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Associate Program Director, Finance & Operations Integrated Nutrition Portfolio CDI

Country: Senegal
Organization: Helen Keller International
Closing date: 31 Aug 2023

Helen Keller Intl


Associate Program Director, Finance & Operations

Integrated Nutrition Portfolio

(Strong preference for the role to be based in a Helen Keller country office in Africa;

other locations will be considered.)

Guided by the remarkable legacy of its co-founder, Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl partners with communities striving to overcome longstanding cycles of poverty. By delivering the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition and clear vision, we help millions of people create lasting change in their own lives. Working in more than 20 countries – across Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States – and together with a global community of supporters, we are ensuring every person has the opportunity – as Helen did – to reach their true potential.

We are seeking an Associate Program Director to lead all aspects of Finance & Operations manage-ment for a growing multi-country, cross regional portfolio of Integrated Nutrition programming focused on the five most life-saving actions: supplementing women with essential vitamins during pregnancy, supporting optimal breastfeeding, improving diets for infants and young children, screening children for acute malnutrition and getting treatment to them as early as possible and, delivering vitamin A.

The Associate Director will collaborate with the Program Director and Program Management Team to support country offices in Africa and Asia to develop and implement new targeted initiatives and integrate those initiatives with existing programs. While the programs are implemented by project teams in our country offices, a central team provides leadership, management, and a variety of programmatic and operational technical support to drive and support quality implementation. The Associate Director will be crucial member of this central team and will serve as a thought partner to the Program Director to analyze and maintain the financial and operational health of the program portfolio.

This portfolio is being supported in large part by a substantial award from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which is expected to be supplemented by awards from other institutional and philanthropic donors.

Functional Relationships

Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.

The Associate Director reports directly to the Program Director, Integrated Nutrition Program and is a key member of the Program Management Team (PMT) comprised of senior professionals across multiple disciplines, who in turn provide guidance to country office teams. This position liaises with members of Country Management Teams, including Country Directors, and Finance and Program leads. To ensure congruity and consistency of global financial policies and procedures, the Associate Director will also be a member of the global Finance department with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the Vice President, Finance & Accounting.

The position will directly supervise a team of professional level staff and works closely with colleagues at all levels of Helen Keller’s global management structure, especially subject matter experts in accounting, budget and finance, business development, finance systems and grants compliance.

The Associate Director also serves as an external liaison with donors, representing Helen Keller at donor and project partner meetings.

Scope of the Position

Oversee all financial and operational aspects of the program portfolio, including procurement oversight and grants management. Ensure and develop operational processes and systems are in place to support efficient management of programs. Facilitate the integration between finance and program work with the common goal of ensuring that project objectives are met.

The position will be expected to travel up to 10% to work directly with country program teams.

Specific Responsibilities

Overall Management and Leadership

  • Provides overall leadership and management to ensure effective and efficient project administration, financial management, logistics, subawards, procurements, compliance and donor regulations.
  • As a member of the program leadership team, participate in strategic planning and direction setting for the programs, lending your unique perspective and expertise to the process.
  • Lead the program’s central finance and operations in a collaborative effort with program leads and finance managers to ensure high-quality financial planning, management, reporting and auditing of all programs, including thorough budget preparation and oversight.
  • Identify operational challenges that affect the integrity of resource management.
  • Participate in international work groups assigned to develop global policies and/or optimize systems and procedures.
  • Review and assess status of the finance and operations unit’s procedures and workflows, identify gaps or outdated policies and prioritize improvements. Make proposals for best practices in finance, operations and grants management.
  • Keep abreast of changes in donor regulations that impact Helen Keller’s operations.
  • Provide expertise, advice, and training to colleagues to build their understanding of financial terms, conditions, and standards to ensure that programs are delivered with minimized compliance risk; and work collaboratively with global management colleagues to train and build skills and knowledge of local national staff.
  • Build a highly effective Finance & Operations team, recruiting, supervising, mentoring, and evaluating staff, and engaging in frequent performance conversations with team members.
  • Delegate authority, consult with, and guide staff to achieve goals and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development.
  • Ensure accountability to beneficiaries, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.

Finance & Operations

  • Maintain a complete financial knowledge of the portfolio of awards across all the country offices.
  • Ensure quality contractual management of subawards, award compliance and administrative management.
  • Liaise with other units such as Internal Audit, Grants & Contracts, and Global operations on routine management of programs and continual process improvement.
  • Drive process improvement and capacity strengthening in efficiency, compliance, and risk management, including analyses of the program portfolio. Develop innovative approaches/tools to ensure robust project management processes are in place for projects across the portfolio.
  • Design, manage, implement, and monitor systems, services, staff, and budgets to achieve financial, administrative, and programmatic goals.
  • Ensure integrated monitoring and review processes are in place, and creative problem-solving with multiple stakeholders.
  • Oversee the work of the country office Finance Managers to ensure all program budgets are accurately developed, monitored and are run within budget. Facilitate to conduct frequent review of budget vs actuals and share financial information widely with the team with appropriate action points.
  • Lead the operating budget development and sub-award development and management, ensuring cost coverage for the central program management team, country office programs, and support from technical experts. Prepare budget narratives for grant proposal budgets and annual project budgets.
  • Conduct monthly monitoring of project implementation rates; share and analyze variance analysis reports together with country offices.
  • Maintain excellent relations with program donor and partners, ensuring deliverables are developed to a high standard and submitted on a timely basis, and ensure thorough and timely follow up on operational and financial issues and enquiries.
  • Ensure all operations, administrative and contractual activities and expenditures are consistent with the program’s workplan and budget.
  • Monitor concerns and address PMT and/or global management questions regarding awards and donor compliance and ensure that well-structured corrective action is initiated and tracked where required.
  • Oversee the subaward management and procurement – advise on processes in order to improve efficiency and compliance.
  • Recommend and coordinate with Global Finance, Budgeting, Controller’s, Grants & Contracts, and Operations offices on ways to improve in-country financial and administrative management.
  • Perform analytical work that contributes to better proposal budgets and other decision-making, such as having costing information, procurement and sub-award development lead time, etc.

Required Competencies and Qualifications


  • Effective strategic planning and project management skills.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of complex budgeting, financial reporting and management, procurement and related policies and procedures, including demonstrated ability to develop and monitor budgets, and collaboratively manage operational activities.

  • Demonstrated Interest in international development and public health programs as well as an understanding of the synergy between the programmatic, operational, and financial components in project design and implementation.

  • Strong knowledge of donor regulations including philanthropic donors, foreign government development agencies, and other multilateral development agencies.

  • Well established and practiced organizational and planning skills as demonstrated by ability to:

    • analyze and establish effective and supportive cross-program coordination, organizational procedures, and management systems; and
    • prioritize workload, assume responsibility for work, and follow through to completion.
  • Proven ability to create and maintain effective systems for managing information, and tools for making information accessible and understandable to a broad audience.

  • Analytical and conceptual skills, as well as the curiosity and learning agility necessary to be successful in a growing organization with evolving financial and operating systems.

  • Knowledge of business development process and proposal development for NGO’s.

  • Ability to negotiate/support negotiations effectively with donors, troubleshoot issues, and take proactive approaches to improving financial and budget management processes.

  • Highly computer literate including demonstrated high-level proficiency in the use of various financial related software (spreadsheets, accounting packages).

  • Strong oral and written English language skills, including the ability to clearly communicate complex financial, compliance and operational issues into layperson language. Working knowledge of French a strong plus.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to exercise diplomacy and tact as demonstrated in previous roles that required communication with a broad and diverse set of partners. Ability to motivate, influence and work well with others.

  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented. Ability to work under pressure, maintain balance when under stress and meet strict internal and donor deadlines.

  • Excellent capacity building, team building/management, and coordination skills. An ability to delegate responsibilities effectively and coach and mentor junior staff.

  • Ability to develop and present training materials in multi-cultural contexts, including ability to explain often complex matters to a broad range of individuals from various backgrounds.

  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.

  • Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and goals and the values embodied by Helen Keller Intl’s co-founder, Helen Keller: compassion, grit, rigor, and optimism.

  • Ability and willingness to flex work hours to accommodate multiple time zones.

  • Willingness to be based in one of the countries where Helen Keller is currently operational strongly preferred.

  • Willingness to travel nationally and globally


  • Master’s Degree in business administration, public administration, finance, accounting, or related field with a minimum of 10-years directly related prior work experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Previous experience in multi-country programs will be an advantage.

PLEASE NOTE: all staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel internationally.

How to apply

To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] noting the job title in the subject line.

This is an international hire recruitment. Nationals of the countries where Helen Keller works are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications will be reviewed as received.

In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to

building an inclusive workforce where diversity in all its forms is fully valued.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer where all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need to request an accommodation during the application or interview process, please contact us at the email above or call: +1 646-356-1789

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  • date de publication:
  • Date d'expiration: 22 août 2023
  • Emplacement: Dakar, Sénégal
  • Titre d'emploi: Associate Program Director, Finance & Operations Integrated Nutrition Portfolio

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