Senior External Relations Manager (fixed term, maternity cover)

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative

location: home-based, UK or Germany

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is an international, not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization that develops and delivers new treatments for neglected diseases affecting millions of the world’s poorest people.

Together with more than 200 public research and industry allies worldwide, we use the power of partnership, innovation, open science, and advocacy to find solutions to a great injustice: the lack of medicines for life-threatening diseases that disproportionately impact poor and marginalized people. Driven by collaboration, not competition, and by patients’ needs, not profits, we promote equitable access, foster inclusive and sustainable solutions, and advocate for a more effective global biomedical R&D system that meets the needs of neglected patients.

Since our inception, DNDi has delivered twelve new treatments for people with sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, HIV, hepatitis C, and malaria that have saved millions of lives. We now aim to deliver an additional 15-18 new treatments by 2028 – addressing R&D gaps for neglected tropical diseases and viral infections, including new pandemic-prone diseases (such as COVID-19) and climate-sensitive diseases (such as dengue) with a focus on the needs of patients in low- and middle-income countries.

With more than 250 employees of 33 nationalities located in nine offices on four continents, DNDi is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential parts of our culture and key drivers of our success. We encourage candidates of diverse profiles and backgrounds to apply.

The External Affairs Department drives DNDi’s visibility, influence, and financial sustainability. Its teams (Policy Advocacy, Communications, and External Relations] ensure that DNDi is visible and respected in influential circles, supported by committed stakeholders, and successful in securing the resources needed to deliver on its mission, while being effective in driving policy change as it advocates for neglected patients.

Overall purpose:

The Senior External Relations Manager is responsible for managing and implementing activities to secure funds from public and private donors and large international foundations for DNDi. The Senior External Relations Manager’s role is to design, develop, implement and execute donor-centered activities including prospect research, donor identification, and donor cultivation activities.

This person is also responsible for stewarding donors including producing donor reports, sharing general information on DNDi activities, briefing donors, following up on pledge commitments, maintaining accurate information to support ongoing relationships, and ensuring proper donor recognition.

The Senior External Relations Manager will work closely with the Director of External Relations as well as the DNDi Global Fundraising team including across DNDi’s regional offices.

Tasks and Responsibilities

  • Secure funding from public and institutional donors (and possibly private)
  • Develop and maintain strong, trusting relationships with donors
  • Develop and lead relationships with key stakeholders and donors to foster awareness of and advocate for support for DNDi’s work
  • Provide departmental and cross-departmental collaboration on fundraising activities
  • Lead the fundraising process to secure funding on transversal topics
  • Develop and execute fundraising strategies for specific disease areas and topics
  • Lead on work areas delegated from the Director of External Relations including but not restricted to:
    • Coordination of the Public Fundraising group
    • Team coordination

Reporting line

The Senior External Relations Manager reports to the Director of External Relations.


  • Over 8 years in Senior role
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Experience of working in public and private sector is highly desirable

Technical skills

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office programs
  • General knowledge of DNDi disease areas and ability to speak/convey information about them


Graduate or post graduate degree

Other Requirements

  • Fluency in English
  • Proficiency in other languages an advantage
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft Suite

Other information

  • Status: Full time position, fixed-term (7-8 months – maternity cover)
  • Some travelling within Europe will be required
  • Start date: February 2024

How to apply

  • Please submit your application using the online form on / work with us / job opportunities
  • Deadline for application: accepting applications until 8 January 2024
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted
  • Application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants

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