Director of Operations - Village Health Works


Position Title: Director of Operations 

Location: Kigutu, Burundi


Organization Overview

Village Health Works (VHW) is a joint American-Burundian non-profit and non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to provide quality, compassionate health care in a dignified environment while treating the root causes of illness, poverty, violence, and neglect in collaboration with those we serve. The organization’s operations are based in Kigutu, in southern Burundi, with support from offices in NYC. VHW’s approach integrates clinical services with education, food security, economic development, environmental protection, music and the arts. VHW’s central program is a clinic that conducted 45,022 patient consultations in 2018 and has 4 inpatient wards. A hospital that will add surgical and emergency obstetrical capacity is currently under construction. In preparation for the hospital’s planned opening in 2021, VHW is expanding its operational capacity, establishing international supply chains, and developing more robust and efficient operational strategies.


Position Overview

Village Health Works is recruiting a seasoned and agile Director of Operations to lead the facilities and supply chain teams on its campus in Kigutu, Burundi.  This person will act as the glue for a number of critically important projects, such as VHW’s 150-bed Kigutu Hospital and Women’s Health Pavilion in 2021, working with members of the finance and supply chain/operations teams to implement projects like the electrical grid, the internet and communication network, and GPS fleet management.  The Director of Operations will also oversee day-to-day operations, ensuring alignment with VHW’s strategic plan.  The ideal candidate is both able to lead by example and lead by teaching those around her/him, taking the opportunity to turn any situation into a team building and/or capacity building moment.  This person is also a tenacious self-starter who knows how to pivot quickly to find a way forward when a project or important day-to-day operational task hits a bump in the road.


The Director of Operations will report directly to the US-based Chief Operating Officer and will supervise key members of the operations team, including the Supply Chain team, the HR team, and the construction and facilities maintenance teams.


Specific Responsibilities


Operations Strategy, Oversight, and Systems Building (10%)

·       Ensure organizational operations align with the strategic plan. Guide, mentor and coach programs to ensure their goals and activities are best practice and are aligned with VHW’s core values and strategic plan.

·       Develop new tools and systems to improve VHW’s core operational efficiency (for example – improved vehicle tracking and fuel costing systems).

·       Facilitate structured reflection on supply chain and operations systems, working to iterate and refine them as feedback is shared.

·       Collaborate with the development team to ensure that grants are budget alleviating, covering the highest operational priorities.

·       Work closely with the Chief Operating Officer to build the necessary teams and capacity in anticipation of the opening of the Kigutu Hospital (for example, creating and staffing a biomedical engineering team that will maintain the hospital’s medical equipment).


Facilities Management (20%)

·       Oversees facilities construction and maintenance teams. Ensure projects are delivered on time, in scope, and under budget.

·       Support on infrastructure projects design, procurement, and implementation – from water treatment, electricity, Internet, new construction, and/or waste management as needed.

·       Ensure contracting and procurement processes are in line with organizational processes and standards.

·       Support and troubleshoot barriers to the successful completion of VHW’s infrastructure initiatives.

·       Solicit service contracts, supervise contractors, and report on value added.


Internal Operations (20%)

·       Serve as a senior member of the leadership team, informing policy decisions and developing change of course scenario analysis.

·       Uphold and apply VHW policy daily.

·       Provide supervision and support for clinical operations, including the pharmacy and the eventual biomedical engineering department.

·       Provide management, oversight, troubleshooting and quality control for VHW’s IT infrastructure and electronic medical record (EMR), as well as any procurement/budget oversight software the organization chooses to implement in the coming year.

·       Work to establish and refine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all departments, working closely with Department Leads and Program Managers.

·       Manages all service contracts and maintenance for vendors ranging from VHW’s customs clearance agent to long-term contracts with food vendors and vehicle repair shops. 

·       Oversee fleet management and vehicle scheduling.

·       Work closely with the Finance team throughout the purchasing process, from the issuance of purchase requests to payment against purchase orders VHW has issued; ensure documentation is shared and stored appropriately so that budget actuals are accurate and up to date.

·       Oversee and implement safety and security plans and protocols, re-evaluating the organization’s needs and policies on a regular basis to ensure optimal safety and security.

·       Collaborate with members of the clinical and operations teams to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the hospital -- from waste collection and removal to inventory distribution and technical troubleshooting.

·       Innovate and design systems to optimize efficiency, minimize errors, and maximize transparency and information sharing.

·       Team Building: formulate JDs and proposed reporting structures, lead recruitment and candidate development across all operational departments as needed.

·       Contribute actively to VHW strategic planning, goal setting, and key performance indicator setting.


Human Resources (20%)

·       Provide a strong day-to-day leadership presence for all staff, bridging the challenges presented by the physical distance between Kigutu and US-based staff; support an open-door policy among all staff.

·       Lead VHW’s performance management process, training and supervising all necessary team members to execute it properly.  Evaluate and collate responses, integrating feedback into the annual work plan, organizational policy, and day-to-day operations.

·       Responsible for staff operations and creating a positive and open work culture.


Supply Chain and Materials Management (20%)

·       Provide oversight for supply chain inventory compliance.

·       Responsible for materials management and all requisite support and troubleshooting.

·       Lead relationship management with local vendors and any other external collaborators involved in VHW’s supply chains.

·       Work with the Supply Chain Manager and VHW’s customs clearance agent to ensure that all shipments obtain proper licensing and tax exemption in a timely manner.

·       Increase presence with ministries for shipments that have been in customs for more than 2 weeks, regularly inquiring on status.

·       Lead accompaniment and capacity building efforts on how to give good specifications as well as hard skills like Microsoft Excel.


Communications + External Relations (10%)

·       Build relationships with relevant INGOs, local partners and government agencies. In support of the Country Director, represent VHW in meetings to discuss issues ranging from customs clearance to coordination on efforts like Burundi’s response to COVID-19.

·       Provide support to VHW’s leadership and development teams, providing thorough reporting in collaboration with the Monitoring and Evaluation team.

·       Raise funds and coordinate donations of medical supplies and other in-kind support from local partners based in Bujumbura.



·       Proven leader with 7-10 years of experience in operations, administration, supply chain, procurement, HR, warehousing/inventory management, system design, and implementation and/or project management in a developing country or post-conflict environment.

·       5+ years of management experience required. The ideal candidate is a skilled manager who is comfortable coaching, hiring, training, making tough decisions, and managing change.

·       Advanced degrees or Lean Six Sigma training preferred; ISO 9001:2008 background considered an asset.

·       Able to function with a high level of independence, flexibility, and good humor.

·       Electrical or mechanical engineering, construction, IT/communications, or other technical background considered an asset.

·       The ideal candidate has very strong analytical skills, and is able to synthesize and organize data and report succinctly on findings.

·       Strong time management skills and a high level of integrity are required.

·       The ideal candidate is able to think strategically and plan for long-term initiatives.  The ideal candidate is also able to implement change and demonstrate to others the value of process improvements.

·       Able to prioritize effectively, managing multiple responsibilities simultaneously and meeting deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

·       Comfortable working with colleagues from different cultures and collaborating across departmental boundaries. The ideal candidate is a skilled collaborator.

·       Poise, professionalism, and strong communication skills; able to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders.

·       Sense of humor and ability to pivot with agility.

·       Strong written and verbal communication skills in English and preferably in French. Ability speak Kirundi is an asset, but is not required.

·       Preference for teamwork and a collaborative working environment.

·       Commitment to social justice and mission-driven organizations.Ability to live and work full time at VHW’s main campus, in rural southern Burundi.


How to Apply

Qualified candidates should send a CV and a thoughtful cover letter to [email protected].


Village Health Works provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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