Regional Operations Senior Manager

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
[Closing date: 9 October 2016]

Job Description

  • Type of Contract: 40 hours/week
  • Full Time Equivalent
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


About DNDi

The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a patient-needs driven, not-for-profit research and development (R&D) organization that develops safe, effective, and affordable treatments for the millions of people across the world affected by neglected diseases, notably human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, filariasis, paediatric HIV, mycetoma, and hepatitis C.

DNDi’s primary objective:

  • Deliver 16 to 18 new treatments by 2023 for targeted neglected diseases and establish a robust R&D portfolio that addresses patients’ treatment needs

In doing this, DNDi has two further objectives:

  • Use and strengthen capacities in disease-endemic countries via project implementation
  • Raise awareness about the need to develop new drugs for neglected diseases and advocate for increased public responsibility

In order to accomplish these and the specific regional objectives for the region, DNDi Latin America is looking for a candidate for its Regional Operations Manager position.


Terms of Reference

The ROM is based in Rio de Janeiro, and is part of the management team (MT) of the Latin American Regional Office and, as such, is expected to be participative in the development of the RSO’s plan and strategies as well as supportive to R&D’s activities in the region.

The position is therefore in charge of the operations as such as finance, accountability, administration, Legal, IST and HR functions within the region. The position in advance serves as administrative back up to the Director of RO LA, with the responsibility to supervise and manage office staff presence when the Director is not in the office.

The ROM is part of the Global Operations team and has strong linkage to Operations colleagues in Geneva, ensuring fluid corporate dynamics and compliance with global policies and processes.


General Objectives

Provide the operational support for sustainable development of DNDi’s activities in the region through coherent administrative and financial processes that are aligned with the standards of DNDi globally within the Business Plan and the Action Plan of DNDi.



  1. Governance & legal (15%)
  • Ensure strong integration of RO LA policies and processes with the general policies and processes of DNDi, and responsible for compliance and implementation of these global policies and processes at the regional level.
  • Ensure a sound regional governance model that provide an operational framework for the LA DNDi entities that is aligned to the regional and global strategies. Prepare and analyses legal entity creation options in collaboration with external legal support, to propose best suited options for the expansion and evolution of the regional governance set-up, including the conduction of a strategic revision of the DNDi LA Board structure & related councils in alignment with the new regional strategy development.
  • Establish procedures for internal and external accountability and compliance in regards to “best practices” in the non-profit sector in the region (with special focus on Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico).
  • Ensure DNDi in Latin America in particular complies with local legislation (labor law, civil law, audit requirements…) and DNDi’s overall policies through liaison with external lawyer and relevant teams in GVA. –
  • Responsible for elaboration, update and proper internal review (e.g. R&D, BD&L colleagues) of MoUs, contracts and other partnership frameworks involving the RSO, and management of consultant’s database and compliance requirements.
  1. Strategic Management (20%)

As part of the regional management team, the Regional Operations Manager will also be part of the development of the regional strategy under the supervision of the regional executive director ensuring the achievements and development of DNDi in the region in the context of the current business plan:

  • To be part of the preparation and implementation of the regional annual Action Plan and budget, as well as their regular revisions;
  • Manage and supervise on a regular basis DNDi’s resources and budget, approving expenditures accordingly.
  • To identify potentially risks impacting projects and/or DNDi activities as well discuss them to address and suggest mitigation strategies with the other MT members.
  • Participate in the monthly management team meetings in the Region as well as ensure a fluid regional internal communication
  • Interact as a regional focal point for the area of Operations with the headquarters in GVA and other regional offices, promoting a good interlocution between all DNDi members across the world.

When requested and relevant, the Regional Operations Manager may represent DNDi and the regional office in external meetings with key partners, institutions or civil society movements.

  1. Finance (25%)
  • Supervises budget process in the Regional Office to ensure that the budget development process occur timely in line with DNDi’s financial management schedule with support of Finance Officer. Also, provide guideline to Executive Director on relevant issues.
  • Control expenditures and authorize payments.
  • Ensure implementation and maintenance of finance good practices: signature policy, conflict of interest, travel, per diem, SOPs, etc.
  • Supervise Finance officers to ensure proper financial/accountability management (NAVISION and local accountability) and timely to submit financial information to the local BoD, local accountant firm and DNDi Geneva.
  • Liaison and follow up of financial aspects of Regional Office is compliance with local regulations and with DNDi Geneva (Swiss GAAP) on regular basis.
  • Manage the Regional finance/accounting team to deliver all needed documents to local authorities, such as the Ministry of Justice.
  • Supervises and monitors auditing processes (internal and external). Contribute to the development of the financial aspects of donor proposals – and reporting.
  1. Human Resources (10%)
  • Establish and update standards and policies in accordance to DNDi’s global HR framework and ensure tools/mechanisms/processes are in place for proper follow-up and ensure good ownership by the team
  • Oversee the different HR cycles: recruitment and hiring processes, briefing, appraisals, welcome, induction and dismissals.
  • Ensure that all employees and consultants are duly registered as such, working under a valid contract and that data is kept updated physically and electronically for regular reporting
  • Perform regular assessments to ensure, through active discussions with Geneva, that regional remuneration/benefits packages (with special focus on Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia and Mexico) are coherent and aligned with the regional/international markets and with DNDi’s policies and local labor regulations
  • Oversee efforts made to maintain positive and creative dynamics within DNDi team, including healthy working environment, fluid internal communication, appraisal, careers planning and improvement/development training plan.
  • Supervise administrative (e.g., contracts, holidays, general work permit issues, benefits etc.) to ensure effectiveness and accuracy in implementation and execution
  • Manage the monthly payroll with the accountancy department
  • Oversee management of welfare benefits and insurances.
  • Assist and provide advice on conflict management and / or termination decisions
  1. Logistics/Procurement /Administration (20%)
  • Establish policies and a supply system for the projects (suppliers, transmissions, reception) in the country and region (Latin America with special focus on Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico).
  • Implementation of integrated procedures to DNDi‘s policies regarding field work organization, models of accountability in the field, and the organization of briefings for the new staff recruited for administration and finance projects
  • Office space design and management according to the management style established in the regional strategy
  • Ensure facilities are adequate to needs (maintenance of office, workspace, telecommunications, inventories, archives, security…)
  • Manage General Insurance for the office. Identify with the R&D team areas where operations support can complement existing SOPs
  • Monitor and maintain updates in the data bases for contracts, procedures and policies
  • Supervision of the administrative team ensuring the objectives are met.
  1. Information Technology (10%)
  • Supervision of IT policy, strategy to allow a responsive implementation to the new size and format of the regional office (with special focus for teams in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico)
  • Manage and monitor relationships with all DNDi IT providers and follow-up on their performance and act accordingly when necessary
  • Liaise with Head of IST in headquarter to enforce IST policy and adherence to DNDi IST strategy to allow efficacious local IT solution implementation.
  • Coordinate with Head of IST to develop a local IST Roadmap consistent with global DNDi IST roadmap and ensure its proper execution.
  • Oversees and enforces high quality Service Desk support from local IT supplier for LATAM users in accordance with DNDi IT support key performance indicators and the SLAs.
  • Coordinate the development and maintenance of specific IT needs related to key DNDi LA tools such as research platforms & networks, or create new potential projects related to knowledge management & incorporation of e-Health technologies


Reports and Coordination

  • Direct: To the regional director for regular alignment of priorities and strategies for DNDi in the region
  • Transversally with the respective areas (Operations, BUSDEV, HR, FIN, IT) in Geneva
  • Coordination with the respective areas within the regional office in Rio, other legal entities or projects in Latin America
  • Alignment with other DNDi offices in North America, India and Africa


Person Specification

Essential requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s and suitably a Master’s degree in Finance and/or Management, or an MBA
  • A minimum of 10 years working experience in NGO or Research Institutions or performing similar functions in the non for profit environment
  • Proven experiences in the field of Finance, Procurement, Governance, Human Resources, administration  and organizational development
  • Capacity to manage a team, with proven records of leadership and strategic vision
  • Understanding of public health programs environment would be appreciated
  • Capacity to articulate partnerships and manage key interfaces with civil society movements, NGOs, and government entities
  • International and regional background would be appreciated
  • Languages: fluent in Portuguese, English and Spanish
  • Computer skills: Excellent knowledge in software packages used in word processing, presentations, management and finance

Desirable qualifications:

  • Understanding of the pharmaceutical sector environment would be appreciated
  • Experience in managing multidisciplinary project or broad public health programs
  • Working in and organizing a project team
  • Ability and proven records to work with multicultural teams
  • Diplomacy and excellent interpersonal communications skills
  • Strong leadership and hands-on approach to expand relationship with partners
  • Knowledge of landscape in the region


To Apply

  • Deadline for application: CV and cover letter to be sent by e-mail only to:
  • Accepting applications until October 9, 2016.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.