Deputy Project Director


POSITION TITLE: Deputy Project Director

PROJECT TITLE: Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)

POSITION LOCATION: Nairobi, Kenya with occasional in-country and global travel

REPORTS TO: Project Director




World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian international development organization that works with and through its southern partners to promote sustainable development. Founded in 1957 and currently working in more than 20 countries worldwide with an annual budget of approximately $45 million, WUSC fosters youth-centered solutions for improved education, economic, and empowerment opportunities to overcome inequality and exclusion. We believe youth have the potential to provide for their families, build strong communities, and create positive social change for future generations. Globally, WUSC has a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty, and community leaders that can be leveraged to support our work. 

WUSC’s members are Canada’s most globally engaged post-secondary institutions. WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world.  Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, employment and empowerment. 

Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM) project

WUSC, through the DREEM project, will play a unique role as a technical assistance and strategic learning partner to the Mastercard Foundation and its partners. DREEM will contribute to the Mastercard Foundation’s commitment to meaningfully include refugee and displaced youth in their Scholars Program and Young Africa Works initiative. As the Mastercard Foundation also works to deepen its refugee and displaced youth strategy, DREEM will closely work with the Foundation to ensure that the project continues to support its overall goals of the meaningful inclusion of refugee and displaced youth. 

The DREEM project will focus on three key pillars: 

  1. Support Scholars Program (SP) partners and staff with the knowledge, capacity and networks to meaningfully recruit and serve refugees and displaced youth in higher education and transition to work and to work towards more inclusive societies;
  2. Support Young Africa Works (YAW) country partners and staff in East Africa to gain the knowledge, capacity and networks to meaningfully include and develop programming  that meets the unique training and employment needs, opportunities and aspirations of refugee and displaced youth, especially young women;
  3. Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Refugees (SEOR) to complement WUSC’s existing Learning through Education and Access to Employment Pathways (LEAP) project and provide refugee entrepreneurs, especially young women with improved access to market-oriented business support services that improve business and employment outcomes in Kenya. 

Job Role

The Deputy Project Director (DPD) supports the Project Director (PD) in ensuring that the DREEM project reaches its stated results and objectives. The DPD assists with strategic and work planning, coordination and management of project staff, and overall management and administration of the project at the national and regional level. 

Under the supervision of the PD, the DPD will work closely with project staff including the Scholars Program Manager, the Young Africa Works Manager, the SEOR Coordinator, the MERL Lead and Officer, the Gender and Safeguarding Officer, the Policy and Communications Manager and other staff to ensure that project activities are effectively planned, implemented and monitored. The DPD will support project staff and partner organizations to develop capacity building and training activities, mentoring and coaching interventions and follow-up support in ensuring that refugee and displaced youth are meaningfully included in higher education, employment and entrepreneurship pathways. 

Under the supervision of the Nairobi-based DREEM Director, the Deputy Director will work closely in collaboration with the WUSC teams in Kenya and Canada, the DREEM Youth Advisory Committee, and the Mastercard Foundation team. 


Supporting oversight of project activities, ensuring that commitments made under annual workplans are achieved or that adaptations/changes are adequately planned for and monitored for quality assurance; 

Supporting the Project Director in providing mentoring and coaching to project staff to ensure that they are building relevant competencies in partnership management, project management and in the inclusion of refugee and displaced youth in their respective areas of work;

Overseeing the development of capacity building tools, training materials and other resources for a diversity of partners and clients;

Supporting and supervising the recruitment and selection of program staff and/or external technical assistance to support various facets of the project;

Working with project and Foundation staff to identify and assess partners, prioritize capacity needs, identify areas of intervention, develop action plans, and help implement those plans through gender and youth sensitive training, coaching and mentoring;

Foster relationships with sub-contractors and consultants for the implementation of the DREEM project, ensuring strategic alignment, communication, and compliance with donor regulations and internal  organizational policies; 

Participating in and leading regular meetings/events with Foundation staff and partners;

Contributing to the development of DREEM’s reporting, budgeting and workplanning processes (led by the Project Director);

In conjunction with the Project Director, convene and manage regular Advisory Committee meetings, fostering meaningful input and governance of  the DREEM project; 

Work with the MERL team to ensure documentation of results and good practices of the DREEM project and the generation of content  and knowledge, and identify ways to to communicate this internally and externally; 

Ensure quality, consistency, and timeliness of project communication, with the donor, government  counterparts and HQ colleagues;

Providing any other managerial, administrative, technical or advisory support as requested by the DREEM Project Director.

Line Manager

DREEM Project Director

Direct Reports
  • Scholars Program Manager
  • Young Africa Works Manager
  • SEOR Coordinator
  • GESI Officer
  • Policy and Communications Manager
  • Senior Program Officer
Position Requires Close Collaboration with:


  • Livelihoods and Economic Opportunities (LEO) Advisor
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Team
  • Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) Advisor
  • Learning through Education and Access to Skills for Employment Project (LEAP) Team 
  • Senior Management Team (Operations Manager, Finance Manager, Education Project Manager)


  • Senior Manager, Durable Solutions for Refugees
  • Inclusive Economies Advisor
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Advisor
  • Finance Analyst


  • Master’s Degree in international development, education, public policy, social sciences or a related field;
  • Project management certification would be an asset
Experience and competencies:

The ideal applicant will combine experience and technical expertise in the higher education, inclusive market systems and/or forced migration sectors with a familiarity of the East African refugee context, a strategic and analytical mindset, excellent listening and interpersonal skills, strong staff management skills and most importantly, a proactive and positive approach to work. 

Specific competencies:
  • Relevant experience working in  international development, education, public policy, social sciences or a related field. development cooperation/ technical assistance projects;
  • Significant experience in project management and mentoring and coaching of project staff;
  • Relevant experience on projects that promote inclusion for displaced/ refugee youth; tertiary or technical education for displaced/ refugee youth;
  • Experience providing technical support to partner organizations and a commitment to a participatory partnership approach to capacity development;
  • Demonstrated commitment to social inclusion and knowledge of the specific constraints and realities of challenges faced by refugee and displaced groups;
  • Diplomatic skills and experience with representation with a wide range of key stakeholders; 
  • Experience working on a Mastercard Foundation project will be an added advantage;
  • Complete fluency in English is essential, ability to communicate articulately and cogently, and to edit communications products at a similarly high level;
  • Adherence to gender equality and social inclusion principles; proven knowledge of and commitment to the concept of gender equality and intersectionality within programming;
  • Curious, enthusiastic and willing to innovate and adapt;
  • French language skills are highly desirable;
  • Commitment to WUSC’s mission of building a better world for all young people, particularly displaced and refugee youth.
Other requirements :
  • The role will require occasional international travel for conferences, workshops and meetings; 
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule.


WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence, and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion, sexual exploitation or abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you wish to apply for this exciting role, please submit your resume with a covering letter here

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted

WUSC does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process

Preference will be given to applicants who have the relevant authorization to work in Kenya

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