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Director, Organizational Governance

New York, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Aug 28, 2021

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Position Type
Fundraising, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Fundraising Administration, Special Events, Programs, Program Administration and Management
Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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Director of Organizational Governance is responsible for the strategic focus and engagement of the Board of Directors at USA for UNHCR. The incumbent is a primary contact for the board to proactively address internal and external issues and concerns in a strategic manner. The incumbent along with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), ensures that the board is engaged, prepared, and strategically focused. S/he manages the budget for the board in consultation with the CEO.

As the primary support for the Board Development, this individual will oversee the development of the board, succession planning, onboarding, slate creation for new board members, and governance oversight. The incumbent is responsible for driving the inspiring and effective annual board retreat.

The Director of Organizational Governance works closely with all board members and staff to build and preserve ongoing relationships with board members, senior management, and external groups. She/he acts as an interface between the board and senior management and keeps the organization informed of board and board member needs and expectations.

In addition to the Board of Directors, the incumbent will oversee the organizational structure for USA for UNHCR’s Advisory Councils and Coalitions, including; the Board Alumni Network, Data Advisory Board, Global Advisory Council, Humanitarian Coalition, and the Islamic Philanthropy Council. She/he will guide and build strong productive relationships with a wide variety of diverse stakeholders across the organization in order to ensure the committees are highly effective in carrying out their purpose and able to engage and develop the highest caliber experience for each committee and member.

The Director of Organizational Governance coordinates with the ELT to ensure that governance best practices are harmonized and promulgated throughout USA for UNHCR and the various committees (Executive Committee, Nominating Committee, Program Committee and Finance Committee), and other committees, task forces, working groups, and advisory boards of the organization.


Provide strategic guidance and organizational support and serve as the primary contact for the Board of Directors, Board committees, and Advisory Councils and Coalitions – 80%

Board Relations

• Responsible for strategic engagement and effectiveness of the board.
• Successfully execute all regular and special board\committee meetings and associated governance matters.
• Serve as liaison and a primary point of contact between the board of Directors and management on board-related matters.
• In consultation with the CEO, develop agendas and identify issues to be addressed by the board, board committees, board-appointed committees, advisory councils to the board and other bodies as may be established from time to time.
• Work closely with the ELT to prepare scripts, talking points, reports for the CEO, the Chairs of each committee, and other board members as needed.
• Support board deliberations and ensure compliance with the Bylaws and other board policies and resolutions.
• Create systems and processes and experiences that make being part of USA for UNHCR’s National Leadership a premier board experience.
• Maximize board capacity to use their individual networks and expertise in support of the USA for UNHCR and the refugee cause.
• Create new board effectiveness and impact measures to establish board expectations and enable them to hold themselves and each other accountable.
• Work with the ELT to research and execute board development projects including board engagement surveys, retreats and other events.
• Work with the CEO in developing an orientation program and on-boarding strategy for new board members; conduct and coordinate orientation and ongoing training activities.
• Work with the CEO to conduct exit interviews with board members and utilize feedback to improve the experience for incoming board members.
• Work with the CEO to develop, implement and coordinate a board engagement strategy for each board member and for the board collectively.
• Advisor to the CEO on board and governance issues.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

• Support the CEO, board and coalitions in ensuring that our organizational impact is shared consistently and effectively internally and externally through Reports (Chair Reports, Annual Reports, CEO Reports to the Board, Stewardship Report to the, etc.)
• Ensure that the board is aware of important strategic events and information.
• Work closely with the team to engage board members, delegates and former board members in USA for UNHCR and UNHCR’s important work.
• Collaborate with the CDO to ensure coordinated and seamless communication regarding board and advisory council solicitation, stewardship and cultivation in relation to fundraising and resource mobilization.

Advisory Councils and Coalitions

• Responsible for ongoing review and recommendations to enhance the quality and future viability of the Advisory Councils and Coalitions.
• Assist the Advisory Councils and Coalitions in periodically updating and clarifying the primary areas of focus for the members while shaping the agenda based on strategic plans.
• Lead in assessing current and anticipated needs related to council effectiveness and access to resources the councils will need to consider in order to accomplish future work and projects.
• Promote an environment on inclusivity, discuss necessary inputs, provide specific advice as requested, and review other progress and assessment of efforts and initiatives over time.
• Facilitate best practice sharing among staff and members to lend their voice and expertise to the mission.

Board Leadership Support

• Serve as primary point of contact for all board members, Executive Committee members, board related committees, and
• Work closely with the CEO, ELT and departments on board communication and planning.
• Support all board of director events, communications, and deliverables, including planning, strategy, logistics and communications.
• Operate with a clear understanding of the breadth of projects within the board’s purview.
• Manage correspondence between the CEO, board and other parties, including ELT and staff.
• Responsible for all aspects of planning, management and execution of all board, executive and board committees, calls, convenings, retreats and other gatherings.
• Draft internal memos on behalf of the Chair and prepare external meeting reports.
• Maintain a cooperative working relationship with board, the CEO and staff.
• Maintain discretion and confidentiality regarding all board and Executive Committee members.
• Provide strategic and high-level administrative support to the Chair and the Executive Committee, including calendar management, drafting agendas, composing correspondence, arranging itineraries, compiling meeting documents, completing expense reports, organizing and maintaining accurate board-related files and folders, and other tasks, as needed.
• Manage all aspects documentation, historical records and board functions in BoardEffect including the creation and maintenance of an electronic board manual.
• Maintain up to date contact information for all board members in all relevant databases.
• Support leadership in the on-going review of board committee roles, responsibilities and structure, ensure clarity and accountability, and make recommendations to ensure effectiveness and identify areas for additional support or change.
• Utilize best practices for tracking, acknowledgment and reporting progress on board engagement including tracking individualized participation and records for each board member (including onboarding, committee placement, volunteer opportunities, recognition, and etc.).


• Serve as a board governance facilitator that directs, coordinates, implements, and executes related board governance activities.
• Periodically audit the board’s governance guidelines for compliance and consider modifications as necessary.
• Work with CEO, legal counsel and board committee chairs to prepare required documents relating to the effective operations of board and committee meetings. Compose and/or record resolutions, charter revisions and bylaw revisions in coordination with legal counsel.
• Organize, maintain, track and safeguard all files related to the board and the organizations governance, including, but not limited to, board meeting and committee minutes, litigation, resolutions, ordinances, agenda, approved policies and activities, in accordance with bylaws, procedures and record retention policies. Ensure materials are available internally and externally as appropriate.
• Conduct research and analyze documents and prepare recommendations related to board activities. Initiate changes to Board of Director policies, procedures and the Board Manual as required or requested.
• Support research on best practices in philanthropic governance.

Mission Trip - Field visits for the Board of Directors– 5%

• Facilitator and primary contact for all board of director mission trips, including planning, logistics, briefing materials, security briefing, and securing permits and staffing for camp visits, in accordance with UNHCR’s and U4U’s organizational security policies and guidelines.

• Work with the CEO and ELT in the planning of a yearly calendar of mission trips based on the requests of board members.
• Work with UNHCR staff members to create an itinerary that highlights programs within the U4U’s strategic framework. In an effort to provide board members with an unforgettable experience, confirmation their efforts and contributions are impactful and increase the potential for new partnerships and donors.
• Serve as a general resource and point of contact: assist board members, donors and staff members with travel-related issues or concerns, i.e. Visa’s, passports, etc.
• Work with Communications to obtain content needs, including post-trip blog post planning, quotes, photos/video footage.
• Create and implement an evaluation system to send to each participant upon completion of a field visit.

Perform Additional Responsibilities – 5%

• Attend relevant team meetings via video conference regularly, and in person when logistically possible, with enthusiasm to foster creative collaboration and shared problem solving.
• Represent U4U at conferences and coalition meetings as requested.
• Perform special projects and assignments as directed.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

• At least 12 years of relevant experience with exposure to strategic support of executive level staff.
• Bachelor’s degree required; relevant master’s degree preferred. J.D desirable.
• Strong diplomacy and interpersonal skills with the ability to build relationships and demonstrate a high level of service and responsiveness;
• Experience working in a professional environment with high-level executives;
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
• Strong research and analytical skills;
• Strong organizational skills that reflect the ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly in a fast-paced environment with excellent attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines;
• Results/action-oriented work style; strong strategic, analytical, planning and problem-solving skills; able to successfully navigate within varying degrees of ambiguity in a fast-paced environment;
• Unquestionable personal code of ethics, integrity, and trust; ability to handle highly confidential information;
• Intuitive mindset, creative aptitude, and effective use of discretion and independent judgment; able to look beyond the assigned task and consider tangential and collateral connections, problems, opportunities and possibilities;
• Highly resourceful team-player, with the ability to be effective independently;
• Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and work well under pressure, demonstrating persistence, perseverance, integrity and patience along the way;
• Proficient in Microsoft Office 360 (Outlook, Word, Excel and Power Point);
• Experience working in the refugee space strongly preferred;
• Experience in working with a board is essential;
• Strong knowledge of non-profits and private sector philanthropy;
• Event planning and travel experience desirable;
• Comfortable working in a diverse environment;
• Robust to deep functional expertise;
• Demonstrates deep industry and functional knowledge;
• Ability to troubleshoot and problem solve highly complex issues;
• Consistently demonstrates professional maturity;
• Consistently takes the initiative to accomplish work;
• Demonstrates the ability to make sound decisions;
• Acts as a visionary for the department and the organization;
• Ability to motivate and empower others to perform to the best of their abilities;
• Ability to be flexible, collaborative and catalytic;
• Consistently demonstrates patience; and
• Demonstrates passion and a commitment for USA for UNHCR’s mission and values.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
• Tasks involve some physical effort, i.e. some standing and walking, or frequent light lifting (5-10 lb.); minimal dexterity in the use of fingers, limbs, or body in the operation of office equipment; may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard
• Extended periods of sitting at a workstation or desk and manual dexterity to work efficiently on computer keyboard for data entry and composing of documents


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The position is remote and will require travel for board meetings and travel to locations within the organization’s region of operations and select locations in the United States and on occasion overseas.


USA for UNHCR will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

USA for UNHCR is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Refugees and all other protected classes are encouraged to apply.

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