Head of External Relations

Development Initiatives Poverty Research
June 17, 2019
Washington DC, United States
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Not specified
Travel Required?
Base Salary
Not specified


DI opened its US charitable arm (DIPRA) in 2015 in order to drive action toward our strategic objectives, build new partnerships and deepen existing ones, increase the use of our analysis in the US and leverage new funding opportunities in the US and beyond.

DI already has a history of longstanding funding relationships with European,
Scandinavian and Canadian governments, as well as key philanthropic partners in those regions. Our links with the US government and institutions remain largely unexplored, as do potential partnership opportunities with US think-tanks, CSOs and private sector organisations. As part of our 2016–2020 strategy, DI is expanding and diversifying its network of partnerships and funding partners, and building a financial base and developing relationships with new trusts and foundations.

We have undertaken stakeholder engagement through projects on an ad hoc basis, and would now like to expand and strengthen partnerships in a more systematic and strategic way. While work has also been undertaken on funder scoping and outreach, with a specific focus on philanthropic organisations and new funders of data and evidence based in the US and the US government institutions, we have yet to undertake stakeholder mapping and establish formal relationships with US funding bodies and organisations who are aligned with our agenda.

We are seeking a consultant who will take on the role of DI’s Head of External Relations to represent DI in the US, broaden awareness of our work, undertake stakeholder mapping and outreach to key stakeholders, including government, foundations, thinktanks and CSOs. They will also need to focus on fundraising and building new funding partnerships, bringing creativity, innovation and proactivity to the role to secure new channels of funding, build relationships with donors and ensure DI continues to meet demand for the complex data work necessary to drive informed and evidence-based policy decisions to end poverty.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the consultant will be based in our office in
Washington DC and will work with and support our Executive Team (the Executive Director, four other Directors who are based in the UK and our Head of Africa who is based in Kenya). They will:

  • Work closely with engagement, partnerships and business development staff
  • Review and be guided by our existing engagement and fundraising strategy and fundraising implementation plan
  • Be the lead role in establishing the DI brand and increase awareness of DIPRA in the US, developing and maintaining relationships and representing DIPRA externally at events
  • Lead the representation of DI in the US and establish a strong reputation and maintain our brand
  • Identify key stakeholders for DI to build strategic relationships with; introduce DI to these stakeholders and what it can offer
  • Ensure our consultancy offer is clear and relevant in the US and increase its visibility
  • Build relationships with key US administration officials and Congressional leaders
  • Build a strategic income stream for DI from the US – engage with US donors and increase DI’s funding partnerships with new donors in the US
  • Represent DI at key meetings, conferences and events, and ensure DI’s work and voice is well represented to contribute to policy discussions.

Person Specification 


  • Senior level leadership of external representation, speaking on
    international development issues including participating on panels and
    undertaking presentations
  • Evidenced track record of developing successful fundable ideas and
    translating them into applications for trusts, foundations, statutory bodies,
    bilateral or other institutional grant funders
  • International development or third-sector experience and politically savvy
  • Demonstrable networking experience and strong contacts within US
    government, NGOs based in the US, think-tanks, trusts and foundations
  • Evidence of developing corporate partnerships

Skills & Abilities 

  • Stakeholder mapping and engagement expertise – able to systematically
    map stakeholders to influence, develop and deliver engagement strategy
  • Strong business development skills and expertise – evidence of ability to
    develop contacts and critical relationships for an organisation to increase
    its reputation, demand for its work as well as secure funding for its
  • Experience of developing concept notes, proposals and taking a
    conversation from initial conception to a fully funded programme of work
  • Excellent networker who can build strong and lasting relationships with key stakeholders
  • Excellent communication skills, including experience of communicating
    effectively across varied audiences, both verbally and in writing, and able
    to undertake external presentations
  • Ability to synthesise, interpret and present complex information for policyrelated discussions and talk confidently on a variety of issues
  • Confident to represent DI in senior level discussions and meetings
  • Able to work with a globally dispersed team, communicating via e-comms
    methods to connect and engage others across the organisation for US
  • Proven organisational planning and project management skills
  • Good financial management and budgeting skills


  • Excellent knowledge of international development with experience of
    working on aid, humanitarian assistance, development financing and
    poverty eradication
  • A good understanding of the US funding environment and strategic
    discourse shaping funding priorities
  • A good knowledge of how the US government works, with working
    knowledge and experience of how to create opportunities to influence
  • Knowledge and understanding of statutory, trust and institutional
    fundraising, including research sources and funding criteria
  • Understanding of/connections with Canada would be a benefit

Personal Attributes 

  • Competent in working under pressure for deadlines
  • Attention to accuracy and detail
  • Adept at working independently with minimal support
  • Highly confident with a strong network of contacts

Application Details

Your CV/Business Portfolio and covering letter should be emailed to: Connie Fitzgerald (Human Resources Officer) at HR@devinit.org quoting ref: Head of External Relations in the email subject line. You should also include a note of your daily rate and available start date.

  • Closing date: 28 June 2019
  • First Interview: w/c 8 July 2019
  • Second Interview: TBC

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