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Director, Operations

Location: Singapore 

Job Posting

BACKGROUND: 

Grow Asia was established by the World Economic Forum in 2015 in collaboration with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in response to the urgent need to transform food systems to be more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient to climate change. As a multi-stakeholder platform, Grow Asia works with more than 650 global and regional partners to broker market driven solutions across Southeast Asia. We do this by convening leading decision makers from public, private, and civil society organizations, mobilizing partnerships and finance, and delivering best practice through the implementation of collaborative public-private projects at a field-, national-, and regional level. 

The Grow Asia network comprises our regional office in Singapore and five country chapters in Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. The network operates through 44 national and sectoral Working Groups and is already reaching more than 2.9 million smallholders across Southeast Asia with technical assistance and blended finance solutions. In 2020, Grow Asia was accredited as an Entity Associated with ASEAN. This accreditation recognizes the important role Grow Asia plays in the region, particularly in facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships and acting as a delivery mechanism for ASEAN programs. 

THE ROLE:

Grow Asia is seeking an experienced leader and strategist to help us deliver impact at scale by strengthening operational excellence and coordinating the strategic mobilization of financial and human resources. 

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Operations will be responsible for strategic and financial planning, grant management, and project implementation at a regional and country level to ensure effective coordination of grants and blended resources across Grow Asia’s four Public-Private Programs – GrowVentures, GrowHer, GrowRight, and Growbeyond. 

We are looking for an independent thinker and problem solver, with a strong sense of self-motivation, who thrives in a highly collaborative, dynamic team environment. The successful candidate should bring experience in coordinating complex projects and financial management to deliver joined-up solutions across multiple disciplines, countries, and teams while working in a multi-stakeholder, matrixed environment. 

RESPONSIBILITIES include but are not limited to:

 

Operations and Finance 

  • Work with the Executive Director and Heads of departments to assess the operational needs of the Grow Asia network and translate the organization’s strategic vision into operational solutions

  • Oversee annual business planning, operational excellence, human and financial resources, and monthly and annual reporting

  • Monitor and oversee the life cycle of grants and matching contributions under GrowVentures, GrowHer, GrowRight, and GrowBeyond, ensuring efficient and timely deployment of resources to programs and countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Viet Nam)

  • Put in place systems and processes to monitor and evaluate progress in meeting operational goals. • Support the prioritization of grant applications, onboarding of new donors, financial due diligence, and timely submission of concept notes, funding proposals, and donor reports

  • Oversee budget planning and financial reporting for individual donors and where appropriate, provide contractual and compliance-related information to partners

  • Put in place an organization risk register to highlight and mitigate financial exposures and non-compliance as part of a strengthened internal audit function

  • Oversee expenditures and spending rates with relevant teams to update financial projections and make any necessary revisions

  • Oversee proactive collection of donor receivables or settlement of donor payables in a timely manner

  • Collaborate with senior staff to create and maintain systems for efficient and transparent capture of program data for timely and informative internal and external reporting

  • Work closely with Heads of departments to report on the impact of grants – both internally and externally

Organization and Team Leadership 

  • Guide and facilitate the scale up of human capacity and capability to accommodate new programs and country chapters in line with organizational growth. 

  • Manage a small team of Regional Program Managers and Finance staff and guide them in managing tools and trackers to ensure that in-country programs and field-level implementation adhere to requirements and expectations of donors and partners 

  • Oversee maintenance of Employee Handbook and ensure that policies are well communicated and implemented by hiring managers 

  • Supervise, coach, and collaborate with regional and country staff to ensure programmatic and team success, as well as to support the team’s ongoing professional development and growth 

  • Work closely with the Head of Partnerships to support operations in Cambodia, Philippines, and Viet Nam, and provide direct oversight to GrowAsia’s programs in Indonesia Papua New Guinea 

  • Support the Executive Director in optimizing cross-departmental knowledge flow, challenge silos, and be a champion for matrixed projects. 

  • Work with external vendors to coordinate optimal talent acquisition and ensure that recruitment processes adhere to Grow Asia’s diversity and inclusion commitments 

  • Contribute to the smooth running of governance meetings and annual events, including but not limited to Grow Asia Governance Councils and the Grow Asia Investment Forum 

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence ​

  • Represent Grow Asia at external events and cultivate relationships with donors and partners 

  • Lead and participate in global and regional calls and donor meetings, as needed 

THE SUCCESSFUL APPLICANT:

  • Masters’ degree in a discipline related to the position (business, finance, International Development, or equivalent) 

  • A minimum of 15 years work experience in increasingly senior roles, ideally in a multi-country leadership role focused on climate change and/or sustainable finance in food and agriculture (spanning corporate, non-profit, and/or consulting roles) 

  • Strong team leadership experience and skills, with proven success and ability to manage diverse teams, budgets, and operations across complex, low income geographies 

  • Experience in strategic design, execution, and management of multi-country programs 

  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, with fluency in spoken and written English and, ideally, one other Southeast Asian language 

  • Excellent attention to detail 

  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively interface at all levels of seniority both internally and with our partners in the public, private, and civil society space 

  • High level of integrity and commitment to socio-economic development and food systems transformation 

  • Emotional maturity, patience, curiosity, and a sustained willingness to change one’s mind 

  • Forward-looking thinker, who actively seeks opportunities and proposes solutions 

Location: Singapore

Travel requirement: Up to 30%, mainly within Southeast Asia

Start date: Immediate

WHAT’S ON OFFER:

In addition to a competitive salary, this role provides a unique opportunity to (1) develop your capabilities and broaden your skill set in an organization that supports continuous growth, (2) work with a highly motivated, collaborative, efficient and compassionate team that also values autonomy, (3) be part of a dynamic, well-respected and credible entity in Southeast Asia, (4) connect with the World Economic Forum and its Food Action Alliance, participating in the global agenda on food security and agricultural development, and (5) contribute to social, economic and environmental progress in Southeast Asia and beyond. 

HOW TO APPLY:

Qualified applicants are invited to send their resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to careers@growasia.org by 15 March 2024. We ask that you kindly include your name and the position you are applying for in the subject line (e.g., “Application: Director, Operations – Your Name”). Due to the volume of applications expected, only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

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As a multi-stakeholder platform, we believe all voices matter, and we actively seek to bring them to the table. Aligned with this ethos, Grow Asia is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or gender identity.

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