Chief Innovation Officer


Organization – Adeso:

Position Title – Chief Innovation Officer

Reporting To – Executive Director

Working Closely With – All levels of the organization

Duty Station – United States (Virtually)

Starting Date – Immediately

Annual Salary (USD) – 150,000-175,000


Adeso is a vibrant African-based development and humanitarian organization. At Adeso, we work with African communities that are on the path toward realizing their full potential by working inside these communities to create environments in which Africans can thrive. We work to prevent and overcome situations that adversely affect community well-being by: reinvigorating the economy, developing skills for life and work, providing humanitarian aid, and influencing policy. For the past 30 years, we have strengthened rural livelihoods through environmental awareness, training, technology transfer, and innovative humanitarian projects in pursuit of a peaceful, self-reliant, and greener future.

Currently, Adeso has programs in Somalia. In addition, Adeso has proven itself to be one of the foremost leaders in the ongoing global effort to decolonize the humanitarian and development aid system. Adeso currently leads coalitions to re-imagine aid to shift power, resources, and decision making toward Global South communities where they will ultimately be the most effective, enduring and transformative. Adeso is a great place to work that is currently experiencing managed rapid growth. We have great benefits, a great team, and we pride ourselves on our opportunities for personal growth and development.


The Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) is one of the senior-most staff members of Adeso reporting to the Executive Director. The position will be a primary thought and strategy partner for the Executive Director as Adeso works systematically to reach its next level of achievement. We have been working at the local level in Africa for decades. At the same time, we have been robust players on the international development stage. That combination of grassroots practicality and political sophistication has catapulted us to the center of a growing, dynamic debate on the nature of international development and humanitarian aid. The CINO will be guiding us through this stage of our growth, and he/she will work with all parts of the organization to ensure that all functions are aligned to move us forward. The CINO will be responsible for strategic partnerships, resource mobilization/fundraising, business development, and executive positioning.

Based in the United States, the person in this role should have deep knowledge of and proven experience of working with non-profits, philanthropies, and high-net-worth individuals. Strong business and financial acumen, inclusive leadership style, outstanding relationship-building skills, and strong existing networks are necessary to succeed in this position. Furthermore, the person in this role is expected to be knowledgeable of, and wholeheartedly dedicated to, the aims of decolonization and rethinking the global aid system.

Reporting directly to the Executive Director of Adeso, the Chief Innovation Officer will provide effective leadership towards Adeso’s Strategic Goals by further crystalizing the organization’s role as a change-maker and provoker in the humanitarian and development sectors. The position includes the following responsibilities:

Leadership and Relationship Management

  • Provide dynamic leadership and oversight of Adeso’s multidisciplinary team to implement the organization’s influencing and systems change work.
  • Provide economic and political analysis as needed to ensure Adeso’s strategic position and growing role as a key player in the global aid and funding spaces.
  • Work in partnership with the Executive Director on the revitalization of Adeso’s Board of Directors by recruiting new members, managing these relationships, and facilitating strategic decision-making and planning processes.
  • Lead the process of identifying, cultivating, and managing on-going partnerships with individuals, organizations, philanthropies, and donors across the humanitarian and development sector, and continue to build relationships that are already in place.
  • Lead Adeso’s strategy on reaching younger generation philanthropists.

Business Development & Resource Planning

  • Analyze and determine the effectiveness of Adeso’s different fundraising efforts.
  • Establish and articulate Adeso’s business development strategy that marries lead market intelligence, trends anticipation and insights, understanding of the various audiences, and Adeso’s commitment to decolonization.
  • Identify and cultivate donor prospects and flexible funding opportunities to further the organization’s strategic ambitions.
  • Ensure the use of high-impact and strengths-based stories and materials to engage a broad spectrum of private and public sector partners, including “non-traditional” and millennial generation donors.
  • Oversee all proposal processes from solicitation to submission, managing the team to implement timelines and workflows that stay on time and within budget, and coordinate with other department leads to ensure compliance with donor policies and procedures.
  • Provide appropriate technical and advisory support to Adeso’s team and civil society organization (CSO) networks working in partnership with Adeso.

Oversight of Strategic Projects

  • Lead coalition of philanthropic foundations and nonprofits to Decolonize Aid in Philanthropy through management of the secretariat, expansion of the coalition members, facilitation of dialogue and influencing efforts, and providing insights for concrete actions to create change.
  • Lead the creation of Learning Journeys for younger generations of philanthropists and high-net-worth individuals that will educate these upcoming donors in decolonizing aid and giving, give unique opportunities to work with local organizations in the Global South, and support them inn making informed decisions about how to restructure their donor funds.
  • Work in partnership with the Executive Director to coordinate and manage additional opportunities to educate and influence the general public on critical issues of decolonization, including a sophisticated education campaign and special projects such as a documentary film and book.


  • As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of Adeso and be driven by the mission. The candidate should demonstrate a passion for breaking new ground to lead change.
  • Bachelor’s degree in business, management, marketing or related field required. Graduate degree highly desired.
  • Exceptional fundraising skills including a track record of mobilizing resources from high-net-worth individuals and foundations.
  • Proven track record of exceeding goals and a bottom-line orientation.
  • Ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends.
  • Evidence of good decision making, setting priorities, critical thinking skills, high level of business acumen and the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the reality of the budget.
  • Exceptional capacity for managing and leading people; a team builder with the ability to connect with all levels of employees; individually and collectively; develop a top-notch workforce.
  • Strives for excellence and has experience in leading others to new levels of effectiveness and programmatic impact.
  • NGO environment high degree of self-confidence and ability to communicate well with both internal and external partners.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and commitment to the vision and mission of Adeso.
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems.
  • Seven (7) years or more in a leadership role in an NGO environment.
  • Knowledge of field operations in an.

How to apply


This is a challenging opportunity for a dedicated and highly motivated professional. If you would like to join this dynamic team, please submit your application to [email protected] , quoting the position in the email subject matter.

Each application should be addressed to HR and include the following:

  • An updated CV with contact details: email address and phone number and
  • An application letter which should include cover letter and remuneration requirements.

Applications not including all of the above information will not be reviewed. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.