Director of Operations - Equality Now

Director of Operations

Position: Director of Operations
Location: New York, NY
Term: Full time

About Us

Founded in 1992, Equality Now fights for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls around the world through legal advocacy. Working with grassroots women’s and human rights organizations and individual activists, Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilizes national and international action to support efforts to stop these abuses. The organization’s work is focused on four main program areas: Legal Equality, End Sexual Violence, End Harmful Practices, and End Sex Trafficking.

With offices in New York City, London and Nairobi and a presence in Amman, Jordan and Washington, D.C., Equality Now has a staff of 38 and is governed by the 11-member Board of Directors, 12-member UK Trustees group and a 5 member Africa Board. Additional leadership and support are provided by the Advisory Board and the Adolescent Girls’ Legal Defense Fund Advisory Board.

The organization has an ambitious strategic plan for Equality Now’s growth for 2017-2021. Current investment priorities include capacity building with a particular emphasis on expanding development and communications activities. The organization’s FY2018 budget is $6.3 million.

Position Summary

Equality Now has been growing steadily and is now seeking to dramatically accelerate growth. The board and the Global Executive Director (GED) are looking for a mission-focused, seasoned, strategic, and process-minded leader with experience scaling an organization, leading an executive management team, and developing a performance culture among a group of diverse, talented individuals. The Director of Operations must be a leader who is able to help others at Equality Now deliver measurable, cost-effective results that make the vision a reality. Importantly, the successful Director of Operations will have the skills, sensitivity, and personal confidence to tap into the power that each member of the team brings to this mission. While it is essential that the Director of Operations bring efficient and effective systems to increase the productivity of the organization, is it also critical that the team retain the creative spark that drives Equality Now’s work.

The Director of Operations will be based in our New York office and report directly to the Global Executive Director. He/she will lead the Global Operations Team, consisting of the Directors of Finance and Administration, Development, Communications and Marketing. He/she will work closely with the Global Strategy team headed by the Director of Programs that includes Regional Directors and the Communications Director.


Reporting to the GED, the Director of Operations will lead all internal operations and will have the following responsibilities:

Working in partnership with the GED and the Global Strategy Team (GST) and Global Operations Team (GOT), ensure the organization is equipped to deliver against its mission and the strategic five-year plan and beyond.

• Initially, review the current five- year plan and work with the GST to review and adapt systems, processes and approaches to more effectively achieve it

• Ensure that all requirements for opening offices and establishing a presence in MENA and other locations as per our growth plan are thought through and met.

Provide operational leadership across the organization:

• Coordinate the efficient implementation of the annual operations plan and budget, in close cooperation with the Director of Finance and Administration

• Provide an effective HR function that enables people to flourish, throughout the organization, while holding them to account for performance against agreed outcome targets/goals

• Lead an organization wide performance management process that evaluates individual progress against agreed goals

• Develop effective systems of transparency and accountability throughout the organization, its operations and its programs

• Ensure our information technology infrastructure is fit for purpose in line with the growth/scale of the organization -- for finance, programs, advocacy, development, communications and marketing

• Foster a human capital development and “coaching” culture within Equality Now; upgrade human resources functions including: training, development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, performance evaluation and recruiting

• Cultivate the values of Equality Now within the organization

Lead and manage the Global Operations Team members – the Directors of Development, Communications and Marketing, Finance and Administration, and Programs -- who have the following key responsibilities:


• Developing and implementing the Development Plan so that it reflects the ambition and needs of the strategic plan

• Establishing and implementing effective systems for the generation of revenues and management of donors

• Identifying opportunities and priorities for growth

• Diversifying , managing and future proofing a sustainable income portfolio

Communications and Marketing

• Developing and implementing the communications and marketing plan, including establishing KPIs to measure growth in advocacy, membership and online donors

• Establishing and implementing systems for assessing and understanding the reach and impact of advocacy, internal and external communications

Finance and Administration

• Developing and implementing an accounting system that provides the organization with quick access to financial information and enables strategic budgeting

• Analyzing the current technology infrastructure and scope out the next level of information technology and financial systems that support the growth of specific programs and the organization overall

• Managing the organization’s risks and investments

Programs - Matrix management of the Director of Programs who reports to GED (with dotted line report to Director of Operations)

• Implement a system of program and campaign management that leads to meeting our goals

Support the GED in working with the board of directors on governance and organizational growth: and serve on relevant ad hoc board committees

Key Qualifications

As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of Equality Now and be driven by the mission. The candidate should demonstrate a passion for breaking new ground to lead social change. Beyond that, we are seeking a candidate that has proven experience in scaling a multi-site organization and a demonstrated ability to both lead and build the capabilities of a driven, bright, diverse team.

The successful candidate will most likely have had management experience with a for-profit organization. As noted, this is an organization driven by the values of its people, so experience in managing a “values-driven” organization will be highly prized. Additional requirements are:

• At least 15 years of successful experience managing and leading people with an emphasis on organizational development; a successful track record of effectively strengthening organizational and staff capacity; with at least 5 in a director level position

• Results: proven track record of exceeding goals and a bottom-line orientation; evidence of the ability to consistently make good decisions through a combination of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment; high level of business acumen including successful P&L management; the ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a budget; problem solving and creative resourcefulness

• Strategic Vision and Agility: ability to think strategically, anticipate future consequences and trends, and incorporate them into the organizational plan; confidence in leading fast paced adaptive processes and incorporating change in long term plans

• Capacity Building: ability to effectively build organization and staff capacity, developing a top-notch workforce and the processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly

• Leadership and Organization: exceptional capacity for managing and leading people; a team builder who has experience in scaling up organizations; ability to connect staff both on an individual level and in large groups; capacity to ensure accountability, develop and empower leaders, cultivate entrepreneurship, and respond to the strengths and weaknesses of the team so that people are supported to succeed

• Action Oriented: enjoys working hard and looks for challenges; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; not afraid to take charge of a situation; can overcome resistance and take unpopular stands when necessary

• General Management: thorough understanding of finance, systems, and HR; broad experience with the full range of business functions and systems, including strategic development and planning, budgeting, business analysis, finance, information systems, human resources, and marketing

• Experience working with diverse communities, ideally internationally, across race, class, ethnic, political and geographic boundaries

• A commitment to gender equality

• Written and spoken Fluency in English; Fluency in French, Spanish and/or Arabic is desired

• Solid educational background—undergraduate degree required; MBA or similar advanced degree highly desired

• Sense of humor


This is an outstanding opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a fast-growing, highly respected organization. We are seeking an individual of outstanding quality with a respected track record. Equality Now is prepared to offer a very attractive compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, 401(k), and vacation benefits.

Application Process

To apply: send resume, cover letter and a writing sample to: [email protected] with the “Director of Operations” in the subject line. No calls please.

Equality Now offers a competitive compensation package, including base salary, savings, health and vacation benefits, and is an Equal Opportunity employer. Employees are selected on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.