Room to Read: International Operations Director

Opportunity closing date: 
Sunday, 31 December, 2017
Opportunity type: Employment

Room to Read is a non-governmental, non-religious nonprofit organisation that works with many local NGOs and community based organisations to implement programmes of the organisation. Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organisations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children.

Room to Read seeks to appoint an International Operations Director to be based in Pretoria

The Director of International Operations manages the SF-based International Ops team, and provides leadership and oversight of Room to Read’s programs in South Africa and Tanzania. The Director works closely with the Chief of International Operations (CoIO), the Asia Regional Director (ARD) and the Director of Field Operations to ensure that Room to Read has the required strategies, policies and practices in place to effectively support all of Room to Read’s Country Offices (COs). The Director also supports all aspects of Room to Read’s operations in South Africa and Tanzania including program planning and budgeting; ongoing project implementation and monitoring; and the finance and accounting, human resources, compliance and administrative functions.
Reporting directly to the CoIO, the Director supervises the South Africa and Tanzania Country Directors (CDs) and the International Operations Manager (who manages a team of two). This position is based in San Francisco, CA or Pretoria, South Africa, but the successful candidate must already have work authorisation in the country for which they are applying. No sponsorship is provided. The position requires frequent travel, primarily within Africa.


Strategy and Planning

Based on the Room to Read Strategic Plan, vision, mission and goals, work closely with the CoIO and ARD to develop an approach and recommendations for how resources should be allocated across the CO portfolio.
Develop recommendations for the CoIO and ARD to streamline Room to Read’s approach to CO multi-year strategic planning, aligning Management Team input and approval.
Lead the development and execution of the multi-year strategy and annual plan and budget for the Africa region, facilitating input from key Global Office (GO) stakeholders.
Oversee the global annual budgeting and planning process for all COs, ensuring plans align with Room to Read’s Strategic Plan; appropriate staffing structures, roles and responsibilities; and efficient use of resources.
Lead major strategic projects that move Room to Read closer to alignment with the Strategic Plan and improve effective and efficient country operations.

Management and Coordination

Manage, lead and coach Africa CDs to lead highly functioning country management teams and overall country operations, ensure effective operations in Africa driving accountability for the achievement of CO goals and implementation of quality, effective programs to maximise outcomes.
Lead and manage the SF based International Ops team including one Manager and two Associate Managers.
Lead the recruiting and on boarding of new Africa CDs, and approve CD hiring recommendations for key CO positions.
Facilitate cross departmental collaboration, support, input and decision making related to both key global and Africa specific issues. 
Ensure that the Africa programs are designed and implemented in a cost-effective, outcomes-driven, evidence-based manner that are responsive to global standards and the local context and priorities
Provide resource allocation recommendations on Africa regional human resource growth plan, minimising the use of TCNS and Expats.
Identify Africa CO CMT staff capacity-building and professional development needs and assist HR team with sourcing of support to address the needs.
Monitor the administration of HR policies, employee handbooks and administration of HR policies for in-country operating procedures.
Ensure human resource initiatives like capacity building, professional development opportunities, staffing models and performance improvement strategies are implemented to maintain knowledgeable, professional staff.
Develop and facilitate global learning and knowledge management to enable sharing across all Room to Read countries.
With the CoIO and Management Team, develop the agenda for the biennial Country Management Conference and manage the staff responsible for logistics and planning.

Program Implementation and Monitoring

Partner with the Manager, International Ops and Asia regional Ops team, to regularly monitor the implementation of quality programming, delivery against plans and spending, and management of risk to ensure accountability against stated objectives across all COs, with a specific focus on Africa.
Communicate regularly with the CoIO and other relevant GO staff on important strategic issues and opportunities related to CO operations including program implementation; legal, financial and human resource issues; donor, local government and external relations; and new program opportunities, including local fundraising.
Drive seamless coordination between programming and operations across programs and outcomes, with the objective of improving the quality and impact of Room to Read programs.
Facilitate close and efficient collaboration of GO staff supporting programming, operational and budget issues in Africa.
Work with the Director of Field Operations to review and facilitate Management Team approval for a core set of Standard Operating Procedures.

Development (Fundraising), Communications and External Relations

With Africa CDs and the GO Development team, advise on and implement a fundraising and branding strategy for global and Africa-based donors including reviewing marketing and communication materials.
Collaborate with CoIO, ARD and Development to ensure fundraisers have the tools and resources they need for a compelling pitch across all COs.
In collaboration with the Development and Accelerator (Room to Read’s technical assistance arm) teams, support all aspects of major donor grants including prospecting, decision-making, proposal development, grant management and reporting, with an increased focus on the Africa region.
Coach country teams and provide technical and management support for grants management, compliance and delivering high quality and timely donor reports.
Provide information to facilitate the planning and execution of successful donor engagement visits within the Africa region.
Represent Room to Read to governments and other important stakeholders as appropriate.

Compliance and Risk Management

In collaboration with internal audit, monitor compliance with organisation-wide operating policies for Africa COs; ensure each CO has adequate internal financial and program controls, and recommend additional controls as necessary.
In cooperation with CDs and the Legal Department, monitor the maintenance of legal standing and international corporate and charitable registrations, and reporting and renewal requirements in each operating country. Ensure compliance with local laws and regulations governing Room to Read programs.
Periodically verifies systems are in place for recruitment, hiring, orientation, performance, management, terminations at the Africa Country Offices to ensure optimal performance.
Ensure Room to Read policies including procurement, IT, and security and safety protocols are implemented in all COs, and facilitate ongoing management of policies.
Ensure timely communications relating to security or other critical country events between the COs and the GO.


A Master’s degree in a related field of study, e.g., MA, MBA or MPA in Nonprofit Management
A minimum of 10 years of professional experience that includes several years in an INGO environment and significant hands-on work in strategic, multi-faceted planning involving extensive communications with diverse individuals and groups 
Prior success working closely and building relationships with global staff, partners, and donors
Strong management/supervisory skills and proven success in staff coaching and mentoring
Proven ability to problem-solve, prioritise, multi-task, and clearly communicate priorities and deadlines
Proven track record of achieving results among staff with different specialties
Ability and willingness to travel frequently internationally as needed, and occasionally on short notice, up to 30% of the time
Prior experience in a fast-paced, growth-oriented global or regional organisation with a demonstrated ability to work calmly and effectively under pressure
Effectiveness in working or volunteering in a nonprofit organisation that is focused on maintaining high quality work and low overhead
Interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills in English
Prior experience living and/or working in an Asian and/or Africa low-income country preferred
Legally eligible to work in the United States or South Africa; no sponsorship provided

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