Columba Leadership: CEO

Columba Leadership
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Wednesday, 20 October, 2021
Opportunity type: 

Columba Leadership seeks to appoint a CEO to lead the organisation in its mission to address the problems of the high learner dropout rate and youth unemployment in SA. We do this by developing ethical young leaders while still at school. Through our values-based experiential leadership model, learners work in school- based groups on social action projects. While addressing real life challenges they face daily, learners develop 21st century skills such as:  critical thinking, collaboration, communication and resilience. 
Supported by adults, the learners tackle social issues that can impact negatively on youth outcomes including violence and gangsterism, ill-discipline, late-coming, unhygienic conditions, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, poor academic achievement and learner dropouts. We partner with schools in 6 provinces in the most under-served communities. Schools are equipped with the know-how and methods to embed values, forge partnerships between adults and youth, and effectively engage young people to contribute to addressing challenging issues in the school and community. Columba Leadership mentors the school through this change process helping schools to sustain impact even after exiting and ensuring that its learner population can benefit over time.
The Columba Programme aims to shift school culture to provide a more conducive environment for youth development and learning, with a ripple effect into homes and communities. Post school, graduates show excellent rates of successful transition with 70% entering work or study opportunities, within 6 months of leaving school.
The organisation finds itself at a point where there is substantial opportunity, the need to build on its core leadership programme within schools and extend into the employability space to activate and support the growing network of Alumni in a way that provides value for them and investors, while improving education and youth outcomes. This, together with the impact of Covid-19 on the sector, will require an individual who has a strong funding, partnership and stakeholder development repertoire and network and is agile strategically and tactically in a time of unprecedented change and opportunity.
Reports to:
Chairman and Board of Trustees
Reporting to this position:
Development Lead, Programme Lead, Finance Manager, Monitoring & Evaluation Manager,
Human Resources Manager, Communications and Fund Development Officers
Key accountabilities:
Delivering on the purpose of Columba by effectively executing on all aspects of the Board strategy, motivating, developing and managing the executive team, ensuring sound financial management, risk management and good governance.


  • Provide overall strategic direction and leadership in guiding the work of Columba Leadership;
  • Collaborate with the Board in developing and implementing a long-term strategic plan in line with our mission and vision;
  • Oversee the financial status of the organisation, including developing short, medium and long-term plans, monitoring the budget and ensuring sound financial controls are in place;
  • Increase efficiencies and consistency throughout the organisation by providing oversight to the development and implementation of standardised programmes, services and procedures;
  • Formulate and execute comprehensive marketing, branding and fundraising strategies that will enhance revenue from funders, government agencies and the private sector;
  • Develop and maintain networks and strategic relations with key stakeholders, including staff, Board members, funders and project partners;
  • Manage and expand various local and international strategic partnership arrangements;
  • Ensure the delivery of high-quality services and values-based leadership and operations; and
  • Foster a values-based, agile, people-centred organisational culture.


  • Relevant tertiary qualification;
  • Minimum of 5-7 years senior management experience in the development sector;
  • Experienced, inspirational, energetic and compassionate leader;
  • Exceptional interpersonal, communication, networking and negotiation skills;
  • Excellent strategic thinker, communicator and relationship builder;
  • Proven fundraising skills and track record;
  • Strong commitment to social justice, transformation and development;
  • Strategic understanding of the intersection of youth development on key social outcomes and education;
  • Valid driver's license and willingness to travel - local and international.


A negotiable package commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and the abilities and experience of the candidate will be offered.
Interested parties should consider their current strength in view of the requirements of this position and their willingness to commit to the above. If interested CV applications, together with a letter of motivation, should be submitted to
Regret only suitable candidates will be contacted.  Should you not be contacted within 4 weeks of the closing date, please consider the position filled.
Closing date:  Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Protection of Personal Information – Employment Candidates

  1. Columba Leadership is a Responsible Party in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.
  2. Columba Leadership will take all prescribed and reasonable precautions to ensure that your information is safeguarded.
  3. By submitting your Curriculum Vitae and a Letter of Motivation in respect of this vacancy you understand and agree that:
    1. Columba Leadership needs to collect, keep and use your personal information in order to evaluate your application for purposes of potential employment opportunities.
    2. Columba Leadership will only use the information to carry out the necessary recruitment related activities.  
  4. You therefore give your consent to Columba Leadership to process your information knowing all of the above being aware that you can:
    1. withdraw this consent at any time;
    2. have a right to request access to your data at any time, in the prescribed form;
    3. have a right to request that your data is corrected or updated, in the prescribed form; and
  5. have the right to complain to the information regulator.

The necessary information to assist you in exercising these rights is in Columba’s Leadership’s PAIA Manual which is available on the Columba Leadership website.

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