2017 - Director of Strategy and Operations

Location: Washington, DC, District Of Columbia
Date Posted: 06-01-2017

Partner Organization: ACCION

Fellowship Role: Director of Strategy and Operations

Organization Overview:
Accion is a global nonprofit organization with the mission of building a financially inclusive world by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. A world pioneer in microfinance, Accion was founded as a community development organization in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil. Over time, Accion has helped to build 63 microfinance institutions in 31 countries on four continents that are currently reaching millions of clients. For more information, visit www.accion.org.
The Accion Gateway Fund makes equity investments in regulated banks and finance companies that provide financial services to microentrepreneurs and other low income people in developing counties. Accion takes large but minority stakes (20%-40%) in these entities and plays an influential role in governance. The Investments department works closely with Accion’s Operations department to support portfolio companies with Accion’s technical assistance and seconded manager where required to create value.

Why we partner with this organization:
ProInspire has partnered with Accion since 2009 and the organization is one of our strongest partners. We have seen ProInspire Fellows gain tremendous exposure to microfinance and impact investing, and work in roles that leverage their skills. Fellows are valued for their analytical rigor, strategic thinking, and fresh viewpoints. Past Fellows have had an opportunity to stay on at Accion after the Fellowship ends, and many have gone off to Business School or grown careers in impact investing.

ProInspire Fellow Role Overview:
The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) seeks a Director of Operations who will enable CFI to make important contributions to financial inclusion by ensuring that it runs smoothly, fulfills its commitments and develops and implements creative programs. The Director will work closely with the CFI’s Managing Director and senior staff and will interact with all CFI’s staff and many of the staff from Accion’s other departments. The ideal candidate will have a clear perspective on how global financial inclusion can advance alongside excellent organizational and management skills.

Key Roles and Responsibilities:
  • Work with program managers to help them identify, develop and plan new projects
  • Check in regularly with program managers to ensure that projects are on track and commitments to donors are being fulfilled
  • Responsible for maintaining positive staff morale and open communications; identify issues as they arise and work to resolve them
  • Plan and oversee regular staff meetings, check-ins and annual planning retreat
  • Support workforce development: hiring and onboarding of new staff, professional development of existing staff
  • Spearhead CFI’s annual planning, budgeting and goal-setting and monitoring process
  • Troubleshoot operational problems that arise from time to time (in areas such as donor reporting, contractor payment, budget adjustments, etc.)
  • Responsible for delivery of board and management reports
  • Review and approve timesheets and expense reports
  • Maintain a leading role in design and communication of CFI’s goals and strategies
  • Speak externally and blog regularly regarding content of research and projects CFI is engaged in
  • Develop relationships for CFI will key financial inclusion stakeholders (and with other parts of Accion)
CFI ADVISORY COUNCIL (a group of high level participants from across the financial inclusion arena who provide strategic advice and direction for the Center)
  • Ensure that the Council functions well as a source of strategic advice and support for CFI
  • Plan Council meetings (twice a year), prepare briefing packets, and follow up action items after meetings
  • Develop relationships with members and find opportunities for their involvement with CFI
  • Identify and assist in recruiting new members as needed
  • Maintain regular communications with members to ensure they are informed on CFI activities
Qualifications and Requirements
  • Master’s degree strongly preferred.
  • Minimum 10 years progressive experience (including international) in relevant field such as financial inclusion, financial consumer protection, microfinance, inclusive banking, fintech.  
  • Demonstrated contributions to thought leadership in chosen field
  • Excellent project planning and management; budget management experience
  • Organized, attentive to detail; follows-up and meets deadlines
  • Strong team leadership and interpersonal skills
  • English is required; a second language is a plus.
  • Willingness to travel about 15-20% of the time.
  • Demonstrated commitment to Accion’s values: excellence, respect and passion for social change
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