Operations Director

Dhaka, Bangladesh
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Category: Full-time
Reports to: Executive Director, Bangladesh
Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Effective: April 18, 2019

About Water.org 

1 in 9 people around the world lack access to safe water and 1 in 3 people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are Water.org. We’re here to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible and cost-effective because we believe that water is the way to empowering a bright future that we can all share in, worldwide. We are an international nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we pioneer market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. For more than 25 years, we’ve been providing women hope, children health and families a future. 


Water.org Bangladesh has been growing steadily and is now seeking to dramatically accelerate growth. We are looking for a mission-focused, seasoned, and process-minded Operations Director with experience leading teams to deliver impact, and developing a performance culture among a group of diverse, talented individuals. The Operations Director is responsible for management of the country office, including oversight of partnerships and other impact-driving initiatives, globally matrixed functions, such as finance and admin.  Together with Executive Director, the Operations Director will determine the best roadmap for execution of the country strategy.  

The Operations Director, Bangladesh must be a leader who is able to help others deliver measurable, cost-effective results that make the vision a reality. Importantly, the successful Operations Director will have the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each member of the team brings to this mission. While it is essential that the Operations Director bring efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, is it also critical that the team retain the innovative spark that drives Water.org.

The Operations Director, Bangladesh role is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Key responsibilities

Partnership Management & Leadership (40%)

Lead teams to develop and sustain growth of key partnerships and priorities for impact in country. The Operations Director is accountable for meeting and/or exceeding all grant deliverables.  Key activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Enhance, flesh out, and implement optimal roadmap for impact as established in the country strategy, including contributing to landscaping and identifying potential partnerships. 
  • Oversee partnership management and support teams to drive impact and uptake of water supply and sanitation finance as a model.  
  • Direct teams to design and execute interventions within direct and collaborating partnerships with an array of key enablers, such as financial and non-financial practitioners, enterprises, policy and regulatory bodies as well as multilateral organizations in country to unlock and deploy new sources of capital for water supply and sanitation.    
  • Direct teams to operationally support identified opportunities for debt/equity investment, credit enhancements, and public/private investment partnerships among existing and new potential partners. 
  • Ensure ongoing development of new capabilities and insights to support partnership design and management. 
  • Periodically review and update strategy milestones and targets. 
  • Utilizing knowledge and insight gained from implementation, identify key interventions, trends and relationships that could significantly enable and/or scale impact in country. 
  • Direct teams to collaboratively design new grants and programs, as applicable, with global teams. 
  • Contribute to and deploy systems and tools with global teams to ensure consistent, high-quality project management.
  • Develop and refine market strategy to ensure the competitiveness of Water.org’s products and solutions.
Operations Leadership (30%)

Establish and optimize the country office environment, including effective operational and fiscal health and financial stewardship of Water.org resources.  Key activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Oversee and control globally matrixed functions in country, such as finance, admin and others. 
  • Oversee development and execution of annual operations plans and budgets. Act as primary interface with Water.org global functions for annual planning and budgeting.  
  • Ensure appropriate risk management mechanisms are in place relative to fiscal management, asset control, vendor and contracting procedures, and related operational matters.  In collaboration with global teams, ensure office security and approve security measures to protect staff and organizational assets as needed, in partnership with US office leadership. 
  • Develop and enhance policies and standard operating procedures, including financial management, employee manuals, and other guides to inform optimal environment for compliance with Water.org global standards and practices. 
  • Demonstrate consistent quality of finance and administration, fund allocation, communications and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve organizational goals. 
  • Organize and support local boards, including meetings, activities, communications and legal documents, as required or assigned. 
  • Ensure local office requirements are in place such as legal registration, bank accounts and office space. 
  • Ensure governmental reporting requirements and obligations are met to maintain legal entity in good standing in country.
Talent Management (20%)

Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, empowering them to elevate their level of responsibility, span of control, and performance. With Executive Director, define and build the teams/functions needed to attain success.  Key activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintain adequate staffing levels in country in accordance with approved budget. Contract with consultants as needed to temporarily fill staffing gaps.
  • With HR, co-develop and deploy global standards and best practices for in-county recruitment, job training, and onboarding processes for staff to ensure acquisition and retention of top talent.  
  • Establish and maintain an empowering, productive, and collaborative environment for staff by providing clear performance goals, offering regular, specific feedback on job performance, organizing team meetings and retreats, and working with individual direct reports to set and achieve professional development goals. 
  • Lead performance management with direct reports by providing clear performance goals, offering regular, specific feedback on job performance, organizing team meetings and retreats, and working with individual direct reports to set and achieve professional development goals.
Organizational Strengthening & Effectiveness (10%)
  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth.
  • Ensure integration of Water.org global standards and practices into all aspects of work. 
  • Scan for and take up innovations that improve effectiveness of organization and/or acceleration of impact delivery. 
  • Promote and model agile learning – intellectual curiosity, iterative learning and adaption of approaches, models and practices.  
  • Develop key performance indicators to measure progress on priority initiatives and projects. 
Management responsibility
  • Supervises work of others. Responsible for hiring, discipline, and pay administration of their subordinates.
  • Positions supervised include:  Sr. Program Manager, Program Manager, Finance, Admin, other specialist and professional positions

This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required. Some duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.

Scope data 

  • Responsible for annual planning and budget;
  • Accountable for budget oversight and management;
  • Accountable for risk management measures; including audit results, internal controls, business continuity (including safety and security);
  • Responsible for legal compliance of country entity with regulations and laws;
  • Directly contributes to Tier 1 metrics, as well as some Tier 2/3 metrics;
  • Accountable for grant risk and performance (per global standards);
  • Makes “go / no-go” decisions on grants and interventions placed into grants;
  • Accountable for partner due diligence review and approval;
  • Responsible for country-level Talent Management, including Performance Management, Talent Development, and Talent Retention.

Skills and competencies

  • Strategic Mindset – Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies.
  • Builds Effective Teams – Building strong-identity teams that apply their diverse skills and perspectives to achieve common goals.
  • Business Insight – Applying knowledge of business and the marketplace to advance the organization’s goals. 
  • Decision Quality – Making good and timely decisions that keep the organization moving forward. 
  • Cultivates Innovation – Creating new and better ways for the organization to be successful.
  • Ensures Accountability – Holding self and others accountable to meet commitments. 
  • Manages Ambiguity– Operating effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear. 
  • Plans and Aligns – Planning and prioritizing work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
  • Courage – Stepping up to address difficult issues, saying what needs to be said. 


  • Master's degree in business, economics or management preferred. Additional relevant certifications also considered.
  • At least 10 years of operations management experience in applicable field, with at least 5 years of people management experience.  
  • Track record of effectively leading operations with a complex array of partnerships and organizational objectives, with the ability to leverage strengths across functional areas; excellent project management skills.
  • Depth of knowledge in development finance, capital markets, blended finance and/or innovative financial mechanisms.
  • The successful candidate will have recruited, managed, and developed a strong team of staff, program/project managers, and development professionals. This individual will serve as a “player/coach” to motivate and mentor his or her team.
  • Demonstrated experience working effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people, with ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders including advisory groups, coalitions, forums, foundations, corporate sponsors, and practitioner groups.
  • Experience with planning, budgeting and fiscal management.
  • Consistently entrepreneurial, curious and decisive with the ability to prioritize and communicate to staff key objectives and tactics necessary to achieve organizational goals. 
  • Well-developed relationship management skills, lending to high level collaborative skills with internal as well as external partners and other organizations.
  • Impeccable integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
  • Fluent in English (oral and written) and Bangla.  
  • Experience working in complex global organizations strongly preferred. International experience strongly preferred, preference for experience in U.S.

Travel requirement

  • Up to 25% of domestic and global travel

Salary and benefits 

This position offers full-time benefits, including medical/dental insurance, life and disability insurance, retirement program and periodic review for merit and incentive pay based on organizational and personal achievement.