In Careers & Opportunities



Senior Program Officer, Sexual Health and Rights (Africa)

Location of Position

New York, NY, Kenya, or Uganda

Reporting Relationship

Director, Sexual Health and Rights


American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to pursue justice and fight poverty in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger, to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all. 


AJWS works to increase access to services and end discrimination, violence and abuse of women, girls, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and sex workers, so that they can access the full spectrum of opportunities in society and live in health, safety and dignity.


The Senior Program Officer (SPO) manages AJWS’ dynamic sexual health and rights grantmaking in Africa, coordinates capacity-building and programmatic opportunities for in-country staff and grantees, coordinates with other funders, and engages in strategic learning and evaluation in order to document AJWS’s impact and to improve grantmaking strategies, with a specific focus on Uganda, Kenya and Liberia. The SPO collaborates closely with country consultants and the Director of Sexual Health and Rights to develop and implement strategy in sexual health and rights. The SPO seeks strategic opportunities for partnership and collaboration that leverage AJWS’s grantmaking and promote the work of grantees, develops initiatives that advance AJWS and grantees’ work, and contributes to funder affinity groups and networks to deepen knowledge in the field.

The ideal candidate will have a proven record as a strategic grantmaker or related activism and advocacy in the field of sexual health and rights, with experience working in East and/or West Africa and in-depth knowledge of the legal, political, social and economic contexts in the region. S/he must also have a keen understanding of how local activists need to partner with national and global activist networks to create impactful change. 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Develop, implement, monitor and evaluate dynamic grant making strategies in Uganda, Kenya and Liberia, in collaboration with the Director of Sexual Health and Rights, staff and consultants;
  • Advance grant making program in Sexual Health and Rights by identifying new grantees, developing proposals, supporting grantees with technical assistance and access to opportunities, respond to crises and emergencies and refining grant making strategies based on learning and evaluation in close partnership with country-based staff;
  • Identify and deepen relationships with collegial donors, civil society organizations, activists, policymakers and other allies;
  • In partnership with the Senior Program Officer of Land, Water and Climate Justice or other staff with a portfolio in country, directly manage AJWS country consultants/staff in Uganda, Kenya and Liberia, and work closely with them to implement portfolio strategies in country.
  • Engage staff to build capacity across countries and thematic areas to address key programmatic priorities aligned with AJWS strategic plan, staff professional development goals and portfolio needs;
  • Develop and oversee grantmaking budget and operational plans for Uganda, Kenya and Liberia, in conjunction with the Director of Sexual Health and Rights
  • Monitor the Sexual Health and Rights team grant making budget and operational plans in conjunction with the Director of Sexual Health and Rights;
  • Identify emerging issues and trends in Uganda, Kenya and Liberia, as well as across the East and West African regions, and utilize findings to determine funding priorities and develop grantmaking strategies and initiatives;
  • Collaborate with grantmaking colleagues to identify and analyze regional and global trends and document lessons learned and cross regional/thematic learning;
  • Partner with other members of the Sexual Health and Rights team to establish departmental priorities, learning agenda, be a thought partner with the Director of SHR in developing departmental processes, and build a shared departmental identity;
  • Organize and conduct at least two to three trips in the focus countries per year for exploratory research, site visits, partner meetings, and monitoring and evaluation;
  • Partner with Strategic Learning, Research and Evaluation division to identify research projects that can strengthen country-based grantmaking and/or document the learning emerging from AJWS’s grant making to inform the field of HR funders and related fields of philanthropy/development;
  • Partner with development staff to manage relationships, lead and plan study tours and other donor engagement visits to focal countries, write reports and fulfill other contractual obligations of donors that are supporting AJWS’s work;
  • Collaborate with members of the advocacy team and International Education and Jewish Engagement to ensure a close integration of the priorities of AJWS’s grantees with AJWS’s advocacy efforts in the U.S. and internationally;
  • Increase AJWS’s visibility and profile by presenting AJWS’s work to donors, collegial organizations, networks and policymakers;
  • Play a leadership role in funding networks and policy arenas to advance the advocacy agendas of AJWS grantees and improve the field of international human rights funding


  • BA/BS required; Masters degree in relevant field (law, public policy, public administration, public health) strongly preferred;
  • Minimum of seven years of working at a foundation, international development or human rights organization in the field of sexual health and rights, with work experience in East and/or West Africa required;
  • Experience with, and commitment to, grassroots social justice and human rights movements;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of issues related to stigma and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, expression and sex characteristics
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills; experience writing or reviewing grant proposals;
  • Demonstrated experience in managing staff;
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills and experience managing donor relations;
  • Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking in English required; ability to speak Swahili or French highly desirable;
  • Working understanding of human rights norms and practices, feminism(s), international development, and grassroots social movement building;
  • Proficiency reviewing, monitoring and evaluating budgets and financial documents;
  • Enthusiastic about spending up to 6-9 weeks per year traveling in the focus countries and/or internationally;
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends;
  • Highly organized, with the proven ability to work independently, prioritize and complete multiple projects, meet deadlines and maintain consistent attention to detail; and
  • Ability to work in and with diverse communities.

Compensation and Benefits Information:

  • Additional information will be provided as candidates progress further in the recruitment process.

Additional Considerations:

People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds.

All candidates must have legal work authorization in US, Kenya or Uganda.

How to Apply:

For immediate consideration, please email your resume and cover letter to AfricaSHRCareers@ajws.org

Deadline to apply is January 28, 2019.

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

AJWS is an equal opportunity employer and provides competitive salaries and benefitsJ

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