Director of Operations
Position Overview: Educate! an award-winning non-profit social enterprise, is seeking a Director of Operations to lead operational excellence across our programs and support functions in Rwanda.
This is a leadership role ideal for someone who loves managing people and projects to seamless execution and is driven to maximize impact through excellent management practices, processes, and attention to detail.
The right person for this role will have a history of achieving results through teams and experience managing projects (including budgets and support functions). Private sector or social enterprise experience is strongly preferred.
Educate! launched in Rwanda in 2015 to support the Rwanda Education Board in giving secondary school youth the skills to succeed in today’s economy. In the past four years we have worked to build the most innovative, sustainable, scalable and cost-effective model possible to create the first evidence-based solution for governments to effectively roll out competence-based education reforms in Africa. We have worked in more than 400 secondary schools, and in all 30 districts of Rwanda, and in the future we aim to offer the solution built and tested in Rwanda to governments across Africa.
Reporting to the Country Director, our new Director of Operations will lead and improve upon operational processes (in program implementation and support functions) to increase efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and performance at scale, so that we can deliver on testing this solution and positioning in it for even greater scale. You’ll join a dynamic leadership team committed to organizational and
Educate! is a non-profit social enterprise that prepares youth in Africa with the 21 century skills to succeed in today’s economy. We tackle youth unemployment by partnering with schools and governments to reform what schools teach and how they teach it.
Our model is delivered through practically-trained teachers and youth mentors. We’ve massively scaled up our program in the past several years, growing more than 4x since 2014. In 2019, we’re working in over 400 secondary schools in Rwanda, 60 pilot schools in Kenya, and over 800 schools in Uganda reaching over 42,000 students intensively and 530,000 more broadly.
Our model has proven to have massive impact — after the program, students earned DOUBLE the income of a control group and had a 44% increase in business creation. Our graduates change their lives and their communities, such as Lillian Aero who employs over 100 AIDS-affected women.
Educate!’s team includes almost 200 staff and almost 300 volunteer youth mentors. We have been backed by top foundations such as MasterCard, Big Bang Philanthropy, Mulago, Echoing Green, Ashoka and Global Innovation Fund. Educate! won the 2015 WISE Awards, and was featured by Forbes 30 under 30, Clinton Global Initiative and The Brookings Institution.
Lead country-wide operations to drive world-class team performance
- Working with executive and in-country leadership teams, set strategy to maximize success towards Educate!’s vision of measurably millions of students across Africa
- Collaborate with management team to implement global functional initiatives to ensure successful completion of top organization-wide objectives
- Oversee the operations’ teams staffing structures and annual and termly goals
- Ensure tight financial management in line with Educate! culture
- Exemplify clear and consistent communication to all levels of the organization
- Oversee strategic management of key risks facing the organization
- Consistently utilize strong project management skills, and coach team in the same
Program Implementation Oversight
- Ensure the Educate! Exchange team performs in alignment with set work-plans and strategic objectives
- Ensure the consistent use of key management tools such as the monthly calendar, program scorecard, and training schedules
- Collaborate with the Country Director to develop staffing strategy, including job descriptions and role differentiation
- Oversee budget planning and reallocation, and verify that resources are available to the team and relevant stakeholders
- Support the team in adjusting execution plans to meet targets, based on monitoring data
- Clearly articulate Educate! Rwanda’s vision internally and manage changes in country activities to maintain strong team alignment and engagement
- Build, lead and coach a highly results oriented team to deliver our goals
- Quickly address employee performance issues with a caring approach and an eye towards their improvement, while being comfortable exiting non-performers to drive highest quality team performance and growth
- Create team recruitment and training strategies to ensure high-quality deliverance and scalable cost model.
- Conduct performance management of direct reports and fair and accurate performance reviews for team.
- Lead culture building through
- Open minded and flexible management
- Performance management towards excellence
- Encouraging personal and professional development among staff and investing in staff skill building
- Driving the team towards youth-facing solutions and cost effectiveness
- Identifying challenges that are best solved through systems development and improvement
- Creating opportunities for staff bonding and retreats and creating a fun and collaborative work environment.
- Provide financial leadership to maintain a stringent environment of financial management and integrity
- Manage financial constraints strategically to optimize impact against cost and position Educate! to continue to accelerate growth year over year
- Support the Finance Coordinator in the growth and development of the finance function
- Ensure all regulatory compliance requirements are met, including but not exclusive to annual audits, and necessary tax payments
- Support Country Director in ensuring timely financial reporting, and managing to a monthly budget variance of 5% or less.
- Drive forward the creation and review of staff policies & procedures (finance manuals, common cost sheet, etc.)
- Approve expenditures as necessary
- Provide training and coaching to staff on new financial procedures
Qualifications and Profile
- Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
- At least seven years of professional experience (or 5 years + a master’s degree), including experience managing operations in a fast-paced, high-performance environment and at least three years managing people & coordinating teams
- Proven experience establishing, implementing, and executing operational processes
- Critical thinker with a creative and customer-centric approach to operations
- Organized, influential, and fluent in using technology, including Excel
- Financial integrity
- Passion for Educate!’s mission is a must, but past work in education or youth development is not required. We value diverse perspectives and encourage applications from people with a variety of backgrounds.
- Fits our Five Cultural Tenets (see What is Educate! About? below); Learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck HERE.
- Rwandan candidates strongly preferred. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
- Compensation will be commensurate with experience.
- Benefits include medical insurance.
- This position will be based in Kigali.
You will be asked to upload a resume, and your response to the following questions:
1. Why do you want to work at Educate!? Why does this role seem like a good fit or career step for you?
2. Have you managed managers before? If yes, how was it different than managing individual contributors and what lessons did you learn about how to manage managers well? If no, what do you think the differences might be and what skills have you learned that you think would serve you well as a manager of managers?
3. What is the highest growth or fastest paced environment you have worked in? What are some of the challenges or changes that make you consider it high growth or fast paced?
4. In past management or leadership roles, what tools or processes have you used to make sure that everyone on your team is working on the right things at the right time? When did your tools or processes “break” and what did you learn from it?
5. Briefly summarize (in a few sentences) your experience managing budgets.
Application deadline will be rolling, with the goal to fill position ASAP.
Why You Will Brag About Working At Educate!
- We’ve got the impact.
- Educate! is designed for scale. We quadrupled operations in 2014, going from 54 to more than 200 schools served. We carefully measure our outcomes, and — here’s the best part — we are maintaining quality at four times the size.
- We believe in local leadership — 96% of our staff is African.
- Our model goes national. In 2012 Educate! partnered with Uganda’s government to integrate curriculum and a student business club structure into Uganda’s entrepreneurship course nationally, in 2015 we served as a technical advisor to Rwanda on its secondary education reform, and in 2016 we began serving as a technical advisor to Kenya on its national curriculum reform.
- Educate is a well-oiled learning machine. We built our model by methodically testing hundreds of assumptions and we are constantly experimenting, evaluating, and improving.
We’re honored that luminaries and leaders like Oliver Wonekha, the Ugandan Ambassador to the US, and Ann Veneman, a former US Secretary of Agriculture and head of UNICEF, believe in us enough to have joined our advisory board.
What Is Educate! About?
We’re ambitious. Are you? Educate! is growing fast, so new opportunities are opening up and expanding all the time. We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members
on that journey.
1. We Put Youth First – The youth we serve come first. Always. In everything. That means we wake up thinking of ways we can serve youth even better and get the highest impact out of every dollar that we spend. It means Educate! doesn’t own a single vehicle, because we’d rather take the bus if it means one more student can participate. It means making every decision like the future depends on it — because if we get our way, it does.
2. We Are Always Learning – When you work at Educate!, educating yourself is part of your job too. We encourage every employee to find the best book on management; share the latest article on graphic design; bring in your favorite college mentor; or meet the researcher pushing the edge of the field. We are always thirsty for knowledge and love to share.
3. We Only Solve a Problem Once – We are allergic to band-aids so we love the person who brings the new system to solve the problem for good, even problems we haven’t recognized yet.
4. We Are Flexible – We thrive on change — we’re driving it. We are growing every day, so we have to adapt quickly to meet new challenges, and our team keeps up.
5. We Exceed Expectations – We assume we can achieve the impossible because we already have, year after year. We want our staff to create your own challenges, ask the toughest questions, and dream scary big!
Every person at Educate! — from interns to the executive director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.
Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.