Project Director Education – Africa Portfolio Chevy Chase, United States

Website Creative Associates International



Creative Associates International is a dynamic, fast-growing global development firm that specializes in education, economic growth, governance and post-crisis stabilization. Based in Chevy-Chase, MD, Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Since its founding in 1977, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.

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Position Summary:

Creative seeks a Project Director (PD) for the Education for Development Division with a passion for development, commitment to results and offers intellectual curiosity in designing effective solutions. The PD responsibilities include both project management and new business development leadership. The PD will be responsible for performing complex work within the project area. Project Directors assume responsibilities for management of projects typically of $20M+ in funding, depending upon variables such as the complexity, projected timeline of the projects, and geographic location of the work. The PD is responsible for technical, financial, compliance and accountability for the performance of assigned projects. The PD supervises project HQ support staff and field staff to ensure quality programming, and achievement of financial targets and contractual outcomes. The PD will also carry responsibility for leading and participating in new business development initiatives for the division, further described below. Business development involvement is estimated up to 50 percent of functional responsibilities. The PD is expected to travel internationally to perform many of the functions of the role for both project and new business development support.

Reporting & Supervision:

PDs report to a Senior Project Director or Practice Area Director. PDs supervise other project field-based staff and HQ support staff.

Expected Outcomes:


Projects under PD oversight receive guidance and management support. PD’s manage projects purposely, cohesively and efficiently. Project aims are clear on the strategic (outcome level—technical), tactical (output level—managerial and financial) and operational (milestone-level transactions) fronts. Challenges and potential implementation issues are preemptively identified and proactively addressed. The client is being effectively served and is satisfied with Creative’s service and offerings. Senior Management is kept abreast of significant threats, implementation deficiencies and opportunities.

Project Management

Projects under PD oversight perform well–they meet contractual obligations, and fiscal targets. Projects are well-planned so that inputs—such as human resource deployments, STTA, procurements—can be timely and effectively supported by HQ. Project staffing, project obligations, and reporting meet anticipated levels and high-quality standards.

Financial Management

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Projects under PD oversight meet performance targets and revenue projections. PDs proactively manage vacancies, non-billables, and foregone revenue. Projects requiring important course corrections or corporate support receive the attention of upper management.

Staff Management**

Senior Project Managers, Project Managers, and other staff under PD oversight are tangibly supported technically, managerially and professionally; their professional objectives and personal needs are well understood, as are those of key staff in the field. Performance reviews of are meaningful and constructive and are administered timely. Projects honor all aspects of programmatic and fiscal compliance.

New Business Development

Project Directors demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and growth mindset for their project portfolios and beyond; they are able to create, nurture, and seize new business opportunities in the local and / or regional marketplace for additional program funding or new program funding, and position the company for new business opportunities. The PD ensures the company is visibly and well represented before stakeholders, contributing to building and maintaining esteem. Specifically, this entails identifying new business leads and / or contributing to well thought out planning for the business pipeline, leading or contributing to capture efforts (virtually or in the country of focus), leading or contributing to proposal design and writing, serving as a subject matter expert, and/or acting as technical lead.

Learning & Adaptation

Projects under PD supervision have a heightened awareness of the value of learning and adaptation. Projects have explicitly defined learning agendas, M&E plans that track progress towards learning, and course corrections that are informed by data. Project interventions and innovations are well documented and catalogued. Pause-and-Reflect events capture salient programmatic aspects with potential for replication or scale up. Salient activities are celebrated and promoted through Creative’s Communications Department.


Primary Responsibilities:

Different projects require different levels of project management leadership skills based on their strategic importance, project profile and complexity, specificity, scope, and geographic location. Creative formally sanctions, and reserves the right to modify, the skill and position level(s) needed for each project.

1. Project Leadership

  • Oversees assigned project management staff;
  • Ensures that Projects under PD oversight achieve contractual deliverables with technical distinction, meet fiscal targets, are well planned and resourced;
  • Represents Creative before projects; communicates regularly with client representatives, i.e. CORs and AORs;
  • Tracks aspects of project performance; oversees project implementation of approved activities, monitoring of timelines, tracking budgets, and supporting subcontract performance and financial management;
  • Resolves issues in project start-up and close-down; manages project backstopping, key field personnel support, consultant agreements; processing of project finance transactions, approval and handling of all travel and related logistics, and grant management implementation;
  • Ensures compliance of project-related documentation including work plans, staff records, communications, and transactions ensuring they are properly documented;
  • Elevates risks and opportunities to senior management;
  • Reviews, and may prepare, project reports, and other material such as success stories, interventions and innovations;
  • Participates in project learning and data driven adaptation; and,
  • Serves as a liaison with Creative’s support units, including HR, Finance & Contracts, Procurement, Field Operations, Communications, etcetera.

2. New Business Development

  • Leads and / or contributes to the Education Division’s strategy development for the Education Division with a focus on countries in crisis;
  • Contributes to the new business pipeline through networking, monitoring, and sharing leads for new programming or additional funding for existing programming for the MENA / Asia regions;
  • Gathers and shares business and competitive intelligence for the MENA/Asia regions, as appropriate;
  • Leads and / or contributes to capture planning and proposal development, ensuring effectiveness of capture and the proposal process;
  • Works directly with Proposal Managers and others in the Business Development Division, the Education Division, HR, Cost / Pricing, among others, to design and develop robust technical, management, partnering, recruitment, and cost strategies in a timely manner prior to solicitation release;
  • Serves as a subject matter expert, contributing to customer focused and forward-thinking program design and ensuring lessons learned and best practices are embedded in proposal program design;
  • Liaises with additional subject matter experts to both conceptualize and design proposals;
  • Supports the facilitation and identification of strategic partnerships, including developing SOWs for pre-teaming and teaming agreements;
  • Participates in bid staffing interviews, as appropriate; and
  • Contributes to technical writing and drafting sections of proposals.

3. General

  • Mentors and coaches junior staff in supporting program backstop and new business development efforts;
  • Supervises and guides consultants contributing to project support or new business development efforts, as assigned; and
  • Fulfills other duties as needed and appropriate.**Qualifications**

Minimum Skills & Qualifications:

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  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field and twelve years of relevant experience or Master’s degree in relevant field and ten years of relevant experience;
  • Field experience implementing projects at an operational level;
  • Supervisory experience;
  • Demonstrated ability to assume responsibilities for projects typically totaling $20M+ in funding, depending upon the complexity, projected timeline of the projects, and geographic location of the work;
  • Considerable knowledge within their project area and experience in coaching or mentoring others in project implementation;
  • Experience in working with field staff, providing technical and financial oversight on projects to include budget realignments;
  • Experience in reviewing & approving project procurements, grants and purchase order agreements;
  • Experience in a relevant education technical area such as, education in emergencies, PSS/SEL, systems strengthening, curriculum develop, teacher training and/or reading and math across the curriculum (primary to secondary);
  • Experience in quickly producing results on a range of assignments in diverse country and programmatic contexts; in developing/monitoring proposal and project budgets;
  • Experience in leading project start-ups and close-outs;
  • Skill in managing teams, decisive evidence-based decision-making, handling tight deadlines; ability to travel internationally on short notice;
  • Skill and experience in U.S. government donor relations and client management;
  • Knowledge of USAID Programs and Regulations;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills to include, experience in making formal presentations to clients, peers and other groups; and
  • Knowledge of the competitive market for education across the MENA / Asia regions
  • Prior experience supporting and writing winning USAID proposals above $10M highly preferred; and,
  • Demonstrated experience leading or substantially contributing to capture and proposal development for USAID solicitations; experience with other U.S. Government (USG) agencies and/or non-USG donors is a plus.


Second language fluency desired, preferred language is French

Only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

Creative Associates International Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer (gender/race/disability/veteran) and provides equal opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state, federal, or local law.

Please view Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.