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External Relations Director

SRI Executive has been exclusively entrusted by our client, Africa Public Health Foundation (APHF) to support the executive search for an exceptional leader for the position of About the Africa Public Health Foundation

The Africa Public Health Foundation was established in September 2019 to forge partnerships and mobilise resources for the Africa CDC, to support critical public health activities across the continent.

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The Foundation will advance public-private cooperation to strengthen health systems, develop the healthcare workforce, support innovations for public health, and advocate for robust policies, regulations, and partnerships for resource mobilisation. The Foundation’s mission and vision are aligned to that of the Africa CDC to support member states to build their capacity to better detect and respond to disease outbreaks and emergencies. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become even more urgent for the Foundation to build a sustainable, scalable organisation to increase the public health impact on the continent in the coming years.

The Foundation has a vibrant governing Council comprising of seasoned professionals. The Council’s mandate is to provide strategic direction and oversight on all activities as ambassadors of APHF to critical stakeholders and custodians of APHF’s assets. You can find further details on their website

External Relations Director Role Profile

The External Relations Director will lead APHF’s communications and resource mobilisation efforts. As a member of APHF’s senior leadership, the External Relations Director will be responsible for planning, developing, and implementing strategies to mobilise resources from individuals, foundations and the private sector, as well as identify new opportunities to expand APHF’s income base. The Director will supervise communications initiatives that support APHF’s mission, enhance the organisation’s visibility, and cultivate our brand.
The External Relations Director will be a trusted advisor and reports directly to the CEO, participating in long-term strategic planning and ensuring that fundraising strategies are aligned with APHF’s growth plans. The Director will manage all day-to-day fundraising efforts, including supervision of the Communications and Resource Mobilisation Leads. The ideal candidate is passionate about building a great organisation and comfortable with a fluid role in a dynamic environment.

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As a new organisation, staff are empowered to start new programs, institute best practices, and develop traditions that will define their experiences and those of their colleagues in the years to come. Innovation and entrepreneurship are valued and will be essential to the Foundation’s success. In addition to providing training, management-level advice, and mentoring, staff are supported to learn by positioning them as core members of the leadership team to drive public health impact.

Duties and Responsibilities

The External Relations Director will have the following key responsibilities:

  1. Advise and support the CEO and Council on long-term strategic planning and align resource mobilisation efforts to support the foundation’s growth plans
  2. Identify, develop, and maintain long-term and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders and funders
  3. Solicit support for APHF and manage portfolio of individuals, foundations, and private sector funders
  4. Support an active and engaged collective group of donors committed to strengthening the capacity and capabilities of public health institutions across Africa
  5. Actively seek new opportunities for investment, revenue generation, and strategic partnerships
  6. Provide guidance and best practices on structures and innovative funding approaches
  7. Achieve stated fundraising targets, as determined in collaboration with the CEO and team
  8. Manage the development and implementation of APHF’s communications plan, ensuring messages are aligned with APHF’s mission, values, and strategies
  9. Support the development of compelling narratives on the success stories of the Foundation for external use
  10. Represent APHF in external engagements, including any media and speaking opportunities and events
  11. Coach and retain high-performance team members, providing regular feedback that empowers staff to elevate their level of responsibility
  12. Manage staff performance by setting staff goals, monitoring work, and evaluating results
  13. Work with staff to develop systems to ensure consistent, high-quality project management
  14. Prepare departmental reports with timely information and key metrics to measure progress
  15. Develop annual external relations budget
  16. Any other tasks as directed by the CEO

Qualifications and Experience

Essential qualifications and experience

  1. A master’s degree or higher required
  2. Minimum ten years of experience in fundraising and/or communications in complex institutions OR as a grant maker or funder
  3. Experience and track record in relationship building and securing funds of $1M+ from a variety of donors, such as foundations, the private sector and government agencies
  4. Strong regional and global networks
  5. Strong interpersonal skills with experience of working with senior leaders & funders in the region
  6. Experience of developing marketing and communications strategies that leverage the power of online media and audience engagement
  7. Excellent written and personal communication skills, with the ability to explain complex public health issues in a straightforward and non-technical manner.
  8. Excellent organisational skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously under tight deadlines, and working with flexibility in a collaborative, fast-paced, goal-oriented environment
  9. Demonstrated leadership ability, including the ability to build a team of highly motivated and well qualified staff, and to foster the integration of diverse, multi-disciplinary actors into focused initiatives addressing clear targets
  10. Demonstrated fluency in English speaking and writing skills, proficiency in other AU official languages is a plus


  1. Experience in resource mobilisation and partnership development for public health initiatives
  2. Experience developing and supporting multi-stakeholder platforms for collaboration, including supporting events and high-level meetings
  3. Experience of working in different national and regional contexts in Africa
  4. Reporting line
  5. The role reports to the Chief Executive Officer. The External Relations Director currently manages a team of two, Communications Lead and Resource Mobilisation Lead with scope for expansion subject to funding.


This position is remote working on a time zone compatible with working hours in Africa (GMT to GMT +3). There is the possibility of relocation to the country where APHF operations will be permanently based, depending on circumstances.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position with the successful candidate being contracted on a two-year basis with the possibility of renewal. Salary and benefits are competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.


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