Head of Operations

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identify is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as part of our staff and as partner’s people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and commitment to serving those in need. Since 2000 CRS Zambia has been implementing a number of programmes to support vulnerable Zambians. Its recent programming areas include: nutrition, agriculture, food security, HIV/AIDS, WASH, financial inclusion, and early child development.

Job Summary:

As a member of the Country Program’s (CP) Senior Management Team, you will provide leadership and management of the operational functions – Finance, Human Resources (HR), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Administration, Information and Communication Technology, Security and Audit – in support of the Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) mission to serve the poor and vulnerable. You will promote stewardship of resources, ensure principled compliance, proactively manage risk, and lead operational improvements. As part of the Senior Management Team proactively manage security and mitigate security risks.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the CP strategic planning and programming by providing input on needed investments in operations capacity – systems, processes and staffing – that meet CRS’ standards, donor requirements, and local regulations and support high-quality programming. Collaborate with programming leads to ensure appropriate project expenditures in line with financial plans and proper stewardship of material sources.
  • Plan, coordinate, and monitor day-to-day operations to ensure all support services are delivered with high-quality in an efficient manner. Anticipate, identify and address challenges that affect the proper stewardship and optimal utilization of program assets and resources (financial, human, and material).
  • Effectively manage talent and supervise. Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Provide coaching, strategically tailor individual development plans, and complete performance management for direct reports. Monitor and assess performance to ensure adequate capacity for successful support of high-quality programming. Contribute to staffing plans and recruitment process of senior staff.
  • With the Country Representative oversee the preparation of annual budget plans and grant/project budgets to ensure they reflect maximum operational efficiency and budgetary compliance and mitigate risks. Set and provide technical oversight of internal processes for approving expenses, monitoring spending, and making budget adjustments in line with operational and programmatic needs and with donor requirements.
  • Ensure the program is adequately staffed to meet CP needs and HR systems, policies and practices support a high-performance culture, staff development and retention. Assure quality personnel administration and a work environment that truly reflects the agency’s guiding principles.
  • Oversee compliance with agency and donor requirements and local laws and regulations through periodic systems checks, review and assessment of CP’s operations policies and procedures. Act as lead contact and responder to issues that emerge from internal and external audits and provide recommendations and guidance to implement improvements.
  • Create and maintain the proper conditions for learning. Establish a safe environment for the sharing of ideas, solutions, and difficulties and the capacity to detect, analyze and respond quickly to small deficiencies. Provide capacity strengthening guidance for project teams and partners, which includes cross-departmental learning.

Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

  • Education and Experience
  • Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, or other relevant field highly preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years work experience in a management position with progressive responsibilities. Experience with an international NGO and experience outside country of origin preferred.
  • Understanding of financial systems, including budgeting and budget/expense analysis experience. Knowledge of Oracle accounting software or similar financial reporting software highly preferred.
  • Knowledge of multiple public donors’ regulations, including USAID, highly preferred.
  • Staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment.
  • Knowledge of procurement and general office administration/management issues.
  • Proficient in MS Office package (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio), Web Conferencing Applications, and information and budget management systems.

Personal Skills:

  • Excellent strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.
  • Strong relations management abilities. Ability to work collaboratively
  • Team leadership abilities
  • Ethical conduct in accordance with recognized professional and organizational codes of ethics
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions-oriented and results-oriented

Key Working Relationships:

  • Supervisory: Human Resources Manager, Finance Manager, Compliance Manager, Supply Chain Manager, and IT Officer.
  • Internal: Country Representative, Head of Programs, Chiefs of Party, Projects Directors.
  • External: Banks, CRS Partner Organizations.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results:

  • Serves with Integrity
  • Models Stewardship
  • Cultivates Constructive Relationships
  • Promotes Learning

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Important Note: By applying to this job, I understand and acknowledge that CRS requires its staff to treat all people with dignity and respect and to actively prevent harassment, abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking. Further, I understand that if I am a successful candidate, I will be subject to a comprehensive background check, and my personal/professional references will be asked to evaluate my behaviors related to the above safeguarding-related topics.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Method of Application

Applicant Instructions: Please email a cover letter, and curriculum vitae which should include three references to: Please include the position you are applying for in the subject line.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Application deadline
18 Dec 16:10
Email applications to
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