Open Contracting Partnership Seeks New Executive Director


The two-year old Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is seeking an Executive Director with strong leadership, management and collaboration skills, to build on the OCP’s achievements and lead the Partnership in further developing and promoting its mission.

The new Executive Director will be expected to provide leadership to the OCP in establishing its strategic frameworks and developing and managing the programmes, products, services and institutional relationships involved in achieving the mission of the OCP.

The successful candidate will also be responsible for setting up the Partnership’s office in Washington, DC, hiring a secretariat a team, and leading fundraising and networking efforts.


Open contracting is critical to increasing accountability and ultimately to reducing poverty. Contracts are at the nexus of revenue generation, budget planning, resource management and delivery of public goods. It is estimated that governments around the world spend over US $9.5 trillion every single year through contracts. Yet, contracting is often unavailable for public scrutiny and suffers from mismanagement and misappropriation. Citizens, the ultimate beneficiaries of public contracts, ultimately pay the price when schools are not built, bridges are not delivered according to standards, hospitals are unable to offer necessary medicines, and the environment suffers. Ultimately, contracting that is not open undermines development for all.

The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), a collaborative effort among government and nongovernment actors and since its original foundation just two years ago, the OCP has made significant progress in positioning and advancing its goals of enhancing contracting disclosure and participation around the world. The OCP will work to make open contracting a common practice through its three program areas:

1)      Promoting global norms and standards;

2)      Supporting country-level application of open contracting; and

3)      Supporting a community of practice for learning.

The OCP’s current steering group includes these organizations: the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Integrity Action, the governments of Colombia and the Philippines, Oxfam America, Transparency International and the World Bank Institute. The World Bank Institute (WBI) has served as the interim OCP Secretariat.

This is a critical moment for open contracting, as the OCP transitions into a new stage with its own organizational structures and funding.  The OCP will build a small and full-time OCP Secretariat and an Advisory Board of Directors. It will also have group of Implementing Partners that the OCP will work with to advance open contracting. The Tides Foundation is the fiscal sponsor of the OCP.

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Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and promote the vision and mission of the OCP to advance open contracting globally, in industry sectors and in countries.
  • Provide leadership to the OCP in establishing the multi-year strategic frameworks and institutional policies and in managing the operations, programs, and institutional relationships involved in achieving the mission of the OCP.
  • Serve, together with the OCP Board Chair, as one of the official spokespersons for the OCP.
  • Develop, manage and expand the portfolio of products and services that the OCP offers under its programs and together with partner organizations.
  • Lead outreach and communication to promote open contracting and further strengthen the OCP’s brand and recognition globally.
  • Raise funds and mobilize additional resources to enable the OCP to deliver sustainably through direct Secretariat initiatives and coordinated funding with global and country partners.
  • Liaise, collaborate and work with the OCP implementing partners and the OCP’s beneficiaries for the OCP’s growth and global uptake.
  • Oversee design and implementation of strong Knowledge Management and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) systems for the OCP; report annually on results achieved, and, based on lessons learned, recommend ways to strengthen the performance of the OCP.
  • Promote collaboration, joint action, and learning among open contracting practitioners through the use of innovative approaches and tools, such as community of practices.
  • Manage a small but highly effective Secretariat Team with responsibility for the recruitment, employment, and performance management of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.
  • Motivate, coach and support staff of the Secretariat to create a cohesive team that works effectively to achieve the OCP goals.
  • Maintain clear communication with the project’s advisory board, consult with the advisory board when appropriate.
  • Manage the OCP budget and finances.
  • Serves as the primary liaison with our fiscal sponsor and maintains an effective working relationship with them. 

Qualifications and Selection Criteria

This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual with a passion for the OCP’s mission.  Selected ED may have achieved leadership stature. His/her accomplishments will allow him/her to attract other well-qualified, high-performing Secretariat team members.

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and qualifications:


  • A job-related advanced degree from a highly reputable academic institution.
  • Minimum 12 years of relevant experience in business, government, philanthropy, or the nonprofit sector.
  • Experience and knowledge in at least one of the OCP priority sectors, i.e. extractives, land, infrastructure or service delivery.
  • Experience in global advocacy, marketing and branding.
  • Previous experience in managing multi-stakeholder partnerships, projects or institutions.
  • Experience in building a network of partners and funders.
  • Experience with knowledge management, M&E and community of practices.
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to resource mobilization and fundraising.
  • Project management experience.
  • Proven managerial experience with a focus on people management.


  • Strong knowledge in the areas of governance, transparency, accountability and public contracting.
  • Project management skills in initiating and managing new projects or organizations, building up their brand, capacity and resourcing and seeing them through to success.
  • Effective human resource management, fiduciary and financial management skills, including capability for grant management.
  • Strong track record in fundraising and managing donor funds responsibly.
  • Advanced communication and advocacy skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Savvy diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading, convening, facilitating, and building consensus among diverse individuals.
  • Ability to be seen as a credible player by diverse stakeholders, including governments, private sector and civil society.
  • Ability to understand the needs of OCP’s beneficiaries. Proactive management of beneficiaries and partner expectations and improvement of services and products.
  • Strong leadership skills and abilities with a credible reputation to be a promoter of openness and participation.
  • Skills to work with creative and participatory processes and approaches.
  • Excellent team management skills to foster team spirit, trust, loyalty, and engagement. Encouragement of colleagues to share their perspectives, promotion of integrity, mutual respect and collaboration, and commitment within the team.
  • Fluency in other languages, such as French or Spanish, is a plus.
  • Ability and willingness to frequently travel domestically and internationally is required

Candidates with the right to work in the US are preferred.

Salary and Reporting

The OCP will offer a competitive salary and generous benefits package.

The expected start date is no later than September 1st, 2014. The position will be based in Washington DC, USA.

The ED will report to the Tides Center Board of Directors and the OCP Advisory Board.


To apply, please send a letter of interest not exceeding 400 words and addressing the desired responsibilities and qualifications for this position, with curriculum vitae and name/contact details for up to four references to with Executive Director in the subject line.

The deadline for application is Friday, June 13th.

The Open Contracting Partnership, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.