Position Location: Washington, DC
Creative Associates International is a dynamic, fast-growing global development firm that specializes in education, economic growth, governance and post-crisis stabilization. Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Since its founding in 1977, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.
The Field Operations Manager establishes and maintains project infrastructure and operational management systems from capture to project start-up through project close-out. This includes contributing to business development, supporting the operational needs of projects during project implementation and conducting operational performance reviews. The Manager will identify, propose and implement improvements of project support systems, processes and procedures as well as support and contribute to departmental strategic initiatives. Up to 40% travel may be required.
Reporting & Supervision:
Reports to Director, Field Operations.
- Successfully leads the operational start-up and close-out of Creative projects in the field and ensures early participation in business development efforts to inform operational requirements;
- Contributes to the development, communication and collaborative implementation of streamlined business processes to support all phases of the project lifecycle (capture/business development, start-up, implementation and close-out);
- Ensures Field Ops products meet QMS standards and best practices, are field-centric and effectively implemented in the field;
- Maintains authoritative knowledge of company systems, operating policies and procedures, and serves as a technical and contextual expert for field and HQ staff; and
- Supports the development of capture, start-up and close-out training and delivers to field and HQ stakeholders, including a bench of operations consultants and internal staff.
Direct Project Support & Business Development
- Lead and guide the establishment and close-out of new projects and Creative operations, including field offices and operational systems in accordance with Creative’s policies and procedures;
- Support effective and compliant operations management at the home office, including providing direct operational support to field teams and coordinating work among support departments to achieve project goals;
- Maintain regular communication and dotted line reporting with field-based operations staff;
- Work with project teams to resolve ad hoc project management, implementation, and operations issues as they arise, serving as the project’s business enabler and “roadblock remover”;
- Support project teams and field staff in office and residential property lease negotiations and contract review/execution in accordance with Creative standards and policies;
- Travel to the field regularly to provide surge support, participate in strategic meetings and events, and maintain close working relationships with the field teams;
- Closely work with business development staff to develop realistic start-up plans and budgets for project bids and proposals, and review job descriptions and participate in interviews for field-based operations positions; and
- Lead project operational performance reviews (post 90 Day Start-up Reviews and Management Systems Reviews, After Action Closeout reviews), identify project management, implementation, and/or operations challenges and implement efficient solutions for resolving challenges.
Process Documentation & Improvement
- Work across the organization to integrate Field Operations into the full project lifecycle (from business development through close-out);
- Support the process to document Field Operations policies and procedures, work instructions and templates to ensure processes are consistent and standardized across all Creative projects using the QMS approach, yet also “right sized” to meet various project/client requirements;
- Recommend and implement improvements to Field Operations’ project capture, start-up, implementation support, and close-out systems and processes; and
- Document new or unwritten operations processes and procedures for implementation across Creative’s current and future field projects.
- Contribute to the development of an internal and external bench of operations consultants and internal staff including training, identifying gaps and ensuring the bench is appropriately resourced to meet existing and anticipated capture and project needs;
- Support the development and deliver capacity building and training programs for HQ, expatriate and host country national project staff to ensure their in-depth understanding and adherence to operational processes and procedures;
- Contribute to the timely achievement of the department’s goals and Measures of Success;
- Serve on special projects as needed; and
- Provide additional support to other parts of the organization as needed.
Required Skills & Qualifications:
- Fluency in French
- At least eight (8) years of related work experience (i.e. project implementation experience for USAID and other U.S. Government (USG) agencies);
- Bachelor’s degree in business administration, international relations or related field;
- Experience travelling overseas to start up/close out USG or donor-funded projects;
- Ability to manage and execute multiple concurrent tasks with minimal supervision;
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, proactive, team player;
- Basic knowledge of USG rules and regulations such as AIDARs, FARs, ADS, etc.;
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office 365 (Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, Teams, etc.); and
- Willingness to travel to complex, non-permissive, and/or hardship environments on short notice.
Desired Skills & Qualifications:
- Field-based experience in an international development program operations role;
- Experience with office and/or residential lease or contract negotiation/review;
- Experience living or working in non-permissive or hardship environments;
- Experience conducting training in multi-cultural settings;
- Knowledge of internal control processes; and
- Familiarity with Microsoft SharePoint as a knowledge management tool.