Project Director, USAID Rural Water Research and Learning Activity At European Management Solutions

START DATE: September 2021

DUTY STATION: Washington DC (possibility to work remotely for now)

CONTRACT TYPE: 5 years contract


DRS is seeking a Project Director (PD), on behalf of its client, for an anticipated global WASH Research and Learning Activity to be based in Washington DC (or possibly remote). The PD will lead the project and will be responsible for providing the overall strategic direction, managerial, and technical leadership to ensure the achievement of the Activity objectives and ensure success, and managing critical relationships with national and international partners and other key stakeholders. The Project Director has overall technical and operational responsibility for the project, including achieving project results, effectively communicating accomplishments, stewarding the project’s financial health, and ensuring compliance with all US government and relevant local regulations.

The PD must be a recognized leader in the areas of rural water service delivery, water quality monitoring, and/or water resource management with expertise and experience in both implementation science and/or applied research. They must have experience working in rural WASH programs, preferably in a leadership role. This position is contingent upon award.


· Provide vision, leadership, guidance and direction for all research and learning activities

· Oversee the design and implementation of learning agendas, research tools, knowledge management, and training and capacity-building activities

· Direct and monitor implementation of activities within the work plan, ensuring that activities are performed to a high professional standard, effectively implemented, and fulfilling USAID requirements

· Provide managerial, contractual, and financial oversight of the Activity

· Serve as primary point of contact with relevant personnel at USAID

· Ensure effective communication across the entire project with team and relevant stakeholders

· Oversee and coordinate technical guidance to USAID and WASH implementing partners

· Provide quality assurance and responsiveness on all aspects research design, data collection, analysis, reporting, and learning

· Participate in international research networks, meetings, and select technical working groups as appropriate to represent the project and ensure collaboration with relevant technical work

· Identify existing implementation platforms that can be leveraged for applied research and/or implementation science, negotiate appropriate partnership roles to facilitate such collaborations, and mobilize resources both from USAID Missions and additional donors

· Anticipate needs for, and manage, short-term technical assistance and consultants


· Master’s degree required in engineering, public health, business, behavioral science, planning, or other related fields

· At least 10 years of demonstrated technical expertise, including in research programs, with substantial developing country context experience in the WASH sector

· At least 5 years of demonstrated experience in a management or leadership position in international WASH or other relevant development program context (chief of party, deputy chief of party, project director)

· Demonstrated ability to manage a project of this magnitude and complexity (budget of 19 million dollars)

· Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse team and a wide range of government and civil society counterparts and donor partners

· Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

· Previous experience as a Project Director and/or Chief of Party for a global USAID activity implemented across multiple countries, experience with research-related activities preferred

· Demonstrated experience working with rural WASH in several USAID priority countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, D.R. Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, and Zambia

How to apply

Applications and updated CV should be submitted to [email protected] at DRS ref. number 10978. Due to the high number of applications received website, we can reply to shortlisted candidates only. Please note that the above requirements can be modified during the recruitment process according to client’s procedures.

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September 2023