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Regional Director

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Corporate Management                                                                                       

  • As a member of Senior Management Committee and a range of other decision making bodies within IDRC, in collaboration with the Policy and Planning Group, contributes to corporate policy development, planning, management and evaluation of program and administrative activity at the corporate level.

Management within the Program Matrix                               

  • Supervises, coaches and facilitates the work of Program Officers in the regional office, through  frequent interaction, review of work-plans, provision of comments on specific reports, project  proposals and other documents, and providing the work environment most conducive to that end, to insure consistency with corporate policy, quality, and relevance;
  • Regularly interacts with all program teams operating in the region, through frequent interactions and information about travel, meetings and events being planned for the region and be part of the information flow regarding programs’ activities within the region to ensure coherence and relevance of programming in the region;
  • Manages a team of professional and technical staff in the Regional Office and shares responsibility for their recruitment, assignment, orientation, performance appraisal and professional development in consultation with Directors of Program Areas, and Program Managers/Leaders.  Provides advice to Program Branch management on the recruitment and deployment of Ottawa-based staff who have a particular responsibility in the region;
  • Regularly interacts with Directors of Program Areas and Program Managers/Leaders to strengthen relevance and coherence of programs within the region and ensure and IDRC’s matrix management structure operates efficiently and effectively;
  • Ensures the successful execution of activities within the region such as special projects or explorations through frequent interaction, review of work plans, provision of comments on specific reports, project proposals and other documents and attends project meetings to ensure consistency with corporate policy, quality and relevance; and
  • Manages the regional activity fund for the region.

Program, Planning and Development                                                                

  • As a member of the Program and Operational Meeting and the Senior Management Committee, contributes to programming at the strategic level, by commenting on program prospectuses, the program of work and budget, the program allocation map and similar documents, and preparing a report every two years for the IDRC Board of Governors on IDRC support for research within the region;
  • Obtains, synthesizes and communicates strategic and program intelligence from the region and promotes its effective utilization in the design and execution of the IDRC strategic plan. The Regional Director is the locus of the regional perspective into corporate planning, in the context of the matrix structure at IDRC;
  • Provides intellectual and scientific leadership in research for development and in the identification of new research areas for Centre support within the region; et
  • Identifies collaborative opportunities and builds synergies across IDRC Programs and Program Areas within the region.       


  • Serves as the designate of the IDRC President or one of the IDRC Vice Presidents on the Steering Committees of Region-based programs or special projects.  Upon request, acts as the President’s or Vice President’s representative in regional or international fora;
  • Represents and promotes the Centre in the region in diplomatic, political and international fora;
  • Manages relations with partners, Canadian embassies and high commissions, CIDA, and donors and foundations by sharing information in diverse ways, thereby increasing the visibility of the Centre’s activities in the region and in Canada;
  • Negotiates and maintains country agreements with the respective political authorities, in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary and General Counsel;
  • Organizes visits for IDRC Governors, the President and Vice Presidents when required; and
  • Manages relations with the government of the country where the regional office is located, as well as with the Canada embassy/high commission there.

Management of Regional Office Operations                                                    

  • With the active assistance of the Regional Controller, manages the operations of the regional office in accordance with Centre-wide resource management policies established at Headquarters on matters such as human resources, finance and administration, grant administration, information management and technology management;
  • Directs and oversees the regional office's full participation in corporate exercises and initiatives such as the Performance Review and Assessment process, the Program of Work and Budget process, audits, etc; and
  • Ensures that the Regional Controller develops procedures suited to local needs which nonetheless effectively complement Centre-wide policies.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Audit                                                                                  

  • Provides assistance to Program Managers/Leaders, Directors of Program Areas, the Evaluation Unit, and internal and external audit in the planning of their respective activities within the region, and ensures implementation and follow-up on their results.

Resource Expansion                                                                                                      

  • Plays a leading role in identifying, designing and implementing the Centre’s partnership and resource expansion plan in the region, in collaboration with the Partnership and Business Development Division and Programs Branch.

Dissemination and Communication                                                                    

  • Actively leads, promotes and supports activities that increase the awareness, understanding, ownership and use of IDRC research outputs within the region.


Direct Supervision

  • First Level:
    • Regional Comptroller (jointly with the Vice President, Resources) and Executive Assistant
  • Second Level:
    • Program Officers and Research Officers

Indirect Supervision

  • Locally engaged staff and Consultants


This position requires a willingness to travel in the region, to Canada and other countries up to 120 days per year.