functions:

  • Engages fully as a member of the EnCompass staff team, including participating in staff meetings and other EnCompass events
  • Other duties as assigned

Position Requirements


Academic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred in international development, energy policy, environment, business, or related field

Experience and Skills

  • Minimum eight (8) years of experience managing international development projects in the energy/power sector required, including overseeing complex budgeting, and experience overseeing or implementing MEL, data management, KM, TA activities, and/or buy-in/on-demand mechanisms highly preferred
  • Familiarity with the USAID Power Africa initiative, and significant technical expertise in key energy sector areas of focus, and experience implementing activities in Sub-Saharan Africa required
  • Previous experience providing management, technical and financial and contractual oversight and compliance on USAID-funded projects highly preferred, including experience with USG-funded program management, policies, regulations and procedures
  • Experience managing complex relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including multiple clients across geographies, implementing partners and host country governments at different levels
  • Experience supervising teams of diverse staff and dispersed consultants and demonstrated leadership capacity and motivational skills; experience effectively engaging international and national consultants, staff and subcontractors
  • Demonstrated effective interpersonal and leadership, strategic thinking/planning, management, and presentation skills required
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and deliver quality products, champion project learning and investment in activities that lead to desired outcomes and results required
  • Experience strengthening monitoring, evaluation, learning and adaptive management capacities of USAID staff, implementing partners, and government counterparts highly preferred
  • Excellent communication skills in English (written and verbal) required; fluency required
  • Proficiency in French desirable
  • Ability to travel within Sub-Saharan Africa and to the US, as necessary
  • South African and Sub-Saharan African candidates prioritized

How to Apply

Please submit CV and cover letter, and complete the application on the Careers & Consulting page of

EnCompass LLC is a progressive Equal Opportunity Employer. We promote, celebrate, and support a diverse and inclusive organizational culture and workforce. We are committed to providing all of our employees with an environment free from discrimination and harassment, where all are treated with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate, and explicitly prohibit, discrimination or harassment of any kind, at any time, in all aspects of employment. This includes recruitment, hiring, promotions, disciplinary measures, terminations, compensation, benefits, social and recreational programs, and training. EnCompass also does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who report discrimination or harassment. Our continuing commitment to the principle of Equal Opportunity Employment for all means all employment decisions are based only on the job requirements, the candidate’s qualifications, and the needs of EnCompass as a business—not on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, belief, sex (including pregnancy and related medical conditions), gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability status, veteran status, genetic information, HIV status, family/marital/parental status, or any other status protected by the laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we work.

For US based positions: The employer will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required of personnel so classified.

The incumbent must be able to work in a fast-paced environment with demonstrated ability to juggle and prioritize multiple, competing tasks and demands and to seek supervisory assistance as appropriate.

If you require accommodations in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act to complete your application, please call 301-287-8700, provide your contact information and a description of your accessibility issue. We will make a determination on your request for reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case-basis, and we will call you back within approximately 3 business days.

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