Chief of Operations

Denver, CO, United States Full Time

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Engineers Without Borders USA builds a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs. Our highly skilled volunteers work with communities to find appropriate solutions for their infrastructure needs. Now, EWB-USA is poised to scale our model and leverage our engineers for even greater impact in the field – through innovative new strategies for delivery that will bring increased efficiency and effectiveness.

To further this approach, we are looking to add a Chief of Operations to our office team so that our strategies for delivery bring that efficiency and effectiveness. The ideal candidate:

Knows the power of engineering to change the world – this is someone who ‘gets’ how engineers think, plan, and act, whether because they’ve trained as an engineer (and know that’s not the right career path for them), or have worked with similar thinkers. This person has a passion to make a difference, whether through work, volunteer, or personal experience – and has seen how engineering can make a meaningful difference in solving problems.

Has COO experience, preferably in a non-profit setting that includes understanding what systems and resources we need to provide so that our volunteers can get out there and get the work done and yet understands that efficient and effective office infrastructure is necessary to support that.

Knows how to roll-up their sleeves and gets stuff done – we are in a growth mode, not a maintenance mode. We expect our new COO to jump right in with us. This person will build their own team over time but will need to be a doer, right from the start.

Is a strategic thinker – and can focus on the details of implementation of providing the most effective solution at an effective cost. This person is methodical without letting process slow them down.

Enjoys navigating change – the ideal candidate is someone who thrives in a changing environment and manages it in a calm and strategic way. This person has been in high-growth organizations and enjoys helping them handle new levels of complexity and vision.


The Chief of Operations’ (COO) primary function is to provide leadership and oversight of the Engineers Without Borders USA global operational (non-program) functions which includes: Human Resources, Legal, Information and Communication Technology, Institutional Grant Management, Procurement, and other Administration functions. This position reports to the Executive Director and is a key part of the EWB-USA Management Team of 6.

The COO will work in his or her areas of responsibility to institute procedures and systems to strengthen the capacity of EWB-USA and its Country Offices and to verify that those procedures and systems are consistently applied. The COO plays a key role in all management decisions and initiatives and works with management colleagues to coordinate efforts with the aim of best serving the EWB-USA organization.

The COO incorporates operational issues into the strategic planning process by assessing and advocating for needed investments into operational capacity. They will oversee operational functions in the Country Offices.


1. Preferably a Master’s in business administration, finance, accounting, human resources, or another relevant field.

2. Minimum ten years work experience in a management position of non-profit, development, and/or humanitarian organization. At least two years of this should be in a position of an organization with a minimum of USD $10 – 15 million yearly revenue.

3. Understanding of financial and administrative systems

4. Experience managing large, complex U.S. government awards

5. Knowledge of procurement and general office administration/management issues.

6. Ability to work in a complex environment and to lead and work with a multi-cultural team.

7. Computer literate in MS Office, internet, email.

8. Strong communications and analytical abilities.

9. Willingness to travel, 25% travel required.

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