Chief Operating Officer

Room to Read
  • Location
    San Francisco, California
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Oct 05

Position description

Room to Read recently created the COO role to serve as a critical partner to the newly appointed CEO, Dr. Geetha Murali, and the entire Management Team. This is a standout opportunity to lead Room to Read into its next successful chapter including the execution of Room to Read’s mission, the long-term vision, growth aspirations and strategic plan.

The COO will provide inspirational leadership, direction and coaching to three departments – Information Technology, Human Resources and Program Operations ensuring the strength and evolution of Room to Read’s global programs and projects. The COO will manage three direct reports and oversee the work of Country Office leadership and their 1,400+ staff, travelling extensively to programs around the globe.

Key responsibilities will include (but are not limited to):

  • Facilitating the delivery of high quality programs and operations while managing for current and future growth.
  • Providing strategic, operational and tactical leadership by working with the CEO, Management Team, Global Board of Directors and Room to Read staff to realize Room to Read’s vision, strategies, and long-range goals.
  • Supporting the organization through the Global Strategic Planning process every five years with the next process beginning at the end of this year for 2020 – 2024 implementation.
  • Developing and overseeing the implementation of annual operating plans that support the organization’s strategic goals and objectives.
  • Developing a plan for the use of technology in Room to Read’s program delivery, maintaining quality and measuring impact.
  • Serving as an external representative for Room to Read as assigned by the CEO with various constituency groups, advocating for the importance of education in low-income countries and Room to Read’s approach.


Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following personal and professional competencies and characteristics:

A Passion for the Mission

The COO will bring a passion for education and share the belief that all children deserve the opportunity to pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their communities and the world. This is a leader who understands and embraces that the operational strength of an international development organization of this caliber is essential to serving the overall mission. In alignment with Room to Read’s culture, this executive will be committed to effectively leading teams and serving as a strategic partner to the CEO. This individual will bring a deep appreciation for the complex challenges facing Room to Read and an excitement to be part of a team that is focused on identifying creative and strategic solutions to ensure Room to Read continues to thrive.

Operational Acumen

With an entrepreneurial spirit and growth mindset, the COO will bring deep experience running and scaling complex operations, preferably in an international context. A proven general manager, the COO will also bring the ability and confidence to ensure that Room to Read’s operations are run efficiently and effectively. The COO will be required to transition seamlessly between the “big picture” and minutiae, applying strong quantitative and analytical skills, diving deep into the details, and presenting complex operational information to constituents with varying levels of expertise.

Given that this newly created role oversees Human Resources and IT, it is the strong preference that the COO bring experience in those areas.

Management and Leading Through Influence

The COO will foster trust and collaboration among team members and possess the ability to manage through complex situations with flexibility and poise. An individual with unquestioned integrity, ethics and values; the COO is someone who can be trusted with highly confidential and sensitive information. With a demonstrated ability to develop staff and lead effective, high-performing teams, this leader will be an established manager with a proven track record of building and managing global teams across multiple locations. With strong executive presence, the COO will be skilled at quickly establishing rapport and cultivating relationships across all levels of the organization and with Board members.

Executing for Results

With experience managing a mixed portfolio of private, corporate, foundation, US government and other bilateral resources, this leader will have the ability to understand and deal with complexities with ease and creatively overcome obstacles to achieve goals. The COO will have the ability to conceptualize and analyze problems and solutions in a proactive, constructive and creative manner that will result in improved performance across the organization. A sound problem solver with excellent reasoning skills, the COO will execute for results with a high degree of responsiveness and motivation.  This leader will possess the curiosity and drive to stay ahead of operational trends in order to identify new and unique opportunities to serve the mission.

A Bachelor’s in Business, International Relations or another relevant field is required. Advanced degree preferred.

Application instructions

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