Organization: The BOMA Project

Location: Boston, MA; New York, NY; Washington, DC; Vermont, US

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About The Boma Project:

The BOMA Project (BOMA) is a US nonprofit and Kenyan NGO with a proven track record, measurable results, and a transformative approach to alleviating poverty and building resiliency in the drylands of Africa. BOMA is working to solve one of Africa’s toughest problems in an extraordinarily challenging region, and is demonstrating significant impact through measurable results. BOMA is a leader in the development of digital platforms for monitoring and evaluation of program impacts and organizational performance.

Since 2009, BOMA has enrolled 11,502 women in its Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) and impacted 69,012 dependent children. We are poised for significant expansion in scale and impact, and are seeking a dynamic, skilled, and passionate Deputy Director to help us achieve our goals.

What we do

Our REAP program replaces aid with sustainable income and helps women to “graduate” from extreme poverty by giving them the tools they need to start small businesses in their communities. With this new and diversified source of income, they can feed their families, pay for school fees and medical care, accumulate savings for long-term stability, survive drought, and adapt to a changing climate.

REAP helps women to build a pathway out of extreme poverty by addressing three elements that contribute to the cycle of aid dependency in the arid lands of Africa: low incomes, inconsistent cash flows, and inadequate financial services for the rural poor. Profits from each REAP business provide a diversified income, while BOMA savings associations help women to manage cash flow (for daily needs), plan for future expenses (such as school fees and medical care), and respond to shocks (such as drought or family emergencies).

Where we work

BOMA currently works in Marsabit, Samburu, Turkana, and Wajir Counties of Northern Kenya — a remote, rural area that covers approximately 82,000 square miles (214,000 square kilometers) and is roughly the size of Kansas. A traditional homeland of the pastoral nomads, it is an arid and semi-arid land that suffers from the highest poverty rates in the country. Infrastructure is minimal, with few paved roads and no formal banks or post offices; for many, the distance to the nearest health center is as much as 300 kilometers. There are virtually no large employers, and residents lack the education and skills required to seek jobs in other parts of the country. For those who do find work, the average income is less than one dollar per day.

BOMA has recently signed an MOU with Mercy Corps to work cooperatively to expand BOMA’s program into other areas of Northern Kenya and four other East African countries: Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. BOMA is also working closely with the Government of Kenya to launch a pilot program to demonstrate the value of BOMA’s poverty graduation model with the goal of having the government adopt and implement this program on a country-wide basis as part of its national social protection program.

Who we are

BOMA’s highly skilled and committed team is based in Manchester, Vermont and Nanyuki, Kenya. BOMA operates field offices in Marsabit and Maralal and pilot programs in Turkana and Wajir. Its Board of Directors is also international. BOMA was co-founded by Kathleen Colson and Ahmed “Kura” Omar in 2006, and is led by Kathleen Colson as CEO.

The Opportunity:

BOMA is seeking a strategic and process-minded leader to serve as Deputy Director (Deputy), as the organization gears up to dramatically accelerate its growth and impact. The Deputy will bring experience scaling a program and developing a performance culture among a group of diverse, talented individuals.

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Deputy will have overall management responsibility with three direct reports: the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Director of Strategic Partnerships (DSP), and the East Africa Regional Director (RD). The Deputy will be responsible for the strategic scaling of BOMA’s unique graduation model to other regions in Kenya and to other East African countries. The Deputy will partner closely with the CEO to chart BOMA’s future growth and strategic response to a growing demand for the organization’s services and an ever-changing competitive funding landscape. This includes collaborating with the CEO in planning, organizing, and implementing public and private fundraising and partnership initiatives.

The Deputy will also partner with her/his direct reports in the oversight of program planning, organizing, operating, and staffing. S/he will be responsible for ensuring that BOMA’s governance structures and oversight are in compliance with US and East African regulations. S/he will continuously review program execution, impact, and, in collaboration with the senior leadership team, identify innovations and adaptations of the program model to different contexts as the program scales. S/he will be responsible for all replication strategies, including partnerships and work with East African government representatives in the adoption of the program model as part of their social protection programs.

S/he will be a leader with the ability to help others deliver measurable, cost-effective results that make the organization’s vision a reality. The Deputy will have the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence necessary to leverage the talents that each team member brings to this mission. While it is essential that the Deputy Director implement efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, they will do so in a way that allows the team to retain the creative spark that drives BOMA’s entrepreneurial culture.

This is a full-time position based in the United States and will require extensive time in Kenya. The Deputy does not need to be located in Manchester, Vermont, but must be able to travel to the Vermont office regularly when in the US. US east coast is preferred and Vermont based is preferred.

The Deputy’s responsibilities include:

Program Delivery and Leadership

  • Provide effective and inspiring leadership by being actively involved in the oversight of program implementation, developing a broad and deep knowledge of the BOMA program
  • Implement and lead a continuous quality improvement process throughout program areas, focusing on systems/process improvement and opportunities for innovation
  • Promote regular and ongoing opportunities for all staff to give feedback on program excellence
  • Develop deep knowledge of extreme poverty graduation models and arid lands practices; leverage this expertise to create and hone program justification/adaptation models and tools
  • Understand the macro competitive funding landscape (government, bilateral, multilateral, social impact bonds) and positioning to be considered a viable implementing/partnering organization for gender-focused livelihood and resiliency programs
  • Ensure that all program activities operate consistently and ethically within the mission and values of BOMA
  • In partnership with the CEO, CFO, and other senior leadership team members, prepare and submit an annual budget to the US and Kenya Boards of Directors for review and approval; manage effectively within this budget, and report on progress made and challenges encountered
  • Ensure the continued financial viability of BOMA’s program delivery through sound fiscal management
  • Identify best practices and improve internal systems with an eye toward future needs and budget realities

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Oversee performance of program model and leverage monitoring and evaluation data from our unique Salesforce-based digital platform to increase program efficiency and sustainability
  • Macro oversight of methodologies and adaptations for targeting, monitoring, field staff performance, reports, and internal and external evaluations and studies
  • Establish a practice of continual learning in regards to high-quality measurement indicators and evaluation technology
  • Ongoing oversight of partner implementation of the graduation program through BOMA technical assistance that maintains the highest quality of program impact
  • Encourage and align opportunities for academic collaboration, study, and publishing

Finance and Human Resources

  • Develop, implement, and manage the annual budget in close partnership with the CFO and CEO
  • Instill a values-driven, professional development, and “coaching” focused culture across the organization
  • Review and upgrade human resources functions including training, professional development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, performance evaluation, and recruiting
  • Oversee scaling of hiring and personnel policies, in close partnership with the East Africa RD and in line with BOMA’s rapid growth in the region

External Relations

  • Partner with the CEO and DSP to represent BOMA with external constituency groups, including governmental and private organizations, particularly in the development of East Africa regional strategic partnerships and funding to solidify regional expansion of program
  • Represent BOMA at industry-group conferences, professional associations, and other public venues

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate will offer the following competencies and characteristics:

  • Deep and demonstrated ability to lead teams toward ambitious, measurable goals and scale, with an organized, decisive, and strategic approach to decision-making and progress
  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit and track record of achieving significant growth and scale
  • Authentic passion for BOMA’s work and mission and conviction for equality and economic opportunity
  • Alignment with BOMA’s foundational principles: Ending poverty must start with improving the economic potential of women and any long-term solution must be embraced and led by locals in order to succeed
  • Strong metrics and results orientation, including a belief that investing in monitoring and evaluation is a critical element of success
  • Ability to serve as a strong culture carrier of BOMA’s values and mission within the organization
  • Experience creating and implementing organizational strategies and ensuring a high level of engagement
  • Highly collaborative and inclusive approach to leadership marked by humility, agility, and a deep respect for the expertise and experience that colleagues bring to the table
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills, including the ability to serve as a compelling and inspirational spokesperson for BOMA and effectively work across cultures
  • A strong sense of vision coupled with the tactical abilities required to implement that vision in a complex, multinational environment
  • The ability to work collaboratively with a wide and diverse range of stakeholders to understand the mission and environment in which BOMA operates and then apply that understanding to implement strategic growth plans, with the understanding that stakeholders may include funders, partners, government entities, staff, Board members, and people living in the regions in which BOMA works
  • A creative approach to strategic planning and problem solving as well as a track record of taking calculated risks for high rewards
  • Experience and demonstrated track record in fundraising preferred

The Deputy Director does not have to bring deep experience working in Africa, though this experience would be a significant strength. However, s/he must bring an understanding of the unique challenges and aspects of working in developing countries and a deep-seated belief in the efficacy of poverty graduation programs that include and reflect local cultures and circumstances.


Molly Brennan and Sam Simmons of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The BOMA Project is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit