USA Executive Director

Posted by
United Front Against River Blindness
Lawrence Township, NJ

United Front Against River Blindness

Published 23 days ago

January 1, 2021
October 30, 2020
$80,000 - $100,000Commensurate with demonstrated fundraising success

United Fund Against Riverblindness (UFAR) seeks a full-time Executive Director for its USA-based operations. The ideal candidate will be an excellent fundraiser, with a passion for international development. The purpose of this appointment is to significantly accelerate UFAR’s fund development capacity in the USA, serving to ensure the continuation of UFAR’s vital work through the elimination of Riverblindness and other neglected tropical diseases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

UFAR is in the midst of implementing a strategic succession plan, preparing for the retirement of its Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Daniel Shungu, in 2022. As part of this transition, Dr. Shungu, who has been actively involved in all UFAR operations, is shifting most of his activities to focus on DRC-based operations, and on preparations for succession within those operations. As part of its strategic succession plan, UFAR wishes to appoint a full-time Executive Director to grow fundraising activities in the USA, and to provide support and advice for DRC-based fundraising.

This position reports to the Founder and CEO. Upon the current CEO’s retirement, this position is planned to report directly to the Board of Trustees.   


●     Develop and execute a private donor fundraising strategy to raise a significant fund over six years. This will include:

o  Development of an effective chapter-based network strategy for fundraising in the USA, using the existing Lawrence, NJ donor community as a model

o  Recruitment, development, and support of high-level volunteers to lead local chapter fundraising campaigns. Working with staff to support the lead volunteers in expanding the reach and fundraising for the Mission

o  Development of communication and tracking systems necessary to support this network

o  Supporting this strategy with appropriate regular marketing and communications

o  Provide oversight and advice for chapters operating fundraising events

o  Provide leadership and internal direction to chapter staff and volunteers to ensure the effective management of each chapter

●     Lead a review of messaging, branding, and communications for UFAR, including planning to align the organization’s name with its mission of addressing other neglected tropical diseases, in addition to Riverblindness.

●     Provide direction and support to Development Committee members to support involvement in fund development activities, including identification and solicitation of donors and involvement in special events

●     Conduct in-person and/or zoom-based meetings with major donors to secure gifts

●     Provide advisory support for fundraising activities in the DRC.

●     Collaborate with Dr. Shungu to help ensure that his personal story and achievements can be effectively and sensitively purposed to help generate further public support for UFAR’s mission, both before and after his retirement.

●     Support Dr. Shungu and, later, the DRC-based Executive Director maintaining strong relationships with funding partners, nurturing collaborative relationships that boost the capacity of UFAR’s independent fundraising activities.

●     Oversee the organization's day-to-day USA-based administration, finances, and fundraising activities, including managing a small administrative and fundraising support staff.

●     Manage the budget for UFAR-USA, fundraising, and administrative activities

●     Ensure that UFAR USA is managed in an efficient manner, in keeping with the expectations of funders.

This position is remote, full-time, and can be conducted from any US-based location. Some travel, predominantly on the East Coast USA, will be required.


Background on UFAR

 UFAR is an African-inspired, US-based non-profit organization formed in 2004, and based in Lawrenceville, NJ. Its mission is to eliminate Riverblindness and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) working with its partners Sightsavers, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative Foundation (SCIL), The End Fund, the World Health Organization (WHO), Merck & Co. and other pharmaceutical drug manufacturers who provide their drugs free for NTDs. UFAR’s USA-based operations will focus primarily on providing funding to supplement that provided by UFAR’s international donor partners, to ensure the continuity of DRC-based projects, with the aim of achieving disease control and elimination.

Riverblindness is a debilitating parasitic disease that has affected millions of people in tropical areas causing disfigurement and blindness. Riverblindness is a major public health and socio-economic problem in the DRC. It is transmitted through the bite of small black flies that breed along fast-flowing rivers. When infected flies inject parasitic larvae just under the skin of the human body, they develop into adult worms clearly visible as subcutaneous nodules. The worms produce thousands of offspring that invade the body and are primarily responsible for the disease. An excruciating itch rash is followed by disfigurement and leads to blindness. It can be effectively treated through annual doses of the drug Mectizan which must be administered once a year for at least a 10-year period. Research is currently being conducted to determine how many years the drug must be administered. In accordance with the recently revised WHO roadmap, the goal is the elimination of Riverblindness from the DRC by 2030.

Building on the success of our distribution network for Mectizan against Riverblindness, UFAR’s mission has expanded by simultaneously carrying out community-based and community-directed integrated mass drug distributions against other NTDs: lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths, and trachoma, using preventive chemotherapies, i.e. Mectizan. Like Riverblindness, these parasitic diseases have a debilitating and poverty-promoting impact on the population affecting both children and adults.

Dr. Daniel Shungu and UFAR’s Strategic Succession Plan

Dr. Shungu is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of UFAR. Upon his retirement from Merck & Co. in 2002, he felt called to use his expertise in health and medical research to give back to his native country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Dr. Shungu has led UFAR since its founding. Dr. Shungu plans to retire in 2022. In September 2020, UFAR appointed an Interim Executive Director in the USA to support the implementation of UFAR’s strategic succession plan. The appointment of UFAR-USA Executive Director represents an important step in this plan.

Since its founding, UFAR has pursued only modest private fundraising in the USA, limited to hosting one event – the Soiree – each year. The UFAR Board sees considerable potential to raise further funds to support UFAR’s work, and accordingly is investing in building fund development capacity in the USA.

The ideal candidate is a capable fundraising professional, with strong decision-making, planning, and networking skills. They will be looking for an opportunity to lead fundraising, and to make a significant impact through their work. This position would suit someone who has managed projects within a larger fund development function, or who has successfully launched a start-up nonprofit. 

Required Qualifications

●     At least five years’ experience designing and implementing high-participation private fundraising initiatives, including demonstrated ability to sustain new donor acquisition rates exceeding 25% per year.

●     At least three years’ experience initiating, developing, and maintaining fundraising chapters or affinity groups including demonstrated ability to instigate new chapters or groups and nurture growth in new ones. 

●     Demonstrated ability to manage all major types of fundraising including annual fund, major gifts, grants, events and planned giving.

●     Ability to design the required configuration of donor management and communications systems (Salesforce preferred but not essential) and to act as an in-house lead administrator for a chosen system.

●     Experience with reporting to a board of directors.

●     A compassionate and emotionally intelligent leader with strong organizational and administrative capabilities with excellent written and verbal communication skills.

●     Demonstrated strength in decision-making, structured thinking, tactical and strategic planning, relationship building, and networking skills.

●     Ability to work sensitively and collaboratively with the Founder and CEO, as he transitions to playing a lesser role in the UFAR-USA fundraising operations.

Desired Qualifications

●     Experience working with international aid organizations

●     Demonstrated interest in, understanding of, and passion for the elimination of neglected tropical diseases

●     Experience with implementing a change in organizational branding and/or name change.

●     Experience in the medical or health-related sectors

United Fund Against Riverblindness (UFAR) seeks a full-time Executive Director for its USA-based operations. The ideal candidate will be an excellent fundraiser, with a passion for international development. The purpose of this…

Details at a glance

  • Remote Possible
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Managerial


Stipend for home office expenses. PTO.

Stipend for home office expenses. PTO.

Level of Language Proficiency

English is essential; French is beneficial

English is essential; French is beneficial


Lawrence Township, NJ

How to Apply

Please submit a resume and covering letter addressing how you meet the specific essential and desired candidate requirements.

Please submit a resume and covering letter addressing how you meet the specific essential and desired candidate requirements.

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