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Senior Business Manager

Posted by
IFES | Arlington, VA


Published 13 days ago

March 10, 2020
March 3, 2020

Project Description: The Senior Business Manager is a member of IFES’ senior management team, reports to the VP for Global Growth and Outreach, and works closely with the Executive Team and other senior staff to:

  • Advance the organization’s global growth strategy and targets.
  • Recommend policies, controls, and procedures to guide and support effective business development practice.
  • Update and upgrade business development practices to best align with IFES’ strategic plan, change management efforts, organizational needs and market realities
  • Build and nurture strong, proactive business development capacities at HQ and in the field.
  • Work collaboratively across organizational boundaries to better position the organization for business opportunities.


Job Responsibilities: The Senior Business Manager will oversee the business development unit team on a daily basis and coordinate the work of designated business capture managers. S/he must be a flexible leader who drives business development forward in an effective, collaborative, innovative manner.

Market Intelligence and Institutional Competitiveness

  • Manage periodic market analyses and synthesize the findings into business development processes, planning, and decision-making.
  • Work across the organization to advance IFES’ competitive business interests.
  • Lead formal, rapid assessments of IFES and competitor capacity, identification of differentiators, and crafting of win themes for must win rebids, reach opportunities, and prioritized full and open solicitations.
  • Coordinate with the Center for Applied Research and Learning to capture, analyze, and convey institutional indicators of impact to strengthen competitive position.
  • Work with the Center for Applied Research and Learning to update, administer, and analyze IFES’ donor satisfaction survey. 

Business Development Planning and Budgeting

  • Oversee the development of workplans and objectives for the business development unit.
  • Monitor and evaluate interim results and recommend course corrections as needed.
  • Prepare and manage the business development (BD) unit annual operations budget.
  • Advise program and technical teams on accurately calculating BD costs.
  • Manage the allocation of Bids and Proposals (B&P) funds, monitor and analyze BD expenses across the organization.
  • Track win-loss data and perform return on investment (RoI) analyses.

Business Development Tools and Resources

  • Manage the periodic review and adaptation of BD processes, practices, and tools to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Monitor and maintain the BD Agora site.
  • Manage the BD tracker in coordination with capture management team.
  • Track the organization’s strategic outreach to donor HQs.

Proposal Processes

  • Work across departmental boundaries to anticipate, plan, coordinate and produce winning proposals that reflect IFES best technical, management, and support offerings to the donor.
  • Direct and provide hands-on management of the entire proposal development process (excluding CEPPS responses to GEPT PDs), oversee adherence to donor regulations and guidelines and with IFES administrative controls governing proposal development processes, and work cross-functionally to gather material and synthesize information into high-quality final products:
  • Manage bid / no-bid process and recommend bid / no-bid decisions.
  • Prepare and oversee the use of compliance matrices.
  • Create proposal timeline and manage schedules and deadline.
  • Identify proposal team member roles and responsibilities.
  • Develop outlines and delegate writing assignments.
  • Drive the scheduling and conduct of program strategy / design sessions (pink team), proposal reviews (red and gold teams) and budget reviews (green and silver teams).
  • As needed, lead program strategy / design sessions (pink team).
  • During review processes, assure quality, competitiveness, and responsiveness to the solicitation.
  • Work with the research and program teams to identify the best past performance, M&E data, success stories, and testimonials to incorporate into proposals.
  • Oversee finalization of proposals including final copy editing, production, and submission.
  • Coordinate questions to donors and BAFO / NOFO responses.
  • Lead the collection and analysis of donor feedback on losing bids.

Coordination and Representation

  • Serve on Business Development Committee and prepare agenda for and manage weekly meetings of the business capture team.
  • On a day to day basis, direct capture efforts for new and renewed public funding (USG and foreign).
  • Work with executive team, operations and programs to help align IFES policies, procedures, and practices with the requirements of multiple donors.
  • Represent IFES at bidders’ conferences and other networking events involving donors and the international development community.
  • Collaborate on the planning and execution capital campaigns, stewardship events, and fundraising efforts with special initiatives including IFES annual Democracy Awards and USEP corporate sponsorship program.

Capacity Management and Development

  • Raise awareness among HQ and field staff of available business development tools and how KM tools can be used for business development purposes.
  • Oversee and actively engagement in the development and delivery of BD capacity building and coaching and undertake new staff orientation on business development.
  • Build and maintain a network (and roster) of business development professionals.
  • Oversee procurement processes for short-term BD consultancies.
  • Develop and manage business development internship program.


  • Performs other responsibilities, as assigned.

Physical Requirements / Work Environment

Standard office work environment. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Qualifications: The preferred Senior Business Manager will be highly motivated with a minimum of 10 years progressively responsible professional experience in business development in the field of foreign aid funded democracy programs or related sector and strong management skills and experience. The ideal candidate will also have:

  • Proven experience crafting award winning proposals for USAID and State Department funding. Demonstrated experience with funding diversification involving non-USG donors.
  • Clear understanding of applicable policies, rules, regulations, and guidance governing USAID and State Department funding.
  • Familiarity with non-USG donor requirements a plus.
  • Strong organization and management skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others at varying levels of seniority and across departmental boundaries and to exercise
  • influence to achieve a cohesive approach to business development.
  • Integrity, judgment and discretion along with a professional and interpersonal demeanor that elicits trust and respect from colleagues, donors, and strategic partners.
  • Established credentials in business development and an existing network of donor representatives and implementing organizations working in foreign aid preferably in the DRG or related sector.
  • Ability to multi-task, manage a heavy workload and intense deadline pressures, and engage in decisive and effective decision-making.

About IFES

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) supports citizens’ right to participate in free and fair elections. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions. As the global leader in democracy promotion, we advance good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance to election officials; empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process; and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries – from developing to mature democracies.

“All qualified applicants/employees will receive consideration for employment/promotions and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic. 

IFES takes affirmative action with respect to the employment and promotion of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. IFES will also take affirmative action on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

IFES is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor”

Project Description: The Senior Business Manager is a member of IFES’ senior management team, reports to the VP for Global Growth and Outreach, and works closely with the Executive Team and other senior staff to:

  • Advance the organization’s…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Master's Degree Required
  • Managerial


2011 Crystal Drive, 10th Floor, Arlington, VA 22202

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