Senior Director, Operations

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)
Washington, United States
$140,000.00 - $165,000.00
Jun 17, 2021
Jul 16, 2021
Employment Type
Full Time

Location:  Currently, CIVICs Washington, DC office is temporarily closed due to COVID-19, therefore, this position is currently a remote position until, and when, the WDC office is re-opened, at which point, this position will be required to be located in the office on a permanent basis.

Reports to:  Executive Director

Seniority: Part of Senior Management Team

Benefits: Excellent health benefits (medical, vision and dental), life insurance, a 403b retirement savings plan with employer-matched contributions (up to 5% of salary), and paid leave plus paid holidays (including the day after Thanksgiving and the days between Christmas and New Year’s Day).

Salary:  $140,000 - $165,000 USD.


Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) is an international non-profit with offices around the world working to improve protection for civilians caught in conflict zones. CIVIC envisions a world in which no civilian is harmed in conflict. Our mission is to support communities affected by conflict in their quest for protection and strengthen the resolve and capacity of armed actors to prevent and respond to civilian harm. We are advocates who believe that no civilian caught in conflict should be ignored, and advisors who provide practical solutions to preventing and responding to civilian harm.

As part of our ambitious five-year goal to champion a significant reduction in conflict-related civilian harm, we are expanding our work and global footprint with plans to soon open a European hub in the Hague in the Netherlands. We will continue our work in Africa and the Middle East and deepen our advocacy with European governments and institutions, NATO, United Nations bodies and Member States, and the United States. At the same time, we will conduct research and explore opportunities for light touch interventions in Latin America, Asia, and North Africa.

We count on a diverse and sustainable funding portfolio to implement our programming, including unrestricted funds from global donors such as Open Society Foundations and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. This year we expect to double our revenue raised from $10M to $20M to continue our vital work. To support our strategic growth, we are seeking to recruit a Senior Director, Operations to work closely with the Executive Director.

About the role

CIVIC is looking for a hard-working and dedicated Senior Director, Operations (SDO) to be responsible for leading the financial, safety & security, administrative, grant compliance, and human resource functions within our organization.

As a Senior leader at CIVIC, the SDO works with other senior leaders to devise strategies and polices to meet the organization’s Mission and objectives, and reports on the performance of the organization to the ED and the board of directors. The SDO will lead and encourage other areas within CIVIC to reach organizational operational goals as well as implementing CIVICs policies and regulations, recommending, and designing new ones as needed. The SDO will support the adaptation of the culture to employ the best strategies to help CIVIC remain an organization whose staff are excited to come to work at our organization.

Guided by CIVIC’s Strategic Plan (2021 - 2025), the SDO will lead the organizational development and implementation of CIVICs operational model.  S/he will work closely with the senior leaders within the organization and across our field offices to understand potential challenges to this operational model, whether they be human resource allocation, financial implications, safety & security issues, etc.

The SDO will have experience in growing organizations, supporting efficient workflows, and leading change management processes. This person will also have industry experience managing employees and operations and understand the opportunities, and challenges, of implementing multiple programs in other countries.

CIVIC provides an action-oriented environment for staff to work independently, assume responsibility for their work, and approach all situations creatively to develop innovative, yet pragmatic, solutions for implementation. The ideal candidate is able to successfully work in such an environment while working across multiple teams, with varying levels of skills and experiences, and differing cultural viewpoints.

Key Functions:

Leadership and Team Building:

  • Serves on the Senior Management Team (SMT), CIVIC’s main body responsible for guiding the organization towards achieving its mission and vision while ensuring the overall health, sustainability, and strength of the organization and well-being of its staff.
  • Mentors’ direct reports to help them “manage for results” and supports their professional development.
  • Recruits new team members, as necessary, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
  • Builds and maintains a team of strong functional leads who are focused on providing the organization with expert guidance and support within their functional areas.
  • Holds team leads accountable for fulfilling the key functions and responsibilities of their individual roles and performing with the utmost integrity and professionalism.

Organizational Development and Strengthening:

  • In charge of ensuring continuous organizational improvements for all departments across CIVIC. S/he will be responsible for planning, coaching, and consulting with teams and individuals who need assistance solving organizational challenges.
  • Designs and implements a variety of initiatives, action plans, and training materials aimed at strengthening the functional areas within the Operations Department as well as supporting other teams across the organization.
  • Consults with the HR team to guide the utilization, development, hiring, and training of personnel for critical areas and skillsets within the organization.
  • Advises and guides the senior leaderships and country offices teams to develop efficient (and cost effective) solutions for identified challenges.
  • Analyzes and recommends changes to CIVIC’s systems and processes, team structures, and operations that will contribute to greater decentralization, cost effectiveness, and sustainability
  • Fosters a success-oriented, accountable, and results-oriented environment within the organization.

Functional Area Responsibilities:

  • Oversees the day-to-day operations and administrative activities to ensure a smooth operational environment.
  • Leads the organization in efficient alignment of resources to projects.
  • Serves as the leader to coordinate annual operations plan to annual budget.
  • Ensures that the organization’s goals and strategic plan serve as the basis for sound financial management, solid budgeting and accounting systems are in place, and that appropriate financial controls and risk-management strategies protect the organization’s assets.
  • Identifies additional or alternative financial resources and opportunities for funding organization-wide projects, programs, field offices, etc.
  • Has a thorough understanding of finance, systems, and HR; broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information systems, and human resources.
  • In coordination with Safety & Security (S&S) team of experts, sets vision for S&S across organization and asserts leadership in security emergencies.
  • Responsible for ensuring compliance to all procedures and revises when appropriate and identifies and recommends modifications in policies, procedures, and resource allocations.
  • Ensures that the organization is compliant with all donor requirements.
  • Creates a culture of transparency and responsiveness with authorities regarding compliance issues.

Organizational Strategy:

  • Prepares for CIVICs future. Works with the board, the SMT and other senior leaders to support the development and execution of a shared vision for the future of the organization, build understanding around the mission, and develop appropriate goals and strategies to advance that mission.
  • Drive’s CIVICs operational strategy development and implementation.
  • Designs, implements, and assesses organizational risks and reports results to senior management and board of directors.
  • Drives yearly operational planning process and validation of CIVIC’s strategies and supports the program planning process.
  • Supports planning, execution, and evaluation of programs and other long-range activities.


Specific requirements include:

  • Minimum of an MBA/S, MA/S or JD preferred
  • 15+ years of experience in a related field
  • Strong background in Finance within the NGO sector
  • Record of achievement in leading a similar functional department yielding positive results financially and operationally
  • Knowledge of skills development and capacity building strategies
  • Experience managing grant compliance with European Governments, USG grants a plus
  • Excellent leadership and collaboration skills as well as superb analytical and time-management skills
  • Experience supporting organizational development in non-profits a plus
  • History of effective oversight of the operations and finances of an organization with multiple country field offices and program teams across the globe
  • Proven ability to identify and address gaps or inefficiencies in systems, structures, or processes
  • Ability to remain calm and productive under pressure, prioritize amongst competing demands, and deliver on time-sensitize requests
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to CIVIC’s mission
  • Experience with and commitment to working in a diverse and multi-cultural environment, including ability to recognize and address challenges arising from working in conflict countries
  • Highly collaborative and able to establish positive working relationships with all stakeholders to maximize cooperation and productivity
  • Fluency in English required, proficiency in French or Arabic a plus


To apply for this role

Please send a letter of application stating the skills and approach that you would bring to the post with your CV/resume (no photos) in strict confidence by email only to Zoe Oldham at

Please ensure that they are sent as Word documents with the titles “your name cover letter” and “your name CV” Please put “CIVIC – Senior Director Operations” in the email subject line. A full applicants pack is also available at the same email address. Also please let us know where you saw the post advertised.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 18th July 2021

Daryl Upsall International actively promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion. In recruiting candidates, we seek candidates with the proven skills required, irrespective of race, gender, religion or belief, age, disability, or sexual orientation.


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