Director of Business Development

Near East Foundation
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Feb 25

Position description

The Near East Foundation (NEF) is seeking candidates for Director of Business Development to be based in Washington, DC. For over 100 years, NEF has worked to build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF currently has approximately 250 staff members and programs in nine countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Senegal, Sudan, and Syria. Its programs are organized around three themes: Peacebuilding through Economic Cooperation, Resilient Agriculture and Development, and Inclusive Economic Development/Microenterprise Development.

The Director of Business Development leads donor cultivation and proposal development for large and complex funding opportunities. He or she leads the elaboration and implementation of the resource mobilization strategy and leads the pursuit of specific new funding opportunities to meet NEF’s annual revenue targets. The Director of Business Development maintains effective working and strategic relationships with US Government clients (such as USAID and the State Department), foreign government and multi-lateral donors, NGOs and other partner institutions to position NEF to secure funding and develop partnerships in support of its overseas programs. The Director of Business Development is a key member of the senior management team and an integral member of the organization’s operations.

In partnership with executive leadership, management, and other HQ Staff members the successful candidate will strengthen and grow the Near East Foundation’s client relationships and maintain surveillance on market conditions, emerging opportunities and risks. The Director of Business Development will be experienced at reading the marketplace, ensuring that business development strategic planning is able to meet its marketing and capture needs, while staying within resource budget. He or she will lead business development processes and tools and will ensure NEF maintains strong bid performance, producing proposals that emphasize strong technical and managerial experience and a thorough understanding of the donors’ needs. 


The Director of Business Development is responsible for designing and overseeing NEF’s strategy and efforts to meet annual revenue targets and to sustain and expand NEF programs. S/he stays current on information/intelligence on donor priorities, trends, and opportunities; manages and expands the pipeline of active funding opportunities; and coordinates the proposal development process. The Director of Business Development has the following specific responsibilities:

  • Donor Engagement and New Donor Cultivation Relations/Partnership Development:(1) expands NEF’s institutional donor base by identifying and engaging new potential donors; (2) markets and positions NEF with institutional donor decision-makers, potential partners, private sector entities and government counterparts; (3) engages with institutional donors to identify priorities, defines issues, and provides clear information about NEF experience, expertise, and effectiveness; and (4)helps raise NEF visibility and build new relationships by representingNEF at national and international forawith current and potential new partners and donors. 
  • Program/Proposal Development:(1) leads strategic planning for resource mobilization and implements related action plans to secure programmatic funding from institutional donors; (2) coordinates capture management and pre-positioning for new funding opportunities; (3) coordinates proposal development efforts, serving as proposal lead for specific opportunities; (4) participates in strategic identification of and coordination with external partners; (5) contributes to program design, proposal strategy, and budget strategy in cooperation with colleagues at headquarters and country offices; (6) ensures the highest quality of all proposals; (7) works closely with Program Directors to coordinate go/no go decisions and create joint recommendations to the President.
  • Management and Capacity Building:(1) promotes teamwork and cooperation to achieve shared objectives across NEF’s core program areas; (2) mentors staff and cultivates talent in business and proposal development; (3) provides training and technical assistance to country offices to enable country office staff to participate effectively in donor cultivation and proposal development; (4) performs other duties as assigned by the President.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in international development, business, economics, or related field, Master’s degree preferred;
  • Minimum 10 years’ business development experience;
  • 5 years of proven management experience;
  • Prior proven experience in building donor pipelines which achieve $20 to $50 million in revenue per fiscal year at a leadership/decision making level and in identifying partners for consortia and strategic alliances is required;
  • Demonstrated experience in and thorough understanding of the priorities and decision-making of donors, minimally including the U.S. State Department and USAID and preferably also DFID and EuropeAid;
  • Experience leading proposal development and proposal teams for multimillion-dollar funding opportunities;
  • Proven ability to lead proposal strategy development and to develop proposal value proposition and themes;
  • Excellent written and oral communication in English is required.  French and/or Arabic is a plus. 

Position Criteria:

  • Strong analytical and assessment skills, including the ability to analyze development challenges and propose innovative and unique ways to address them;
  • Excellent written communication skills including ability to plan for, write, integrate, and edit technical proposals on a wide range of development topics, articulating solutions in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner;
  • Effective interpersonal and oral communication skills.  Must possess aptitude for intercultural communication;
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment; to perform duties under pressure and meet deadlines in a timely manner; to work as part of a team; complete assignments independently; to take instructions and criticism constructively; to exercise problem-solving skills; and to interact with co-workers, partners, donors and the public in a professional and pleasant manner.

Application instructions

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