Program Director, Global Education Practice

Multiple locations
Domestic – Education /
Full-Time Exempt /
Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too. 

We have a unique and vibrant culture at R4D. Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of our work environment and help advance our mission. Diversity—of ideas, identities, perspectives and backgrounds—is vital to who we are and what we do. We seek people who embrace these values and will help reinforce them. Our work culture is collaborative, creative and entrepreneurial. We operate based on trust and respect. Teams across the organization frequently collaborate on programmatic work and support each other in continuously building a better R4D.

This position allows for a hybrid office/remote work environment and can be based in Washington DC, US, or any other of R4D's registered offices such as the UK, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Please note this opportunity is only for individuals who have current and indefinite work authorization in one of the countries listed above and do not require future work sponsorship.

Change agents face a number of challenges as they work to strengthen education systems. Some of these challenges are similar across countries, which creates opportunities for co-development of solutions and learning across contexts. R4D’s Education Practice seeks to improve outcomes and generate globally applicable learning about what works through deep engagement with partners — ranging from small-scale implementers to governments to large multilateral. We support them to better understand the nature of the problems they seek to address, to experiment with various solutions, and to connect them with others wrestling with similar challenges.

We are increasingly focused on supporting country-led education systems change in specific countries, by working directly to support Ministries of Education and their collaborators in civil society, academia, and the private sector.

In terms of thematic focus, we work to advance progress on critical issues such as early childhood development, teaching and learning, out-of-school children, education financing, non-state education, education innovation, and education technology.  R4D’s current portfolio currently includes a large global multi-donor education technology initiative, EdTech Hub, as well as numerous smaller initiatives in our other areas of focus. We aim to maintain and expand our impact in EdTech, while significantly growing our work in other thematic areas.

Position Summary:

The Program Director provides strategic and technical direction to R4D’s Education Practice. Central to this role is stewardship and refreshing of the team’s Education Strategy. We are particularly eager to identify a leader who is passionate about building R4D’s program portfolio, working directly with ministries of education and their partners to design, test, and adapt education programs and policies.
The Program Director assumes primary ownership for ensuring the delivery of high-quality support across all programs that are not part of EdTech Hub (which is led by other leaders on the education team).  This includes providing substantial, technically-sound inputs into all stages of project delivery, from conceptualization to implementation to dissemination.
The Program Director is responsible for building a high-impact pipeline of projects in line with the Education Practice and R4D organizational strategies. The Program Director’s role in program creation and business development is multi-faceted, including developing new concepts that advance the Education Practice’s goals, cultivating and strengthening relationships with donors, establishing partnerships with complementary organizations to jointly pursue work, and leading responses to opportunities aligned with practice capabilities and goals.
As a member of R4D’s Program Leadership Group, the Program Director contributes to key organizational initiatives at R4D in collaboration with other practice leads while managing several members of the R4D Education Practice. We seek a leader who is committed to our team’s goals of building our presence in Africa and Asia by not only adding new projects but building relationships with new partner organizations and hiring staff in those regions.
Finally, the Program Director helps raise the visibility and extend the impact of R4D’s Education practice by serving as a thought leader in one or more of the practice’s areas of focus. As a thought leader, the Program Director is expected to represent the team at high-level conferences and fora, engage with key decision makers at the country, regional, global levels, and identify new ways of sharing the team’s work to maximize its uptake.


    • Identify new opportunities for expanding the team’s portfolio of projects both through the development of new concepts and by responding to calls for proposals. Lead responses to such proposals, including assembling teams to craft proposals, crafting technical approaches, and ensuring overall quality of submissions.
    • Ensure high-quality delivery of programs with portfolio.
    • Build and maintain strong relationships with multiple partners, including government leaders, funders, multilaterals, peer organizations, and local partner organizations,
    • Expand the impact of R4D’s education practice by identifying and implementing creative strategies for disseminating work to increase its influence beyond our direct partners.
    • Cultivate innovative strategies for promoting the uptake of work among global, regional, and country audiences.
    • Lead recruitment efforts for members of the Education practice.
    • Manage several staff on Education Team
    • Lead cross-cutting set of education team activities, such as the development of a monthly newsletter and agenda development of team meetings.
    • Lead and/or contribute to cross-R4D management strategic initiatives. Represent education practice at Program Leadership Group.
    • Lead periodic reviews and updates to the education practice strategy.
    • Participates fully as a member of R4D by contributing, assisting, and participating in projects, activities, and initiatives as requested by management.


    • Advanced degree in international development, education, economics, or a related social science field.
    • At least twelve years of experience in international education, with at least 5 years of experience in senior-level management positions. Experience overseeing large project portfolios and teams.
    • Extensive experience working in Africa and Asia; understands the needs of decision makers in African and/or Asian countries and is experienced at co-designing and implementing efforts to strengthen capacity.
    • Experience working in government or very closely with government is highly preferred.
    • Experience leading complex, multi-stakeholder projects.
    • Proven track record of mobilizing financial support for international development projects. Relationships with a range of key international education donors.
    • Proven experience conceptualizing and co-creating new project approaches.
    • Recognized expertise as a global thought leader in one or more of the following topics: early childhood development, out-of-school children, education financing, EdTech, non-state education, education innovation, or other areas related to education systems. 
    • Track record of successful mentoring and coaching of mid-level and senior personnel
    • Strong organizational skills, and a capacity to handle multiple tasks under tight deadlines.
    • Excellent communication skills; including writing for multiple audiences and presenting to a range of different stakeholders (e.g. government officials, researchers, donors).  Proficiency in a second language, especially French, is preferred but not required.
    • Highly collaborative and approachable team member who is enthusiastic about supporting the team and working closely with other senior leaders at R4D.  
Results for Development is an EOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering
and nurturing an energetic, collaborative and diverse workforce. R4D provides market-competitive salaries and comprehensive employee benefits.