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Senior Leadership Team Associate Director—Growth and Operations

Centre for Disaster Protection


Posted 2 weeks ago

A brilliant opportunity critical to guiding the next stage of organisational growth as we aim to tackle the growing impact of climate change and the increasing frequency of disasters around the world.


icon Salary

£80000 - £100000

icon Location

Hybrid; London

icon Expires

Expires at anytime

The Centre for Disaster Protection is dedicated to improving disaster preparedness and response through advisory services, knowledge building, innovation, and partnerships. As the world grapples with climate change and natural disasters, the Centre is transitioning to a new organizational structure, aiming to enhance its impact by 2029.

Role Summary:

  • Join the Senior Leadership Team to steer the organization's growth and operational strategy.
  • Collaborate with the Board to realize the Centre's vision and strategic priorities.
  • Shape the internal culture with a focus on mentoring, inclusion, and performance.
  • Guide the Centre through a critical transition to a new operational model.

Role Requirements:

  • Strategic leadership with a passion for problem-solving and results.
  • Experience in operational management, organizational growth, and change management.
  • Expertise in financial analysis, forecasting, and governance.
  • Ability to build partnerships and manage stakeholder relationships.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Application Process Details:

  • Apply through DAI's recruitment portal with a CV and a covering letter.
  • The role is UK-based with a need for regular London office visits.
  • Competitive salary range (£80,000 to £100,000) with a consideration for flexible working arrangements.
  • Applications close at 11:59 pm (UK time) on July 26, 2024.


The Centre for Disaster Protection works to change how the world prepares and pays for disasters. Identifying, planning for and financing disasters before they strike saves lives, reduces suffering and protects livelihoods and economies, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable communities.

To do this, the Centre provides advisory services, builds knowledge, catalyses innovation and creates partnerships across the development, humanitarian and financial sectors.

The Centre is currently delivered through a Managing Agent model, under a commercial service contract between our core funder the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the appointed Managing Agent (DAI Global UK). Our Board has made the decision that we will transition to a new organisational structure, either as a standalone not-for-profit entity or as a distinct organisation hosted by a not-for-profit entity, with the transition complete by 2029 at the very latest. We are focused on building effective systems and processes for people and operations that support the Centre to rapidly yet strategically grow, to finalise selection of the new future state, and to transition to this new state in a way that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion and ensures the organisation is a great place to work. 

Read more about us in our five-year strategy (2022-2025).

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) of the Centre is formed of the Centre Director and a compact group of Associate Directors – each of whom holds key responsibilities for selected functions and activities. This newly created role will join the SLT, holding specific accountabilities in respect of growth and operations in support of strong delivery and the organisational transition. Associate Director roles require strong strategic leadership skills and professional integrity; a passion for problem solving and driving results; commitment to building a feedback culture; and ability to lead and develop a talented team during a period of growth. As the Centre evolves beyond its start-up phase, these leadership roles are critical to guiding the next stage of organisational growth as we aim to tackle the growing impact of climate change and the increasing frequency of disasters around the world. 

Key Responsibilities

The SLT is collectively responsible for driving the Centre forward by working with the Board to set the Centre’s vision and priorities, ensuring alignment with its mission and values. 

  • Articulating the Centre’s vision and goals through the organisational strategy and Theory of Change. 
  • Setting out the Centre’s strategic priorities and Key Performance Indicators and assessing progress towards achieving them. 
  • Overseeing the Centre’s activities to ensure they are contributing towards fulfilment of the mission and goals. 
  • Building an internal culture grounded in the Centre’s values and behaviours, with a strong emphasis on mentoring, coaching and inclusion. 
  • Quality assuring and approving key strategic documents to be submitted to the Board and funders (e.g. workplans, policies and processes, technical and financial reports). 
  • Ensuring that internal communications are proactive, open and transparent, and that feedback on senior leadership is continually sought and acted upon. 
  • Assigning SLT members as Project Sponsors accountable for project delivery. Assigning Project Leads to projects and creating a culture of accountability for delivery within clear guidelines.
  • Oversee and in some cases provide expertise and leadership on the following functions: Advice, Training, Evidence and Learning, Policy Engagement, Communications, Partnerships, Operations, Finance, People, Reporting, and Future State.
  • Assigning SLT members as accountable focal points for thematic priorities (e.g. Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). 

As part of the SLT, Associate Directors are individually responsible for: 

  • Ensuring the quality, value for money and strategic fit of functions/workstreams they are accountable for with the Centre’s strategy, and contributing to this for functions/workstreams for which they are not directly accountable. 
  • Building and managing strategic external networks and partnerships to maximise the impact of the Centre’s work.
  • Managing effective stakeholder and client relationships. 
  • Contributing strategic and technical inputs to Centre work planning, budgeting and evaluation activities.  
  • Managing, valuing and supporting Centre staff in relevant functional areas to deliver their best work and have fulfilling roles.  
  • Representing the Centre externally at senior levels.  
  • Working collaboratively with other SLT members to drive results and collective accountability for upholding the Centre’s culture and values through role modelling.  

The specific responsibilities of the Associate Director—Growth and Operations will change over time to reflect the changing needs of the Centre, with a focus on driving organisational growth and operations.

While the Centre is implemented under the current Managing Agent contract, accountabilities for current operations will rest primarily with the Head of Operations (HOO), and accountabilities for future state will rest primarily with the Associate Director—Growth and Operations. Integrated and shared understanding of the current Managing Agent delivery model and future state and transition needs will be crucial to ensure effective delivery against objectives and smooth transition as an organisation.

Initial responsibilities will be finalised in discussion with the successful candidate and are expected to include all the following mandatory areas as well as some of the following flexible areas.

Mandatory individual responsibilities include:

  • Lead the organisation’s shift to a future state
  • Lead the move of the Centre to a future state—either to a standalone not-for-profit entity or as a distinct organisation hosted by a not-for-profit entity—in close collaboration with the Board, funders, and the SLT. 
  • Drive the Centre’s financial planning for the future state, including leading financial analysis and business case development.
  • Lead development of governance, compliance, HR, finance, risk, value for money, stakeholder management, and policies and procedures and provide clear assessment of operational support resource requirements for this future state, including producing/commissioning papers for the Board and its sub-committees.
  • Work closely with the Managing Agent team to ensure smooth interactions and transition between current and new operational structures and processes with minimised impact on technical delivery, through effective oversight of and collaboration with the Head of Operations and collaboration with the DAI Project Director.
  • Contribute to Senior Leadership Team
  • Organise and facilitate Management Group meetings (the Management Group comprises members of the SLT, the DAI Project Director and all Heads).
  • Oversee organisation and facilitation of Board meetings, supporting the Head of Operations, who acts as Secretary to the Board.
  • Present proposals and provide advice to the Board on a wide range of topics.
  • Manage work planning
  • Manage preparation of the annual work plans.
  • Oversee reporting
  • Oversee monitoring of the organisation’s progress against the workplans, and preparation of annual and quarterly reports. 
  • Support ongoing Operations and Finance function:
  • Act as strategic partner to the Director and SLT through the lens of financial analysis, to inform better decisions. Oversee the provision of a top-level view of workflows, budgets, etc. to the SLT, Director and Board.
  • Line manage and work closely with the Head of Operations (HOO), who leads the embedded operations team provided by the Managing Agent and who reports directly to the DAI Project Director on all DAI and Managing Agent contractual, compliance and finance matters.
  • Provide input to the DAI Project Director and the HOO on operations and finance functions of the Centre.

Additional potential areas of individual responsibility (to be confirmed following selection of candidate) may include some or all of the following:

  • Lead Partnerships function:
  • Lead/Oversee development of strategic partnerships including diversifying and expanding our funding. This is likely to focus on putting in place partnerships in support of the selected future state, but may, with Board agreement, include opportunities possible through Managing Agent platform.
  • Lead People function: 
  • Provide input to the DAI Project Director and the Head of Operations on behalf of the SLT on effective people development, including through regular review of people policies and procedures. Lead engagement with Board People Committee.
  • Motivating and mentoring staff across different levels in the organisation.
  • Managing, valuing, and supporting Centre staff in relevant functional areas to deliver their best work and have fulfilling roles.

Applicant requirements

Knowledge and Skills

For mandatory responsibilities of the post, applicants should demonstrate:

  • Experience and understanding of operational management, organisational growth and change management processes in a relevant setting.
  • Excellent knowledge of financial analysis and forecasting methods.
  • Relevant experience and understanding of new entity creation and/or supporting spin-outs and/or hosting arrangements and/or transition of organisations to new legal and delivery platforms is strongly preferred.

Note: we define relevance in relation to the above quite broadly and, while experience from within the development sector and/or relating to advisory, research, or influencing centres of expertise may be of particular interest, the Centre is open to applications from a diverse range of organisational contexts.

For potential additional areas of responsibility, the following will be of interest:

  • Prior experience, knowledge and skills in developing and/or implementing effective approaches and processes to supporting, developing and managing staff.

Competencies and Behaviours

  • Impartial and Ethical: Leading by example and defining what it means to uphold impartiality, equity and fairness, ensuring that professional judgement is not compromised by bias, conflict of interest or the undue influenced of others, and ensuring compliance with all relevant legal, regulatory and professional requirements. 
  • Quality Delivery: Being personally invested in the Centre’s mission and reputation and ensuring the Centre’s team is capable, efficient, productive and passionately united by common goals, objectives and identity. 
  • Strategic Thinking: Sees ahead to future possibilities linked to shifts in the landscape and translates them into breakthrough strategies and plans, effectively integrating long-term vision into day-to-day activities. 
  • Adaptable: Leading by example in coaching and mentoring others to be nimble and adaptable to changes in stakeholder needs or environmental conditions to deliver the Centre’s mission. 
  • Communicative: Delivers multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different clients and audiences, establishing what it means to be effective in the analysis and communication of evidence, and effectively messaging across the Centre to help create a forum for people to express themselves. 
  • Creative Thinking and Problem Solving: Establish what it means to be fluid and dynamic, using knowledge and expertise to constantly look for better proactive solutions and applying often complex and sometimes contradictory information to drive innovation and solve problems. 
  • Empowering, respectful and people-centred: Helping others to understand what it means to embrace and value diversity, inclusion, recognising others’ humanity and treating all people with respect and dignity in order to safeguard others welfare and security and support them in bringing your whole self to work.
  • Collaborative and inclusive: Anticipates and balances internal and external stakeholder needs, establishing clear guidelines on how and when to collaborate actively, ethically and sensitively with clients and stakeholders as partners and advisers. 
  • People-building and developing: Establishing high ambition for personal and professional development of teams and ensuring these are met by helping to create an enabling culture. 

The offer

This role is expected to be offered on a fixed term contract basis, anticipated to start in September 2024 and continuing to June 2029, with an initial probation period of up to 4 months. The role will be contracted by DAI Global UK, who are the Centre’s managing agent.

The position is offered in the UK. Regular visits to the Centre’s office in the City of London will be required and preference will be for candidates who can commit to working from the London office at least eight days a month. Additional travel may also be needed, for example for Board meetings or meetings with clients or partners. Flexible and part-time working arrangements will be considered. Applicants for the role must already have the right to work in the UK.

Candidates based elsewhere who fulfil the above skills and experience and person specification criteria and have interest in the role, may contact the Centre on the enquiry e-mail below in the first instance, to enquire whether the role could be offered in their preferred location. 

A competitive salary and benefits package will be offered depending on experience (indicative gross salary range between £80,000 to £100,000 per annum). The proposed salary will be confirmed at the offer stage.

The Centre is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workplace and so we particularly encourage applications from diverse backgrounds that are typically under-represented in this sector and from citizens of countries affected by disasters.  

DAI is a global development company with corporate offices in the USA, the UK, the EU, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Palestine, and project operations worldwide. DAI tackles fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability; it works on the frontlines of global development, transforming ideas into action—action into impact. DAI is committed to shaping a more liveable world.

Application process

Interested applicants should apply via DAI’s recruitment by clicking Apply. All applications must include a concise CV as well as a covering supporting statement (no more than two pages) outlining your motivation for applying and the key qualities you would bring to the role.

Any reasonable adjustment requests or questions about the role or the recruitment process should be sent to: [email removed - click apply for more details] (please do not send applications to this email address). 

The deadline for receiving applications is 11:59 pm (UK time) on 26 July 2024.  


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