Head of Operations

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has an opening in its Geneva offices for a




World Service is the international humanitarian and development arm of the Lutheran World Federation.  World Service works with local and international partners to alleviate suffering, combat injustice and poverty, and lay the foundation for a life in dignity for all.  More than 5,000 committed staff persons work for World Service in remote areas and often insecure situations, touching the lives of over 2 million people across 33 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.


Closing date for applications:  14 September 2017

Starting date:  As soon as possible

Duration of contract: Initial contract of 5 years

Candidates are required to be in sympathy with the core values of our organization



Basic purpose

Provides enabling leadership and management within the team responsible for World Service operations globally.

Leads and coordinates complex change processes in World Service, ensuring close collaboration between different functions and enabling progress in multiple inter-connected efforts.

Maintains a global overview of relevant policy developments in the field of humanitarian and development aid and analyses their relevance in view of integration in the overall direction of World Service work in the field, ensuring alignment with existing policies and guidelines.

Is a member of the management team of the department and deputises for the Director for World Service in his/her absence.


Basic position qualifications

  • University degree or equivalent in development studies, international politics, economics or social studies, leadership and management or other relevant field
  • Proven working experience at management level in humanitarian assistance or development within an international environment, and preferably with church-related or non-governmental organizations
  • Participative leadership, conceptual and analytical skills and demonstrated organizational, management, experience in coaching professionals
  • Commitment to the Christian faith and knowledge of the role of faith based actors in the humanitarian and development field
  • Knowledge and experience of cooperation with United Nations, governmental and international agencies in the field of refugee/IDP assistance, advocacy and human rights, sustainable development and emergency is essential
  • Team-builder with excellent communication skills
  • Proven capacity to find consensus among differing interests and create a conducive working environment
  • Result-oriented

Years of experience

Requirement: 3 to 7 years

Desirable: 8 to 12 years


Language knowledge: Fluent in English.  Working knowledge of French, and/or German or Spanish would be an asset


Travel: Extensive – more than 20 days per year



Position environment and dimensions

Leads a team of competent professionals who are the line managers of staff in the country programs and emergency operations, as well as focal points for a number of thematic issues (such as gender, child protection), providing guidance, encouragement and timely support in decision making.


Leads and coordinates a large number of processes within the department to ensure seamless collaboration between various stakeholders and functions (finance, PMER, funding, communication, Human Resources, policy development). This requires the ability to maintain focused interest on a broad range of topics ranging from policy development and roll out to management related developments and improvement of systems, and the ability to work with specialists and support functions in many fields to bring joint agendas together in practical ways.


Provides analysis and engages with debates both internally and externally relating to the substance of the work of World Service in the world.


Cooperates with other departments in the LWF to ensure good collaboration and builds on the potential of the LWF to address diverse issues including the concepts of diakonia and the active role of church in society.



Main duties

On Leading the team

Creates an environment of constructive, open and forward looking dialogue and support among team members responsible for country programs and emergency operations in complex and challenging environments, being responsive to their needs.


Leads and facilitates discussion and decision making on strategic programmatic issues and directions, both within the team and with the individual colleagues who s/he supervises.


On Operational Coordination:

The frameworks

Ensures overall leadership and coordination for the many processes and frameworks supporting program operations globally in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the World Service Strategy.


Creates, maintains and develops the overall framework within which the country programs, emergency operations and Geneva HQ function, primarily through the Operations Manual. This involves the development and updating of relevant policy, guidance and tools for World Service.


Provides leadership on developing appropriate management systems and tools in an environment where the majority of staff are not located in the HQ, but final responsibility and accountability for all operations rests in Geneva.


Current developments and policy guidance

Ensures that policy is internalised and guides the roll out of key policy areas globally to ensure compliance. This includes supporting the thematic focal points in key areas such as child protection, gender, livelihoods, CHS etc.


Maintains awareness and knowledge of relevant contemporary issues in the fields of humanitarian and development assistance and brings analysis on their relevance to World Service programming and action to the department as a whole.


Analyses internal World Service trends, challenges and developments in the light of the above and guides the direction of our work in the field according to jointly agreed strategy.



Fosters and develops collaboration between all teams in the department and other departments of the LWF.


Plays an active role in working together and developing relations with the ACT Alliance, related organisations, faith based partners and institutional and UN partners on programming related issues and processes.


Is responsible for leading and organising World Service Leadership team meetings at all levels (global and regional).


Works actively to fundraise for the many key processes and functions coordinated in Geneva and to promote their effective implementation.


Fosters active internal communication on relevant programmatic developments and processes.


Major challenges

To lead and coordinate the complex, multi-sectoral processes within the organisation which enable the growth and relevance of World Service in a fast growing, changing, challenging operational environment globally.


To apply, click on the following link: