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Senior Director of Development


Countries that are rich in oil, gas, and mineral wealth face one of the most critical development challenges of this generation. When used well, these resources can create greater prosperity for current and future generations; used poorly, or squandered, they can cause economic instability, social conflict, and lasting environmental damage. The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)’s mission – and passion – is to capitalize on these opportunities and surmount the challenges that more than one billion people in resource rich countries face.

NRGI is a high-impact, international non-governmental organization dedicated to helping communities and nations benefit from their countries’ endowments of oil, gas, and minerals. With a global reach across more than twenty countries, NRGI uses research, data, and analysis, as the evidence base for our training, technical assistance, grant-making, brokering dialogue and convening change actors. NRGI partners with global as well as national influencers and leaders within governments, non-governmental organizations, media, legislatures, the private sector, and international institutions to increase accountable and effective governance.

NRGI has a highly skilled staff of nearly 100 global and country experts in over ten countries, including lawyers, economists, and governance and data specialists. Headquartered in New York, NRGI offices are also in Accra, Beirut, Lima, Dar es Salaam, Jakarta, London, and Washington DC, and further staff are in regional and country offices across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa.

The NRGI team is driven by its commitment to effect change in the communities most impacted by the extraction of natural resources. The highly skilled staff is motivated by the urgency of the issues being addressed and brings enthusiasm to its work on complex international challenges. Humility, patience, and collaboration are all core components of the NRGI work culture.

NRGI has an annual operating budget close to $18M. Under the strategic leadership of a new Senior Director of Development, NRGI aims to deepen its relationships with institutional and government donors, while also exploring opportunities in the high net worth individual donor space. NRGI currently relies on large, multi-year core funding from foundations, multi-lateral, and governmental agencies, but also receives short-term contract-specific funding for dedicated projects. NRGI aims to continue to build and diversify its donor partners, noting a forthcoming opportunity for a major development push around our 2020 strategy.

Current donors include philanthropic institutions such as the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Foundations, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, as well as public sector donors including the governments of Australia, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Senior Director of Development role is a full-time position located in either the New York City or Washington, D.C. NRGI office.


As the leader for all development functions at NRGI, the Senior Director of Development will report jointly to the President/CEO (who operates in both New York City and Washington, D.C.) and the Chief Operating Officer (who is based in New York City). The Senior Director of Development will manage the current development team with a Senior Development Officer, based in Seattle, and a Development Officer, based in London.

Ideal candidates for the Senior Director of Development role will possess the following attributes and competencies

Fundraising  Expertise:

The Senior Director of Development will bring expertise in institutional and major gift fundraising with deep knowledge of development strategy and execution. Her/his leadership will strengthen a culture of philanthropy across the organization. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessing and building on NRGI’s development strategy; leading the implementation of processes that reflect best practices and appropriately represent NRGI’s mission and values
  • Overseeing the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and relationship management of private foundations, bilateral donors, and corporations, as well as exploring the possibilities for attracting high net worth individuals whose interests are a fit with NRGI priorities
  • Managing a remote team of Development staff
  • Partnering with Communications, Program, Administrative, and Finance staff to develop prospect research and profiles, institutional messaging and materials, and customized products (e.g. proposals, budgets, and reports)
  • Engaging Board Members (including the NRGI Governing Board Development Committee), Senior Management, and Program staff in fundraising
  • Overseeing periodic cultivation and fundraising events
  • Developing an improved monitoring and reporting system for grants management and accountability to donors

Partnership Cultivation and Stewardship:

The Senior Director of Development will work in a collaborative manner with current and potential donor partners, building and maintaining relationships on NRGI’s behalf. With highly developed interpersonal and negotiation skills, s/he will bring a variety of strategies and techniques to create and implement effective donor cultivation and stewardship strategies in close partnership with the CEO. S/he will be a manager and teammate, with a “roll-up-your-sleeves” approach to achieving development goals and targets.

Interpersonal and Communications Skills:

The Senior Director of Development will apply outstanding communications skills and integrity to build relationships with current and prospective donors and across the NRGI family, both in formal meetings and informal interactions. S/he will work across national and regional cultures, with representatives of differing sectors with divergent philanthropic and funding goals. Internally, s/he will collaborate closely and comfortably with a highly diverse, global team of colleagues throughout the organization.

Entrepreneurial Mindset and Leadership:

The Senior Director of Development will be excited to play a leading role in a fast-paced, global environment. S/he will aim to build the skills of direct reports with thoughtful management and will seek to learn from others throughout the organization. With a focus on outcomes and impact, s/he will bring experiences that integrate best practices and develop new models for future fundraising at NRGI.

Passion for the Mission

The Senior Director of Development will have a demonstrated and authentic interest in NRGI’s mission and work, including international development and cross-sector partnerships.


Desired Skills and Experiences:

  • Expertise in donor relations with a proven track record in building large-scale (high seven-figure and possibly eight-figure) institutional partnerships, preferably on behalf of international development organizations, as well as soliciting major gifts from individuals
  • Demonstrated management/team leadership skills with fundraising in international organizations, foundations, and/or government agencies
  • Experience monitoring and reporting on budgets and grants, with demonstrated understanding of financials
  • Exceptional marketing, written, and oral communication skills
  • Success partnering with and supporting CEOs and Boards of Directors
  • Experience or involvement in international development and/or having lived/worked in more than one country is a plus
  • At least five to seven years of related experience in a senior development role with advanced degree preferred

Personal Qualities

  • Commitment to furthering NRGI’s mission and core values of integrity, intellectual rigor, respect for evidence, innovation, strategic selectivity, and independence
  • Demonstrated ability to be a professional, productive member of a diverse community working toward shared goals, with mutual respect and accountability in a fast-paced environment
  • Collaborative and hands-on leadership and managerial style
  • Capacity for learning, reflection and self-criticism, humility, and sense of humor
  • Professional, diplomatic demeanor with the ability to represent a global organization
  • Self-directed and thoughtful approach to problem-solving
  • Outgoing, energetic, and relational approach to fundraising
  • Even-keeled and flexible approach with ability to maintain calm under pressure
  • Strong organizational skills and deep attention to detail
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed (approximately 25%)
  • Ability to speak and write in a second language (French or Spanish) is a plus


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Exceptional benefits package provided.


NRGI has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan and Melissa Madzel -

NRGI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NRGI considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or  any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


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


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