Operations Director-International Development

Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International

CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. We use our skills to address the biggest challenges facing humanity, including hunger, poverty, climate change and gender inequality. CABI is an intergovernmental organization that can trace its origins back to 1910. Our 49 member countries guide and influence our core areas of work, which include International Development and Publishing. Headquartered in the UK, we have over 400 staff based in 16 countries, with offices in Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, the UK, the USA and Zambia. For more information, please go to www.cabi.org and www.plantwise.org

The Role

Position Senior Management

Reporting to Executive Director, Global Operations

Key peer group Publishing Operations Director; Senior Regional Directors; Global Directors; Project Development Director; Financial Controller; leaders in other corporate departments (HR, IT, Commercial)

Remuneration We offer a competitive remuneration package in the not-for-profit development sector

Location The post will be based in Wallingford, UK, with some international travel. We will consider hybrid working arrangements

Purpose of the role

This new role is an opportunity to make a difference to an organisation that makes a difference by ensuring that consistent, efficient workflows are in place, yielding greater productivity, performance and improving our capacity to deliver. The purpose of this global role is to ensure that CABI’s International Development (ID) operations all operate smoothly, in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, delivering all projects/programmes on time and within budget allocations, and that resources are sufficient and effectively allocated to projects/programmes and operational duties in line with business requirements. A particular emphasis is streamlining existing operational ID processes in collaboration with other corporate departments (IT, Finance, HR, Commercial) through simplification, automation and outsourcing, wherever possible in alignment with processes implemented or developed by CABI Publishing, to reduce cost and increase the capacity for higher-quality work.

A key objective is to oversee ID’s financial performance globally, as well as leading the ID-related reforecast and budget process of all three ID operation regions (Europe & the Americas, Africa and Asia) in collaboration with ID Senior Regional Directors and Finance department in the Head Office. This will require the job holder to operate at global, regional and thematic levels to strengthen CABI’s operations in the three major regions as well as understanding the need for cultural and local context driven requirements.

The job holder will be a permanent member of the International Development Management Board (IDMB) to contribute to the overall strategic direction of ID and work with the IDMB members to execute the agreed financial targets and operational processes.

Candidate profile

An experienced senior manager with the operational and financial skills required to manage a large and complex range of processes within a vibrant and constantly evolving ID business. You will have a track record of developing solutions that push innovative boundaries to deliver efficient workflows that improve productivity and performance.

Key accountabilities

• Oversee ID’s financial performance according to ID-wide global targets as well as monitoring the ID-related reforecast and budget processes of all three ID operational regions (Europe & the Americas, Africa and Asia) in collaboration with ID Senior Regional Directors and Finance department in the Head Office.

• Review ID P&L specific monthly management accounts with ID Finance Business Partner and provide ID higher-level monthly management account commentaries to Finance for reporting at International Development Management Board (IDMB) and Executive Management Team (EMT) level.

• Work with colleagues from Finance to review indirect cost performance to enable decision-making and effective business management at centre and global operational level.

• Work closely with Centre Directors, Regional Directors or Senior Regional Directors and Finance teams in the region and in the Head Office to support the high-quality execution of external finance audits requested by international development collaboration agencies.

• Identify with support of Business Analysts, ID Management Board members and in close alignment with the Publishing Operations Director, opportunities to standardize workflows, processes, staff training, systems, off-shore and out-source to maximize effectiveness and efficiency in ID.

• Oversee with colleagues in the relevant corporate functions systems implementation (such as a human resource planer, a harmonized timesheet system, a consultancy database and contract register) and vendor/ partner selection to maximize business value, working with technology and strategic procurement.

• Strengthen ID’s business development approaches globally through improved tracking of project development activities at all ID levels through appropriate systems such as Salesforce to ensure efficiency, efficacy in communicating with ID’s public and private-sector customer community.

• Ensure the implementation of specific systems and collaborate with colleagues in M&E and PDG to monitor and evaluate the reach of key performance indicators or milestones as they are communicated in CABI’s Medium Term Strategy to the member countries, CABI’s Science Strategy or donor framework contracts financing global programmes.

• Contribute to the development of CABI operational-related policy documents and ensure the introduction of new operational processes at ID level globally.

• Maintain quality control in the implementation of the PRINCE2 project management processes to enhance CABI’s reputation for excellence as a trusted project/programme technical partner/implementer among the international development collaboration donor community.

• Be a permanent member of the IDMB and to contribute to the overall strategic direction of ID and work with the IDMB members to execute the agreed financial targets and operational processes.

• Be a permanent member of the Portfolio Management Group (PMG) to contribute to the overall business development and direction of CABI.

• Adhere to CABI policies and procedures at the Centre, including access to biodiversity, quarantine, HR and Health and Safety requirements, financial and project management procedures, risk management and Intellectual Property Rights.

Knowledge, Experience & Skills

• Proven track record of change management, and continuous improvement programmes

• Track record of operational management in a similar environment

• Six Sigma experience

• Proven track record in financial skills, including reforecasting and budgeting

• Considerable and demonstrable experience in the context of international development collaboration

• Evidence of being able to innovate to improve operational performance

• Experience of selecting suppliers and managing outsourced contracts

• Line management experience

• A successful track record of influencing partners and coordinating teams in a cross-cultural environment

Education & Qualifications

• Although experience is more relevant than qualifications, a first degree, preferably in a life science or business-related discipline, would be advantageous.

Personal Characteristics

• Strong team-worker, with excellent interpersonal, presentation and communication skills

• Self-motivated and hard-working

• Flexible and willing to listen to existing procedures and new ideas

• Able to take initiative and achieve results

• Robust with the operational grip and capacity to handle a demanding workload, including considerable travel

• Good negotiation skills and ability to motivate staff


Review Conference The Review Conference is held every three years, bringing together Member Countries, key donors and partners so as to review CABI’s work programmes and to determine general policies and strategies.

Executive Council The Executive Council of Member Countries meets annually in London. It has delegated authority from the Review Conference for the direction of the general operations of CABI, in particular the approval of CABI Board Directors, agreement on annual operating budgets, appointment of auditors and sign-off of annual accounts as well as monitoring progress with the implementation of Review Conference resolutions.

CABI Board The CABI Board oversees CABI’s programmes and its general operations, as well as monitoring financial performance. It guides management on operational and strategic issues. The Board is responsible to the Executive Council of Member Countries for the stewardship of CABI at the level of strategy and institutional policy. It is responsible to ensure that CABI operates in an efficient and commercially-oriented manner, whilst having due regard to CABI’s status as a not-for-profit organisation. The CEO and CFO are also members of the Board.

Executive Management Team The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for managing CABI’s day-to-day affairs and the implementation of the agreed strategies and plans, with the support of the Executive Management Team.

Equal Opportunities

We are a thriving international organisation attracting a diverse range of talented people from around the world. Our staff currently comprises over 30 nationalities and as an equal opportunities employer we welcome applications from candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status. No applicant will be disadvantaged by conditions which cannot be shown to be justified and selection will be based on merit

How to apply

To apply please submit your CV and a covering letter via our online recruitment portal at: *www.cabi.org/careers* on or before 30 September 2022.