Associate Director for Operations, Latin America Program

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 21

Position description

Associate Director for Operations, Latin America Program. New York. Posting Date: 03/20/2019. Deadline: 04/14/2019

The Open Society Foundations' Latin America Program seeks an Associate Director for Operations.

The Open Society Foundations' Latin America Program (LAP) addresses rights and governance issues in Latin America and the Caribbean primarily through grant making, network-building, and the development of specific initiatives. We focus on supporting Latin American and Caribbean efforts to reform democratic institutions in ways that make them more open and responsive to citizens, strengthening respect for human rights, and reducing homicides in a region with extremely high levels of violence. We are committed to advancing government accountability and transparency, public access to information, citizen security, and drug policy reform, primarily through grant making to civil society actors in these fields. Latin America Program staff are located in OSF offices in Bogotá, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, and Washington DC.

The LAP Operations Division contributes to the Latin America Program strategy by designing and implementing systems and processes that advance LAP's programmatic effectiveness. The overall LAP team's way of working, and our size and distribution among five different offices require that we rely on efficient and clear systems, which need adjustments from time to time to account for changes in our internal or external context. The Operations team seeks opportunities to drive improvements and innovations that address issues relevant to the Latin America Program and that have potential implications for the wider OSF network. While enabling the Latin America Program and team to operate with agility, we also contribute to improving operations management within the broader organization by developing relationships and maintaining communication and collaboration with other OSF departments and programs. To manage this work well, the division team develops and maintains a healthy organizational culture that prioritizes teamwork, mutual support, staff development, reflection and learning in order to keep improving the way we work, with accountability at all levels.

Job Profile

The associate director for operations is a supervisory position that is the lynchpin administrative and operational role in a dynamic and bilingual team. The associate director is a newly designed position to meet the needs of an evolving team structure and reports to the division director for operations and the integrative role.

Under the strategic direction of the division director, the associate director for operations is responsible for implementing and monitoring administrative and operational systems and processes for the overall program, and for helping to develop, evaluate and improve those systems and processes. This includes supervising and coordinating among a small team of operations and administration professionals, including the administrators of three LAP regional offices.

Areas of responsibility include budgeting and budget monitoring; overseeing and coordinating regional office administration and operations management; program administration; and logistics planning for Advisory Board meetings and team retreats. The successful candidate will be a hands-on problem-solver and an experienced manager who will lead and develop an internal team to meet the operational needs of the Latin America Program. We are looking for a highly organized person who is creative, adaptive, an exceptional communicator, and has aptitude for and experience in managing projects and people. This is an excellent opportunity for a manager and administrative professional committed to putting their skills and experience to use within a program working to strengthen human rights and democratic governance in Latin America.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities: The following illustrate duties that are typical of the role, but does not include all possibilities.

Operations and Administration
  • Responsible for overseeing, implementing and monitoring day-to-day administration and operations for the Latin America Program.
  • Contribute to the design, development and improvement of systems and processes.
  • Oversee and help to coordinate regional office operations led by regional office Program Administrative Officers, including development and monitoring of administrative budgets, office and staff security, accounting, and human resources-related issues.
  • Oversee and support regional office administrative staff in managing and coordinating legal compliance measures and human resources administration.
  • Ensure effective interface between the Latin America Program and the organization's departments of Finance, Budget, Human Resources, Facilities, Contracts and Procurement, and IT.
  • Develop, update, and communicate about administrative and operational systems such as LAP onboarding procedures for the orientation of new staff and processing of contracts.
  • Stay abreast of changes in OSF policies and procedures (eg. Budget, Finance, Legal, HR, IT) and ensure any relevant adaptation of LAP processes for effective operations, administration workflow, and compliance; including relevant training of staff.
  • Build and maintain relationships with central department staff to facilitate a cross-unit culture of problem solving, learning and innovation.
  • Identify gaps and needs for updating of systems or processes at all levels (regional offices, LAP, OSF) and where appropriate, propose process improvements.

Budget and Financial Management
  • Manage and execute annual budget preparation and ongoing budget monitoring.
  • Oversee and lead LAP program annual budgeting process; administer and review all financial plans and budgets; monitor progress and changes; and keep senior management team abreast of the program's financial status.
  • Manage LAP regional office cash flow and forecasting. Ensure that financial data and cash flow are steady and support the operational requirements of LAP regional offices.
  • Review and analyze LAP systems and processes, and propose improvements

Managing people
  • Supervise operational and administrative staff, while supporting developing and growing relevant skills and capacity within the team.
  • Promote a healthy organizational culture that prioritizes teamwork, staff development, and self-reflection in order to keep improving the way we work, with accountability at all levels.
  • Contribute to a healthy division and program team culture by helping to build an environment that promotes staff growth, wellbeing and productivity
  • Promote a healthy spirit of teamwork and communication within the team through regular meetings and exchange of information

  • Assist the division director in researching, analyzing or developing specific projects.
  • Lead or contribute to special projects as requested by the division director.
  • Build collaborative relationships - in OSF, peer foundations, and with others in the field - to further relevant goals.
  • Practice a culture of learning and continual improvement, contributing to peer learning, reflection, evaluation and assessment of results
  • Join or lead ad hoc working groups assembled to address specific issues, including responding to unforeseen opportunities or challenges
  • Travel to required, particularly to regional offices in Bogota, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, to Washington DC, and for team retreats and Advisory Board meetings (approximately 15% of time).

Candidate Profile

  • 7 -10 years of progressively responsible experience in situations relevant to the duties of this role is typically necessary to develop the skills required for this role.
  • Demonstrated skill in organizing and implementing efficient administrative systems, including the ability to plan and implement modifications in response to an evolving situation.
  • Extensive experience developing and implementing effective policies and operating procedures.
  • Ability to proactively develop processes, systems, and workflows and ensure adherence to procedures in implementation.
  • Excellent project management skills, including the ability to direct others to effectively gather evidence and research to inform decisions or judgments.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of relevant programs and databases (e.g. Excel, Salesforce, NetSuite) with the ability to quickly learn new software systems.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and managing budgets, record keeping, and financial administration.
  • Experience in people management, with the ability to exercise effective and inclusive leadership and supervision in cross-cultural settings and with remote team members.
  • Professional-level fluency in Spanish and English (strong written and verbal skills) essential; Portuguese proficiency a plus.
  • High emotional intelligence, humility and empathy; the ability to relate to people across cultures; and excellent inter-personal skills.
  • Strong organizational, analytical, communication, and critical thinking skills.
  • Experience working with an international organization, NGO, foundation or related social enterprises is preferred.
  • Knowledge of Latin American history and current political and social issues preferred

Application Instructions: Please upload a cover letter and CV, ideally as one document.

Competitive rates of pay apply.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.
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