Busara Center Engagement Director Job in Nairobi, Kenya

Busara Center for Behavioral Economics

Job Vacancy: Engagement Director

Job Location: Nairobi County, Kenya

Job Description: Engagement Directors are the primary leaders in the projects division at Busara, responsible for leading the planning, strategy, and trajectory of Busara engagements.

Engagement Directors have two primary responsibilities at Busara — structuring and supervising an active portfolio of projects, and developing partnerships to design and develop new engagements for their portfolio.

Engagement Directors are the primary portfolio managers for all external Busara projects, supervising a set of engagements each staffed with different project management teams.

Engagement Directors are expected to be able to quickly gain an expert understanding of a particular problem or research question and use all tools at their disposal, both within and outside Busara, to design, structure, and supervise an engagement to the highest possible degree.

Engagement Directors are expected to have strong management skills and be comfortable driving all aspects of potential Busara engagements. Engagement Directors will manage projects that apply rigorous research methods to identify novel, evidence-based solutions to challenging client needs. Engagement Directors will primarily supervise a team of talented associates to deliver research insights in a compelling way that lead to action.

Additionally, Engagement Directors take a larger role in supporting the growth and sustainability of the global operations. As you start to hone your industry and technical expertise, you will help build valuable relationships that generate business opportunities for Busara. Engagement Directors have a great deal of autonomy in the partnerships they build, and as such play a crucial role in shaping the strategy for the organization going forward.

Lastly, Engagement Directors play a crucial role in the organization as members of the senior management team. They will be both critical to developing and overseeing implementation of organizational strategy, defining expansion and growth priorities and playing a key role in internal processes such as hiring, recruiting, and coaching.

Delivery Responsibilities:

Engagement Directors will work to assemble a team of Busara advisors and researchers to structure successful projects that deliver value and knowledge to the client.

Core delivery responsibilities include, but are limited to:

  • Manage and coordinate a portfolio of projects across multiple client bases (researchers, private sector, government etc. ).
  • Structure, design, and deliver external and internal engagements to client’s satisfaction
  • Manage, motivate, and coach a team of associates and analysts to execute projects in your portfolio.
  • Strategically assemble teams on projects that maximize the probability of success, but also develop new skills and competencies among Busara’s talent pool and supporting divisions.
  • Stay current on the latest research in qualitative and quantitative methods, behavioral science, psychology, economics, and development to provide creative direction for engagements.
  • Responsible for final quality backstop on all work products produced and drafted for engagements by giving regular feedback to project teams, but also occasionally contributing to content.
  • Serve as the primary relationship manager for clients and partners. Understand and preempt needs of stakeholders through proactive communication and troubleshooting.
  • Structure successful project onboarding and offboarding exercises to support knowledge management between projects.
  • Design proposals, concept notes and pitch decks for new business opportunities and knowledge sharing. Present at conferences, networking events, or client meetings.
  • Contribute to the design, execution, and dissemination of Busara internal research projects.

Portfolio Growth Responsibilities:

In addition to project responsibilities, Engagement Directors also have the following growth responsibilities to ensure the growth and sustainability of the organization:

  • Develop a portfolio of projects that contribute to quarterly and annual business development targets for the organization
  • Proactively design internal research, thought pieces, and demos to help facilitate new market offerings, service lines, and potential revenue sources
  • Support Busara’s strategic planning by identifying markets of interest, future service lines, and priority investments.
  • Develop lasting relationship with clients to build long-term partnerships and promote behavioral science as an embedded tool within their organizations.
  • Serve as primary points of contact on large, multi-year projects and support VPs to develop effective engagement strategies for those projects.

Organizational Responsibilities:

Lastly, Engagement Directors have the following organizational responsibilities to ensure a healthy and functioning workplace:

  • Drive the strategy of the Projects Division by setting annual targets, managing any team building events, and ensuring clear, division harmony on priorities for the organization.
  • Serve as a core member of the senior management team, responsible for setting organizational strategy, holding other team members accountable, and making senior hiring decisions.
  • Manage communications to ensure clear internal knowledge management and harmonization across the Projects Division
  • Serve as Direct Managers to a team of associates and/or research specialists
  • Serve on internal committees when necessary.


Required Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Social Sciences, Public Policy, or related fields.
  • Strong understanding and application of rigorous research methods to industry.
  • Experience managing or mentoring senior staff and young professionals (3+ years)
  • Strong previous experience in a client-delivery role (e.g. management consulting, internal innovation team etc.)
  • Proven interest in behavioral science.
  • 5-7 years previous work experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop relationships with partner organizations.
  • Excellent management and organizational skills.
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently and a team player.
  • Interest and experience working in a fast-paced working environment.
  • Fluency and excellent communication and writing skills with a mastery of English.
  • Ability to execute projects while sustaining a global focus and vision for institutional planning and decision making.

Desired Qualifications:

  • A Master’s degree or PhD in Economics, Social Sciences, Public Policy, or related fields.
  • Previous experience running randomized controlled trials or lab experiments
  • Strong previous experience managing teams of researchers or consultants in East Africa
  • Experience sitting on senior management teams and developing organizational strategy
  • Extensive industry experience in a sector of focus for Busara (health, financial services, energy, governance, agriculture)

How to Apply

CLICK HERE to apply online

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Updated: June 15, 2018 — 10:15 am