Chief of Staff


Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Reporting to: President of Oak Foundation

Type of contract: Full-time permanent position



About Oak Foundation:

Oak Foundation ( commits its resources to address issues of global social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa and North America, Oak Foundation makes grants to organisations located in approximately 40 countries worldwide. Oak has approximately 80 staff located in Geneva, North Carolina, London and to a smaller extent in Brazil, Europe, Africa and India.


Oak Foundation is currently seeking a chief of staff to work directly with the president. Oak’s president leads the day-to-day operations of the foundation, reporting to the Chair and the Board of Trustees. Overall, the chief of staff will be responsible for: providing strategic support to the president; building alignment across the organisation, leading strategic initiatives and areas of work that have been set by the president and the leadership team; and managing Foundation-wide or strategic meetings and events. In this position, the chief of staff will act as an analyst, project manager, change agent and coach. The ideal candidate will build strong relationships with staff and ensure coherence, while contributing to a positive, collaborative culture and community across the Foundation.



Direct Support of the President

  • Serve as a liaison between staff, the leadership team and the president, regarding project updates, proposals and planning;
  • Ensure the president's involvement in project or decision-making processes takes place at key times, where the president’s input and authority are most needed, and represent the president at meetings where appropriate;
  • Strategically manage the president’s time by reviewing and planning the president’s external opportunities — assessing their fit against priorities, including long-term travel and meeting plans, with support from the president’s executive assistant;
  • Manage the president’s office operational budget and discretionary grant-making;
  • Manage strategic partnerships with other foundation CEOs to assist in building new co-funding relationships and funder collaborations;


Project Management, Strategic Planning and Alignment

  • Work with the president to develop and build the leadership team so that there is better integration and connection across the Foundation in all areas of work (e.g., monitoring and evaluation, learning, programme strategies, information technology, communications, capacity building, among others);
  • Coordinate strategic initiatives and monitor progress on priority issues;
  • Build and develop relationships with all staff to ensure efficient and effective operations;
  • Assist Oak’s leadership team by identifying measurements for success and new development objectives across the foundation;
  • Develop and maintain a system to review progress in achieving programme objectives;
  • Lead new, often cross-functional, organisation-wide projects or initiatives;
  • Bring together important stakeholders and help drive decisions;
  • Manage the strategic planning process for the Foundation by ensuring alignment with the president and the leadership team;
  • Research, perform benchmarking, analyse data and propose recommendations;
  • Propose improvements to current processes and coordinate procedures for optimised efficiency and productivity with the leadership team;


Meeting and Event Preparation

  • Collaborate with the leadership team, executive assistants and communications staff to orchestrate the smooth running and cadence of Advisory Panel meetings (this will include assistance in setting the agenda, working with staff to rehearse their presentations and establishing and assisting with the documentation needed before, during and after the meeting);
  • Develop agendas for other key meetings in collaboration with the president and leadership team;
  • Prepare president and the leadership team for upcoming meetings by ensuring that they have all necessary information to be productive and engaged; prepare notes on outcomes of meetings;
  • Prepare presentations, speeches and communications for use by the President;
  • Lead Foundation-wide retreats with a staff committee, conferences and other special events, as well as manage the budget of these events.

Knowledge and Skill Requirements

  • A master’s degree in public administration, business administration or field of focus for Oak Foundation;
  • At least 10-15 years of relevant professional experience in a foundation, not-for-profit, business or executive management role;
  • Proven experience planning and managing strategic initiatives;
  • Excellent project management and organisational skills; high degree of attention to detail and accuracy; ability to meet deadlines, ensure follow-up and pursue multiple projects simultaneously; administratively self-sufficient;
  • Proven success working with leadership teams, in cross-cultural teams as well as organising, coordinating and managing teams;
  • Excellent research and analytical skills, both quantitative and qualitative;
  • Experience with data analysis, budget management and operations management;
  • Excellent written, verbal, presentation and communications skills in English (strong French language skills is a plus); extremely versatile, flexible and dedicated to efficient productivity;
  • High emotional intelligence;
  • Discretion in dealing with sensitive information;
  • A participatory, transparent and inclusive work ethic; open and able to work through differences; believes in the active participation by all involved;
  • A regard for individual dignity, worth and growth;
  • An innovative thinker with a pragmatic and solution-oriented mindset;
  • Dynamism, adaptability and willingness to tackle new projects;
  • Tact, maturity and a good sense of humour;
  • At ease using contemporary IT software;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of Oak Foundation;
  • Swiss/EU citizenship or valid work permit is required.


To apply, please send your curriculum vitae and a compelling covering letter by e-mail only to no later than 20 May 2019. Please state “Chief of Staff” in the subject line of your email.


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Our mission

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, we make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

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©2018 Oak Foundation.
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Privacy Policy, Security Protocols and Terms of Use.


©2018 Oak Foundation.
All rights reserved.