Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Through its Young Africa Works strategy and Canadian EleV program, the Foundation works with partners to ensure that millions of young people, especially young women, access quality education, financial services, and dignified work. Mastercard Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is independent with its own Board of Directors and CEO.
We are recruiting to fill the position of:
Job Title: Head of Policy and Thought Leadership
The Work at the Foundation
- We have entered a very exciting time at the Foundation as we scale up our operations across Africa to realize our Young Africa Works strategy. Our role at the Mastercard Foundation is to be a catalyst. Our Young Africa Works strategy focuses on working with others to spur systemic change so young people have the opportunity to find work that is dignified and fulfilling.
- The Foundation has opened offices in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Uganda, building a broader leadership presence in Africa to develop specific strategies that support youth employment. Within a country, we work with governments, the private sector, educators and other funders to improve the quality of education and vocational training, prepare young people for the work force, expand access to financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and connect job seekers to dignified and fulfilling work.
- We are ambitious and driven. Our values transcend and rise above everything else as our guide. We encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work. We laugh at ourselves and with each other. We are a team. Our journey together makes our impact even more meaningful.
- Reporting to the Head of Public Affairs and Communications, this role will develop and implement the Policy and Thought Leadership strategy to advance Young Africa Works and EleV in the countries in which the Foundation works.
- This position will also oversee editorial, speaking, and content responsibilities for the executive team and senior subject matter experts.
- This individual will leverage the Foundation’s resources, including research, impact, and programming to highlight staff voices and proprietary research; support the growth of knowledge management; and identify opportunities to promote the Foundation’s messaging as a thought leader through its work and impact in Africa.
- The Head of Policy and Thought Leadership will build productive and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders (i.e. Foundation executives, country leaders, government and private sector).
Ways You Can Contribute
- Develop and collaborate with key departments and functional teams to implement Foundation thought leadership strategy.
- Strengthen Foundation’s position as thought leader in the youth employment sector in Africa by developing policy objectives and products (briefs, papers, key messages, etc.) based on learning and insight from Young Africa Works.
- Provide strategic counsel to the President & CEO and senior leadership within the organization.
- Collaborate across functions and departments to ensure campaigns and communications are appropriately aligned and positioned.
- Write senior executive speeches, op-ed pieces, letters to the editor, etc., and develop content (policy papers, research briefs, etc.) in support of Foundation’s policy work, research, and other organizational priorities.
- Equip Foundation executives and country teams, as well as third-party spokespersons to advance strategy.
- Collaborate with functional teams to support content curation for the Young Africa Works Summit and signature events. This includes development of themes and identification of speakers.
- Support content development for Foundation event programming (e.g. Mastercard Foundation Baobab Summit, local workshops, etc.)
- Identify and map internal and external stakeholders.
- Build and maintain relationships with key opinion leaders and strategic partners.
- Build and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
- Build, coach, mentor, a Policy and Thought Leadership team.
- Other duties as required by business needs.
Who You Are
Pivotal Experience & Expertise:
- Bachelor’s Degree required, preferably in Journalism or Communications, Law or Policy.
- At least 15 – 20 years writing/editing and project management; experience with public policy; and experience in working closely with executives.
- Experience developing and implementing communications strategies.
- Experience in managing, leading, and coaching staff.
- Experience in rhetorical research, fact-checking, analysis, and content development.
- Innovative and entrepreneurial – can formulate and develop new or creative approaches to problems and inspires others on the team to do so as well. Able to work independently and proactively with a desire to seize opportunities.
- Flexible and open – must be comfortable with ambiguity, be receptive to new ideas, and is also willing to change when presented with best options.
- Relationship Builder – ability to build relationships throughout all levels of the Foundation, strong interpersonal and team skills. Comfortable working with individuals with diverse communications styles.
- Collaborative – commitment to team, stakeholder orientation; comfort working with all staff levels and receptive to feedback. Strong interpersonal and team skills.
- Results driven – motivated by a high sense of performance excellence and urgency. Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment with a “hands-on” approach. Has an appreciation for the importance of results and measurement.
- Organizational skills – outstanding organizational skills and attention to detail. Demonstrated ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced, fluid environment.
- Intellectually curious – ability to think creatively to generate original content and strategies. Strong listening skills and is open and responsive to feedback.
- Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills – ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
- Integrity – Exhibits integrity and the highest ethical standards through consistent behaviour.
- Professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
- French language skills would be an asset.
- May require international travel up to 10% of the time.