Head of Kenya / Country Director, Corporate Position, Kenya

Date of Publication: 
16 December 2021
Application Deadline: 
14 January 2022
Cowater International
Brief Description: 
Cowater International is looking for a dynamic and passionate individual to join and lead a fast-growing team in Kenya. The successful candidate will support and drive our strategic positioning and continued growth of our project portfolio across the East Africa and Southern Africa region. 
Currently, Cowater is delivering a large and diverse portfolio of projects in East and Southern Africa with donors such as FCDO, AfDB, GAC, EU, MCC, USAID and WB including Tax reform in Ethiopia, M&E for humanitarian programmes in Somalia, customs reform in Somalia, social protection in Rwanda, agriculture development in Djibouti/Somalia, tax and economic development in Mozambique and infrastructure services in Zambia. The Kenya-based team provides management support to these projects.
The Head of Kenya/Country Director provides leadership, management, and oversight of the Kenya (Nairobi) country office and team, including business development / marketing, client relationship management, people management, operations, finance, security and risk, technical backstopping, and key supplier relationship management.
The role serves as a focal point for regional business development in support of divisional level business development activities. The successful candidate will work in close collaboration and partnership with our division’s responsible for our core client service lines and technical service lines (Governance, Trade and Economic Reform, Gender and Social Development, Human Development, Climate Change and Environment, Monitoring and Evaluation) to support joint company initiatives in the East Africa and Southern Africa region.
Business Development

  • Champion business development in the East Africa and Southern Africa region.
  • Building and maintaining Cowater’s reputation with existing and prospective clients in the region (FCDO, GAC, EU, USAID, DANIDA, World Bank, MCC, AfDB etc).
  • Work with the Division Leads to generate new ideas, project designs, concept notes and strategically positioning Cowater for new opportunities in relevant sectors including Governance, Trade and Economic Reform, Gender and Social Development, Human Development, Climate Change and Environment, and Monitoring and Evaluation.
  • Lead regional marketing initiatives as well as develop government, donor, civil society, company partnerships for bids and projects.
  • Building and maintaining our networks and profile with Kenya/regional-based partners in existing and new market areas.
  • Building roster of relevant consultants in the region.
  • Proposal leadership and support in coordination with divisions leads.
  • Providing technical inputs into proposals in relevant areas including political economy analysis, contextual understanding, conflict sensitivity, programme management, VFM, M&E etc.
  • Contribute to the development of innovative and successful approaches to proposals and projects, including identifying potential members of the proposed team and consortium partners.
  • Play a key role in the preparation of technical and financial proposals, including leading business development missions to inform the development of new project concepts.

Corporate Initiatives and Operations

  • Cowater legal representative in Kenya.
  • Onsite management and leadership of the Kenya (Nairobi) team.
  • Point of contact for HQ and representing the Kenya (Nairobi) team in key corporate committees.
  • Budgetary oversight for Kenya (Nairobi) Office, including review and approval of all finances related to the office, projects and oversight of inter-project cost sharing and Value for Money.
  • On-the-ground management of risk in Kenya (including security), working closely with our HQ head of risk management and security providers.
  • Lead key corporate operational initiatives in Kenya e.g., safeguarding, code of conduct, culture, HR, security and risk, anti-corruption etc.
  • Managing relationships with all key suppliers based in Kenya.
  • Establishing close working relationships with Cowater division leads.
  • Maintain Cowater operations in East Africa and Horn of Africa.
  • Provide regional project portfolio support and corporate oversight as required.

Programme management, leadership and technical input

  • Through the growth of our regional portfolio, providing management and corporate oversight of projects in the region.
  • Providing technical, managerial, delivery and advisory support to Cowater projects as required (as a Project Director or Contractor Representative on projects).
  • Build effective working relationships with clients from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds; provide troubleshooting guidance where required.
  • Lead the successful delivery of projects in line with the terms of reference; and to ensure client and beneficiary’s satisfaction.
  • Work effectively in politically sensitive and challenging environments and apply Cowater's duty of care and safeguarding policy.
  • Build strong working relationships with project team leaders and members, ensuring they feel part of the Cowater family.


  • A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (project management, economics, political science, international development, business administration, etc.) or equivalent experience.

Minimum Experience:

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience with progressively more responsibility relating to programme management and business development in the international development sector;
  • Managing and directing new or existing international development projects, including:
    • supervising and coordinating inputs and efforts from field and HQ team members;
    • performing quality control on all deliverables;
    • engaging in recruitment of project staff;
    • “hands-on” rigorous management of budgets, contracts and schedules; and
    • maintaining clear communication lines between HQ, the field and clients;
  • Minimum 5 years working experience in Eastern and Southern Africa
  • Experience with international donor reporting requirements;
  • Technical expertise in one or more of the following areas is considered an asset
    • Governance, Trade and Economic Reform
    • Gender and Social Development
    • Human Development
    • Climate Change and Environment
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • domestic revenue reform

Essential Skills:

  • Excellent writing skills (reports, work plans, proposals)
  • Strong financial management skills
  • Strong managerial and organisational skills
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills

Language Proficiency: Ability to work in English is required.
Employment Conditions: Applicant from Kenya and the East Africa region are encouraged to apply. 
Candidates are encouraged to apply by January 14th on our Careers PageThis is an ongoing recruitment so candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possibly as interviews will be conducted on an ongoing basis.   
For your application to be considered, please upload your documents as followed: Candidate Last Name, First Name, date, Title of the Position.
We thank all applicants, however only those shortlisted will be contacted.


With more than 35 years’ experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development and has managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, financial and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, Cowater International also has corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec; London, United Kingdom; Nairobi, Kenya; and Brussels, Belgium, in addition to project offices in a wide variety of other locations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
We thank you for your interest in building a better tomorrow with Cowater International.