World Monuments Fund
Chief Operating Officer, New York, NY
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding the world's most treasured places to enrich people's lives and build mutual understanding across cultures and communities. Since its inception in 1965, WMF's experts have been racing against time, applying proven techniques to preserve important architectural and cultural heritage sites on more than 700 projects in 112 countries and advocating for the protection of over 800 treasured places. Headquartered in New York City with affiliate organizations in Britain, Cambodia, India, Peru, Portugal, and Spain, WMF champions the conservation of cultural heritage worldwide.
The World Monuments Watch, a global program launched in 1995 on the occasion of WMF's 30th anniversary, aims to identify imperiled cultural heritage sites and direct financial and technical support for their preservation. The Watch is recognized as the "gold standard" in global cultural preservation, with a pioneering history of accomplishments worldwide.
Partnering with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF draws on heritage to address some of today's most pressing challenges: climate change; underrepresentation; imbalanced tourism; and post-crisis recovery. With a commitment to the people who bring places to life, WMF embraces the potential of the past to create a more resilient and inclusive society.
WMF exercises a global reach with an operating budget of nearly $20 million, a global full-time staff of 45, an annual project employment of approximately 400 people (working for WMF more than three months a year), an international board of trustees of 29 members, and five boards of local affiliates. To learn more, please visit wmf.org.
Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief Operating Officer will be a big-picture thinker and a seasoned nonprofit executive who will provide overarching financial and operational leadership for WMF and play a critical role in the execution of WMF's strategic plan.
The COO will maintain efficient and transparent day-to-day operations, foster a collegial environment, and ensure the continued growth and stability of WMF. The COO will clearly articulate metrics for success, enhance systems and procedures, and contribute to strengthening WMF's workplace culture.
As a senior member of the Executive Team, the COO will advise, support, implement, and administer strategic operations including finance, human resources, and information technology, and have oversight of WMF's annual budget and other projects critical to the organization's health, vitality, and financial wellbeing.
The COO will work closely with WMF's program staff in the New York headquarters, with affiliates in the field, and with funders, partners, and advisors, providing the guidance, tools, and resources necessary to help program leads, staff, and project managers thrive and make strategic decisions which reflect and are in line with WMF's funding, goals, and priorities.
PRIORITIES AND KEY RESPONSIBILITIES
- Quickly get to know WMF as a whole – its leadership, history, culture, programs, infrastructure, finances, and funding sources – and the substantive issues critical to the success of a complex global organization.
- Develop and implement financial plans and systems in support of WMF's strategic, programmatic, and/or operational interests; ensure timely and accurate financial reporting, forecasting, and analysis which will help to inform programmatic investments, partnerships, and decision making.
- Develop a more robust, transparent, and collaborative budget planning process; become familiar with the current grants and allocation of resources; instill a sense of financial accountability, ownership, and discipline at the program, department, and affiliate levels.
- Establish an open and consistent dialogue with the President and CEO, key Board members, and Committee Chairs as appropriate; advise and serve as a critical resource on matters of leadership, direction, governance, and best practices; communicate financial and operations information and recommendations in a concise and timely manner.
- Prioritize and champion key policies, procedures, and training efforts which reflect WMF's commitment to sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion; support WMF's DEI working group in their continuing efforts to put in place improved standards and best practices.
- Be an integral partner and resource to the development department; facilitate the development of budgets for grant proposals and financial reporting as required by funders; track grants and other sources of fundraising.
- Improve communication and collaboration internally and with affiliates and partners in the field; align and codify benchmarks, systems, and procedures which respect and balance the local autonomy of affiliates and field operations with the need to establish institutional consistency and standards.
- Direct and manage WMF's finance and operations staff; identify key talent and opportunities for increased efficiencies at all levels; motivate, support, and train new employees; delegate effectively and hold accountable a professional and collaborative team.
- Assess, and update as necessary, WMF's technology platform including financial and donor development tracking systems, communications, and website development.
- Take a lead role in overseeing human resources; strengthen procedures related to staffing, onboarding, staff development, and training; clarify lines of responsibility.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
The ideal candidate will be a creative thought partner to the President and CEO and a strategic and innovative thinker – someone who will contribute to the vision for growing WMF, creating new programs, and fostering new initiatives. The COO needs to possess exceptional executive leadership abilities with a track record of strategic partnership. Additionally, this person will have or be:
- Proven senior-level problem-solving and planning capability and significant financial, operational, and/or legal experience in in a well-regarded nonprofit organization of similar scope or scale; coming out of the heritage preservation field would be a plus but is not required; however, the candidate must evince a serious interest in and concern for conservation of the world's cultural heritage and a willingness to master the fundamentals of the field;
- A team player who uses his or her knowledge of finance and operations to drive strategic business decisions; demonstrated ability to think strategically and respond nimbly to change;
- An ability to work effectively within the culture of WMF, with a record of building or strengthening an organization's operations and human resources capacity, building and managing strong teams, and collaborating with colleagues;
- Adept at working with people from various cultures – not only important for HR matters in working with WMF teams in New York and across the world but also in understanding how WMF works within a diverse set of communities and the sensitivities that come with that; having life experiences living outside of the United States is a plus;
- Outstanding communication skills; articulate and persuasive verbally and in writing; able to effectively relate to the Board and its committees, staff, outside professionals, and the community in general.
The ideal candidate will also be:
- A resolute leader/manager who is self-motivated and can take charge, build consensus, and effect change; someone who understands the subtleties of motivating and directing a team with different work styles;
- Resourceful and results oriented; provenly open to innovative ideas; politically savvy; able to change directions yet make tough calls and/or compromise as necessary; adept at planning, prioritizing, organizing, and following through;
- Someone who can impart credibility, trust, integrity, ethics, and enthusiasm.
World Monuments Fund is an equal opportunity employer and considers applicants for all positions regardless of race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, and/or any other legally protected status.
Please send applications and nominations to Mark Tarnacki at WMFCOO@PhillipsOppenheim.com.