Educating leaders for a sustainable future.

Position:  Director of Partnerships and Careers

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Duration: 2-year minimum commitment, full-time


The future of peace and stability in East Africa lies in the hands of young women who have the leadership skills and wisdom to create jobs and build businesses that will lift their communities out of poverty. In East Africa, 85% of women work in subsistence agriculture, living on less than $2 per day. Furthermore, only 1% of the population enters university, and less than one-third of those students are female. We believe that educating young women is simply the wisest and most effective investment a developing country can make.


The Akilah Institute for Women aims to build future generations of women leaders and professionals in East Africa through the development of a network of campuses. At Akilah, we bring together the most promising female leaders from Rwanda and Burundi for an innovative three-year program
 that prepares them for professional careers and leadership roles. Akilah will graduate 1,000 students by the year 2020. In 2015, Akilah will enroll a total over 500 students on two campuses. Our hands-on and project-based curriculum is developed in partnership with the local private sector. Students start with a foundational year of English, math and leadership immersion before choosing a specialized track in Entrepreneurship, Information Systems (IS), or Hospitality Management. Students graduate with the market-relevant skills required for meaningful employment in the fastest growing sectors of the economy. 

The Position:

The Akilah Managing Director of Partnerships and Careers (MDPC) will have a unique opportunity to reimagine higher education for women in Rwanda. In a post-genocide era in which women have assumed significant leadership roles in both Parliament and a booming business community, Akilah is poised to develop the next set of Rwandan leaders. The MDPC will play a critical role in supporting the educational experience of these aspiring women leaders by helping to build deep partnerships with the private sector throughout Rwanda. Our dream candidate is strategic, a serious critical thinker, and detail-oriented. S/he is extremely creative when it comes to finding ways to identify industry trends and making a case for why new industries and companies should hire Akilah graduates. He/she is able to hold the big picture in mind while diving into the granular details. The MDPC will design and support an effort to reach out to our current partners and collect data on what skills they see in our graduates and where we need to refine our curriculum to meet their growing needs. We expect the MDPC to be innovative about how we can manage our high level partnerships as we grow exponentially and bring on new connections. The MDPC will manage a team of 1-2 members and work very closely with the Managing Director of Program on tying back all feedback from our partners into our curriculum development for the students.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Own the success of all partnership cultivation, oversight, and ongoing management.
  • Spearhead a comprehensive feedback loop with our partners. Develop the analytical tools to assess our graduate’s performance once they are placed into jobs. Our goal is to move beyond anecdotal stories and find a systemic way to collect aggregated feedback, identify patterns of success and challenges, and use the data to drive improvements in the program.
  • Communicate effectively with the Managing Director of Program to integrate feedback into the curriculum.
  • Serve as critical thought partner to the Country Director and leadership team in the US. Provide sound counsel, demonstrate fidelity to the vision, and exercise judgment in sensitive situations.
  • Supervise 1-2 staff members.
  • Work in close proximity to the Director of Communications to ensure consistent messaging.
  • Leverage community, private sector, government conferences and events to build strategic partnerships. Identify ways to showcase our students’ hands-on learning work–in order to engage current and prospective partners more deeply.
  • Expand Akilah’s partnership base and pipeline by crafting and implementing a comprehensive partnership strategy.
  • Cultivate, strengthen, and expand corporate partnerships to develop job placement sites for the students and graduates.
  • Work effectively with colleagues across the growing Akilah global network to share information, resources, and leads. Help to manage relationships effectively and collaborate on global efforts.
  • Create an alumni strategy to maintain ongoing relationships with Akilah’s graduates. Devise a process to collect data on all graduate’s job performance and promotion rates.
  • Work with the Managing Director of Program and Country Director to design a program that helps students prepare for their job search and long term careers during their three years at Akilah.
  • Develop a career assessment tools that assist students in thinking about what kinds of careers they would be good at based on their performance and interpersonal skills.
  • Develop workshops for students so that they can explore future careers options. Create recruiting events and activities that will bring corporate partners and student together a few times a year.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • 5+ years of relevant experience in sales, partnership building, relationship management, or business development. Private, public, and non-profit backgrounds are all valued. The ideal candidate will have succeeded in a high-performing organization and be eager to apply best practices.
  • Achievement oriented, comfort operating in a fast-paced entrepreneurial environment with accountability to results.
  • Ability to effectively lead a team directly as well as earn trust and accountability from colleagues on other teams; collaborative approach to decision-making
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills, excellent oral presentation and written skills.
  • Has a deep understanding of the growing Rwandan labor market and is well networked with the private sector to help identify suitable job opportunities for Akilah students.
  • Ability to model Akilah’s core values.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution required; relevant advanced degree preferred.
  • Rwandan Nationals Only


Competitive compensation, health insurance, campus crèche, gym membership, generous PTO

Deadline to apply: October 15