Regional Operations Lead
Reports to: Regional Director, Africa
Location: Africa Region: Kenya
1 in 10 people around the world lack access to safe water and 1 in 4 people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are Water.org. We’re here to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible and cost-effective because we believe that water is the way to empowering a bright future that we can all share in, worldwide. We are an international nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we pioneer market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. For more than 25 years, we’ve been providing women hope, children health and families a future.
The Regional Operations Lead in the Global Impact (GI) Department works in partnership with the Regional Director, regional business and functional leaders to translate operations priorities into cohesive plans and targets to deliver measurable, cost-effective results that make the strategic vision a reality. She/He/They will establish and optimize the Regional Hub operating environment to manage a dynamic and complex operations landscape in an efficient, rigorous, and coordinated way. This position partners with Global Operations leadership to build and maintain our operational infrastructure and drive efficient change around new and improved business practices and capabilities.
The Regional Operations Lead is the operational excellence champion for the Hub, with oversight of project/initiative management related to operational improvements, coordination of back-end business support, including developing and executing cross-functional processes, charters and other governance practices, and, ensuring all funds deployed for execution are utilized in accordance with global standards, performance metrics and timelines for deployment.
Regional Operations Leadership (40%)
- Oversee development and implementation of regional strategies and initiatives that drive operational excellence and standardization by contributing to the creation and definition of processes, procedures, tools, policies, communications, and metrics, and managing compliance with the organization’s operating policies and procedures, including but not limited to:
- Ensure cross-functional support and contribute to solution-building to address operational, regulatory and statutory requirements related to maintaining entities and facilities.
- In partnership with Global Finance and HR leadership, define operational requirements for mechanisms such as Service Level Agreements to ensure adequate delivery of internal services and support from matrixed back-end functions.
- In collaboration with the PMO/OCOO, contribute to and deploy systems and tools with global teams to ensure consistent, high-quality project management.
- Actively seek and utilize feedback from business partners to identify and drive continuous improvement opportunities.
- Coordinate and integrate efforts among regional functions to produce smoother workflow, risk mitigation, and more cost-effective business processes.
- Act as the key point of contact with various functional leaders and team members, vendors, consultants, and others as needed to lead operations work streams, due diligence, and follow up as required to ensure assigned tasks are completed.
- Address compliance concerns or potential violations with internal partners and lead resolution processes in partnership with department and/or organization leadership, as applicable.
- Ensures compliance of award cycle performance standards for fund utilization and execution planning, such as grant spending projection, impact plans, including ensuring integration into region-specific processes and metrics for fund utilization and execution plans for all funding streams (Restricted, Flexible, Pooled, and Unrestricted, as applicable) including but not limited:
- Ensures region meets or exceeds deliverables and metrics for funding utilization + performance.
- Communicates with and supports the department and regional leaders to resolve service and performance level issues, provide input for process improvement, and support strategic initiatives that enhance the overall effectiveness of the region’s operations.
- Act as a strategic advisor and key resource to the regional business and functional leaders, contributing to the development of strategies, business goals and metrics.
Operational Planning, Analysis & Reporting (40% )
- Oversees implementation of operational planning, monitoring and reporting processes to ensure region is positioned to meet organizational standards for cost, schedule, and resource utilization. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Ensuring regional leadership has insight on the number of projects and initiatives for the team, prioritizing new requests, supporting initial scoping, and allocating resources based on a deep understanding of the scope of execution and related portfolios.
- Supporting exploration and identification of risks and new opportunities as part of engaging with functional leaders and team members.
- In collaboration with Regional Finance Manager and business leaders, utilizes work breakdown and forecasting models to ensure a monthly view of progress on projected results and spending.
- Oversee development and execution of annual operations plans and budgets. Act as primary interface with Water.org global functions for annual planning and budgeting.
- In collaboration with the Insights and Global Operations functions, ensures processes and methods are in place to ensure accuracy of data provided to leadership and to manage data flows related to program/impact performance and oversees packaging these data for multiple internal and external reporting audiences.
- Manages monthly cadence of program/partner performance reviews, regional and country operating reviews.
Talent Management (20%)
- Builds an effective and high-performing team that is integrated with the work of the regional offices, lines of business, enterprise PMO, and other functions across the organization.
- Partners with globally distributed, highly cross-functional and matrix-managed teams to scope and drive project outcomes through a highly collaborative approach.
- Understands and coaches team on execution of complex projects. This includes providing leadership on how to build pipelines, roadmaps, and work plans, and execution of complex initiatives with multiple projects and work streams.
- Lead performance management with direct reports by providing clear performance goals, offering regular, specific feedback on job performance, organizing team meetings and retreats, and working with individual direct reports to set and achieve professional development goals.
- Consistently forecasts, tracks and addresses staffing needs, including partnership with the Regional HR Business Partner, Regional Director, and related stakeholders.
- Oversees administration, facilitation and documentation related to regional leadership/team meetings, events and internal training.
Supervises work of others. Responsible for hiring, discipline, and pay administration of their subordinates. Positions supervised include: Administrative staff, Award Management leads and potentially additional project/operational specialists.
This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required. Some duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.
Skills and Competencies
- Customer Focus – Building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions.
- Communicates Effectively – Developing and delivering multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.
- Drives Results – Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances.
- Collaborates – Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
- Self-development – Actively seeking new ways to grow and be challenged using other formal and informal development channels.
- Optimize Work Processes – Knowing the most effective and efficient processes to get things done, with a focus on continuous improvement.
- Manages Ambiguity – Manages ambiguity by operating effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear.
- Instills Trust – Gaining the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.
- Financial Stewardship – Demonstrates fiscally responsible decision making as applicable to one’s role.
- Directs Work – Providing direction, delegating, and removing obstacles to get work done.
- Values Differences – Recognizing the value that different perspectives and cultures bring to an organization.
- Manages Conflict – Handling conflict situations effectively, with a minimum of noise.
- Develops Talent – Developing people to meet both their career goals and the organization’s goals.
- Plans and Aligns – Planning and prioritizing work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
- Strategic Mindset – Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies.
- Builds Effective Teams – Building strong-identity teams that apply their diverse skills and perspectives to achieve common goals.
- Being Resilient – Rebounding from setbacks and adversity when facing difficult situations.
- Courage – Stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher.
- At least 10 years of operations management experience in applicable field, with at least 5 years of people management experience.
- Track record of effectively leading operations with a complex array of partnerships and organizational objectives, with the ability to leverage strengths across functional areas; excellent project management skills.
- The successful candidate will have recruited, managed, and developed a strong team of professionals. This individual will serve as a “player/coach” to motivate and mentor her/his/their team.
- Experience leading strategic/operational planning and budgeting processes.
- Consistently entrepreneurial, curious and decisive with the ability to prioritize and communicate to staff key objectives and tactics necessary to achieve organizational goals.
- Well-developed relationship management skills, lending to high level collaborative skills with internal as well as external partners and other organizations.
- Impeccable integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
- A reputation for being a process-driver and thought leader, leveraging data to drive decisions.
- Language(s): English
- Knowledge of financial services, business development and sales, product management, blended finance and/or innovative financial mechanisms a plus.
- Experience working in complex global organizations strongly preferred. International experience strongly preferred.
- Language(s): Fluency in other foreign languages is a plus.
- Certifications: PMP, Agile SAFe, Six Sigma/Lean or similar
Up to 25% of domestic and regional travel. In some cases, international travel may be required to attend organizational events and meetings.
Salary and Benefits
This position offers country-specific benefits and market-based, competitive salary; as well as periodic review for merit and incentive pay based on organizational and personal achievement.
Water.org is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing an inclusive environment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, military and veteran status, genetic information, and any other status protected by law. We provide qualified applicants and employees reasonable accommodation, when necessary, to enable individuals to complete the application process and/or perform the essential functions of the job. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We strive to build and maintain a diverse team that will advance our mission and work and encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.