Acceleration Director - Partnerships Incubator

  • Remote
  • Full Time
  • Experienced

Position: Acceleration Director

Anticipated Start Date: late January - mid February 2022

Location: Virtual

Project: Partnerships Incubator

Reports to: Deputy Technical Director

Unit: Partner & Agency Readiness Unit

Project Director: Donna Vincent Roa, Ph.D., ABC, CDPM

About Kaizen

The Kaizen Company is an incubator for innovative, scalable solutions that address emerging market challenges and opportunities. Our proven solutions catalyze locally driven, organizational, and institutional performance improvements and shift the development model into one that is bottom-up and ongoing. We leverage existing knowledge, new technologies, and innovative business models. 

The Kaizen Company is seeking applications for the senior-level position of Acceleration Director for the USAID-funded Partnerships Incubator, a four-year project which started in October 2019. 

About the Partnerships Incubator

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) aims to diversify its partner base by removing barriers to engagement and creating avenues for new and underutilized partners to work with the Agency. The Partnerships Incubator was set up as a global service hub to address this need by amplifying USAID’s external communications efforts to strengthen and diversify the Agency’s partner base, expanding Agency capacity for partnerships, and supporting partner organizations working with USAID. The Partnerships Incubator works with USAID headquarters and Missions to identify and engage new and local partners, provide training and capacity-building assistance, and develop tools, resources, and models to advance USAID’s partnership goals. The project recently launched, a free, USAID-funded resource hub designed to connect partners to peers and experts, improve their organizational readiness, and prepare them to receive USAID funding. 

Position Overview

The Acceleration Director will work within the Partnerships Incubator’s Partner & Agency Readiness Team to lead the implementation of a robust services portfolio to USAID and its partners. The Incubator service portfolio consists of 19 customized service offerings delivered via a network of independent consultants and vendors.

Services to partners assist them in developing their capacity to be stronger competitors for and/or more effective implementers of USAID awards. Services delivered to USAID assist the Agency, primarily overseas Missions, in identifying new partners and addressing common challenges in partnering with organizations that are new to USAID’s ways of operating and its requirements.

The Acceleration Director will provide direct technical and management support to build the capacity and knowledge of USAID Missions, Bureaus, Operating Units, implementing partners, and potential partners.

Principal Responsibilities 

  • Support the Technical Director and Deputy Technical Director of the Partner & Agency Readiness Unit in delivering a robust portfolio of tailored services to potential or current USAID partners to assist them in advancing their readiness to work with USAID while becoming stronger actors capable of delivering better development outcomes.
  • Work with USAID to develop scopes of work both for partner capacity building and direct support to the Agency.
  • Identify gaps in currently available resources, tools, and tailored services that address Agency or partner knowledge and capacity building, and design or recommend resources, tools, and tailored services to close those gaps.
  • Build, maintain, and manage a team of consultants, capable of delivering services within the Partnerships Incubator’s portfolio of services.
  • Oversee, with support from the Acceleration Liaison, implementing partner community of practice event(s).
  • Participate in conferences, listening tours, and awareness tours both within Washington, D.C. and potentially in other countries to highlight partnership opportunities.  
  • Document USAID and partner needs that the Incubator could support through additional services.
  • Capture lessons learned that will inform service delivery process pivots as necessary.
  • Be available to travel internationally (10-15% time) 
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree (minimum) and 12 years of relevant experience (minimum).
  • Demonstrated experience in new partnership development and capacity building.
  • Experience providing acceleration services in a development/emerging market setting.
  • Familiarity or experience with USAID and/or the USAID-implementing partner paradigm is required.
  • Excellent leadership skills and the ability to thrive in a performance-based culture and a multicultural, virtual work environment. 
  • Must be comfortable working independently, taking the initiative once guidance is provided, managing several activities at once, and working under pressure to meet deadlines. 
  • Must have strong interpersonal skills and an ability to establish and maintain collegial relations with all Partnerships Incubator stakeholders.
  • Comfortable working in ambiguity and a non-prescriptive work setting. 
  • Proven experience in disseminating information to a variety of target audiences required. 
  • Exceptional demonstrated written and oral communications skills in English. 
  • Proactive as well as self-motivated and self-directed.
  • Be able to successfully serve on a fully teleworking team.
  • Additional language skills are a plus, in particular Spanish, French, and/or Arabic.
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States.

Qualified applicants should send a resume/CV with a well-written cover letter (let your writing skills shine - please delight us). 

Candidates that are elevated to the final interview stage will be required to provide the contact details of three references. Applicants who do not submit all requirements will not be considered for the position. The deadline to submit is January 31, 2022.

No phone calls, please. Only finalists will be contacted.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by individuals assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required of personnel so classified.

Please note: This position is contingent upon USAID execution of additional funding.

For candidates applying for positions based in Kaizen's office in Washington, DC, we utilize to mitigate bias in the recruitment process. Upon submitting an application, candidates will receive an email from, prompting them to go through the anonymous screening. In order to be considered for a role, candidates must respond to and proceed with the application. We do not currently use for project positions outside of the United States.

At Kaizen, A Tetra Tech Company, we find strength in our diversity. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive working environment in which everyone has an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential. We know that we can only do development differently if we are open to and inclusive of new and unique perspectives. We encourage candidates of all abilities, ages, gender identities and expressions, national origins, races and ethnicities, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations to apply. Further, we urge parents and non-parents, married and unmarried, those from different or non-traditional educational backgrounds, and persons of all other diverse identities or experiences to apply. Kaizen is an equal opportunity employer.

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