Who we are

Apolitical Academy is an independent, non-profit venture established by Apolitical Foundation & the Daniel Sachs Foundation. Our mission is to make the public service work for people everywhere by supporting the the next generation of transformational public leaders.

What we do

The Academy offers non-partisan personal development and training programmes designed to prepare diverse groups of talented and innovative leaders for careers in government or elected political leadership.

Focused on personal leadership and public purpose, ethics and values, and underpinned by high-level mentorship, the programme will identify and support young candidates, women and other political “outsiders” who wish to transition into public service, but lack the networks and opportunities to do so on their own.

The Role

We are recruiting a dynamic and highly-driven Development Manager to oversee the development and launch of Apolitical Academy’s inaugural public service fellowship programme in Southern Africa.

Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and reporting directly to the Academy’s co-founder and Executive Director, the Development Manager will have internal and external facing responsibilities. These range from donor and partner relationship management, to support for the curriculum and programme development process, and managing the administration of the Southern Africa programme and its human capital requirments – including the recruitment and management of any additional members of staff and programme facilitators.

The Development Manager will work closely with the Executive Director to chart Apolitical Academy’s future growth and strategic response to the ever-increasing calls for public service leadership reform in Africa.


Programme Development & Fundraising:

  • Overseeing in-depth research and producing briefing documents on global and regional funding opportunities for Apolitical Academy programs and initiatives in Southern Africa.
  • Initiating and managing Apolitical Acedmy’s relationships with donor prospects and grant-making organizations; deveoping a fundraising strategy for the Southern Africa programme, in consultation with the Executive Director.
  • Supporting the Executive Director in the development of a growth strategy for Apolitical Academy’s movement to diversify and stengthen the pipeline of public leaders in Southern Africa.
  • Overseeing in-depth research and producing briefing documents on Southern Africa’s national political systems, electoral cycles and regional geo-politics.
  • Researching and co-designing optimal pedagogical methods for the delivery of Apolitical Academy’s Southern Africa fellowship programme content, in consultation with the Executive Director.
  • Designing, overseeing and managing the logistical aspects of Apolitical Academy’s Southern Africa leadership programme.
  • Working with the Executive Director to manage and oversee Apolitical Academy’s Southern Africa budget, expenditure and financial priorities.

Building Partnerships:

  • Identifying, initiating and managing potential programme development partnership opportunities in Southern Africa.
  • Overseeing spotlight audits of similar public service training organisations working throughout the African continent.
  • Identifying, initiating and managing potential partnerships with high-level public leaders and individuals committed to the development of public sector leadership in Africa.
  • Identifying and managing Apolitical Academy’s relationships with individuals and organisations interested in nominating young people, women and other political “outsiders” who wish to transition into public service, and would be ideal candidates for the Academy’s Southern Africa leadership programme.

Human Capital, Administration & Public Affairs:

  • Drafting and distributing Apolitical Academy public affairs and marketing materials.
  • Developing digital platforms to support and raise awareness about Apolitical Academy’s programme offerings.
  • Producing both internal and external written materials and communications – including briefing documents, newsletters, quarterly reports and pitch deck presentations.
  • Oversight and management of the organisation’s Southern Africa calendar and the diary commitments of both the Development Manager and the Executive Director.
  • Partnering with the Executive Director in essential internal organisational leadership activities (including human resources, administration, and organizational planning) for Apolitical Academy’s Southern Africa programme and operations.

Skills and Experience

  • 5 or more years’ strategic management experience in a non-profit organization, foundation, political organisation, media company or government agency / institution.
  • Highly intelligent and astute; holds advanced degree (Honours, Masters or PhD) from a leading university.
  • Track record of delivering superior results, commanding respect, and assuming leadership roles.
  • Success in roles requiring the execution of multiple tasks while responding to multiple priorities.
  • Proven ability to work with efficiency, flexibility, empathy and good humour.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide array of stakeholders – junior and senior, for-profit and nonprofit, from a diversity of backgrounds.
  • Operates with excellence in mind in all matters, with the confidence to defend and debate ideas without the interference of ego.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills are essential.
  • Passionate about Apolitical Academy’s mission; committed to reforming and diversifying public sector leadership in Africa.
  • Ability to exercise tact and diplomacy in organizational settings.
  • A creative, imaginative self-starter, who posesses the self-discipline to meet outcomes in a relatively unstructured, entrepreneurial working environment.
  • Remains focused in the face of pressure, delivers against timelines, not intimidated by tasks / time limitations.

Our Work Style

Apolitical Academy values hard and smart work, whilst having fun along the way, and respects and supports people’s lives outside of work. We are a highly flexible and supportive workplace — location, hours, holidays — asking team members to consider the needs and deadlines of the team. We are committed to building an organisation that is great for the world and great for the people who work with us.

Non-Discrimination & Equal Opportunity Policy

Apolitical Academy does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors and clients.

Apolitical Academy is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to prevent discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, colour, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.


Please send a CV and cover letter to ellis.turmel@apolitical.co