Program Director, Accelerator - Evidence Action

  • United States of America
  • Bachelor's
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:

About the Position

Evidence Action’s Accelerator is our engine for growth. The Accelerator is a unique model in global development, designed to select and massively scale only those programs which meet exceptional standards for cost-effectiveness, proven impact, and scalability. Focusing on health, nutrition, and WASH, we evaluate scores of interventions and employ a venture capital-type ‘funnel’ model to exit those which do not meet our criteria. The result is a select set of programs for which we develop robust delivery models, test for impact, and scale to deliver outsized value for millions of people across Africa and Asia. 

Our Accelerator is currently in the process of testing and scaling three interventions: iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation for children; prevention of mother-to-child transmission of syphilis; and new innovations to deliver water chlorination to reduce pediatric mortality. As an example, maternal syphilis is one of the most neglected areas in global health. Each year, it results in 200,000 stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and 109,000 children born with lifelong disabilities. Yet diagnosis and treatment remain exceptionally low in many high-burden countries. There is a simple, inexpensive technology to test for maternal syphilis, and treatment is a simple penicillin shot costing $0.20. The Accelerator is now working with the Liberian government to scale maternal syphilis testing and treatment nationally to reach 800,000 women over five years, and we are in the process of identifying new countries for scale up. 

This newly created role will have the resources, flexibility, and mandate to build the next generation of cost-effective, high-impact programs for Evidence Action. Our ambitions are great - we seek to double our organization-wide global impact by 2024, and the Accelerator is the main driver of this growth. As we enter a major growth phase, this individual will help deliver on our mandate for high-quality growth, driving the sourcing and development of a new program portfolio. S/he will ensure the interventions we ultimately scale work– both in their inception and their delivery – and offer strong value for money.

We are seeking a driven leader who can rapidly build high-quality new programs. S/he will bring experience building at-scale programs, ideally in the global health sector, and collaborating with governments and partner organizations. S/he will have exceptional problem-solving skills and the ability to harness evidence and cost-effectiveness analysis to make informed decisions. S/he will bring strong relationship and people management capabilities and effectively engage with donors and partners. 


There is flexibility on location, though the preference is for the Program Director to be based in Washington, DC, New York City, Nairobi, Kenya, or Delhi, India.

The candidate should be available for 15-25% international travel.  

Responsibilities will include:

While Evidence Action has strict criteria around cost-effectiveness, evidence, and scale which guide our work, we are open to pursuing impact opportunities across global health. Thus, the Program Director will have latitude to explore a range of program areas within global health, with the initial aim of scaling a single highly cost-effective intervention and ultimately developing a suite of interventions that will comprise a new program area for Evidence Action.

Program Development

  • Working closely with the New Program Development team and the Cost-Effectiveness team, identify and build out a new area of practice for Evidence Action, within global health.
    • Identify interventions that meet our rigorous criteria. 
    • Design effective delivery models to roll out the interventions. 
    • Oversee early implementation activities, including surveys and pilots, to prove the concept and optimize the model.
    • Test interventions at scale, to ensure the intended outcomes are achieved and to further refine the delivery model. 
    • Guide scoping activities in countries to inform further scale-up. 

Donor and Partner Relationships

  • Develop relationships with key stakeholders in the program area, including government, implementers, donors, bi/multilaterals, and researchers.
  • Identify, cultivate, and manage relationships with a diverse constituency of donors.
  • Lead fundraising and proposal development, in collaboration with External Relations team, to drive significant new revenues to scale up successful interventions.

Program Management

  • Manage program budget and expenditure, ensuring funds are being spent wisely.
  • Identify and manage programmatic risks.
  • Manage relationships with country office leads and ensure alignment on program goals and milestones. 
  • Oversee development and execution of program work plans; ensure regular progress assessment and accountability for the achievement of milestones.
  • Lead refinement and analysis of program metrics.

 People Management and Human Resource Development

  • Build, manage, and mentor a high performing team. 
  • Provide coaching, motivation, and inspiration to direct reports and colleagues across geographies.
  • Maintain and develop a culture of excellent people management and performance, consistent with Evidence Action’s values.


Evidence Action seeks a dynamic leader to build upon and enhance its impressive early record. The ideal candidate will have a strong commitment to the organization’s mission. S/he should be a proven self-starter and builder, comfortable with ambiguity and a fast-paced environment.

  • 12+ years of relevant experience.
  • Experience building and managing successful initiatives, in an entrepreneurial environment. 
  • Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills and an understanding of evidence and cost-effectiveness. Comfort using imperfect data to make well-informed, thoughtful decisions.
  • Excellent fundraising and communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Talented people manager, with a track record of supporting high-performance from direct reports and colleagues.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Ability to build strong relationships with donors and partners. Ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues, influencing decisions and aligning on priorities across a matrixed structure.
  • Alignment with Evidence Action’s values.


  • Experience leading at-scale programs in international development, preferably in relevant sectors (e.g. health, nutrition, WASH).
  • Strong relationships with prospective funders.
  • Experience in a high-growth, matrixed international organization.
  • Experience engaging with government counterparts.
  • Experience living and/or working in low-and-middle-income countries.