Abt Associates Senior Associate / Scientist / Country Programs Director - MCSP Follow-On in Rockville, Maryland

Organization Overview

The International Development Division focuses on improving the lives and economic well-being of people in lower and middle-income countries. We command technical expertise in health, agriculture, climate change, food security and governance—as well as in international evaluation. Our multi-layered health portfolio includes policy, health promotion and disease prevention, health finance, and health systems management. In partnership with government clients and local experts, our high-quality programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East are known for impact and innovation.


Abt Associates seeks a Country Programs Director for the anticipated Maternal and Child Health Survival Follow-On Project (MCSP+). MCSP is USAID’s flagship initiative in maternal and child health. This project is anticipated to focus on 20+ high-priority countries with the ultimate goal of preventing child and maternal deaths.

The Country Programs Director will be responsible for effectively managing and overseeing the implementation, coordination and reporting for MCSP+ rebid field operations. S/he will supervise country managers responsible for leading the implementation of MCSP+ programs in individual countries. S/he will help in strengthening and supervising all field operations by managing local partners and associated joint interventions. The position will be based in Abt’s Rockville, MD office. Frequent travel to all countries where the program is being implemented is required.

Position is contingent upon award to Abt Associates.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

The Country Program Director will be an integral part of the senior program management team and s/he will:

  • Provide programmatic and operational direction for country programs
  • Facilitate the development of work plan, implementation plan, budget, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) plans, and other country program components jointly with country teams, USAID clients and country counterparts
  • Oversee start-up of new country programs including recruitment of country managers and support the development of staffing plans including job descriptions
  • Troubleshoot issues with country teams, USAID missions, and with project’s senior program management team
  • Meet regularly with country managers to monitor program progress against work and MEL plans, and address or elevate issues as required
  • Ensure compliance with project’s quality review process for appropriate review of technical deliverables, presentations, and other communications tools and/or products
  • Ensure country programs comply with the project’s MEL system to collect and report on impact, output, outcome, and program management indicators, including consolidation and timely submission of project reports by country programs
  • With the MEL Director, ensure country programs use MEL data for program management, learning, adaption, and course correction
  • Conduct review (quarterly or monthly as required) meetings with country teams and provide feedback and support
  • Identify, track and document program trends, lessons learned, and best practices across country programs in order to link to a global learning agenda

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

  • Masters in Public Health, Business Administration, International Development or other relevant degree with 13-15 years of experience in field and international program operations
  • Prior experience managing USAID projects required; global program management experience preferred
  • Excellent understanding of maternal and child health issues in developing countries and sound knowledge on program management issues
  • Demonstrated experience managing dynamic and diverse teams for program performance
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to extract, interpret, analyze data and resolve problems
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English; French and/or Spanish language ability a plus
  • Computer proficiency in MS Word, Excel, and Power Point is essential

Minimum Qualifications

  • MA/MBA with 13-15 years OR PhD with 8-10 years of experience OR the equivalent combination of education and experience

Abt Associates is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer commited to fostering a diverse workforce. Abt Associates provides market-competitive salaries and comprehensive employee benefits.

As an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, Abt Associates is committed to fostering a diverse, multicultural work environment where our employees respect one another and share a commitment to our firm's values, mission, and strategies. Abt Associates Inc. provides equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to age, race, color, sex, creed, citizenship status, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, marital status, or veteran status.