External Relations Manager – Maternity Cover (8 months fixed term contract)

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: 29 April


Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for Neglected Diseases (www.dndi.org)

The External Relations Departments aims to design, implement, and evaluate Policy, Advocacy, Communications, and Fundraising strategies.

The Communications team ensures wide, timely, and strategic dissemination of information on DNDi and research in the field of neglected diseases. Target audiences include national and international political leaders, the scientific community, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, donor countries and organizations, civil society organisations, and the media.

To influence the R&D landscape for neglected diseases being part of DNDi’s mandate, the Policy and Advocacy team seeks to advocate for enhanced political leadership, sustainable financing, and sound public policies that will encourage greater needs-driven R&D.

The Fundraising Team seeks to develop and implementation the global fundraising strategy, by secure funding from private and public sources. The worldwide funding goal for DNDi is to secure €650 million by 2023 and GARDP overall funding gloal is to secure € 270 million by 2023. To date, DNDi secured €489 million and GARDP secured and pledged € 63 million.


Purpose of the position

The External Relations Manager manages and implements activities to secure funds from public donors and large international foundations for DNDi. The External Relations Manager’s role is to develop, implement, and execute donor-centered activities including prospect research, donor identification, and donor cultivation activities. S/he is also responsible for stewarding donors including producing donor & financial reports, sharing general information on our activities, briefing donors, following-up on pledge commitments, maintaining accurate information to support ongoing relationships, and ensuring proper donor recognition.

The External Relations Manager will work closely with the Head External Relations as well as the DNDi Global Fundraising team including across DNDi’s regional offices.


Specific job responsibilities

Secure funding

  • Write and coordinate the production of persuasive proposals, budgets, activity plans for institutional or government donors and private donors such as large foundations
  • Keep informed and act upon potential funding opportunities within the medical research, science, and global health landscapes for global health
  • Prospect potential donors
  • Develop engagement plans for assigned donors
  • Develop and execute fundraising advocacy strategies & activities targeting new and current donors
  • Negotiate financial investment agreements with donors

Steward donors

  • Write and coordinate the production and submission of donor reports
  • Write and design donor presentations and communication material for donor-related events or meetings
  • Update donors on DNDi activities
  • Prepare briefing profiles on donors for staff & volunteers
  • Coordinate donor meetings and DNDi staff involved with stewarding donors
  • Organize donor field visits or presentations and ad hoc reports
  • Follow-up on donor funding commitments & draft acknowledgment letters

Administrative tasks

  • Maintain assigned donor contact list in donor database
  • Participate in the development of the annual External Relations action plan
  • Represent the global External Relations team at assigned disease meetings


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Strong knowledge of the technical aspects of fund development and be committed to the principles and culture of philanthropy (ability to develop with the support of senior leadership and implement donor engagement strategies, understanding of the donor moves management & donor development continuum methodologies to deliver on goal)
  • Strong ability to build lasting relationships between DNDi and donors (able to create alignment between donors and prospects and DNDi, good listener who seeks out ideas from others, networker, interest in people, comfortable interact with people from various backgrounds, self-assured in all interactions with leaders, ability to capture their interest and showcase our case for support and create a sense of urgency, articulate, partnership-minded)
  • Strong ability to solicit multi-year commitments at the major gift level (tenacious and able to create a sense of urgency; excellent follow-up with donors)
  • Strong proposal and report writing skills (clear and concise composition skills, ability to articulate a convincing case for support aligned with donor scope of interest, storytelling ability, ability to anticipate donor queries and rebuttals)
  • Strong ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team
  • Well organized and structured
  • Strategic thinking and leadership abilities as defined in the Leadership Competency Model
  • Strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Lead and motivate a small team for optimum performance, supervising junior staff
  • Clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates good judgment and problem solving competencies
  • Strong ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines


  • Minimum 6 years’ relevant experience in which at least 4 years at Senior Officer level
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Experience of working in one of the following fields: fundraising, global health, public health, R&D, sciences or humanitarian field, and philanthropic sector is desirable


  • Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level. Studies in development, sciences, public health, global health, business administration, or related field.


Reporting line

  • S/he reports to the Head of External Relations



  • S/he works with a number of teams and units in many departments including – External Relations, R&D, Finance & Planning, Legal, Business Development, Procurement, Communication, Advocacy, Operations and Regional Offices


Other information

  • Passion for DNDi’s mission (intellectual curiosity and willingness to learn about scientifically complex concepts, understanding of R&D and drug development, diseases, medical field & global health, product development partnership model as well as for the philanthropic & not-for profit sector)
  • Fluency in English with very good oral, writing, and editing skills
  • Proficiency in German, French, or Spanish a plus
  • Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite
  • Available immediately
  • Expecting starting date – 01.06.2018


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 29 April 2018
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.