Senior Director, Global Operations

Senior Director, Global Operations

Senior Director, Global Operations 150 150 jlukus
Environmental Defense Fund
September 15, 2021
New York
Job Type
Contact Name (not public)
Carolyn Compas


With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  

For the last 50 years, EDF has been protecting and preserving the systems upon which all life depends. Our dedication to practical solutions grounded in science and economics and our investments in deep partnerships have enabled us to have a transformational impact in the U.S. and beyond.

For over two decades, EDF has been operating outside the United States, and today we have a significant presence in China, Mexico, and Europe along with strategic efforts in many other countries. Our program strategies are built on creating change around the world, and our science, economics and business teams have built networks that cross borders.

The focus of the Global Operations team is to ensure that EDF's expansion geographically has the proper operational functions in place and is aligned with our organizational global plan.

Overall Function

The Senior Director, Global Operations, with direction from the office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), will be responsible for leading EDF's vision for and implementation of international office operations. This person will play a key role in the implementation of EDF's global work by ensuring alignment around all infrastructure issues and regulatory requirements for operating in EDF's many geographies.

The Senior Director, Global Operations will serve a central role in developing and managing global processes and working with EDF's functional departments such as Legal, Finance, IT, Corporate Services and Human Resources. The Senior Director will work with these teams to create and implement a regionalized, strategic operations plan with focus on customer relations, business process improvement and global expansion. In addition, this person will have responsibility for overseeing the execution of day-to-day delivery of services in EDF's locations outside of the U.S. and will lead special operations initiatives across the international offices. The Senior Director will be required to solve global and complex problems, identify trends and innovative solutions, interpret business issues, test strategies, and recommend solutions that are in the best interest of EDF's global operations.

The successful candidate will be a dynamic and inspiring leader with a track record of strategic leadership in a range of complex organizational settings. The Senior Director will bring business acumen with experience managing critical operational functions.  This person will be an experienced leader with strong interpersonal skills as well as the ability to inspire and motivate directly managed staff, dotted-line cross organizational teams and external service providers.

Delivering in a complex matrix organizational structure, the Senior Director will be adept at influencing leaders and managing key stakeholders. This person will display personal presence, energy, confidence, and resilience in order to take personal accountability for managing challenging situations and relationships and brokering optimal outcomes.  The Senior Director, Global Operations reports to the Vice President of Operations.


New York, Washington DC, Beijing, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Delhi, Remote - Japan, Remote - Poland, Remote - US, Spain

Key Responsibilities

Strategic & Commercial

  • Deliver high-level strategic decision-making on global operations combined with a day-to-day hands-on approach. Provide direct support to global operations staff by facilitating the internal processes, metrics and data needed for the team to be successful.
  • Ensure functional departments and global operations staff have an understanding of local statutory and other compliance requirements, including issues such as charitable entity regulations, audit, governance and data protection.
  • Ensure ongoing communication to key organizational leaders around EDF's operational status and needs, both current and future
  • Partner with Country Directors and local Ops teams to evaluate, challenge and when needed change the status quo. Support the various geographies in securing operational and process support needed for global expansion
  • Identify future trends and issues (including economic and social impacts) in the regions served by the international offices. Propose solutions to be considered by the CAO leadership team.
  • Function as the day-to-day operations liaison with global offices
  • Define operational requirements for each global location.

Business Management and Operations

  • Define, design, and implement operational tactics, including ongoing monitoring and measurement of progress
  • In collaboration with EDF Program FinOps teams, continually review business processes and operating practices to improve efficiency within global financial operations
  • Oversee the preparation of the annual budget and budget forecast for each global entity and equivalent Trustees
  • Formulate policies and budgets for Global Operations
  • Provide governance and oversight of key financial and non-financial performance indicators and outputs
  • In coordination with the functional teams, ensure needed services such as international banking accounts, insurance arrangements and local legal counsel are in place to provide excellent support to the organization
  • Advise and lead on appropriate Third-Party Employer of Record options and other required services in countries without a formal EDF presence
  • Participates in advancing EDF DEI goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values


  • Bachelor's degree required preferably in International Business, International Operations, or related field
  • Master’s degree in international business or related field preferred
  • Minimum of 8 to 10 years of experience in international business operations, customer service, continuous improvement or related field required
  • Significant experience (5+ years) in international non-profit, non-governmental, volunteer membership, charitable or similar organizations preferred
  • Experience in development of global operational strategies, scenarios, recommendations, and decisions based on comprehensive data analyses and benchmarking required
  • Excellent track record of successful global project management, including having worked with colleagues and partners across multiple cultures and geographies
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate in improving processes and changing culture
  • Strong budget management and resource planning skills
  • Ability to build trusted relationships
  • Demonstrated ability to drive execution toward common goals
  • Proven ability to work both independently in a fast-paced, dynamic and creative environment
  • Comfort communicating with all levels of the organization
  • Keen understanding of and the required flexibility for working with the structure of a complex matrix organization
  • Prior work experience outside the U.S. a plus
  • Proficiency in the use of standard business software, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Fluent English, with a secondary language skill highly desired
  • Schedule flexibility to participate in meetings with international teams during their regular business hours
  • Willingness to travel to international locations up to 30% time with extended stays of 1-2 weeks per trip
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds 

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

How To Apply

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