| March 25, 2024

Senior Managing Director, Impact

Guest Author


Website Global Innovation Fund

The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) is a non-profit, social-first investment vehicle established to find, fund, and scale-up cost-effective, evidence-based innovations that have the potential to measurably improve the lives of millions of people living on $5 PPP a day or less. GIF was founded to invest in innovations in the public or private sector that will inspire fresh thinking and create better solutions in developing countries.

GIF’s unique hybrid model, as both a UK registered charity/US 501(c)3 and an investor, reflects our dual mission: to invest in innovations that improve the lives of the poor, and to demonstrate how bringing evidence and the power of the private sector to bear can create new solutions to persistent development problems.

GIF offers grants, loans and equity-type investments ranging from $230,000 to $15 million to support a range of innovations with strong potential for social impact at a large scale, whether these are new technologies, business models, policy practices, technologies or behavioural insights.  Evidence is central to GIF’s mission to improve lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. It underpins GIF’s ability to act like a venture capitalist for the public good, empowering us to take informed risks in pursuit of large pay-offs, and better outcomes for the world’s poor.


The Senior Managing Director, Impact (SMD Impact) will be responsible for ensuring that GIF’s investment activity is informed by timely, high-quality analytics on social impact, for monitoring and promoting attention to GIF’s results framework, and for leading GIF’s work on drawing and sharing lessons from its work in development and impact assessment. The SMD Impact will also be responsible for creating and maintaining a robust pipeline of prospective public sector investments. The role will report to the Chief Executive Officer.


Strategic Leadership

  • Lead and supervise the Analytics and Grants teams, contributing to the design and execution of workstreams that propel GIF’s mission forward.
  • Cultivate a collaborative culture that drives partnerships across all departments and with external networks, ensuring cohesion and success for GIF’s objectives.

Knowledge Synthesis and Dissemination

  • Drive an institutional focus on synthesizing learnings from across the portfolio to distil insights and best practices into succinct and accessible knowledge products.
  • Lead the engagement of partners and innovators to facilitate the sharing of knowledge externally to drive sector-wide impact.


  • Oversee the strategic direction and execution of grantmaking activities, ensuring alignment with impact investment objectives and maximizing social returns.
  • Critically screen investment opportunities through an impact-first, gender-considerate, and climate-aware approach.
  • Advocate for and implement sourcing strategies that foster locally led innovations, ensuring sustainable, locally-driven change.

Performance Management

  • Maintain a professional, proactive, and results-oriented culture within the Analytics and Grants teams, with clearly defined performance metrics and accountability.

Communication and Relationship Management

  • Serve as a crucial link between the Analytics and Grants teams, the CEO, and the Investment Committee.
  • Help communicate strategic insights, impact stories, and the progress of key GIF initiatives to different audiences.
  • Act as GIF’s external representative on matters related to GIF’s impact, managing key relationships with various stakeholders including Donors.


Required Skills, Experience and Attributes

  • Master’s degree in development economics, environmental sciences, international development, public administration, or related field, with a significant record of leadership in comparable senior roles.
  • 12+ years of relevant experience in international development or impact investing, with a minimum of three years of experience working in low and middle-income countries;
  • Experience in leading monitoring & evaluation, impact, learning or results management teams within the international development or impact investing sectors, as well as strategic planning and portfolio management expertise.
  • Experience in applying a gender lens to assessment of projects, programs, or investments.
  • Proven success in leading cross-functional teams and consensus-building among diverse stakeholder groups.
  • Excellent communication skills, capable of effectively articulating GIF’s vision, impact strategy, and investment priorities to various audiences.

Preferred/Desired Skills/Experience

  • Authorship/co-authorship of peer-reviewed papers on evaluation, climate change, economics, or international development.
  • Quantitative analysis skills and the ability to synthesize empirical research for practical application.
  • Expertise in designing, implementing and evaluating climate change adaptation and resilience strategies.
  • Fluency in French language

GIF is a dynamic organization and you will be expected to adapt quickly to the needs of the organization, work on fluid team tasks.  The SMD Impact could have a range of other duties assigned as necessary.


You will report to the Chief Executive Officer.  This position can be based in our London or Nairobi offices.  Candidates must have the authorization to work in either the United Kingdom or Kenya prior to commencing work.  You may be required to travel internationally as part of your role.

To apply for this job please visit app.beapplied.com.