AKU - Director - East Africa Institute Jobs in Nairobi Kenya

AKU - Director - East Africa Institute Jobs in Nairobi Kenya


The East Africa Institute (EAI) conducts policy-oriented research and convenes public dialogues on youth, urbanization, growth and inequality, urban food systems and extractive resources.

Research at the EAI encompasses multiple methods of inquiry and focuses on discovery of key issues relevant to policy, decision-making, and stakeholder action.

At the EAI, dialogue is the method of public engagement. Dialogue is both deliberative and inclusive.

Deliberation here means careful consideration of evidence, reflection and debate, as well as the opportunity to evaluate past and current positions, with a view of finding common ground as a foundation for joint action.

Inclusion involves bringing together a diverse range of individuals and groups, many of which do not share a common platform.

Models of convening include conferences, working groups, stakeholder roundtables, exhibitions and social media platforms.

Dialogues are not designed as a mechanism to direct, but rather to inform public policy and encourage inclusive public debate and reflection.

Reporting to the Provost, the Director will continue to build on the initial successes of the Institute by further aligning the organization with its vision and demonstrating achievement in key elements of its mission.

The incumbent will consolidate the Institute within the framework of the University.

The Director is responsible for providing internal and external leadership to advance the Institute as an important resource for groundbreaking research and public dialogue.

This is a vital leadership role that will maintain and grow the Institute as a unique network of individuals and institutions committed to advancing an interdisciplinary, evidence-based East African research agenda.

The Director will refine and implement the Institute’s long-term strategic plan and establish a financial plan that ensures the Institute’s ongoing sustainability.


  • Develop and lead a coherent and coordinated policy-oriented research and public engagement program that supports the EAI to grow its influence and visibility in the East Africa Community region;
  • Mobilize resources to support the programmes and activities of the Institute;
  • Oversee the administrative and financial management of the EAI, taking the lead in developing annual goals, targets and budgets;
  • Establish a sustainable financial plan to support core operating costs, based on a range of external funding, including overhead funds from research grants, operating support, donations, or endowment income;
  • Build collaborative research proposals capable of attracting substantial external funding, and linking to international institutions;
  • Establish, promote and maintain relationships with key stakeholder groups to set priorities for research, commission research and dialogue on priority issues and catalyze change;
  • Produce a wide
    range of high quality written outputs for various audiences, including well- targeted research reports, policy briefings, blogs and other outputs;
  • Provide training and mentorship to interns and graduate research fellows.

  • AKU is looking for an outstanding international leader, with a PhD and an established record of research on matters pertaining to East Africa, who is excited and motivated to further grow the Institute.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate evidence of the following skills, capabilities and experience:
  • A professional career path focused in the East Africa region and beyond;
  • Achievement of the rank of Associate or Full Professor (or a role of an equivalent stature in an organisation relevant to an East African research agenda);
  • First-hand experience living and working in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Experience of working with and leading multi-disciplinary programmes;
  • An active and established academic profile, capable of commanding respect from peers;
  • Proven collegiality, experienced at building effective teams, with the ability to work interculturally, across academic and non-academic communities;
  • A commitment to seeing projects through to completion, from basic research to application, public engagement and policy;
  • A readiness to work within a certain level of ambiguity and the capacity to deal with complex issues;
  • Willingness to travel and the ability to function effectively whilst travelling;
  • Excellent leadership skills.
  • The Director may be based primarily at any of the University’s East African campuses, in Nairobi, Kampala, or Dar es Salaam.
  • A competitive compensation package will be offered to the selected individual, commensurate with their qualifications and experience, and the level of responsibility entailed by the role.

    How to Apply
  • The University has engaged an international search firm, Boyden, for the recruitment of this role.
  • Interested candidates should submit a detailed CV, accompanied by a covering letter addressing the required criteria, along with a 1-2 page personal vision statement and outline for the role to m.openda@boyden.co.ke.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  • Applications should be submitted latest by 10th July 2019
  • For more information and job application details, see; AKU - Director - East Africa Institute Jobs in Nairobi Kenya

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