Chief Operating Officer

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) works worldwide to conserve cranes and the wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands on which they depend.  For more than 50 years, ICF has been a strategic leader in community-based conservation linking human livelihoods with biodiversity conservation across Africa and Asia and spearheaded efforts in the U.S. to bring back the Endangered Whooping Crane from the brink of extinction and find lasting crop damage solutions for Sandhill Cranes on farms.   In recent years, ICF has rapidly expanded programs and staffing in Africa, Asia, and the southern U.S.  We are creating a new position to more strongly support these international and regional operations and put in place efficiencies, policies, and procedures that support our organization as a whole.

ICF is mission-driven, innovative, nimble, collaborative, inclusive, trustworthy, and determinedly optimistic.  The ideal candidate will contribute to each of these core values while performing the core duties of this position.  To apply, submit your CV/resume and cover letter to icfjobs@savingcranes.org  please place Chief Operating Officer in the subject line.

Position Summary:

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) supports the International Crane Foundation (ICF) mission by providing high-level leadership for ICF global operations, with particular focus on Africa and Asia. Important duties include executive leadership and development of ICF’s risk management systems, asset management and procurement, operational efficiency, occupational health and safety, governance and compliance, operational policy development, and strategic engagement, in close coordination and cooperation with our program Vice Presidents and Regional Directors.  The COO is expected to travel frequently to support our country offices in China, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia and other partner offices as needed, and provide strong support to our North America and Headquarters operations. The position is remote and may be situated with any of our global offices or in a mutually agreeable location with easy access to regional air travel. The Chief Operating Officer reports to the President, actively serves on ICF’s senior leadership team, and maintains strong relationships with the Board of Directors, including semi-annual participation for in-person Board meetings in the USA. The COO is supported by a full-time executive assistant.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Risk management – develop an effective risk management system for ICF’s global operations, covering a wide range of political, social, economic, environmental, technological, and other macros and micro risks, and appropriate incident management plans, broader mitigation plans, insurance policies, and related.
  • Asset management and procurement –oversee the management of ICF global facilities, vehicle fleet, procurement systems, cybersecurity/IT, insurance coverage, and related; facilitate planning and management of any major capital projects, including quality assurance and control systems for construction.
  • Operational efficiency – develop, streamline, and oversee implementation of systems that improve organizational efficiency and ensure the smooth running of ICF’s core operations in the regions where we work, linked to metrics of success.
  • Occupational health and safety – assure safe working conditions for ICF teams worldwide, including emergency/disaster planning and response, first-aid and emergency-response training, employee safe-behavior training, and related.
  • Governance and compliance – executive management of ICF’s governance and compliance procedures, including but not limited to contract/MoU reviews, contractor compliance, policy adherence, and related.
  • Policy development – standardize and advance ICF’s global policies and procedures, development new policies and monitor legislation to determine changes to existing policies as needed.
  • Strategic engagement – Engage in high-level institutional planning and advancement through the senior leadership team, with particular focus on internal structures and systems.

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Board of Directors engagement. Cultivate strong relationships with the ICF Board of Directors and provide staff leadership to the Board on internal operations worldwide.
  • Community relations. Establish grievance redress mechanisms and social safeguards for ICF’s work with local communities.
  • Budgets. Establish and manage annual and three-year budgets for this position and associated responsibilities.
  • Supervision. Supervise and mentor staff as relevant with direct and/or indirect reporting lines (one direct report at the time of hire; potential to support additional reporting lines in the future).

Desired Qualifications:

  • Ten or more years’ experience as a Chief Operating Officer or equivalent, including at least 5 years with a non-profit organization.
  • A Masters’ degree in a relevant field of business or conservation
  • Experiencing serving in a senior leadership capacity with significant autonomy and authority.
  • Experience supervising and mentoring others to achieve desired results, delegate work, train and encourage skill development, and access/provide feedback on individual performance.
  • Demonstrated successful project management experience and proven track record of successful project accomplishments, including program measurement and evaluation.
  • Demonstrated construction project management experience.
  • Experience establishing, planning, monitoring, and implementing department budgets.
  • Ability to travel frequently across Africa, Asia, and North America.
  • Passion for our mission

Core Competencies:

  • Personal commitment to close cooperation/coordination with program Vice Presidents and Regional Leaders to implement new systems, policies, and practices for ICF global programs.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills, including speaking clearly and persuasively to individuals and groups; listening effectively; responding well to questions from conservation colleagues, ICF supporters, visitors, press, and the public.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to write correspondence and reports in a clear, concise, logical, and grammatically correct manner.
  • Experience and comfort using word processing and spreadsheet software (MS Office) and internet search engines.
  • Attentive to detail and thoroughness.
  • Quickly, effectively, and continually adapt to changes in work environment and duties, processes, and technologies.
  • Demonstrate respect and sensitivity for others, inspire trust, and work with integrity and ethically.

Physical Abilities and Work Environment:

This position is remotely based at a local that may include a home office or attachment to one of our regional offices in Asia, Africa, or North America.

The incumbent’s home office must have a clearly delimited office area that provides for a quiet, uninterrupted working space, with strong and reliable Wi-Fi access and cell connection, and reasonable access to an international airport.

This position requires extensive and regular travel in Africa, Asia, and North America. While abroad, the incumbent will base with our regional offices as needed.

The physical abilities described below are necessary for the employee to perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to operate computer and phones.
  • Ability to communicate with a wide diversity of audiences, including staff, Directors, partners, donors, and governments, including one-on-one communications and small and large group meetings.
  • Ability to travel and base outside the home (internationally and regionally) for extended periods of time as necessary to fulfill the duties of this position.
  • Ability to work outdoors including field project sites in remote areas.
  • Ability to work across multiple time zones.

“ICF is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We hire great people.”

ICF is an equal opportunity employer.