Director – Global WASH

Director – Global WASH

This job would ideally be based near our Washington, D.C. office, but we will consider a remote engagement:

Position: Director – Global WASH

Location: Washington, D.C. (preferred), though a remote engagement will be considered

Position Type: Full-time

Start Date: May 2022


Athena Infonomics is a global research and advisory firm that combines social science research methods and ICT tools to drive innovation in policies, processes, and practices. With offices in India, Kenya, the UK, and the US, and program hubs in Bangladesh, Zambia, Uganda, and Senegal, our team of 70+ staff work across Asia and Africa.

Athena’s Work Culture

At Athena, we function in an outcomes-based work environment with flexible hours and a high level of autonomy. Professional development and thought leadership are key elements of our business model: we support our team members’ professional growth through on-the-job training, and we encourage the cultivation of our colleagues’ personal brands through participation in panels, events, publications, and other thought-leadership opportunities. We embrace a transparent, open work environment with meaningful leadership pathways for those with inventive ideas and initiatives.

The Opportunity

Athena Infonomics seeks an experienced and dynamic individual with experience in implementation and management of WASH programming to serve as its Director for Global WASH. As elaborated below, this individual will be charged with overseeing and driving the continued growth of our rapidly increasing WASH portfolio, a critical pillar of Athena’s work. Our WASH services include developing digital public goods to support utility and local government operations, strengthening country and city-led data systems, rigorous monitoring and evaluation, and implementation of formative and action research to shape policy and programming. Primary WASH clients currently include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), the World Bank, UNICEF, and USAID.

The Director – Global WASH will be responsible for:

  • Overarching financial, operational, and technical oversight of Athena’s Global WASH portfolio. This entails:
    • Working in close collaboration with Athena’s team of project and program managers (based across countries in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa) to co-develop innovative approaches to deliver on assignments, track project-level financial performance, and manage project budgets and finances.
    • Providing supervisory management and technical support to a 20- person implementation team for two high priority, strategic urban sanitation programs: (i) a monitoring and learning initiative for a set of City-Wide Inclusive Sanitation investments in Asia and Africa; and (ii) a digital Service and Assessment Planning (SAP) platform developed to support utilities and regulators in Africa in evaluating and shaping inclusive business models for sanitation.
    • Maintaining overall financial sustainability of the Global WASH portfolio. This includes ensuring that the set of projects directly managed or overseen are financially viable; devising strategies to ensure smooth cash flows, profitability, and resource optimization; and actively contribute to decision making on new investments.
    • Proactively identifying skill and capacity development needs to optimize the evolving technical portfolio, support recruitment and hiring of new technical staff, and provide mentorship to direct reports and new team members to nurture career progression and foster a collaborative and collegial work experience.
  • Foster practice area growth across foundations, US Government, FCDO, and other funders. This entails:
    • Refining and improving Athena’s Global WASH strategy. This includes working closely with Athena leadership, the business development team, and key members of Athena’s WASH technical team to develop a new Global WASH market development strategy. The Director will then assume responsibility for strategy implementation.
    • Cultivating new client accounts, building upon early-stage relationships (e.g., ongoing efforts with a few key private philanthropies), and identifying and cultivating new prospective relationships across foundations, private sector actors, multilateral development banks and international financial institutions, and bilateral donors. The Director will oversee and/or support collaborative design and delivery of pitches and help manage and grow these accounts.
    • Growing Athena’s WASH funding from US development agencies (e.g., USAID, MCC, Department of State, etc.) and working closely with the Director of Business Development (USG) and Athena’s WASH technical leads to accelerate and drive relationship building and market positioning within the USAID, MCC, Department of State, and other relevant USG market areas.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Master’s Degree in an area related to Urban Planning, Water Management and Governance, International Development, or Social Sciences.
  • Minimum of 10 years of overall professional experience, with at least 5 years of relevant experience in urban water and/or sanitation service delivery. Priority given to candidates with experience in urban sanitation service delivery.
  • Strong logical thinking and analytical abilities, with proven ability to structure, tackle, and resolve complex technical and managerial challenges.
  • Demonstrated skills in quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Excellent communication, report writing, and presentation skills. Must be able to express ideas effectively in a clear and concise manner.
  • Must be able to work effectively with multicultural teams across countries and time zones.
  • Proven record of developing and managing long-term client relationships.
  • Willingness to travel and be based out of project locations.

Additional Requirements

  • This position requires successful completion of a reference check and employment verification.
  • The successful candidate must not be subject to employment restrictions from a former employer (such as a non-compete) that would prevent the candidate from performing the job responsibilities as described.


Interested applicants can send their CVs, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample along with the following information to Please mention “Application for Director – Global WASH” in the subject line.

Expected Salary:

Preferred Location of Work:

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for further steps.

Athena Infonomics is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Athena Infonomics is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a commitment to diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.