Director of Product

Core Responsibilities

Own, build on, and manage a product strategy that will enable Educate! to measurably impact millions of youth each year.

Lead development of innovative outcome-driven products for youth tailored to both direct delivery and government integration. Define product strategies and theories of change and support all product lines to create sustainable impact on youth.
Build on and adapt Educate!’s product vision. Ensure the entire product organization is aligned on the product vision, strategy and goals. Facilitate strategic conversations with product and country leaders to co-create product strategies and growth plans. Support team prioritization in building the right things that drive impact for youth.
Deeply understand the problems Educate! is trying to solve. Lead root cause analyses and guide others in the organization to think critically about root causes.
Collaborate with executive team to define business priorities, resources, objectives, and market positioning. Identify key tensions and tradeoffs and bring to senior leadership team for resolution.
Oversee product strategy implementation, including through the quality of product materials, such as curriculum, participant marketing and recruiting materials, and workshops.
Define and evaluate appropriate product metrics and help determine the right time to apply each to help lead each product to achieve its impact goals.
Identify areas of future development and ensure that continuous product improvement
Map best pathways for tech to serve as growth enabler, blending in-person experiences with simple accessible technology to drive at impact at scale

Product Team Operations, Culture and Coaching:

Empower and grow strong product teams to adopt and apply best-in-class product development standards and approach, contextualizing to Educate!’s work, target markets and youth participants. Promote application of product standards and strategy-aligned decision-making within product teams. Ensure procedures and clarity in place for conducting research, prototyping, design conceptualization, and product development across the entire product team.
Build product culture: define and integrate into product team operations answers to questions such as how we product, what are our key processes, how we generate appropriate feedback loops, how we plan, what is the role of the product manager, how product interacts with other parts of the organization, which user-centric methodologies we use, and how we uplevel product team members.
Mentor, coach, guide and grow product leaders
Teach teams and build systems that manage products at different stages in their life cycle (from discovery all the way to scale), growing our internal muscle to recognize all the different ways a new product and the ways of work around it will be different from a mature product.

Customer/User Obsession, Insight and Data-Driven Decision Making:

Build a team of product leaders who understand the problems, needs and desires of youth we serve, and engage with youth regularly
Oversee both external research (best practices, existing evidence) and internal research and reporting to support evidence-based and data-driven decision-making. Ensure effective use of different product analyses.
Identify behavioral change process for our product end-users (e.g. teachers and students)
Establishes product development systems and standards for impact and optimal user experience across technology-enabled and in-person youth models.
Ensure documentation and routine sharing of knowledge and experiences across teams and the organization

Ensure Product Experimentation Drives Learning

Create systems and procedures for experimentation to validate new product ideas and innovations
Provide oversight on the development of prototypes & pre-tests
Support product teams to brainstorm and assess product design solutions
Conduct reflection and learning workshops based on both internal and external reports and best practices

Qualifications And Requirements

5-8 years of product related experience, with significant management experience
Education or non-profit background NOT required
Passion for applying world-class product development to solving critical global challenges
Passion and interest in youth
Experience working with distributed teams
Time spent at a smaller size startup or company (below 100 people) and experiencing growth
Experience in product development – either product management, design, (user) experience, or user research.
Knowledge and experience in designing and implementing behavioral change, ideally applied to more behavior transformative products
Understanding and application of human-centered or iterative design approaches
Highly strategic thinker with passion for coaching team members
Collaborative, data-oriented approach to problem solving
A good fit with our Five Cultural Tenets (see “What is Educate! About?” Below; learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here.
Candidates of African nationality or descent strongly encouraged to apply.
Meaningful time spent in the Global South and ideally East Africa is required.


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About Educate!

Educate! works to transform education in Africa to teach youth to solve poverty for themselves and their communities. Educate! provides youth with skills training in leadership, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness along with mentorship to start real businesses at school. Our model is delivered through practically-trained teachers and youth mentors. Educate!’s goal is to make this practical, skills-based model part of national education systems.