Established in 2003, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for Neglected Diseases.
After 15 years of sustained growth, DNDi has built a team of approximately 200 full-time employees working across nine offices (Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, Kinshasa, Nairobi, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Tokyo, and Cape Town).
The DNDi Latin America office was opened in 2004. With the primary aim to support regional R&D activities for Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. The Latin American office also undertakes advocacy and communications activities to increase neglected diseases awareness in the region. It also leads capacity building projects through multi-country research platforms.
The Operations Department was created in 2011 to help the Executive Director focus on strategic activities. It coordinates DNDi infrastructure globally (finance, operational and strategic planning, human resources, information systems and technology, legal structuring, risk management and organizational development) and supports decision-making and flows of information across the organization. It also provides oversight to business development and legal activities and liaison offices.
Purpose of the position
The Strategic Planning and Operational Senior Manager is responsible for supporting the planning process and the overall Latin America regional office goals. S/he will ensure operational effectiveness together with the different teams, identifying strengths and weaknesses. S/he works with the other departments focusing on business development support, contributing to fundraising strategies, and implementing various business processes to enable their work.
S/he is part of the Latin America regional leadership team and, as such, is expected to be participative in the development of the regional yearly action plan, to translate the organizational goals into yearly operations objectives. As part of the Operations team, s/he is expected to support operationally the overall activities in the region (finance, accounting, administration, legal services, HR, business development, governance, and IST functions).
It is important to note that this role requires the person to act at both strategic and operational (hands-on) levels, depending on the circumstances and as part of the office operations. Additionally, priorities need to be set according to the stage of projects and office needs given the extensive scope of role and the period covered (7 months).
Specific job responsibilities
Organizational effectiveness and general operations management
- Lead planning efforts in line with the regional action plan, partners' objectives, regional priorities, and global strategy
- Responsible for leading the preparation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation processes of the regional annual Action Plan and budget, as well as their regular revisions under the supervision of the Regional Director and in line with global planning process
- Oversee budgeting, reporting, planning, and auditing processes in the regional office and the Argentina’s entity, ensuring they occur timely and effectively
- Identify potential risks impacting the regional projects and/or DNDi activities as well as discuss them to address and provide mitigation strategies with the other leadership team members
- Provide overall support to the Latin America operational systems including risk management and implementation of human resources and other operational policies, processes, and standards, in line with DNDi's global guidelines and the national laws where the Latin America office operates. When required, support the formulation, roll out, and improvement of policies, processes, and standards, and monitor adherence to them
- Together with the Finance team, ensure that the organization financial systems are compliant, support current finance activities, and that DNDi’s assets are managed according to DNDi policies and national rules and regulations
- Support as appropriate the DNDi's regional projects and fundraising efforts and monitor current and projected funding income
- Together with the Procurement Manager, oversee and manage the procurement activities in line with DNDi’s Procurement Policy, including the support to to the competitive bid process, selection of strategic suppliers, and negotiation of definitive agreements
- Liaise with the Head of IST in headquarter to adhere to and enforce IST policies, to allow efficient local IT solution implementation
- When requested and relevant, the Regional Operations Manager may represent DNDi and the regional office in external meetings with key partners, institutions, or civil society movements
- May function as contact for an assigned region’s employee relations and human resources needs, and share responsibility to resolve complex matters with the Human Resources department
- Ensure the overall well-functioning of the virtual and physical office space
- Engage in specific regional and global projects as required
Governance, partnerships & legal
- Ensure strong integration of Latin America policies and processes with DNDi's general policies and processes, and is responsible for compliance and implementation of these global policies and processes at the regional level
- Ensure DNDi in Latin America complies with local legislation (labor law, civil law, audit requirement, others) and DNDi’s overall policies, liaisoning with external lawyer and relevant teams in Geneva
- Support the elaboration, update, and proper internal review (e.g. R&D, BD&L colleagues) of MoUs, contracts, and other partnership frameworks involving the RSO, and management of consultant’s database and compliance requirements
- Support the Regional Director and Leadership team in the governance, oversight, and direction of regional initiatives
- Together with the global Legal team, support legal processes to ensure consistency in contractual practices, identify the risk profile of agreements, and design possible mitigation strategies
- Support and monitor the development of strategic relationships between DNDi and key partners, including the governments, other NGOs, and the private sector
- Lead the development of “business cases” to support strategic/partnership decisions.
- Support the Regional Director to develop and engage the Leadership team in the strategic growth and regional expansion of DNDi Latin America as well as the engagement of teams in regional and global projects
- Mentor and develop the team members in their respective roles & responsibilities with a specific attention to the Operations department development
- Facilitate coordination and communication between support functions and project/transversal areas
- S/he reports to Latin America Regional Director
- The HR & Organization Director and Finance and Planning Director are contributing managers
- Work with Operations team, and several departments and areas in a transversal interaction
- S/he promotes programmes and maintains productive relationships by projecting the image of a credible partner and ensures commitment of partners
Skills and attributes
- Very strong ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
- Very clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgment and problem-solving competencies
- Very strong communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
- Very strong ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team
- Very well organized and structured
- Very strong analytical skills
- Very strong ability to lead project delivery
- Very strong ability to manage large size projects with budget management
- Strong strategic thinking and leadership abilities
- Very strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
- Very strong ability to exercise high degree of independence to support programme delivery and explore new areas of activities
- Very strong ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders
- Lead and motivate a team for optimum performance, supervising junior staff
- Over 8 years in Senior role leading areas such as finance, human resources, planning, organizational development, project management
- Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
- Experience of working in public and private sector is highly desirable
- Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level
- Fluency in Portuguese, English, and Spanish
- Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite
- Status: full time - temporary role – 7 months contract - maternity leave cover including 1 month of hand over
- Expected date for start: May 2021
- Please submit your application using the online form
- Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 12 March 2021
- Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted
- Application submission for this position may close early if we have enough suitable applicants