Pearl Initiative careers in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates – Programme Manager (Governance in Family Firms)

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About the job

The Pearl Initiative (PI) is looking for a dynamic Programme Manager (Governance in Family Firms) to join its growing team in a fast-paced environment. As part of the Governance in Family Firm programme, the Programme Manager will lead the design and delivery of this corporate governance programme within the family business ecosystem across the Gulf Region.


As per PI’s Vision 2025, the Governance in Family Firms programme aims to provide the next-generation the family members with the resources and tools and equip family businesses with the understanding of why effective and timely succession planning is imperative for business growth and continuity. In addition, the programme will help establish a community of next-gen family members to better understand their values, needs and interests.

The ideal candidate should have a strong interest in family governance, next-generation, leadership development and succession planning. The candidate should have prior experience working with family businesses in an advisory or operational role and should have a solid understanding of the challenges that family businesses face. The candidate should also have a sense of strategic planning for the family business ecosystem.


The Programme Manager will be responsible for taking the strategy and key objectives of the Family Firms Programme and implementing them across PI’s 4 key activity pillars: Applied Research, Convenings, Training and Capacity-building, and Student Engagement. The Programme Manager will support and educate actors within the family business ecosystem on the value of implementing good governance practices. This includes developing and executing regular trainings and workshops for senior managers and advisors working with family businesses across the Gulf Region.



The Programme Manager should have the ability to professionally engage and work with key PI stakeholders in various settings, including corporate business leaders, peer organisations, and other stakeholders across the Gulf Region (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, UAE).


As a member of the programmes’ team, the Programme Manager will report to the Head of Programmes and is also expected to contribute to PI’s overall programme development and contribute to and manage special projects outside the programme-specific scope of their responsibilities as needed. The Programmes Manager will also supervise a Programmes Associate and, together, work as a team to ensure the achievement of programmatic objectives of the Governance in Family Firms programme.


Experience working on areas such as succession planning, next-generation family business wealth transfer, sustainability and establishment of Boards and/or family councils, and other areas related to sustainability and governance of family firms (large and small) in the Gulf Region is preferred.


By joining PI at this stage, the Programme Manager will have a unique opportunity to make a real difference and take part in a game changing private sector led effort with a mission to advance corporate governance in the Gulf Region.


Programme Development & Application of Technical Knowledge in Family Firms Governance

  • Proactively engage in technical practice and subject matter expertise on the specific topics and areas of focus such as establishing a family office, effective succession planning and increased understanding of the “next-generation” role in family governance to ensure the sustainability of the businesses, sharing information and best practices learned as part of PI’s impact reporting;
  • Build subject matter expertise and contribute to business development, technical practice, and organisational priorities;
  • Build on the programme’s legacy work and inform the family firms community on the significance of embedding corporate governance frameworks for successful business growth and long-term resiliency.


Programme Management

  • Lead the day-to-day development and delivery of programme plans for the Governance in Family Firms programme, in collaboration with the Head of Programmes and with the support of the Programme Associate(s). This includes everything from the design stage all the way through to the execution of an intervention programme;
  • Proactively identify issues or potential risks, including project performance, financial, legal, and other core business areas. Develop strategies and solutions to address those risks, communicating, when appropriate, with the Head of Programmes and the Head of Business Services; strategically assess and consult with colleagues to help make informed decisions;
  • Manage relationships with leaders in  family  firms and their teams to understand current trends, opportunities and challenges. Engage with the leaders to help strengthen the long-term success and sustainability of regional family businesses;
  • Build networks of participants from the private sector, civil society, academia, international institutions and semi-government bodies to take the lead on the conversation around family firms governance;
  • Oversee the programme contract and budgets for the Governance in  Family  Firms programme, in collaboration with the Head of Programmes and Head of Business Services;
  • May be required to contribute time to other workstreams and functions to achieve organisational goals, including new business, operations, and technical practice contributions and impact measurement.


New Business Development

  • Promote PI’s programmes by identifying opportunities for and attending external events, networking with clients and counterparts, articulating a solid understanding of PI’s past and present portfolio; effectively represent the organisation’s history, values, and standards; and identify and develop new business leads;
  • Take initiative to support new business efforts for the Governance in  Family  Firms programme, including growing PI’s network of industry contacts and leading on proposal and concept note development;
  • Responsible for developing proposals, concept notes, and communication materials on the impact of the Governance in Family Firms programme.


Knowledge Creation

  • Write articles, thought leadership pieces and progress summaries for PI publications and other external resources where applicable, in partnership with the Communications Manager;
  • Summarise and disseminate the latest thinking and analysis from around the Gulf Region in the areas of transparency, accountability and business practices;
  • Generate a wide variety of new online and offline content related to programme topic areas.


Management and Leadership

  • Supervise, mentor, train, develop, and evaluate assigned staff; provide regular performance feedback to supervisees and the time and opportunity to grow professionally;
  • Mentor and advise staff across the organisation (e.g. associates, programme managers, and others) as appropriate on a range of topics, including business development, technical work, and project management;
  • Demonstrate inclusive behaviors and leadership consistent with PI’s values and leadership competencies.


Essential Professional Experience/Skills & Qualifications

  • A University degree / Master’s degree preferred;
  • Five or more years experience in corporate governance programmes in the private sector, small businesses and entrepreneurial environments within the Gulf Region. Experience working with family firms is highly desired;
  • Excellent writing skills and a proven ability to draft proposals, reports, research results or other organisational documents with minimal supervision;
  • Fluent in English, including perfect ability to write content in clear, structured and compelling manner;
  • Fluent in written and spoken Arabic and preferred experience in managing training programmes in Arabic;
  • Outstanding project management skills;
  • Strong communications and interpersonal skills.

Personal Attributes

  • High energy individual who demonstrates flexibility in work priorities, capable of multi-tasking and operating efficiently and effectively across multiple areas of responsibility;
  • Proven ability to set priorities, work independently, be proactive, manage multiple projects and meet deadlines;
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment and has a do what it takes mentality in order to achieve the PI’s objectives;
  • Demonstrated capacity to exercise independent judgment and sound decision-making in the midst of diverse and complex organisational environments;
  • Strong team orientation, relationship-building and negotiation skills, and ability to collaborate with diverse groups of people;
  • Highly organised, able to work independently, and thrives under the pressure of deadlines.
  • Excellent networking, communications, presentation, persuading and community building skills;
  • Business-focused research, data collection and analytical skills.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “Programme Manager (Governance in Family Firms)” in the subject line.

Company: Pearl Initiative

Vacancy Type: Full-time 

Job Location: Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Application Deadline: N/A

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