ATHENA Network is seeking an Interim Director

ATHENA is seeking an Interim Director to lead ATHENA into a next chapter, and to transform the Network to a fully African led global movement with its leadership, operations, and administrative hub relocated from the USA to Eastern and Southern Africa.

ATHENA ( was created to advance gender equity and human rights at the intersection of HIV, women’s rights, sexual and reproductive health, and gender-based violence. Formally launched in 2006, ATHENA plays a policy formulation, capacity-strengthening, and network-convening role, working with partners to make the global accountable to the local, and vice versa.

The ATHENA Initiative is a conduit of learning and innovation, providing thought leadership and technical support, through a global team, with administrative headquarters in California serving as the virtual Secretariat for the Network. The ATHENA Network is global and brings together activists, researchers, policymakers, community-based organizations, and broader civil society, including networks of women living with HIV. The two arms of ATHENA work in concert to deliver our vision of realizing gender equality and achieving global health. Our current Core Team is based across Eastern and Southern Africa and in the USA, bringing our expertise across policy development, participatory action research, advocacy, programming, youth involvement, meaningful engagement, leadership development, consultation, and participatory monitoring and evaluation; while building community capacity to effectively advocate and lead.

ATHENA maintains deep partner relationships across Europe, Latin America, and East and Southern Africa, and is governed by a regionally diverse Board, comprised of individuals representing a range of professional backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences of the HIV epidemic, as well as technical expertise.
The key opportunity that our Interim Director will step in to is as a partner and leader to shepherd ATHENA through a period of transformation as the Founding Director for ATHENA departs, handing ATHENA’s leadership to the next generation, and to facilitate ATHENA becoming a fully African led and located global Network.


ATHENA is looking for an individual with a strong commitment to feminist leadership, who has a demonstrated track record of creating space for young women; has a commitment to leading from behind and sharing their power; who will continue to grow the strength and vitality of ATHENA’s programmatic and advocacy work through support to Core Team members holding these portfolios; who has very strong management skills; who will ensure continuity in resource mobilization and partnership development; and whose main focus will be on managing the administrative and practical demands of ATHENA’s relocation and needs of Core Team Members.

The Interim Director will report to the Chair of the Board of Directors and work in consultation with ATHENA’s Core Team and Network stakeholders. The Interim Director (ID) will guide and carry ATHENA’s relocation to Eastern and Southern Africa, followed, as feasible, by an organizational strengthening process. This post is a one-year position to support ATHENA through a period of growth and transformation, and with an emphasis on organizational change management; strong operational skills; team accountability; resource mobilization; and feminist leadership. The successful candidate will be able to apply for the permanent post, once it is established, noting that funding is currently secured only for the one-year interim position.

A reference group of ATHENA stakeholders will participate in this recruitment process to support ATHENA’s transition into a next chapter. Hand in hand with this external support, ATHENA’s Board has created a structure and sustainability working group with Core Team and Board representation to continue to build a vision and implementation practice for the next chapter of ATHENA.