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Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP)

Mid level
Posted date:
February 7, 2023
Close date:
February 16, 2023
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Job Description

Michigan State University has been intentionally global for more than 60 years, and is known worldwide as a top research university. It is home to renowned scholars and scientists from around the globe and a vibrant and diverse community of undergraduates and graduate students. MSU leverages international partnerships with scientists and practitioners from academia, the government, private sector, and strategically chosen research and development organizations to create new knowledge and explore innovative and practical solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

The Transforming Higher Education Systems (THES) project will help the higher education (HE) system in Malawi expand the nation’s pool of skilled and employable workforce to spur economic prosperity and self-reliance and enhance the country’s resilience to shocks. THES is committed to addressing gender, equity, and social inclusion needs for all Malawi youth, and focusing on sustainable, systemic capacity development.

The 5-year, USAID-funded project, implemented by Michigan State University (MSU), is seeking a Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) to join our Malawi-based project team. The successful candidate will support the Chief of Party (COP) to ensure day-to-day project implementation and track accomplishments in-line with the work plan.

Directly reporting to the Chief of Party (COP), the DCOP will ensure team communication, and technical and administrative backstopping to support the COP and other in-country staff for the USAID-funded THES project. The candidate will support cultivating and managing relationships with higher education institutions throughout Malawi, senior Government of Malawi officials, and development partners.

The Deputy Chief of Party will:

  • Manage day-to-day project implementation in Malawi to assure THES project success.
  • In coordination with COP and Fiscal Officer (FO), guiding and monitoring programmatic and operational implementation to ensure compliance with all USAID, MSU, and project policies.
  • Work with COP and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) team to monitor progress of project objectives and maintain regular contact with partners, key staff, and consultants to ensure progress on work plans and address issues in a timely manner.
  • Play a lead role in strategic planning, including the development of the Annual Work Plan and more detailed quarterly work plans; and monitoring achievements against the work plan by reviewing performance monitoring data and reports.
  • Facilitate in Malawi the yearly and quarterly report production by contributing content and assuring writing assignments from the PMU and partners are produced in a timely manner and meet MSU’s report quality standards.
  • In coordination with the COP, represent the project in public and professional circles through meetings, conferences, and presentations; representing the project during donor and high-level visits, especially those from USG and private agencies; supporting written correspondence to the donor as needed.
  • Completing other duties as assigned to support project implementation.


Compensation is competitive and commensurate with education and experience, following guidelines provided by the Transforming Higher Education Systems Project and guidance of the development partner.

Minimum Requirements:

  • A masters’ degree in a relevant field, such as higher education, educational administration, project management, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), adult and lifelong education, teacher education, international development, or other social/behavioral sciences.
  • 3 – 5 years of experience in a leadership position involved in implementing a complex, donor-funded project.
  • Strong understanding of higher education institutions in Malawi.
  • Demonstrated track record of working in teams, ensuring clear communications and expectations among team members, and fostering partnerships.
  • Experience working with senior higher education officials, university leadership, ministries, development partners, and international organizations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to increasing access for marginalized groups to further education/training and/or higher education opportunities.
  • Strong command of written and spoken English.

Desired Qualifications:

Experience working with USAID or similar donors.

Required Application Materials:

Please submit the following:

  1. a 1-page letter of intent;
  2. a detailed curriculum vita including a summary of relevant experiences and accomplishments; and
  3. the names and full contact information for three or more references.

Submit application materials to: (Email at Apply Button) with the following in the subject line: DCOP Posting.

Applications due by Thursday, February 16, 2023 by 17:00 EST.

Transforming Higher Education Systems Project actively encourages applications and/or nomination of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.

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