Country Director, Colombia

Partners of the Americas (POA), a global NGO based in the United States, has been operating in Colombia since 1964 and has a rich history of high-impact programs, youth and professional exchanges, and an active in-country volunteer network. With a strong emphasis on improving education and individual’s technical skills with child protection, agriculture programs, educational initiatives, and labor rights, our presence in Colombia has impacted and changed countless lives.

POA seeks a qualified candidate to serve as Country Director for our newly established office in Colombia, responsible for building, leading, and coalescing our Colombia program. POA is currently implementing six projects in Colombia in the education, agriculture, and labor rights sectors with a total value of approximately $65 million over the next 4-5 years, funded principally by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), USAID, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The Country Director (CD) will lead, represent, consolidate and grow POA’s presence in Colombia. The CD is responsible for articulating and communicating a vision for the portfolio, leading the development of a strategy and projects that embody that vision, building a team of talented and motivated staff, and ensuring the effective implementation of projects. S/he also supervises all project directors and key functions including new business development, country office operations, human resource management, and finance. The CD reports to the Chief Operating Officer.

The CD brings substantial managerial expertise as well as in-country experience and industry knowledge in the fields of international development, social accountability and/or nonprofit management and is enthusiastic to shape the growth of our programs and ambitious mission in Colombia. Once the country office is fully operational, it is expected that the CD will dedicate 75% LOE to external representation, business development, and chapter relations, and 25% LOE to internal operational support.

Responsibilities:

Leadership

  • Lead POA strategy and execution in country, ensuring timely and effective delivery of strategic and program objectives.
  • Provide strategic direction and leadership for organizational change and development processes.
  • Engage with and regularly update the Washington DC-based Senior Leadership Team regarding program opportunities, challenges and plans.
  • Lead, mentor, and empower the in-country senior leadership team.
  • Ensure clarity of roles, responsibilities, and decision-making levels are defined for this position and the in-country senior leadership team, recognizing the need to implement a matrix-style management structure.
  • Lead by example, delegate effectively, demonstrate integrity, motivate and inspire others.

External Representation

  • Represent POA, consult and coordinate with key stakeholders within government, donors, and other entities to build organizational program and reputation.
  • Legally represent POA with the Colombian Authorities.
  • Represent POA in-country and be the country-level focal point with all local, external clients, partners, donors, etc.
  • Support project directors as necessary vis-à-vis their own project-specific representation needs.
  • Maintain outstanding levels of client satisfaction.

New Business Strategy and Development

  • Lead in-country team in development of strategic partnerships, building coalitions, and external networking.
  • In collaboration with POA management, oversee the design and development of new projects, including strengthening POA chapters, building partnerships, forecasting opportunities, proposal cycle oversight and procurement due diligence.
  • Actively engage in innovation, ideation, and concept creation with the Business Development team, local partners and stakeholders, and country team to generate unsolicited concepts.
  • Collaborate with other teams to collect, analyze and pursue new business information and contacts locally; develop and regularly update capability statements.

POA Chapter Relations

  • Serve as the principal liaison with our in-country membership chapters.
  • Collaborate with Chapter leaders, who will participate in an advisory council, to ensure a shared country vision and maximizing our personnel and volunteer resources.
  • Work with the Washington D.C.-based Membership Unit to ensure maximum collaboration and support of chapters
  • Finance, Operations and Contracts Administration
  • Assume overall responsibility for the effective use of donor resources and compliance with all rules, regulations and laws. Collaborate with contracts and compliance staff to ensure adherence to all company and external requirements.
  • Ensure stringent management of financial systems, including adequate policies & procedures, banking, recording of financial transactions, financial risk management, fraud prevention, inventory management. Oversee monthly financial projections and cash flow.
  • Collaborate with project managers and finance & admin project staff to evaluate the practices and procedures used by POA and implementing partners, ensuring compliance with the requirements established by the USG, Government of Colombia and POA.

Team and Project Management

  • Supervise all project directors utilizing matrix-style management and collaborating with HQ VPs. Ensure successful recruitment and onboarding of outstanding team members across all operational and programmatic areas.
  • Drive for results. Collaborate with DC-based staff to ensure high standards in monitoring, evaluation, research and learning functions and use of evidence for program design and delivery.
  • Collaborate with in-country and US-based Human Resources team on all human resources related functions: recruitment, employee relations, performance management, benefits, compensation and staff duty of care (safety & security).
  • Manage in-country team, creating a positive, respectful environment; proactively growing team members by focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion, in addition to professional development and capacity building in coordination with HQ support teams.

Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree and 10+ years experience or university degree and 12+ years experience in project management, international development, business administration, international nonprofit management or related fields
  • A senior leader, able to rally staff around POA’s mission and priorities
  • Demonstrated successful new business development experience
  • Demonstrated ability to engage effectively with external strategic partners, donors, governments, and stakeholders
  • Proven track record in budgeting and financial management
  • Experience and demonstrated success in Colombia preferred
  • Substantive, relevant work experience in one of POA’s primary technical areas including economic development, agriculture, health and/or labor rights programming preferred
  • Experience managing large, complex projects funded by the USG required
  • Demonstrated team and people management abilities with a focus on growing staff, mentoring and coaching professionals
  • Outstanding cross-cultural communication skills, including the ability to relate respectfully with staff at all levels, ages, genders, nationalities and orientations as well as across work areas
  • Full written and verbal fluency in English and Spanish
  • Ability and willingness to travel in-country and internationally up to 25%. The incumbent will be expected to travel within Colombia and periodically outside the country.

To apply: Please send your resume and cover letter to jmcphail@partners.net with “Country Director, Colombia” as your subject line. Only finalists will be contacted. Please no calls! Partners is an equal opportunity employer.