Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (CECO)

American University of Afghanistan (AUAF)
  • Location
    Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Sector
  • Experience
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Sep 16

Position description

Founded in 2006, the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) is a private, non-profit, nationally-accredited university offering an American-style liberal arts education. We are a dynamic university with a student population of over 1,000 students.

About the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer Position: 

The CECO is a member of senior management responsible for leading and managing AUAF’s ethics and compliance program. Critical responsibilities include the evaluation, enhancement, and implementation of a high impact, proactive ethics and compliance program to promote internal compliance with AUAF policies, procedures, and controls. The CECO shall monitor AUAF’s compliance with U.S. Government acquisition or assistance awards and with applicable Federal laws, rules, and regulations. This position will collaborate extensively with the Program Manager (USAID Cooperative Agreement), whose focus is on overall compliance with any USAID Cooperative Agreements, and the Head of Internal Audit. This position will report directly to the President of the university. AUAF is seeking candidates who demonstrate strong leadership, versatility, integrity, and commitment to AUAF’s mission, values, and Code of Conduct.

Position Summary:

The incumbent will focus on the following areas:

1. Ensure that university management complies with all USAID or other donor requirements, internal AUAF policies, procedures, and controls. 

2. Serve as the focal point for all ethics matters.

3. Participate in the meetings of the Audit, Compliance, and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Trustees.

4. Work closely with the USAID Program Manager and Internal Auditor on compliance and ethics issues.

5. Communicate regularly with the Office of the Inspector General at the USAID Mission in Kabul.

Major Duties and Responsibilities: 

· Lead the AUAF ethics and compliance program which includes the key compliance mechanisms to prevent, detect, identify, and correct noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations, donor requirements, and AUAF policies and standards.

· Develop, initiate, maintain, and revise policies and procedures for the general operation of the ethics and compliance program and its related activities to prevent illegal, unethical, or improper conduct.

· Manages day-to-day operations of the Program.

· Raise staff awareness of expected ethical standards and behavior; be responsible for increasing awareness of AUAF values, the standards of conduct and procedures through orientation, learning and induction programs and relevant communication means to provide a continuous reinforcement of an ethical work environment at AUAF.

· Develop and deliver training and communications on ethics and compliance policies and procedures to ensure thorough understanding across AUAF of regulatory-related risks and responsibilities, ensuring donor requirements are incorporated. 

· Develop, periodically review and update the university’s Code of Conduct and other relevant policies, to ensure continuing currency and relevance in providing guidance to management and employees.

· Collaborate with other departments (e.g., Risk Management, Internal Audit, Student Affairs, etc.) to direct compliance issues to the appropriate existing channels for investigation and resolution. 

· Respond to alleged violations of rules, regulations, policies, procedures, and Standards of Conduct by evaluating or recommending the initiation of investigative procedures. Develops and oversees a system for uniform handling of such violations.

· Conduct, oversee, or collaborate on internal investigations which might involve misconduct by employees, contractors, or vendors across AUAF, by partnering with other offices, e.g. Internal Audit, HR.

· Act as an independent review and evaluation body to ensure that compliance issues/concerns within the organization is being appropriately evaluated, investigated, and resolved.

· Monitor, and as necessary, coordinate compliance activities of other departments to remain abreast of the status of all compliance activities and to identify trends.

· Analyze risk management, compliance, and oversight findings and recommendations. In coordination with the Internal Audit, identify lessons learned and root cause(s) of recurring systemic issues in AUAF operations. Prepare summary reports, with recommendations, on significant matters requiring management action or intervention, or changes to corporate level policies/procedures;

· Identify potential areas of compliance vulnerability and risk; develop/implement corrective action plans for resolution of problematic issues and provide general guidance on how to avoid or deal with similar situations in the future.

· Provide advice and guidance to the President on ethics and compliance matters, problem-solving situations related to ethics and compliance to build consensus, and identify strategic priorities and directions, and ensure successful outcomes

· Provide periodic updates (at least quarterly) regarding compliance matters to the Board of Trustee’s Audit, Compliance & Risk Management Committee, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and the President of AUAF to keep the Board and senior management informed of the operation and progress of internal compliance efforts.

· Ensure employees are aware of the appropriate channels for reporting compliance issues and ensure appropriate tracking of such issues.

· Ensure correct reporting of violations or potential violations to duly authorized enforcement agencies as appropriate and/or required.

· Establish and provide direction and management of the Fraud and Ethics Hotline.

· Be available to provide employees with guidance on specific ethics-related policy and practice issues and queries, including conflict of interest, financial disclosure, and protection against retaliation.

· Institute and maintain an effective compliance communication program for the organization, including promoting (a) use of the Fraud and Ethics Hotline; (b) heightened awareness of Standards of Conduct, and (c) understanding of new and existing compliance issues and related policies and procedures.

· Work with the Human Resources Department and others as appropriate to develop an effective compliance training program, including appropriate introductory training for new employees as well as ongoing training for all existing employees.

· Coordinate and facilitate AUAF’s risk assessment on a regular basis (not less than annually) with functional experts and management to identify corporate risks and appropriate risk mitigation strategies; facilitate, monitor, and report on the implementation of agreed responses to identified risks. 

· Monitor the effectiveness of the ethics and compliance program and related activities on a continuing basis, taking appropriate steps to improve effectiveness.

· Participate in the “Sexual Misconduct Committee.” 

· Promote employee and leadership development through coaching, mentoring and facilitating professional growth opportunities

· Develop strategic plans for executing AUAF’s ethics and compliance program, including annual division strategy and budget.

Required Qualification (experience and education): 

· Demonstrated experience working on U.S. government-funded projects and grants. 

· Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 years of experience in compliance, legal, finance, audit, or program management, including a minimum of 3 years of experience conducting investigations, fraud examinations, or compliance investigations in the private or public sector. A Master’s degree or higher is preferred. 

· A minimum of 10 years of work experience: at least 6 years of experience in a senior managerial/leadership position involving responsibilities relating to risk management, compliance, and audit; 4-5 years international non-profit international experience, including with regulatory and legal requirements of grants and contracts funded by USAID and other donors.


· High-level of communication, interpersonal skills to cultivate and maintain relationships with AUAF’s senior management and key donor agencies. 

· Ability to manage ethical, legal and investigative matters with discretion and the utmost care of the individuals and organization involved.

· Excellent judgment with proven ability to identify problems and deal with complex issues. 

· Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, particularly on challenging, complex and difficult issues to develop solutions that address root causes.

· Excellent command of the English language–written and spoken. 

· Ability to draft and finalize comprehensive written reports detailing the results of investigations. 

· Strategic mindset.

· Knowledge of the laws, regulations and policies applicable to international entities working under grants and contracts funded by USAID, other government, and donors. 

· General knowledge of federal government accounting and procurement practices. 

· Ability to earn and keep respect of peers and colleagues. 

· Demonstrate high level of personal and professional integrity, objectivity, impartiality, and fairness.

· Demonstrated strong work ethics and commitment. 

· Initiative, dependability and adaptability, and the ability to follow instructions and maintain attention to detail even under tight deadlines. 

· Ability to manage stress effectively in a fast-paced environment.

· Ability to develop and deliver training to small and large groups.

· Strong program management skills (ability to orient tasks and resources to achieve program objectives on schedule and within budget), team building, and capacity development.

· Ability to manage multiple initiatives and activities in a calm and professional manner at the same time working cooperatively with multiple stakeholders.

Benefits and Environment:

This is an exceptional opportunity to work at a developing university in an emerging and rapidly changing society. 

The American University of Afghanistan offers a very comprehensive benefits package some of which are detailed below;

Competitive base salary

Post Hardship allowance (when in Afghanistan)

Mobilization package (flights and shipping allowance)

International health care insurance

Visa and work permit

Attractive R&R and leave package

Living accommodation on AUAF campus

Afghanistan is classed as an austere environment and can be very challenging. Applicants should expect high levels of safety and security which will involve movement restrictions.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, applicants who can perform a combination of both remote and physical on site working may be considered.


Application instructions

To apply, please send as a single PDF or Word (doc.) format: a cover letter and curriculum vitae (CV), no later than September 30, 2020. Please, include AF-INT-38-2020 Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (CECO) in the subject line of the email, otherwise, the application will not be considered. Applications in languages other than English will not be reviewed. Please be advised that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. A written test or example of work may be used as a form of screening.

If hired, the successful applicant is expected to provide official proof of academic degrees (transcripts sent from the degree-granting school directly to AUAF).

AUAF does not charge recruitment fees to applicants. If you are asked for a recruitment fee or offer employment in exchange for money, kindly bring this to our attention using the email account [email protected] providing the details. 

AUAF is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity at all levels. AUAF follows a strict non-discriminatory policy in its selection and employment practices. All applicants will receive equal consideration and applicants from all ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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