Program Operations Director (POD)

Position: Program Operations Director (POD)
Type of employment: Full time
Location: Ho Chi Minh City and frequent travel to other provinces
Expected to start: Feb 2015

Organization Profile

Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.

We are non-governmental, non-religious and work with many local NGOs and community based organizations to implement our programs. We currently work in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam, and Zambia – countries with a desperate lack of resources to educate their children. Since our inception, Room to Read’s worldwide team has impacted over 7.8 million children by constructing more than 1,600 schools, establishing over 15,000 libraries, publishing 874 new children’s book titles in 27 local languages, and reaching over 20,000 girls through our Girls’ Education program.

Room to Read has an annual budget of approximately US$43.7 million and our global staff numbers over 600. Our global headquarters is located in San Francisco, and we have smaller fundraising offices in New Delhi, New York, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, Sydney, and Tokyo. We have an Asia Regional Office located in New Delhi and program offices in Colombo, Dar es Salaam, Dhaka, Ho Chi Minh City, Kathmandu, Lusaka, New Delhi, Pretoria, Phnom Penh, and Vientiane.

Position Overview

The Program Operations Director (“POD”) is a senior management Country Office position primarily responsible for providing program operations support and oversight and ensuring timely and effective implementation of Room to Read’s Literacy and Girls’ Education Programs. The Program Operations Director will oversee the implementation, coordination, development, reporting and expansion of our current and prospective Programs and Administrative work. The position reports directly to the Country Director and directly supervises the Administration unit, Field Manager, and North Region Coordinator. The POD also works in close collaboration with the Literacy Director, and GEP Senior Manager, who are responsible for country-wide Literacy program design, Girl Education Program design, and technical support and oversight. Regular travel to all geographical areas where Room to Read works in Vietnam, is required.

Roles and Responsibilities

Management and Coordination

  • Directs and ensures efficient, effective and timely management of all program implementation, budgeting and internal controls per the design created by the technical programs staff.
  • Supervises, coaches and mentors the Field manager and North Region Coordinator, who are responsible for overseeing the implementation of program activities in specified geographical areas, including budgeting, scheduling, reporting and other project implementation related tasks for their assigned schools.
  • Supervises and manages Administration department in procurement and other related administrative management matters
  • Facilitates communication between the technical team at the Country Office level and the field level implementation team, and ensures utilization of research, monitoring and evaluation data to inform implementation.
  • Collaborates with Human Resources to handle recruitment and training of staff according to need.
  • Provides input to ToRs for outside consultants when relevant.
  • Serves as a member of the Country Office Management team, which provides overall support and direction for the work of Room to Read in country.
  • Participates in any other activities which may be required to be undertaken to fulfill the objectives of the organization.

Program Implementation and Monitoring

  • Develops Country Office program implementation calendar and budgeting processes in coordination with Region Coordinators, Programs staff, and Finance staff.
  • Plans, coordinates, and documents site selection activities and tracks potential sites for future expansion.
  • Coordinates with Finance team to ensure accurate oversight of budgets and spending, and supports monthly and quarterly budget forecasts.
  • Coordinates and leads monthly and quarterly planning of program implementation activities.
  • Coordinates and provides leadership over procurement, inventory management, and distribution.
  • Collaborates with the Programs and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RM&E) team to support RM&E of all programs.
  • Visits project sites to support and supervise program implementation.

Planning, Reporting and Documentation

  • Leads the preparation of the annual plan, budget, implementation calendar, and other annual plan documents.
  • Responsible for timely monthly and quarterly updates and reports on the status of implementation to the Country Management Team and Global Offices.
  • Oversees and facilitates timely completion of Global Systems Database (“GSD”) data-entry and other donor reporting to relevant Country, Global Office staff.
  • Ensures that organizational, governmental and donor reports are high quality and provided on a timely basis.
  • Identifies, tracks and documents program trends, lessons learned and best practices and reports to Country Office Program technical staff to consider in improving program designs.

External Coordination and Networking

  • Represents Room to Read at relevant meetings and coordinates with COMO in planning and hosting donor visits.
  • Assists CD in developing and managing relationships with government, NGOs and appropriate educational bodies as related to program implementation.
  • Ensures government approval and legal compliance of Room to Read programs implemented.
  • Prepares annual or multi-year MoUs with project provinces, as appropriate, and works with PACCOM on to renew and/or update Project Office License.
  • Explores shared-learning and networking opportunities.



  • Master’s degree in Business, Management or other related field, or equivalent experience
  • Minimum of 10 years of professional experience, including a minimum of 3 years working in a senior managerial role
  • A working knowledge and understanding of project management methodology and software
  • Strong planning, budgetary, supervising, and project implementation skills
  • Ability to travel regularly to project sites and Province or District offices throughout the Country
  • Vietnamese native, and strong English verbal and written communication skills
  • Proven track record of achieving results
  • Direct and indirect project implementation experience
  • Prior success working closely and building relationships with diverse groups of people
  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities simultaneously and take initiative


  • Effectiveness in working or volunteering in a non-profit organization that is focused on maintaining high quality work and low overhead
  • Prior experience in a fast-paced, growth-oriented global or regional organization
  • Prior experience living and/or working in rural areas
  • Prior experience working with schools, teachers, administrators and government officials

To be successful as a member of the Room to Read team, you will also:

  • Have passion for our mission and a strong desire to impact a dynamic nonprofit organization
  • Be an innovative and creative thinker that tries new things and inspires others to do so
  • Have a very high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness
  • Have a strong work ethic and require minimal direction
  • Work well independently as well as part of a team
  • Thrive in a fast-paced and fun environment

Application Procedure:

Please send your Curriculum Vitae (in English) to HR department at [email protected]

Due to the high volume of applicant response, not all applicants may receive a response from Room to Read. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Room to Read is an equal opportunity employer committed to identifying and developing the skills and leadership of people from diverse backgrounds.

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Room to Read
Ho Chi Minh
Application Deadline: 
Tue, 2015-03-31