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Senior Business Development Manager

at World Learning

Location: Washington, DC

By providing strategic, timely, effective, and efficient program design and proposal responses to bilateral and multilateral donors on a wide range of complex civic engagement, youth and education issues, the Senior BD Manager works closely with our country offices, program team and operations team to prepare high-quality proposals and provide advice and guidance on over 15 large complex bids each year. In designing, drafting or reviewing draft proposals, the Senior BD manager is expected to be well-versed in key development issues, as well as have knowledge of current issues, events, trends, and practices pertaining designing and writing proposals for USAID, DFAT, and/or DFID programming, etc. As the lead writer for the technical approach areas related to World Learning sectors, the Senior BD Manager will collaborate with subject matter experts to develop the technical strategy; develop proposal content that is in line with solicitation requirements; and revise drafts in response to feedback from reviewers. The Senior BD Manager ensures proposals are written in clear and convincing language, and will write, review and edit technical approaches, work/implementation plans, management plans, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plans, institutional capacity statements, and past performance sections. The Senior BD Manager will engage the proposal teams in comprehensive assessments of alternative strategic and technical approaches. The Senior BD Manager will manage proposal development processes as needed and conduct or lead literature and industry or sector research related to proposals and donors. The Senior BD Manager ensures coherence between the technical and the cost, personnel/management, M&E, and institutional capacity/past performance sections of proposals. The Senior BD Manager will have regular contact with both prime or sub partner organizations’ representatives during technical and proposal preparation and negotiation, and contact with outside consultants as necessary.

A phenomenal lead technical writer and task manager for complex bids, the Senior BD Manager will help design and execute the new business strategy for World Learning. Specifically, the BD Manager will compile BD pipelines, articulate new business strategies, drive capture and proposal management, facilitate design sessions and lead technical writing and represent World Learning at business development related events, and otherwise, lead, facilitate or participate in every aspect of the BD cycle. The Senior BD Manager has the authority and responsibility to make decisions regarding capture and proposal processes and bid priorities. S/he will manage multiple captures and proposals simultaneously while customizing application of best practices to the unique needs of each bid.

Please note, depending upon business needs, more than one candidate may be selected for this position.



Intelligence Gathering, Relationship Management, Market Analysis & Pipeline Development – 20%

  • Design and execute non-bid initiatives that advance our competitiveness;

  • Work closely with recruiter to deepen our network of potential personnel for bid staffing needs;

  • Track business development forecasts and assist with gate review decision making, to help refine and implement a business development strategy and pipeline for a portfolio of sectors and/or countries;

  • Manage portfolio of business intelligence collection efforts and support ongoing business development planning process, and setting criteria for undertaking new directions and approaches consistent with strategic plans and our competitive advantage;

  • Research background materials (including pre-proposal documents, country development strategy or program strategy documents, previous proposals, reports, and research studies) in order to obtain relevant information and data for proposals.

  • Leveraging networks within the industry for new partnerships; Maintain linkages with other organizations and individuals in the international arena with which World Learning frequently forms working partnerships and/or shares complementary interests and competencies;

  • Develop proposal plans, outlines, timetables, templates, formats, and storyboards to guide the capture/proposal writing process in compliance with specific solicitation requirements.

  • Stay abreast of current and future programmatic directions and funding prospects of USAID, the Department of State, other U.S. Government funding sources, and non-USG multi-/bi-lateral donors;

  • Maintain and develop appropriate systems, procedures, policies and materials to support the identification, selection and response to strategic opportunities;

  • Lead organization to pursuit decisions for all appropriate upcoming solicitations within portfolio.


Capture & Design – 20%

  • Plan and execute capture work, manage pre-bid preparations, act as capture manager and technical writer for USAID and other donors, and oversee compliance of all upcoming proposal submissions;

  • Create and manage capture plans and proposal calendars; meet pre-proposal deadlines by establishing priorities and target dates; revise calendar as needed while preserving applications of best practices to assure that team member roles and responsibilities across each bid, align with benchmarks, deliverables and timelines in accordance with a standard gate review system;

  • Create capture plans that strategically assess bids, draw on all available resources, and provide streamlined cost-to-win driven bid plans;

  • Facilitate capture design sessions to assure contributions are relevant, competitive, metric-based and industry best-practices; Ensure that design undertaken during live bids is limited and responsive; Drive and facilitate development of competitive analysis for all anticipated proposal components;

  • Develop and cultivate relationships with technical specialists, subject-matter experts, and professional writers to contribute to technical solution designs, reviews, and analysis of proposals and business development strategy within the practice; Collaborate with technical teams to identify resources required to support capture or proposal effort; Interface with senior management to resolve issues that may jeopardize capture planning and/or submitting high quality proposals on time;

  • Negotiate high-level partnerships with other organizations (both prime and sub); represent WL in teaming negotiations as well as industry networks; and coach BD peers to do the same.


Proposal Development – 20%

  • Analyze solicitations to determine bid requirements; develop compliant and responsive outlines and gain pursuit approval within 48 clock hours of solicitation release; develop compliance matrix.

  • Oversee robust procedures for development of deliverables between each set of gate-reviews (pre- and post-release), such as same-day drafts, daily updates, solution sheets; Support capture and proposal team members in meeting responsibilities and deadlines; proactively remind team members of upcoming deadlines. Help team remove barriers to completing quality work on time.

  • Support proposal teams in developing and enforcing timelines and deadlines; arrange and rearrange proposal teams to ensure on-time delivery of proposal inputs;

  • Review all drafts specifically to ensure compliance with all solicitation requirements.

  • Collaborate with Technical Teams to identify resources required to support proposal effort; and interview contributors to develop and present the most competitive project design possible.

Reviews & Quality Control – 20%

  • Manage post – submission schedule and activities through BAFO and negotiations until award; participate in debriefing of proposal process to inform continuous improvement.

  • Direct editing and formatting on all proposals at all gate reviews; conduct final QC of assigned proposals, facilitate production and submission to client; adhoc editing support for final preparation and production activities for proposal submission; Conduct copy editing on submissions as needed;

  • Prepare color review materials; facilitate color review meetings; solicit reviewer recommendation as to proceed, do not proceed, or proceed with condition based on evolving opportunity costs; develop action plans to incorporate color review feedback in a timely basis.

  • Serve as external reviewer or facilitate high-intensity gate reviews and color team reviews; Ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations of the funding agencies; developing and executing a cost/revenue strategy to be reflected in the proposal budget;

  • Analyse bid performance to ensure lessons and conclusions are shared, and fed back into future bids.


Systems Management & Development – 20%

  • Ensure use of capture and proposal best practices across a range of donors; Supervise BD Officers to provide leadership and encourage teamwork, mentor and support multi-dept bid teams in developing an effective donor-focused and forward-thinking capture and proposal process;

  • Direct adjustments to process and deadlines throughout capture and proposal based on specific needs of each bid; Recommend improvements to best practice capture and proposal job aids, templates and examples; Organize and develop department tools, templates, and capacity building resources in support of market analysis, capture, proposal development & reviews;

  • Maintain strong relationships with WL program divisions and relevant external networks to share knowledge, collaborate effectively, influence senior leadership for sound and informed decisions, and stay abreast of industry standards and the USG regulatory environment.



  • Bachelor’s required, advanced degree preferred, in politics, economics, education, public policy, public administration, management, international development, journalism, or related fields.

  • Minimum of five years of work experience in the field of international development or relevant field.

  • Strong program design and technical writing, particularly on proposals for contracts.

  • Experience in analyzing new Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and Request for Application (RFA) opportunities from USAID; developing and writing clear, concise, and structured proposals for international donors in response to RFA/Ps from USAID, DFAT, DFID and other bilateral and multilateral organizations.

  • Able to present recommendations to Senior Management to gain agreement for pursuit decisions.

  • End-to-end experience in writing clear, concise, and structured proposals for international donors, particularly contract proposals, including a clear understanding of how to strategically read an RFP,

  • Experience managing complex capture and proposal development teams to assign key roles and responsibilities on a proposal team, with proven capacity to deliver high quality, winning proposals.

  • Experience with Shipley or equivalent capture and proposal development processes; Prior experience writing, running capture, and proposal coordinating USAID bids; Experience managing complex capture and proposal development teams;

  • High proficiency in the Microsoft Windows environment and Office Applications and other software to write, lay out, format, assemble, and package large, multi-author documents.

  • Proven ability to multi-task, and organize/prioritize multiple, complex on-going projects. Effective English oral, writing and presentation skills and experience with copyediting and production required;

  • Ability and willingness to travel internationally up to 30% for capture or live-bid trips for 1-3 weeks

  • French, Spanish, Arabic or Portuguese skills desirable.

Why World Learning Inc.

For more than 85 years, World Learning has worked to create a more peaceful, sustainable, and just world. Our education, development, and exchange programs help people find their voices, connect with their communities, and strengthen the institutions that form the backbone of a democratic society. With our support, these emerging leaders tackle critical global issues like poverty, conflict, and inequality.

As a thriving international nonprofit organization with impact in 150 countries, World Learning works across six major program areas. We’re hard at work improving global education to ensure schools and teachers have the tools they need to support students — including English language instruction through our TESOL teacher training. We encourage civic engagement in communities around the world, and we strengthen institutions so that they can best serve their constituencies. Our workforce development programs help people cultivate the hard and soft skills they need to succeed. And we offer people-to-people exchanges for people of all ages who seek professional and academic enrichment.

All World Learning programs are grounded in five key approaches: experiential learning, leadership development, inclusive practices, innovation, and grants management. We believe in partnering with local experts, organizations, and institutions to find solutions that will truly work for each community. Together, we create the foundations for a better tomorrow.

World Learning is a member of the World Learning Inc.Opens a New Window. family, which also includes The Experiment in International Living and School for International Training.

World Learning is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action/veterans/ADA employer, committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce.

HOW TO APPLY:  Please send your cover letter and resume to with the subject title “WL Senior BD Manager”

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