Senior Regional Operations Manager

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
[Closing date: 4 October


​Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a collaborative, patients’ needs-driven, non-profit drug research and development (R&D) organization that is developing new treatments for Neglected Diseases. (

After 13 years of sustained growth, DNDi has built a team of approximately 200 full-time employees working across nine offices (Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, Kinshasa, Nairobi, New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Tokyo, and Cape Town).

The DNDi Latin America office was opened in 2004. With the primary aim to support regional R&D activities for Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, the Latin American office also undertakes advocacy and communications activities to increase neglected diseases awareness in the region. It also leads capacity building projects through multi-country research platforms.

The Operations Department was created in 2011 to help the Regional Director focus on strategic activities. It coordinates DNDi infrastructure globally (finance, operational and strategic planning, human resources, information systems and technology, legal structuring, risk management and organizational development) and supports decision-making and flows of information across the organization. It also provides oversight to business development and legal activities and liaison offices.


Purpose of the position

The Senior Regional Operations Manager (SROP) is based in Rio de Janeiro and is part of the leadership team of the Latin American Regional Office and, as such, is expected to participate 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 SROP 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.



S/he is accountable for managing projects or delivering quality output through expert services or people. S/he adapts policies, approaches and models to emerging needs and define practice and procedures/guidelines. He/she is accountable of delivery of a complex project within established framework.


Scope of work (results)

His/her role reflects the performance of assigned projects and team and impact on larger programmes.


Specific job responsibilities

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.

Governance & legal (15%)

  • Ensure strong integration of Regional Office Latin America 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 DNDi Latin America 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 Latin America 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 Latin America complies with local legislation (labor law, civil law, audit requirements…) and DNDi’s overall policies through liaison with external lawyer and relevant teams in Geneva
  • Responsible for elaboration, update, and proper internal review (e.g. R&D, BD & Legal colleagues) of MoUs, contracts, and other partnership frameworks involving the RSO, and management of consultant’s database and compliance requirements

Strategic management (20%)

As part of the regional management team, the Senior 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 Geneva and other regional offices, promoting a good interlocution between all DNDi members across the world

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

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 the 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.

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

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

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 Latin America 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 Latin America tools such as research platforms & networks, or create new potential projects related to knowledge management & incorporation of e-Health technologies


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Very strong ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines
  • Very clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates strong judgment and problem-solving competencies
  • Very strong communication skills in multicultural, multi-lingual environments
  • Very strong ability to work effectively as part of a multicultural team
  • Very well organized and structured
  • Very strong analytical skills
  • Very strong ability to lead project delivery
  • Very strong ability to manage large size projects with budget management
  • Strong strategic thinking and leadership abilities
  • Very strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Very strong ability to exercise high degree of independence to support programme delivery and explore new areas of activities
  • Very strong ability to interact with internal and external stakeholders
  • Lead and motivate a team for optimum performance, supervising junior staff


  • Over 8 years in Senior role
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Experience of working in public and private sector is highly desirable


  • Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level

Other requirements

  • Fluency in English, Spanish, and Portuguese
  • Proficiency in local languages desirable
  • Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite


Reporting line

  • Direct: to the regional director for regular alignment of priorities and strategies for DNDi in the region
  • Transversally with the respective areas (Operations, Business Development, HR, Finance, 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
  • He/she has frequent interaction with DNDi staff and external stakeholders to coordinate provision of work or to advocate, persuade and gain support or commitment. He/she represents DNDi for a programme/service area and develop and maintain relationship with current and future partners.


Other information

  • Status: full time – permanent role


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 4 October 2018
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted