Job Description

Location : Headquarters - Chevy Chase, MD Duration : 2 year term Project Summary:

The USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub Project (the Trade Hub) is a five-year, $140 million trade and investment facilitation Activity that seeks to improve private sector competitiveness in West Africa through market-based approaches. The Trade Hub is an integral part of the Prosper Africa initiative and partners with the U.S. and West African private sector firms to generate new private-sector investment in key sectors to create jobs and increase trade between the U.S. and West Africa, including through increased utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This Activity comprises of two main components:
  1. Design and Administration of a grant-making facility for private sector partnerships
  2. Technical assistance (TA) that directly supports, coordinates, and engages with qualifying recipients (i.e., partners and grantees) to achieve USAID’s trade, investment, and food security objectives.
The Trade Hub also focuses on co-investment partnerships that increase Agricultural Productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in Nigeria under a Research and Development (R&D) Fund towards innovating and modernizing practices across five targeted value chains.

Position Summary:

The Trade Hub’s Private Sector Engagement Grants Director will serve as a member of the project’s headquarters (HQ)-based team overseeing the rapid mobilization and post-award management of $96 million in Trade Hub grant activities implemented throughout the West Africa region.

Reporting and Supervision:

The Trade Hub Grants Director will report directly to the Chief of Party with dotted-line reporting to the HQ-based Project Director and Director of Grants and Administration to ensure full involvement of headquarters support and integration of corporate systems in the grants process.

Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities:

  • As custodian of the Trade Hub grants portfolio, manage the entirety of the grants process from pre-solicitation to grant close-out, identifying and resolving bottlenecks, Problem Solving/providing senior-level guidance to staff as issues arise, and periodically reviewing, adapting, and streamlining the grants process in collaboration with Trade Hub and HQ staff/leadership;
  • Oversee the Trade Hub’s use of Creative’s Grants Management system (SMART), ensuring that:
    • Grant records (solicitations, applications, awarded activities, amendments, payments, deliverables, etc.) and all supporting documentation are accurate and up to date;
    • Grant payments are properly reconciled with Creative’s Dynamics Accounting System;
    • Reports/dashboards meet the needs of each Trade Hub department/team;
    • User issues are immediately reported to the HQ Grants department and resolved; and
    • System enhancements are explored with the HQ Grants department and implemented where necessary and feasible.
  • Supervise the Trade Hub’s Senior Grants Manager and Regional Grants Manager(s), ensuring strong Coordination and communication among the team throughout the region;
  • Coach, mentor, and train Trade Hub staff on SMART and the project’s grants process as needed;
  • Facilitate strong coordination/teamwork between HQ and the field, liaising between the Trade Hub’s field team, HQ backstop team, and HQ Grants department as needed to answer compliance-related questions, troubleshoot grant implementation challenges, and report on the overall status of the Trade Hub’s grants portfolio;
  • Collaborate with the Trade Hub’s Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and Research & Development (R&D) teams to guide applicants through the co-creation/pre-award negotiation process and strengthen the capacity of grants staff to provide pre- and post-award mentoring and guidance to applicants/grantees; and
  • Work across Trade Hub teams (grants, PPP, and R&D) and with project leadership to finalize award packages (grant agreements, grant negotiation memos, workplans, and budgets); collaborate with the Trade Hub’s backstop team, HQ Grants and Contracts, and, where appropriate, USAID to shepherd finalized packages through the approval process.**Qualifications**
Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field and at least twelve years of relevant experience or a master’s degree in a relevant field and at least ten years of relevant experience;
  • Strong demonstrable experience in grants management (Grants under Contract) and the grants process for a USAID program is a must;
  • Prior experience providing senior/corporate level support and training to staff under U.S. Government (USG)-funded grants programs;
  • Excellent project management, leadership, and supervisory skills;
  • Strong knowledge of USG donor regulations as they relate to grants and contracts;
  • Strong writing and editing skills;
  • Excellent communication, organizational, and analytical skills;
  • Ability to work well in a team environment as well as independently;
  • Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, MS Project, etc.) and grants management software; and
  • Fluency in written and spoken English with the ability to draft high quality grant agreements, negotiation memorandums, and justifications for grant approval.
Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Experience in private sector engagement, particularly as it relates to guiding staff through co-creation and negotiation processes with private companies, financial institutions, and partners;
  • Experience and knowledge of West Africa region is preferred;
  • At least two (2) years of relevant field experience in contexts where USAID operates;
  • Ability to speak and write French preferred though not required;
  • Prior experience working on USAID contracts; and
  • Project backstopping experience for U.S. or other government-funded grants programs.
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