Chief of External Affairs

Website Malala Fund

About Malala Fund

Registered in the U.K., U.S. Nigeria, and Pakistan, Malala Fund is working toward a world where all girls can learn and lead.  Malala Fund advocates for resources and policy changes needed to give all girls a secondary education. The girls we serve have high goals for themselves and we have high expectations for leaders who can help them. We invest in local education leaders and front-line organizations, the people who best understand girls in their communities in regions where most girls are missing out on secondary school. We give girls the tools they need to advocate for education and equality in their communities and a platform for the world to hear their voices. We believe girls should speak for themselves and tell leaders what they need to learn and achieve their potential.

The Position

The executive selected for the newly created role of Chief of External Affairs (CEA) at Malala Fund will help us to fulfill our mission to secure 12 years of free, safe, quality education for all girls. The CEA will report directly to the CEO, serve as a member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), and lead a department that combines advocacy, government relations, strategic communications and activist engagement to drive policy change that aims to get more girls in school and complete their education. This division works hand in hand with all teams at Malala Fund —from grants to country teams—to build advocacy strategies and partnerships for meaningful global impact for girls’ education.

Location:  Hybrid in Washington, DC Office or London, UK Office

Job Description

The successful candidate has exemplary, demonstrated leadership abilities and deploys strong communications and interpersonal skills effectively, both internally and externally. This candidate has a deep understanding of how communications and advocacy efforts can come together to advance policy change. They will be tasked with developing and overseeing Malala Fund’s global advocacy strategy, and will oversee the organization’s strategic communications, government relations, policy units and engagement with activists to accelerate progress towards our goals.

They will apply contextual analytical skills with an ability to translate the impact of geopolitical events to our day-to-day operation.  They will leverage existing relationships with leaders (within governments, multilateral institutions, activist networks, philanthropy, and organizations) in the education and gender sectors on behalf of Malala Fund’s advocacy strategy.


External Affairs

As CEA, you are responsible for overseeing the External Affairs portfolio: global advocacy, government relations, girl-centered programs and activists, and strategic communications. That means that you will be accountable for:

  • Overseeing the global advocacy team, which currently prioritizes goals around pursuing the codification of gender apartheid as an accountability tool for Afghan girls’ education and  building momentum for reforms to the international financing architecture to expand fiscal space for domestic education spending in the global south.
  • Overseeing the government relations work to nurture relationships with critical government stakeholders likely to influence public policy and legislation on our priority issues.
  • Overseeing the Girl Programme team’s fellowship of girl activists and launching a new vision for education created by girls that responds to the reality of their lives and amplifies it to a global audience and targeted decision makers.
  • Overseeing the communications team to engage key audiences by leveraging traditional media, social media platforms and relationships in service of Malala Fund’s advocacy goals; maintaining oversight of Malala Fund’s brand in service of both advocacy and fundraising.
  • Ensuring policy and advocacy positioning and communications messaging are aligned with global strategy and with org-wide messaging guidelines and identify opportunities to amplify country advocacy in global spaces.
  • Building an approach to learning and evaluation in coordination with the Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation department  to ensure we are effectively setting baselines, targets, and monitoring tools to assess our advocacy impact.

Malala Fund Representation

As CEA, you are responsible for Malala Fund’s representation globally as the head of external affairs and within the organization. That means you will be accountable for:


  • Serving as a spokesperson to key external audiences and positioning partner organization leaders (Malala Fund grantees and Girl Fellows) to interface with the media and other key influencers such as think tanks, academics, foundations, nonprofits, government and policy makers, and other key stakeholders.
  • Establishing and maintaining strategic partnerships with other organizations and coalitions in the sector to amplify our impact.
  • Ensuring that proactive media, PR, and thought leadership strategies are designed and executed to stimulate media interest, build brand awareness, and further global advocacy objectives.
  • Cultivating deep and effective relationships with key governmental stakeholders and proactively initiating engagement.


  • Collaborating with the ELT, and where necessary the Board, to ensure the team’s advocacy and communications work is socialized and aligned with org-wide strategy.
  • Collaborating with the Executive Office (via Chief Advisor) to ensure that the co-founders’ voice and time are strategically leveraged in service of global advocacy goals, and that Malala Fund’s advocacy work is aligned with co-founders’ wider advocacy and communications goals.
  • Collaborating with the ELT  to share learnings across advocacy efforts and seek out opportunities for advocacy collaboration or amplification across teams.
  • Supporting communication leads in coordinating with teams in priority countries – to ensure consistent messaging across countries and programs.
  • Coordinating with the Development team to ensure advocacy and comms work is reflected well in donor relations and materials.
  • Coordinating with the MEL team to ensure impact data related to advocacy and communications is captured and that the team is on track to achieve strategy/impact goals.

Organization-Wide Leadership

As CEA, you are responsible for setting the overall direction of the External Affairs (EA) department as well as the day-to-day management of the organization. That means that you will be accountable for:

  • Partnering with the ELT in developing annual organizational goals and key results, budgets, revenue projections; present updates at Board meetings, and collaborate with senior staff members on other relevant organization-wide initiatives.
  • Building a culture of excellence based on our core values; setting strategic direction in our advocacy, communications and engagement with girls within the framework of Malala Fund’s global strategy,
  • Overseeing safety and safeguarding of Malala Fund’s engagement with activists.
  • Ensuring that EA team has clear and realistic goals and objectives; and is involved in key decision-making processes.
  • Ensuring an open and trust-based dialogue through regular working groups across the organization to ensure alignment with the overall global strategy.



  • 15+ years of experience in a senior leadership role within global advocacy, communications, campaigns, and/or government relations fields.
  • Exceptional team and people management skills; deep commitment to and belief in developing others, with an ability to influence, inspire trust, and motivate others to achieve objectives, both internally and externally.
  • Strong analytic and strategic-thinking skills with a demonstrated ability to create, implement, and monitor complex initiatives, and translate those plans into goals and concrete strategies.
  • Skilled and well-networked stakeholder manager—ability to develop and maintain relationships with policymakers, activists, non-profits, academic thinkers and researchers, private sector leaders,  journalists, media agencies and others.
  • Impeccable cross-cultural sensitivity, diplomacy, communicative skills, and discretion.
  • A creative, open, and innovative mind energetically searching for new solutions.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build trust and relationships with diverse audiences.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with experience in crafting compelling messaging and managing media relations.
  • Passion for our mission and a commitment to using your skills to make a positive impact on behalf of girls.


  • Experience working with global funds or foundations.
  • Experience working with or for high-profile principals or organizations.
  • Ability to travel internationally approximately 25% of the time.
  • Specific familiarity with the global education and/or girls’ rights sectors and relevant relationships across  private sector, CSO, UN, and government stakeholders.

Living our Values

We’re going to be honest — working here is intense and incredibly fulfilling. You’ll be pushed to do the best work of your life, alongside other teammates doing the same. You’ll need to be agile, leave your ego at the door, and be ready to rise to the occasion no matter the task at hand. We aim for excellence in all we do and create an environment where people are consistently pushing the limits of their craft while never compromising our values:

We aim high. Inspired by the girls we serve, we set ambitious goals for ourselves and push others to do the same. We focus on impact and delivering tangible, purposeful results.

We dare to be brave. We speak truth to power and hold leaders accountable to their commitments to girls. We have the difficult conversations, say yes to tough projects and aren’t afraid to take risks.

We value differences. Our best work happens when we bring many voices to the table. We embrace diverse perspectives and open dialogue. We strive for equity in all we do and are always learning from others.

We think creatively. Getting all girls in school requires innovative thinking and solutions. We are resourceful and seek unconventional approaches to overcoming challenges.

We act with integrity. The relationships we build are grounded in trust and accountability. As an organization and with each other, we endeavor to do what’s right and respectful.

This might not be for everyone (and that’s okay), but if challenging the status quo that limits girls’ potential excites you, we might be the perfect fit!

To apply for this job please visit