Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer (DED/COO)

Having grown to become the leading organisation in its field, with several hundred staff deployed worldwide in extremely challenging environments, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is looking for a Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer (DED/COO) to help the organisation move to another level.

Location: Geneva  

Starting date: May 2022

Overall Purpose:

The main role is to support the Executive Director in the overall management and further development of HD.

The DED/COO will ensure that day-to-day operations proceed effectively, efficiently and safely. S/he will directly manage the Centre‘s corporate services and, as COO, will drive performance and coherence of the organisation as a whole by coordinating operations worldwide and by managing the organisation’s internal and external communications.

As HD becomes a truly global organisation, the DED/COO will instil a highly inclusive culture in which team members thrive and organisational outcomes are met. To achieve this, the DED will set the tone by exemplifying HD’s values and embodying its culture.

Being a highly cross-functional role, this position suits a well-rounded individual with a hands-on and collaborative approach within an entrepreneurial environment.


The DED/COO will translate strategy into actionable goals. In practice, the scope of this position articulates around three main areas:

I. Overall Leadership and Governance

  • Promoting and steering effective cross-divisional cooperation;
  • Facilitating internal communication in order to strengthen HD’s culture;
  • Supporting and assisting the Executive Director in the preparation of Foundation Board meetings and turning strategic decisions into action;
  • Enhancing internal information flow at all levels of the hierarchy to promote further cohesion of the overall team.

II. Performance and Risk Management

  • Helping in defining a comprehensive goal-setting matrix, with specific and measurable objectives and timeframe;
  • Designing and implementing an organisation-wide performance management framework;
  • Participating actively in the strategic financial planning;
  • Overseeing the global risk management and compliance policy;
  • Steering and monitoring the development of management systems and indicators;
  • Conduct change management with the ability to make difficult decisions when required on organisational development.

III. Corporate and Administration management

  • Leading and monitoring the corporate services composed of six departments (Communications, Donor Relations and Fundraising, Finance, Human Resources, IT, and Legal) and coordinate their strategic planning;
  • Ensuring the smooth running of corporate services activities and liaise with the Senior Management Team;
  • Providing leadership and direction to each Head of department;
  • Maintain a positive work environment that facilitates collaboration and information sharing between operational and corporate departments.

Candidate Profile:

The ideal candidate should be an outstanding and dynamic professional who should fulfil the following selection criteria:

Management skills and experience

  • Solid and proven experience as senior manager of international and diverse organisations; ideally in the non-profit sector. Exposure to the environment of conflict mediation or public security would be an asset;
  • Track record in building and strengthening a strong organisational culture based on the principles and values of HD;
  • Exceptional people management skills, with a proven capacity to motivate and lead a multi-disciplinary management team to achieve organisational goals according to a risk-aware implementation framework;
  • Ability to steer discussions and generate the best possible results without compromising productive working relationships with the other parties involved;
  • Team-building ability, the capacity to instil a culture that vales measurable achievement, mutual support, and compliance with organisational process;
  • Ability to empower senior managers by assessing their contribution to the organisation’s success and performance while ensuring that they understand what is expected of them and how their work contributes to HD’s objectives.

Key competencies

  • Excellent analytical, organisational and decision-making skills, including the ability to establish clear priorities;
    Excellent ability to exhibit thorough understanding of challenging contexts, display a vision grasping critical issues quickly and translating them into strategic decisions;
  • Proven ability to communicate clearly and present complex subjects through clear guidelines, both orally and in writing, including to staff members;
  • Excellent ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders and to understand organisational dynamics, including a strong sense of strategically and politically sensitive matters;
  • Ability to deal with people effectively, respectfully and courteously;
  • Ability to listen and integrate different viewpoints, generate adherence and convince;
  • Fluent in English, a good command of French would be an asset.

If you are interested in this position and meet the criteria defined above please send your CV and a motivation letter reflecting your interest and suitability for the role to the following address by 23 January 2022.  Please include “Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer” in the subject line of your email.

HD promotes equal opportunities in employment and women are encouraged to apply. 



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