Job Vacancy: Operations Director
Background Information: The Agile and Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) is a five year USAID program implemented by the State University of New York’s (SUNY) Center for International Development (CID).
AHADI is jointly funded by USAID and DFID. The program is designed to support Kenya’s vision and agenda for achieving the promise of devolution.
The program’s interventions aim to promote governance systems that are transparent, accountable, effective in service delivery, and responsive to empowered citizens by working at both the national and county government levels.
AHADI has three main objectives;
1. Targeted counties provide higher quality services through improved governance.
2. Improved representation of citizen interests and oversight of targeted county government performance.
3. Functionality and effectiveness of the devolved system increased through intra-government engagement and cooperation.
Position Summary: The Operations Director will oversee all operations of this large and complex 50 million US dollar contract.
S/he will supervise the Managers of the Finance, Grants, Procurement/Logistics, Human Resources/Administration and Information Technology/Database management to ensure that implementation is in accordance with United States Government (USG) regulations, SUNY procedures and the specifications determined in the AHADI Contract.
This position is responsible for ensuring that all procurement processes are fair and transparent, reviewing financial compliance, grants management, compliance and implementation.
The Director will ensure optimal communication between the financial, administrative units and technical teams, and will prepare regular analyses and reports (like pipeline analyses, monthly spending and burn rates for different project teams).
The position requires a flexible problem solver, with a broad knowledge of USAID contract management, and the ability to support team members in various departments to deliver programming in a fast paced dynamic working environment.
Reports to: Chief of Party
Interrelationships: The Director will report to the Chief of Party who bears overall responsibility for the project activities in the field.
The Operations Director has the responsibility for ensuring that project financial and administrative systems support activity programming effectively and efficiently, while complying with Donor and SUNY rules and regulations.
The Director will liaise regularly with the technical Deputy Chief of Party and with the SUNY home office in the United States.
- At least a Master’s degree in business, finance, management, economics, international development, Public Management or a related field (or, alternately, a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and 4 additional years of relevant experience).
- Minimum of 15 – 18 years of relevant experience managing large USAID contracts, including finance, grants, contracts, procurement and operations.
- Fluency in US Government policies and procedures regarding contract management, financial reporting, procurement processes, systems, and grants and contracts management.
- Substantial experience working with USAID Democracy and Governance programs generally and significant experience overseeing small grants programs.
- Experience working on donor-funded local service delivery, local government capacity building, and/or civil society advocacy activities highly desirable.
- Demonstrated ability to propose possible resolutions to complex technical, managerial oroperational problems.
- Fluency in Excel and Office softwares. Knowledge of accounting and project management databases is desirable.
General duties include:
- Under the direction of the COP, the Operations Director will be responsible for assisting the COP to support program leadership, strategic planning, management and quality assurance.
- The Operations Director will help to develop, implement and monitor the operations of the project. Primarily the activities will include, but are not limited to field office operations management, grants management, finance management, HR management, and Procurement and Logistics management.
- The Operations Director will help in managing the contractual obligations between AHADI and USAID which will include ensuring that the grants are well prepared in line with laid down regulations.
- The Operations Director must be a team player, and comfortable working with AHADI project staff, professional associates and clients of all ranks. The Operations Director must understand and support the partnership methodology of the AHADI project.
- The incumbent will carry out any other duties as assigned by the COP.
Specific duties include:
- Manage the team of various departments (finance, grants, procurement and logistics and Human Resources), holding regular cross department meetings and ensure good communication and problem solving among and between teams.
- Serve as the contact point between the administrative teams and the technical teams, working with the Deputy Chief of Party.
- Ensure that program implementation is in accordance with USAID and SUNY regulations and procedures and the specifications described under the contract.
- Work with the project team to ensure that all procurement processes and regulations are adhered to and are fair and transparent.
- Manage the finance team and provide management for big picture outputs and direct oversight over day-to-day financial activities of the project, including cash flow management and monitoring of obligations, budgeting, reviewing expenditures, and ensuring proper documentation of practices;
- Oversight and management of all Grants Under Contract activities under the project, including management of the grants manager and team and ensuring that grant activities under all grants and Government of Kenya Initiatives are compliant with USAID rules and regulations;
- Oversee the project’s day-to-day field operations, including administration, logistics, procurement, and the project’s facilities such as office space, equipment and project vehicles;
- Oversee the project Human Resources function, and work with the Senior Management Team to resolve any human resources issues;
- Contribute to annual work planning, budgeting, and overall program financial management, including responding to data calls from the SUNY Home Office and USAID in a timely fashion;
- Ensure that the main project residences and offices are habitable and promote a positive work environment;
- Support the Project’s Administration/Procurement teams in the management and oversight of local sub-contracts including the security provider, landlords, and local vendors;
- Facilitate monthly reviews of field office operations workflow with the Senior Management Team; investigate, identify, propose and implement new ways of achieving project efficiencies and burn rate in order to improve efficiency of programming; and
- Coordinate as necessary with any other USAID partners, including joint responsibilities or functions and sharing of assets as appropriate.