DEADLINE EXTENDED: Are you the feminist leader our Network NEEDS for the next phase of our growth?


ATHENA is seeking an Interim Director to lead ATHENA into a next chapter, and to transform the Network to a fully African led global movement with its leadership, operations, and administrative hub relocated from the USA to Eastern and Southern Africa. ATHENA ( was created to advance gender equity and human rights at the intersection of HIV, women’s rights, sexual and reproductive health, and gender-based violence. Formally launched in 2006, ATHENA plays a policy formulation, capacity-strengthening, and network-convening role, working with partners to make the global accountable to the local, and vice versa.

The ATHENA Initiative is a conduit of learning and innovation, providing thought leadership and technical support, through a global team, with administrative headquarters in California serving as the virtual Secretariat for the Network. The ATHENA Network is global and brings together activists, researchers, policymakers, community-based organizations, and broader civil society, including networks of women living with HIV. The two arms of ATHENA work in concert to deliver our vision of realizing gender equality and achieving global health. Our current Core Team is based across Eastern and Southern Africa and in the USA, bringing our expertise across policy development, participatory action research, advocacy, programming, youth involvement, meaningful engagement, leadership development, consultation, and participatory monitoring and evaluation; while building community capacity to effectively advocate and lead.

ATHENA maintains deep partner relationships across Europe, Latin America, and East and Southern Africa, and is governed by a regionally diverse Board, comprised of individuals representing a range of professional backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences of the HIV epidemic, as well as technical expertise. The key opportunity that our Interim Director will step in to is as a partner and leader to shepherd ATHENA through a period of transformation as the Founding Director for ATHENA departs, handing ATHENA’s leadership to the next generation, and to facilitate ATHENA becoming a fully African led and located global Network.

About the Position:

We are looking for an individual with a strong commitment to feminist leadership, who has a demonstrated track record of creating space for young women; has a commitment to leading from behind and sharing their power; who will continue to grow the strength and vitality of ATHENA’s programmatic and advocacy work through support to Core Team members holding these portfolios; who has very strong management skills; who will ensure continuity in resource mobilization and partnership development; and whose main focus will be on managing the administrative and practical demands of ATHENA’s relocation and needs of Core Team Members.

The Interim Director will report to the Chair of the Board of Directors and work in consultation with ATHENA’s Core Team and Network stakeholders. The Interim Director (ID) will guide and carry ATHENA’s relocation to Eastern and Southern Africa, followed, as feasible, by an organizational strengthening process. This post is a one-year position to support ATHENA through a period of growth and transformation, and with an emphasis on organizational change management; strong operational skills; team accountability; resource mobilization; and feminist leadership. The successful candidate will be able to apply for the permanent post, once it is established, noting that funding is currently secured only for the one-year interim position.

A reference group of ATHENA stakeholders will participate in this recruitment process to support ATHENA’s transition into a next chapter. Hand in hand with this external support, ATHENA’s Board has created a structure and sustainability working group with Core Team and Board representation to continue to build a vision and implementation practice for the next chapter of ATHENA.


Board Governance

• Leads ATHENA’s transition in a manner that supports and guides the organization’s mission as defined by the Board of Advisors
• Reports to and works closely with the Board on policy decisions, fundraising initiatives, and to ensure the sustainability and coherence of ATHENA
• Communicates effectively with the Board via regular meetings and provides, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions
• Serves as the liaison and facilitates engagement between the Core Team, Network Members, and the Board

Fundraising and Financial Viability

• Oversees the fiscal integrity of ATHENA, including planning and operation of program budgets with project leads
• Ensures organizational operations are maintained within the approved budget, and ensures maximum resource utilization to maintain ATHENA in a positive financial position
• Oversees and leads fundraising and development efforts to support ATHENA’s long-term sustainability
• Provides oversight in liaison with Board financial focal point on monthly and quarterly expenses

Organizational/Network Guidance and Strategy

• Supports ATHENA’s Core Team to carry out the organization’s mission
• Guides strategic planning to ensure that ATHENA can successfully fulfill its mission into the future, with a Core Team structure aligned with the strategic plan
• With the Core Team, advocates for ATHENA and coordinates/maintains the organization’s external presence by being active and visible in the community and working closely with partners

Organization Operations

• Hires and retains talented, competent, qualified staff and independent contractors to effectively execute ATHENA’s programs and mission using a collective, iterative, and inclusive process to garner the input of the Board, the Core Team, and key stakeholders as relevant
• Supports and facilitates internal communications, policies and procedures governing the work of external consultants and staff
• Working with the Core Team, supports the monitoring, evaluation, and learning of ATHENA’s programs
• Working with the Core Team, provides documentation and reporting of the organization’s activities and programs
• Working with the Board, creates a working environment that centers, prioritizes well being of Core Team members, responds to the team needs, and is safe and free from harassment and bullying

Required Qualifications and Capabilities

• Commitment to ATHENA’s mission to advance the recognition, protection, and fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights, comprehensively and inclusively, as a fundamental component of the HIV response
• Understanding of and experience working in Eastern and Southern Africa
• Minimum of 4 years of experience required in executive level management as Director or CEO
• Direct experience in organizational design, change management, and strategic planning
• Successful track record leading a project or organization with an annual budget of $100,000USD-$500,000USD
• Excellent leadership, management, communications, organizational skills, follow-through, attention to detail, and ability to multi-task
• Fluency and strong writing skills in English

Desired Qualifications and Attributes

• Demonstrated ability to develop partnerships and mobilize resources
• Minimum of 6 years’ experience required with progressive, feminist organizations and movements, SRHR/HIV movements or grassroots networks working to advance girls’ and women’s human rights, especially young women living with HIV; or in global health
• Action-oriented, self-directed, flexible, and principled in organizational management
• Demonstrated ability to work across languages, cultures, and lived experiences with deep commitment to equity, inclusion, and shared power
• A growth mindset, actively seeking input and learning from other others while innovating and evolving to respond to a highly dynamic moment
• Willingness and ability to travel should COVID19 restrictions be lifted, and that travel is feasible and safe
• Demonstrated commitment to feminist leadership, working in network settings, and working in coalition settings


Compensation and benefits are offered in line with ATHENA policy and established practice. This post is expected to be full-time and virtual with a starting salary package from $75,000USD and ceiling salary package of $100,000USD. Benefits and terms of employment are to be negotiated and determined based on experience, demonstrated track record, and administrative steps required to retain the successful candidate based on location and operational changes ATHENA is undertaking.

Read to JOIN US?

Interested candidates should provide:
- Expression of interest
- Up to date CV
- 3 references
- 2 writing samples

Applications should be uploaded through this form or sent by email to by 13th November 2020. 

N.B: We understand that this is an extraordinary period of time so please do reach out to us via email should you need any specific accommodation to support your ability to express your interest and prepare an application.

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