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Nairobi Design Institute is hiring a Managing Director

Managing Director: Nairobi Design Institute

Position Summary

Nairobi Design Institute are looking for an experienced Managing Director who is a strategist and a leader able to steer the organization while also implementing the vision, mission, and long term goals. The Managing Director is a strong fundraiser and will work well in partnership with the Founders.


  • Develop and execute NDI’s strategy, and provide strategic advice to the Leadership team in order to attain annual goals in alignment with the long-term mission and vision of the
  • Cultivate, lead and maintain a wide portfolio of cross-sector partnerships (e.g., foundations,
    companies, government, philanthropists, nonprofits) that bring critical resources and
    opportunities to NDI.
  • Communicate and maintain trust relationships with our project partners, funding partners,
    and other strategic partners to ensure project scopes and deliverables are aligned and meet our standard of quality.
  • Prepare and implement comprehensive annual plans to ensure cost-effective operations
    and revenue creation for the organization’s sustainability.
  • Ensure the financial and operational success of the organization, including effective talent
    management, grants management and reporting, operations, and budgeting
  • Delegate responsibilities, supervise work and provide guidance, motivation, and support to the leadership and design team to drive maximum, high-quality performance and
  • With the Director and Program’s Director, bring excellent talent to NDI, including recruiting, identifying, selecting, and onboarding individuals.
  • Act as the public face and public relations representative of NDI in ways that strengthen our
    profile across the region both the design and social sectors, through networking, speaking,
    and writing.
  • Mentor the next generation of designers and leaders and support the organization in
    matching them with other excellent mentors
  • Set and reinforce NDI’s culture—leading by example and finding creative ways to reinforce NDI’s values and inspire the team.


You are passionate about the social sector and design and you are ready to roll up your sleeves to build something spectacular. You have played a significant role in building a mission-driven organization in the past, and you can’t wait to do it again for an organization with huge ambitions.

You love building networks to unlock opportunities, inspire others, and create impact. You have worked in the social sector and are familiar with the intricacies of working with domestic and international foundations, aid organizations, and nonprofits.

You know how to close the deal, mobilize the team, and get things done.

You understand human-centered design and you believe in its worth in solving difficult problems.

You’re guided by your business sense and your people’s sense, and you know how to make decisions that are good for the organization, its strategy, its impact, its people and its sustainability.

Balancing multiple projects and prioritizing your time comes naturally to you. You know when to push when it’s time to ease off, and when a beer might be the best idea.

You have strong qualifications, including

  • 10+ years of relevant experience—ideally some within social sector organizations and in consulting—with at least three years in a leadership position.
  • A track record of creating and running new initiatives and building teams around those initiatives.
  • A penchant for problem-solving, and a passion for NDI’s mission to spread human-centered
    design throughout the social sector.
  • Multiple strong relationships and partnerships throughout the social sector.
  • Strong consulting and customer service skills, which help you listen to the needs of others and frame opportunities around them.
  • Excellent, demonstrated management skills including the ability to inspire, motivate,
    influence, and hold colleagues accountable to high standards.
  • Business development experience especially with nonprofits, foundations, and individual philanthropists. Fundraising experience is a plus.
  • Comfort driving results in a highly ambiguous environment.
  • Exceptional communication skills, including writing and public speaking.
  • A passion for changing the conventional education system to one that builds creative leaders in the region who care about meeting the needs of their communities and connects education to the industry in the region.


The Nairobi Design Institute (NDI) is a twelve-month program introducing African youth to the concepts of human-centered design to create innovative and effective user experiences. It empowers them to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that have emotional meaning as well as being functional and to design solutions that are contextualized for Africa.

The NDI program is dedicated to designing thinking, design making, and design doing. An immersive, optimistic exploration into the future of design in Africa, our students simultaneously engage in prototyping and debate, research and interaction, problem framing and presentation skills.

APPLY NOW by sending your cv and cover letter to apply@nairobi.design by 27th March 2020

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