Associate Director

Position: Associate Director, Grant Accelerator
Location: This role will be based out of the CSF office in Delhi.

Founded in 2012, Central Square Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic foundation working with the vision of ensuring quality school education for all children in India. We are driven by a mission to transform the school education system in India with a focus on improving learning outcomes for all children, especially from low-income communities.

Over the past six years, we have closely engaged with leading practitioners, foundations and think tanks in India and around the world on different elements of building high-quality school education. We have supported social entrepreneurs, worked on generating evidence, established collaborative platforms for knowledge building and provided strategic & implementation support to Central and State governments in India.

In the past one year, we have consolidated all our learnings and prioritized on ensuring that all children in India achieve foundational learning by class 3 i.e. attain basic proficiency in literacy and numeracy. We believe that achieving foundational learning is a gateway skill since a child who does not achieve foundational learning in early years is unlikely to catch up in later grades.This is impactful at both an individual and system level as it is directly correlated to increased workforce participation and better life outcomes. It is a key lever in pulling up the entire system’s performance.

In order to achieve this ambitious goal, our strategy looks at this issue holistically, including informing policy, improving classroom instruction, partnering with governments to scale programs, filling gaps in research and incubating high-quality organizations.

About Our Founder – Ashish Dhawan

Ashish Dhawan is one of India’s leading philanthropists and a key voice for education reform in the country. In his corporate stint, he founded and led one of India’s leading private equity firms, ChrysCapital, before shifting tracks about 6 years ago to focus on India’s education transformation. He founded CSF with the mission to improve learning levels of students from low-income communities.

In 2014, he spearheaded the launch of India’s first liberal arts university, Ashoka University, a philanthropic effort of over forty leaders in education and industry.

Ashish currently serves on the board of several other non-profits including Bharti Foundation,Teach For India, Akanksha Foundation, Centre for Civil Society, Janaagraha, India School Leadership Institute, 3.2.1 Education Foundation.

Role Summary:

Grant-making and support to organizations have been key pillars of CSF’s approach. We believe that a successful system change requires high-performing organizations to lead the effort.Successful non-profits provide high-quality tools, influence policy and fill essential gaps in the ecosystem. CSF has supported over 40 organizations (including Khan Academy India,TeacherApp, India School Leadership Institute, 321 Foundation, and Language and Learning Foundation) and provided early-stage funding along with strategic value-adds for accelerating impact, scale and sustainability. Through the Grant Accelerator team, CSF aims to build the next generation social entrepreneurs and innovative organizations working towards improving the Indian education system. We are at a critical inflection point in our journey where we want to increase our support to organizations and scale our existing efforts.

The Associate Director, Grant Accelerator would spearhead the efforts to strengthen and enhance CSF’s grant-making function. We aim to build the leading Accelerator for growing highquality education organizations in India.

She/he will join a high caliber leadership team with a collective experience of over 70 years working in both corporate and development sector organizations like BCG, Accenture, Citibank,Dasra, NITI Aayog, and National Skill Development Corporation.

The role reports to the Managing Directors at CSF.

Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Increase CSF’s Grant-Making Capability:

    • As we move to the next phase of CSF’s growth, we plan to form strategic partnerships with other donors/ funds/ organizations to maximize our impact.The Associate Director (AD) will work with the senior leadership to leverage other sources of support either for CSF’s existing portfolio or for incubating new organizations.
  • Expand CSF’s portfolio:

    • Identify promising organizations working on gaps in the school education ecosystem and incubate distinctive entrepreneurs. This would entail leveraging the entrepreneurial network in India through diverse sourcing channels, such as leading incubators, fellowship programmes (TFI, YIF, Gandhi fellowship),academic institutes (IIT, IIM) through strategic outreach, challenge grants or downstream funding partnerships.
  • Provide Strategic support to portfolio organizations:

    • Support grantees across key strategic areas including (i) Fundraising, (ii)Strategy, (iii) M&E and (iv) Organization development, among others, by partnering with CSF verticals and various industry experts/vendors.
    • Participate in advisory boards of portfolio organizations, engaging extensively with entrepreneurs and cultivating ecosystem partnerships for support.
    • Engage actively with other funders in the ecosystem to strengthen the funding pipeline for our portfolio.
  • Support CSF strategy and Team-Building:

    • The Grant-Accelerator as a horizontal also works with all teams at CSF in identifying partner organizations and entrepreneurs that will help accelerate different teams’ objectives. The AD will be required to work across different issue areas.
    • She/he will actively build internal capabilities and support team members by sharing learnings, providing feedback, and ensuring their training and development.

Required Qualifications, Skills and Abilities:

  • MBA or an advanced management degree is preferred.
  • 12+years of relevant work experience.
  • Experience in investing (venture capital or impact investing) would be preferred.
  • Prior experience in scaling and providing growth support to social enterprises is desirable
  • Demonstrated interest in working in the social sector.
  • Excellent leadership skills, including the ability to manage multiple projects and diverse teams.

Personal Characteristics and Desired Qualities:

  • Passion for working for school education reform in India.
  • Ability to think creatively, willing to take risks to experiment with new ideas and an ability to turn ideas into action.
  • Excellent people management skills, with the ability to develop and motivate teams to work towards a common goal.
  • High ability to collaborate and actively listen to others; understand and value others’ views
  • Operating style suited to working in a small-organization setting, where teamwork and resourcefulness are highly valued.


Remuneration will be competitive with Indian philanthropy pay scales and will depend upon the candidate’s experience levels.


Interested candidates can click on the Application Form and fill the required details in the form.
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