Director of Property, East Africa

  • Location

    Nairobi, Kenya

  • Sector:


  • Job type:


  • Contact:

    Sehar Neky

  • Job ref:


  • Published:

    over 2 years ago

  • Expiry date:


  • Startdate:


  • Consultant:


Our Client

Imagine a world in which every young person across Africa attends a school that truly sets them up for success in the 21st century; a school that cares about individual students and allows them to explore the world around them; a school that focuses more on developing skills than on memorizing content. At Nova Pioneer, they have done more than just imagine this future - they are bringing it to life. Nova Pioneer is a pan-African, independent network of schools offering high quality, accessible education from pre-primary through to secondary school. They use a unique, enquiry-based learning approach that encourages students to ask “why” instead of telling them the “what”. It allows them to form their own thinking through exploration, investigation and collaboration. Nova Pioneer currently has 8 schools in South Africa and Kenya with a vision to launch 100 schools and reach tens of thousands of students across the African continent in the next decade.

To learn more visit www.novapioneer.com.

Nova Pioneer seeks an exceptional, experienced leader to drive the development and management of dozens more world-class campuses to fuel their growth in the coming year. This is an opportunity to play a pivotal role in expanding a school model that is transforming thousand of youth and shaping the future of education in the region.

The Role

Nova Pioneer’s strategy is to build world-class, cost-efficient campuses on optimally located greenfield sites to provide its students with an exceptional experience at a reasonable cost. They have developed a flagship campus hosting three schools in Tatu City and plan to acquire and build 10 more sites around Kenya and East Africa over the next three years.

As Director of Property, you will lead the management and rapid expansion of this portfolio, taking responsibility for one of the most important pillars of their work. Reporting to the Managing Director, you will be responsible for every phase of the acquisition and development process to ensure as many as four simultaneous campus developments are delivered on time, on budget, and at the highest possible quality.

You will lead a team of internal and contracted property professionals to effectively manage the design and development of all campus projects. You will also work with the Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer to secure additional financing for the developments to complement the funds invested by Nova Pioneer’s parent company.


Specific key responsibilities for the role include:

  • Develop and manage an overall property development plan that enables the efficient concurrent execution of several major projects across the region.
  • Lead the development and management of school campuses from the identification of sites to the ongoing expansion and maintenance once it is occupied. This will include:
    • Leading technical assessment of land identified by the Expansion Team to ensure fit with Nova Pioneer development requirements.
    • Managing a technical team (e.g., architects, engineers, etc.) to adapt Nova Pioneer campus design templates to the specific requirements of each site.
    • Developing and tightly managing complex budgets for the development.
    • Selecting and managing contractors to efficiently execute the construction of all buildings and civil works.
    • Coordinating closely with relevant other teams (academics, expansion, and marketing) on the design, development and hand-over of sites.
    • Developing and executing detailed plans for the efficient maintenance of all existing campuses.
    • Leading the negotiation and completion of all relevant legal agreements for the successful development and management of properties.
  • Identify, negotiate and secure additional financing (particularly debt) to enable efficient expansion of the portfolio.
  • Build and manage partnerships and a small team to enable the efficient execution of the above responsibilities for more than 10 campuses over the next 3 years.

Requirements & Skills

  • You have 8+ years experience, including significant experience managing property development, acquisition, and financing in high-performing organizations, particularly on the African continent.
  • You are highly detailed-oriented and are able to ensure that many details are simultaneously executed with excellence.
  • You have a track record of building strong relationships with and managing diverse stakeholders, from investors to land owners to contractors.
  • You are a strong people leader, able to get diverse teams to deliver great results while feeling supported and empowered.
  • You love problem solving and are particularly skilled at crafting arrangements that satisfy the objectives of multiple stakeholders while meeting your core goals.
  • You have an exceptional ability to operate and deliver great results in a highly fluid, fast-paced environment, including creating the necessary structures and carefully managing tight deadlines.
  • You have strong financial analytical abilities and are able to identify cost-efficiencies while maintaining high quality.
  • You are a self-starter and able to independently manage work execution and lead company development.
  • You have a passion for education and Nova Pioneer’s vision of transforming schooling across the African continent.