Director, Leadership Practice

Director, Leadership Practice

Director, Leadership Practice

Director, Leadership Practice

July 8, 2024
Washington DC, United States of America
Position type
Experience (minimum)
10+ Years
Education (minimum)
Travel required?
Base salary (minimum)
$150,000 - 160,000


Who We Are

IREX is a global development and education organization. We strive for a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world—where individuals reach their full potential, governments serve their people, and communities thrive. With a projected annual portfolio of more than $150 million and more than 750 staff worldwide, we work with partners in more than 100 countries in four areas essential to progress: cultivating leaders, empowering youth, strengthening institutions, and increasing access to quality education and information.

The Director of Leadership Practice leads a $130 million multi-year global portfolio of 12  programs with a diverse team of approximately 90 staff. The portfolio includes the Mandela Washington Fellowship (YALI) that develops young African leaders from 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the Young Leaders of the Americas (YLAI) that supports social entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Climate Talent Initiative, a suite of unique fellowships that accelerate the flow of talent into the climate change sector worldwide.

Global challenges call for leaders who create transformative change across sectors on a variety of issues essential for our shared future, from climate change to democracy. At IREX, our leadership approach prepares leaders to engage and inspire others, advocate thoughtfully, take action, and continue to learn in order to make positive social change.  To meet these challenges, IREX is looking for an entrepreneurial and results driven leader who has an excellent command of state of the art global leadership development across sectors and geographies. This is a role that combines strategy, innovation, and excellence in program execution.

The Director will be accountable for enabling, spearheading, guiding, expanding, and measuring the impact of this portfolio of programs. They will create and oversee innovative new programming; ensure excellence in implementation of existing programs; guide and support teams in surfacing trends, innovation, and impact opportunities; and facilitate alignment across programs and geographies to drive impact. They will cultivate and manage relationships with a diverse group of donors including foundations, private sector, and government donors.

The successful candidate will have a deep understanding of and proven experience with leadership development programs in the Global South including with new models of developing leaders in partnership with governments, the private sector, and the philanthropic community. They will offer lived experience alongside thought leadership to catalyze impact at scale.

The Director will work with the Vice President of Global Programs to further strengthen systems for delivering high quality services and products, and to position IREX for increased impact and future growth. They will continually assess the competitive environment to consolidate existing partnerships and to identify new opportunities and business models for IREX to advance its mission.

We are doers. Our decades of on-the-ground experience help us create greater impact, practical recommendations, and lasting partnerships.

Are you the next member of our team?

Your Background & Skills

  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • 15 + years of progressive experience.
  • Demonstrated passion for and thought leadership in the field of leadership development and social entrepreneurship and experience applying best practices to new and existing programs.
  • Strong experience in and knowledge of the Global South, including overseas work experience and deep country-level expertise.
  • Experience building a portfolio, elevating program impact, and executing programs.
  • Experience leading, motivating, developing, mentoring and managing a diverse team of high-capacity staff.
  • Ability to set and guide strategic vision and goals for the practice and contribute to IREX's Senior Management team.
  • Excellent organizational planning, presentation, and professional and technical writing skills.
  • Agile learning skills that lead to personal and staff professional growth in leadership development.
  • Strong ability to collaborate and negotiate with donors and strategic partners.
  • Strong budgeting and financial planning acumen.
  • Demonstrated commitment to IREX values (
  • You must have unrestricted authorization to work in the United States.


Your Daily Tasks

  • Provides strategic vision and guidance to practitioners working on leadership development and professional exchange programs.
  • Leads high standards for impact, measurement, scaling and adaptive learning across the program portfolio.
  • Drives the portfolio to achieve IREX strategic goals.
  • Elevates and builds the capacity of local leaders and organizations.
  • Supervises and supports managers, ensuring effective and compliant project management with a focus on results and impact.
  • Proactively monitors program risks and collaborates across the organization to mitigate against or address them.
  • Develops and promotes practice technical expertise and program impact through strategic communications products and approaches.
  • Cultivates and consults with donors and partners to promote IREX’s work.
  • Publicly represents and promotes program impact to a range of external audiences.
  • Collaborates with external peers and partners to establish IREX as a thought leader based on the impact, scalability, and innovative achievements of our work.
  • Establishes new strategic relationships/partnerships and deepens and expands existing relationships/partnerships/programs.
  • Leads and/or contributes to complex proposal efforts ensuring that global best practices, research, and technical approaches are incorporated into design.
  • Oversees practice annual budget, and compliance and financial integrity of projects in portfolio.
  • Monitors and supports teams to manage within project budgets.
  • Develops and executes plans for practice talent management, including recruitment, performance goal setting and management, and training and other professional development.
  • Champions diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through developing and implementing DEI strategy that aligns with IREX’s goals.
  • Provides sound and forward-looking technical and management support and coaching to project leads.
  • Provides leadership and vision to IREX's work across the organization in support of its strategy.
  • Ensures IREX values are "lived" by practice staff by setting example and emphasizing the importance of practicing our values to achieve impact.
  • Other support duties as needed.

IREX will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008.

We conduct background checks on all successful candidates.

This position is eligible for Telework. The eligible employee is a regular, full-time DC-based staff who works from a worksite outside the DC office for one or more days a week. 

This position is not eligible for Immigration Sponsorship.



EOE – Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, including disability/vets.

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