Senior Regional Operations Manager

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
[Closing date: 15 May


Established in 2003, 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 15 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 Executive 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 is in charge of the operations department, overseeing finance, accounting, administration, legal services, HR, business development, governance, and IST functions within the region. S/he works with the other departments focusing on business development support, contributing to fundraising strategies, and implementing various business processes to enable their work.

S/he is part of the Latin America regional leadership team and, as such, is expected to participate in the development of the regional action plan, to translate the organizational goals into operations objectives, and to support operationally the overall activities in the region.


Specific job responsibilities

Organizational effectiveness and general operations management (60%)

  • Lead planning efforts in line with the regional action plan, partner objectives, regional priorities, and global strategy
  • Responsible to lead the preparation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation processes of the regional Annual Action Plan and budget, as well as their regular revisions under supervision of the Regional Director
  • Oversee budgeting, reporting, planning, and auditing processes in the Regional Office, ensuring the process occur timely and effectively
  • Identify potentially risks impacting projects and/or DNDi activities as well as discuss them to address and provide mitigation strategies with the other leadership team members
  • Take overall responsibility for the Latin America operational system including risk management and full implementation of Human Resources and other Operational policies, processes and standards, in line with DNDi global guidelines and the national laws where the Latin America Office operates. Formulate, implement, and improves policies, processes and standards, and monitor adherence.
  • Ensure organizational effectiveness in management of financial resources through effective management of key management staff
  • Ensure that organization financial systems are robust, compliant, and support current activities and future growth and that DBDI’s assets are managed according to DNDi policies and national rules and regulations
  • Support as appropriate the DNDi´s fundraising efforts and monitor current and projected funding income
  • Contribute to development of the financial aspects (e.g. financial planning) of donor proposals, reports, and materials to secure new funds and for grant reporting
  • Oversee and manage the Procurement Activities in line with DNDi’s Procurement Policy, including the management of the competitive bid process, selection of strategic suppliers, and negotiation of definitive agreements
  • Liaise with Head of IST in headquarter to adhere to and enforce IST policy, to allow efficient local IT solution implementation
  • 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
  • May function as contact for an assigned region’s employee relations and human resources needs, and shares responsibility to resolve complex matters with the Human Resources Manager

Governance, partnerships & legal (30%)

  • Ensure strong integration of 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 Latin America DNDi entities that is aligned to the global strategy. Prepare and analyses legal entity creation options in collaboration with external legal support, 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
  • Establish procedures for internal and external accountability and compliance in regard 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 complies with local legislation (labor law, civil law, audit requirement, others) 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&L colleagues) of MoUs, contracts and other partnership frameworks involving the RSO, and management of consultant’s database and compliance requirements
  • Support the Regional Director and Leadership Team in the governance, oversight, and direction of regional initiatives
  • Coordinate legal processes to ensure consistency in contractual practices, to identify the risk profile of agreements, and design possible mitigation strategies
  • Support and monitor the development of strategic relationships between DNDi and key partners, including the governments, other NGOs, and the private sector
  • Lead the development of “business cases” to support strategic/partnership decisions

Team management (10%)

  • Supervises the IT Assistant, Finance Coordinator, Operational Coordinator, HR Manager ensuring their objectives are met and their respective areas have effective deliverables
  • Supervise Finance/Accountant Team 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, including deliver all needed documents to local authorities such as Ministry of Justice
  • Maintain good working relations and coordination with fundraising team and, as required, provide support to develop the necessary context for new funding opportunities in the region
  • Support the Regional Director to develop and engage the Leadership Team in the strategic growth and regional expansion of DNDi Latin America
  • Mentor and develop the team members in their respective roles & responsibilities with a specific attention to the operations department development
  • Monitor, manage, and improve the efficiency of support areas such as Administration, Finance, HR, IST, and Logistics
  • Facilitate coordination and communication between support functions and project/transversal areas


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 leading areas such as finance, human resources, planning, organizational development, project management
  • 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 Portuguese, English, and Spanish
  • Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite


Reporting line

  • S/he reports to Latin America Regional Director
  • S/he has the HR & Organization Director and Finance and Planning Director, as contributing managers


  • S/he works with Operations Team, and several departments and areas in a transversal interaction
  • S/he promotes programmes and maintains productive relationships by projecting the image of a credible partner, and ensures commitment of partners


Other information

  • Status: full time – permanent role   


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 15 May 2019
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted