Program Director

Helen Keller International


Program Director, Cameroon

(Yaoundé, Cameroon)

Helen Keller International, co-founded in 1915 by our namesake, is committed to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable by combating the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health, and malnutrition. We envision a world where no one suffers from malnutrition, disease, preventable vision loss, or blindness. Helen Keller is well known and respected in the global health and development sectors for our expertise in translating science and research into innovative, effective programs. Our programs empower millions of people to achieve their potential through the delivery of preventative and curative solutions in eye health, nutrition, and neglected tropical diseases. Headquartered in New York City, Helen Keller International works in 19 countries across Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States.

We are seeking a Program Director to join our growing country program in Cameroon.

Country Program Overview

Helen Keller started its activities in Cameroon 1992. Helen Keller provides vital technical assistance in support of the Government of Cameroon efforts to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality, both in the areas of nutrition and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

The Cameroon country office has a strong program portfolio that includes Nutrition (including vitamin A supplementation), Local Governance, Eye Care, and Neglected Tropical Diseases. Current and recent donors include USAID, GIZ, UNICEF, ROROs foundation, Alcon, Henry Niles Foundation, and other major US philanthropies. The office currently employs 68 employees deployed in 8 regions.

Helen Keller plays a key strategic and decision-making role in defining health and nutrition policies and guidelines in the country and serves on several key steering and advisory committees related to child health and nutrition and health systems strengthening. Helen Keller is a member of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) technical committee for Cameroon. Helen Keller works at the policy level by supporting efforts to implement new strategies and approaches to achieve universal health and nutrition coverage.

Scope of the Position

The Program Director leads the efficient achievement of program objectives and activities by driving program quality and program management in support of the Country Director (CD).

The Program Director supports the CD in developing country office strategies and goals and backs up the CD in program implementation oversight. The Program Director contributes to securing funding for project activities in Cameroon as well as to organization-wide efforts to optimize systems and procedures.

The position is based in Yaoundé with periodic travel to field sites, as well as international travel for meetings and training, as needed and appropriate.

Functional Relationships

The Program Director reports directly to the Country Director (CD) and serves on the Country Management Team (CMT). The position directly supervises a team of professional-level staff (i.e., program managers), works closely with colleagues at all levels of Helen Keller’s global management structure and may be called upon to participate in global working groups and/or steering committees.

Helen Keller’s programs require close relations with governments, partner universities and NGOs, private industry, donors, and UN agencies. The Program Director will represent Helen Keller at relevant external meetings.

Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure that respects the line management and authority within country office and global management hierarchies and the accountability and oversight duties of the many subject matter experts that support our country offices. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.

Specific Responsibilities

Technical Leadership

Provides timely and regular technical support to program teams on project implementation, reporting, and monitoring. The technical leadership ensures activity implementation is completed on time and within budget. Facilitates linkages with government and donors. Helps ensure the development of quality, evidence-based technical documents. Drives the NTD, Nutrition, and eyecare agenda at the country level.


Promote national ownership of the programs by liaising with each government institution to provide regular support and guidance for the initiatives. Collaborate closely with the program managers to engage with MoH leaders to advance the nutrition, NTD and eye care agenda.

Program Monitoring

Takes overall responsibility for all program portfolio oversight, ensuring that Helen Keller provides accurate and timely reporting for all projects in the portfolio results. Leads the development and guides the implementation of appropriate monitoring and evaluation tools for all activities. Works to ensure quality of program implementation with program managers—review each program report before reporting to the donor.

Knowledge Management

Supports program managers and partners to document and draft knowledge products that capture valuable programmatic findings and lessons learned related to nutrition, NTD, and eye care. Guides the development of knowledge management mechanisms and shares information across projects.

Compliance and Budget Control

Ensures donor funds are allocated and managed in accordance with Helen Keller and donor policies and good financial standards. With the program managers and the finance manager, develop financial monitoring tools linked to activities and implementation plans. Together with the CMT, tracks budget expenditures over time to ensure budget compliance. Oversee the financial reports and monitor the projects budgeting and activities.


Represents Helen Keller at appropriate national and global meetings related to the Neglected Tropical Diseases, Nutrition and eyecare programs. Facilitates linkages between civil society, government, the private sector, and international agencies that promote and build awareness of evidence-based public health approaches.


  • Educational Background: At least a Master’s Degree in Nutrition, Public Health, or International Development.
  • Professional Experience: A minimum of 10 years of hands-on experience is crucial. This should include a proven track record in implementing health and nutrition programs and a strong background in global health. Expertise in Neglected tropical disease, nutrition or eye health programs and policy development is highly desirable.
  • Field Readiness: This role requires a candidate prepared to undertake extensive field travel approximately 35% of the time. The ability to navigate diverse field environments and work effectively in various locations is a key requirement.
  • Interpersonal Proficiency: Strong interpersonal skills are vital, as the role entails interaction with external contacts and internal colleagues. The successful candidate should have a demonstrated capacity to establish and maintain productive relationships with government agencies, donors, and civil society organizations.
  • Team Management: The role involves overseeing and leading teams, so a proven history of successfully managing teams for high productivity is essential.
  • Project Management and Organization: Demonstrated effectiveness in project planning and organization, as well as exceptional personal time management skills, are key attributes we are seeking.
  • Language Proficiency: Fluency in both English and French, both orally and in written communication, is required. The ability to read, analyze, and interpret complex documents in these languages is essential for this role.

The initial contract is for two years with the possibility of renewal.

How to apply

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

In the spirit of our namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity of all types is fully valued.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to ethnicity, race, caste, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic that has no bearing on the ability to perform the required job duties.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities.

If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above.



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