Director, Leadership & Development, New Opportunities

New Opportunities Vijaywada/ Nairobi/ Lagos/ Boston, Kenya


 Director, Leadership & Development, New Opportunities

Location - Lagos, Nigeria preferred, other Bridge sites (Nairobi, Kenya and Cambridge, USA) considered. This role involves significant travel - expect 75%.


Who We Are

Bridge partners with governments, donors, and parents to ensure that every child has access to an education that develops her full potential and creates the foundation for prosperity for the country. We are dedicated to supporting teachers, empowering school leaders, and ensuring every child has the learning support needed to master the national syllabus and have the confidence to succeed in a competitive world. Each of our project or country teams are supported through expertise and programming from additional offices around the world, combining world-leading expertise in core design areas with locally resident leadership and execution. We leverage experts, data, and technology in order to support and scale every aspect of quality education delivery. Bridge managed and supported schools are technology enabled and data-driven to ensure accountability in the classroom for both teachers’ performance and children’s learning.

The Bridge model delivers significant learning outcomes at large scale by combining technology and customized learning materials. At Bridge, we believe innovation and technology can transform learning. Our model – which uses technology to deliver thoroughly researched and carefully designed daily lesson guides to teachers in our academies – is proven to increase learning outcomes for children. We are a solutions-driven, implementation-focused organization, using design principles to work in varied and often highly constrained contexts to ensure learning outcomes and positive development for children. Working in regional and national scales is important to us, as empowering entire generations of children with the core knowledge, skills, and confidence is what builds the foundation for a peaceful and prosperous future for us all.

Our mission is to provide our pupils with life-changing education and we believe that every child should have a right to a world-class education regardless of her family’s income. Core to our approach is the conviction that every child can learn, as long as the school she attends is committed to her development and puts her needs to learn at the forefront of all decisions. We have seen teachers and children transform and excel in both government and private schools that we support and manage.

We invite you to join this incredible endeavour that is having a world-changing impact across multiple continents. You will join a team of dedicated change-makers committed to ensuring that each decision we make keeps a child’s experience of learning as its guiding principle.

The New Opportunities Group

New Opportunities brings the majority of our extensive breadth of technical expertise to ensure large scale transformation of education systems into one team. This team kick-starts new programs in new countries. Each member of the team is responsible for a core area of expertise, and then setting up all work and functions related to that expertise in the new program/new country. This includes putting all relevant policies, practices, systems and technology in place, and leading the hiring of the leader who will take charge of this work as the permanent lead for this body of work. This is Bridge’s SWAT team, with specialists brought together to solve the critical and urgent problem of launching a state or nation-wide new program. This team must work collaboratively, thrive in creating order out of chaos, and understand that proactive problem solving is a daily task. All members of this team should expect extensive travel to remote and underserved areas, and to be resident in 2 other locations per year, setting up new programs. When not deployed on starting a specific program, each team member will do work with the core technical team which he or she represents, to support special projects, deepen technical knowledge, and otherwise advance in the field. This team is critical to Bridge delivering on our shared vision of transforming the lives of 10,000,000+ children, and in so doing seeing peace and prosperity where we work.

Academics Group

The objective of the Academics group is to drive student achievement. To do so, we must know -- what is happening minute-by-minute for the typical child. The student’s daily experience, and thus the path to achievement, emerges from their relationship with the teachers and the content that is delivered in the classroom. Our team is collaboratively organized around these levers. We develop rigorous content pitched at the right level for students to be delivered by a teacher who is prepared to succeed in the classroom. Our Instructional Design department builds the content; our Leadership & Development department trains teachers and school leaders using scientifically-proven techniques; our Learning Innovation department looks at cutting-edge research to generate breakthrough learning gains. Underpinning all of this is the work of the independent Measurement and Evaluation group, which provides Academics with an empirical orientation toward improving that daily experience and, in turn, driving achievement.

Leadership & Development

In joining the Leadership & Development team you are joining the group charged with ensuring that our frontline staff are exceptional leaders who are energized and empowered to ensure the kids in their communities and classrooms receive an excellent education. The team is laser-focused on outcomes, inherently collaborative in nature, loves fostering leadership in others, is unwaveringly committed to ensuring a quality education for our pupils, are lifelong learners, get excited about creating incredible learning interventions that drive positive behaviour and mindset change in adults. You will flourish on this team if you are: a team player, hyper-focused on results, flexible in a dynamic environment, and have fun while working hard.

About the Role

The Leadership & Development (L&D) Director for the New Opportunities group holds the crucial role of introducing school leaders and teachers to any new programme we launch. Thousands of school leaders and teachers will gather for residential training in advance of a programme debut, which presents a precious opportunity for us to make a strong first impression on those who will be on the front lines of implementing our programme in schools.

Training content must make careful use of this limited time, ensuring mastery of the skills required to carry out the programme effectively. The content itself must be complemented by energetic and impassioned delivery by your own team of L&D officers, ensuring the trainees leave the programme enthusiastic about the opportunity that this programme presents for improving the education and lives of the pupils it serves. Finally, the logistics of these large-scale trainings must be entirely seamless.

Additionally, you must set up the team to succeed even after you have shifted focus to the next new territory. You will do this by hiring and training your successor, the L&D Director for the territory, who will lead the continued professional development of school staff.

As Leadership & Development Director, you are setting the stage for the successful execution of the broader programme.

What You Will Do

    Serve as the project lead spearheading all components of our residential induction training for multiple, back-to-back waves of 5000-person cohorts

    Hire, train, and lead a team of “L&D Officers” to become world-class trainers who accompany you to different locations (often for weeks or months at a time) where we are launching 100s or 1000s of new schools and are in need of massive trainings

    Prepare all trainers (your own team as well as others) to be able to inspire, motivate, and thoroughly set up all trainees for success

    Collaborate Academics, Schools, and other functional areas of Bridge to ensure training content for each is accurate, compelling, and effective, as well as tailored to the particular territory where needed

    Collect, analyze, and use data to improve our training and professional development overall

    Support the design and execution of pilot projects that seek to answer questions on training and professional development effectiveness as a means of continuous improvement to L&D offerings

    Hire and onboard the Leadership & Development Director who will permanently take over the academic programme in the new market after you leave

What You Should Have

    A bachelor’s or master’s degree in education. Teacher certification would be a bonus.

    Minimum 10 years’ of experience in school education either teaching and/or in teacher training.

    Experience in leading and managing large, diverse teams.

    Project management experience in international education and/or education-related measurement and evaluation experience would be a bonus.

    Strong proficiency in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Google Suite.

    Cultural sensitivity, emotional maturity, discretion.

    Experience of living and/or working in emerging markets, including rural and remote communities. 

You’re also

    A detailed doer – You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a start-up or other rapid-growth company.

    A creative problem-solver – Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in often fragile, sometimes volatile low-resource communities and with complex government systems. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand.

    A relentless advocate – The children we serve and teachers we empower never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent’s hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their benefit, experience, and value.

    A malleable learner – You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you’ve missed things or failed today.

    A data-driven decision-maker – When making decisions, you don’t rely on your intuition alone. You collect data, you analyze it and make decisions with clear justifications.

    A curious investigator – You ask why a lot. You don’t just take what you see and accept it. You wonder why it is that way, and are aware that the world we see is created by human choices and actions – and it could be different. You wonder, and see the world as wonderful even when you want to change a part of it that is unjust.