Country Director, Guinea-Bissau

Job Title: Country Director

Location: Guinea-Bissau (9.5 months each year); United States (2.5 months each year)

Reports directly to: Executive Director

About WAVS

West African Vocational Schools is a Christian skills development organization that trains and equips young West Africans so that they can thrive in their work life, spiritual life, and family life. Since 2006, WAVS has partnered with local leaders in Guinea-Bissau to equip more than 1,000 young women and men with job skills including welding, auto mechanics, computer basics, English and French.


The Country Director is responsible for leading the local team at the WAVS vocational school in Canchungo, Guinea-Bissau, and for developing a new campus on a 27-acre piece of property in the capital, Bissau.

The Country Director will represent WAVS in Guinea-Bissau; build relationships with government officials, partners, and other agencies; and work with the local team to achieve five-year objectives that include, among others:

-        Both campuses generate revenues that cover at least 50% of expenses.

-        Annual enrollment of at least 200 students each year at the Canchungo campus and at least 500 students each year at the Bissau campus.

-        Develop innovative training programs that have the potential to generate exponential impact by targeting workers in the labor market.

-        Surveys show that desired impact outcomes are achieved, including at least 75% of graduates of trade-skill courses are employed within 2 years of graduation.


Team Management

-        Establish healthy, trusting relationships with the local team and contribute to an environment that encourages a strong work ethic and results-orientated job performance.

-        Work closely with the local team to evaluate, improve and generate detailed reports on the vocational schools’ programs and activities.

-        Invest a significant amount of time into training and capacity building of key team members in a cross-cultural context.

Coordinate the development of the new campus in Bissau

-        Work closely with the executive director, as well as with the local team and others, to develop a new flagship campus on 27 acres of property in the capital, Bissau. The campus will train more than 1,000 students each year and will serve as a launching pad for establishing new campuses and partnerships throughout the region.

Represent WAVS in Guinea-Bissau

-        Represent WAVS, establish new relationships, and build on existing relationships with leaders of other NGOs, vocational schools, associations, church leaders, local businesses, embassies, and local government officials.

Research, Monitoring & Evaluation

-        Survey graduates (usually via in-person interviews) to gather baseline and post-training data on outcomes, including graduates’ income level and employment status.

-        Work with the local team to conduct research in Guinea-Bissau regarding the labor market, business environment, and life circumstances of beneficiaries. This includes interviewing employers, employees, other vocational schools, current students, graduates, and others. 

Coordinate with U.S. office

-        Work with the executive director to establish clearly-defined objectives for the organization.

-        Occasionally generate short stories about students, graduates and school staff.

-        Work with the U.S. office and the local team to occasionally host visitors in Guinea-Bissau.

-        Work from the U.S. office in Fresno, California, for up to six weeks each year.

Knowledge, Skills & Experience

-        Previous cross-cultural work experience in a developing region, preferably in sub-Sahara Africa, working with development organizations, government, or within the private sector.

-        Relevant previous job responsibilities may include: liaising between local and home offices, training and working with local team members, and program management.

-        Able to show clear examples of the following:

o   Effectively managed a team in a cross-cultural context and resolved at least one difficult personnel issue.

o   Improved the outcomes of a program or team for which you were responsible.

o   Generated detailed written reports that outlined project plans and documented outcomes, preferably utilizing surveys or other data.

o   Worked effectively with host country government officials.

-        Fluent in English. Ability to speak and read Portuguese is preferred, but not required. Willingness to learn Portuguese-based Guinea-Bissau Creole.

Personal skills: 

-        Committed Christian and active in a local church.

-        Value consistent and clear communication with all team members.

-        Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills, with a focus on outcomes. 

Living Conditions 

The Country Director will initially be based in Canchungo, Guinea-Bissau, a rural and undeveloped town with a population of about 30,000 people. Within the next one to two years, the Country Director position will be relocated to the capital, Bissau. 


-        $50,000 to $60,000, depending on experience.

-        Housing stipend included.

-        Four weeks of rest time every July with reduced responsibilities.

-        Reimbursement of airfare for one personal trip each year.

-        Health and retirement benefits.

Application process

Please email your application to Candidates are encouraged to include a cover letter and/or introductory message with their application.