Luminate is a global philanthropic organisation focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and fair societies. We support innovative and courageous organisations and entrepreneurs around the world, and we advocate for the policies and actions that will drive change across four impact areas: Civic Empowerment, Data & Digital Rights, Financial Transparency, and Independent Media. We work with our partners to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in and to shape the issues affecting their societies, and to make those in positions of power more responsive and accountable. Luminate was established in 2018 by Pierre and Pam Omidyar. The organisation was founded by The Omidyar Group.


We are seeking a senior leader to manage existing relationships and expand our funding and operational work in the Africa region, based out of Nairobi, Kenya. The Director will report to the Managing Director, Head of Regions, who is based in the US (California Bay Area). 

Priorities for the candidate include: 

1. Directing the strategic work across the region, primarily executed through grant making, impact investing and advocacy work in Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, along with a small team of direct reports;

2. Building a healthy pipeline and portfolio of partner organizations (non-profit and for-profit);

3. Making grants and impact investments, and supporting partner organizations to grow and help them have impact;

4. Leading work on policy issues that can strengthen governance in the relevant countries;

5. Representing Luminate in Africa, by participating in strategic opportunities for public engagement and by building a strong network of partners in civil society, private sector, media and government


  • Defining Luminate's approach in the priority countries and identifying high impact opportunities in Luminate's four impact areas of work (Civic Empowerment, Independent Media, Financial Transparency, and Data and Digital Rights)
  • Managing Luminate's grants and investments budget for Africa
  • Supervising a team to review and analyze business plans, investment proposals, and organization budgets; prioritizing opportunities, conducting necessary diligence on prospects
  • Executing funding transactions by taking shortlisted opportunities through a well-defined approval and closing process, including definitive documentation, legal and financial due diligence (as applicable)
  • Identifying, developing and coordinating support to partner organisations by curating networks, making connections between partners, identifying relevant consultants or other opportunities to build capacity
  • Monitoring the impact, financial and operational performance of partner organisations (for-profit and non-profit) periodically
  • Representing Luminate's perspectives with a broad array of stakeholders in government, civil society, academia, and private sector and expanding Luminate's profile/influence in the region
  • Identifying key trends in philanthropy, social entrepreneurship, and the policy space that could help advance the quality of governance and citizen empowerment and defining strategic recommendations to respond to those trends 
  • Serving as key point of contact in relationships with other foundations and investors to identify potential areas of collaboration and grant co-funding/co-investment
  • Engaging regularly with the global team to help shape strategy, provide inputs on specific investments, and work on common areas of interest and impact
  • Attending to duty of care for staff members operating in uncertain or fluid circumstances
  • Tracking learning and impact goals for Luminate's work in Africa and contributing to our knowledge management efforts by sharing key learnings and providing feedback on similar themes/ opportunities across Luminate’s target countries/regions

Success in this role requires maturity, analytical ability, creativity, strategic insight, and business/ investment acumen, including the ability to manage an end-to-end grant making or investment process, as well as interest in working collaboratively in multi-cultural, global environments.


  • MBA or other graduate degree with considerable experience in a senior leadership role, ideally with exposure to early stage investing and non-profit organisations
  • Deep passion for work in the area of governance and citizen engagement, including thinking through policy level interventions
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate a clear investment thesis and make thoughtful judgment calls, drawing on prior investment and/or meaningful operating experience
  • Willingness and interest to invest across non-profits, research and for-profit impact investments, where relevant, to drive the impact we seek to have in the broader sector
  • Significant experience working and living in Kenya, South Africa or Nigeria
  • Strong analytic, strategic thinking and project management skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience managing team members across multiple locations and comfort working in an organizational structure that is geographically distributed
  • Prior demonstrated interest in/experience with social entrepreneurship and creating positive social impact
  • Flexibility to travel both within the African continent as well as to other team locations in the UK, US and beyond 

Luminate believes that diversity and inclusion make us more successful in our work, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or national law. 

Director, Africa

Apply On Company Site
Back to search page