Job Opening: Director of the West Africa Research Association

Position: Director of the West African Research Association, US Office

The West African Research Association is seeking a motivated, detail-oriented, independent individual to serve as Director of the Association, to be based at Boston University’s African Studies offices. This is a full-time position (40 hours/week).

The desirable candidate will have strong leadership skills and is expected to assume a leading role for the Association through interaction with the WARA Executive Committee, the Board, and the general membership. The Director will have overall responsibility for financial and administrative operations, and work directly with the WARA part-time bookkeeper and the WARA accounting service. The WARA Director’s post requires some representational and diplomatic skills, as well as proficient writing ability. The post requires competence in French speaking and reading. Digital literacy and strong interpersonal skills are critical.

WARA is a dynamic association with a membership base of scholars and institutions whose work centers on West Africa and its diasporas. Founded in 1989, WARA’s mission is to promote research and scholarly exchange between West African and U.S. scholars and institutions through its online scholar network, research fellowships, conferences, and publications. The WARA research center in Dakar, Senegal – the West African Research Center (WARC) – is a major vehicle of scholar networking and apprenticeship, and the incoming Director is expected to work closely with the WARC Director and staff to achieve programmatic goals and in fulfilling organizational reporting requirements for our donors. WARA is a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).


Oversight and/or execution of daily financial transactions and record keeping
Assist in preparation of budgets, budget reports
Taking a lead role in the preparation of report narratives and proposals
Interface with Title VI African Studies programs
Interface with African Studies Center at Boston U and CAORC in particular
In conjunction with the Board, carry out and sustain fundraising initiatives
Event planning and organization; such as Board meetings, WARA conference participation, and collaborative initiatives
Maintain and support WARA membership via web maintenance, direct mailings, email correspondence and other vehicles of communication
Maintain and support WARA social media presence (FB, twitter, Instagram)
With Board committee participation, administer and oversee fellowship programs including the review and selection of applications

Applications calendar and Start Date:

The position of Director is open to interested candidates until November 5, 2018. Interviews will take place in November. Candidates will be interviewed in person at the African Studies Association annual meeting in Atlanta and via skype. It is expected that the Director assume duties on January 3, although some flexibility is possible for a starting date.

Desired candidate profile:

The ideal candidate will have significant Africa experience and demonstrate a professional/ research engagement with intellectual and development topics and concerns of the West Africa region. A PhD is strongly preferred but ABD or Masters level candidates are welcome to apply. The candidate should be a U.S. citizen or green card holder. Excellent English writing ability and proficiency in French are necessary for success in this position. Speaking and reading of Portuguese, Spanish or Arabic is a plus but not required.


In order to apply, please send a cover letter of interest along with a CV/resume and the names of three references with their email addresses and phone numbers to .

The West African Research Association does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.