Chief Operating Officer

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States



Spark is seeking a Chief Operating Officer to lead internal operations, growth modeling and professionalize a new suite of services to partners, including the Government of Rwanda and a network of civil society groups globally. The COO will play a core role growing the organization’s impact from 200 to over 12,000 village partners in the coming years. Spark has spent eight years developing a model for families facing poverty to engage and lead in local village planning and collective action. Each village launches a local project from a farm to a school. Today we have demand from the Government of Rwanda for a national scale initiative and civil society groups around the world.

The Chief Operating Officer will be responsible for directing US operations, finance and fundraising, towards growth of the program from 200 to 12,000 village partners. The COO and the USA office is a support function to a growing portfolio of partners across sub-Saharan Africa and our direct team of 50+ staff in East Africa. The COO will work closely with the board of directors and report directly to the Executive Director to ensure strategic plans are developed and executed against with excellence. As a member of the senior management team, the COO will serve as a business partner to the Executive Director advising on the direction of global programs.


New York City, with frequent travel to East Africa.


Spark team members are passionate about our vision to help create a world where everyone will live with dignity and define their own positive future. At Spark our values are what define us and shape the work that we do. Our values are:

  1. Facilitators. We don’t impose; we enable others to generate impact.
  2. Community-driven. We are motivated by what is best for the community.
  3. Process-centered. The how of what we do is just as important as the what.
  4. Authentic. Our vision and values live in everything we do.
  5. Dynamic. We seek opportunities and are willing to take risks to serve our community partners better.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Team leadership:
  2. Build and cultivate a team of leaders to drive Spark’s global team, including the Finance Director, Development Manager and Operations Manager.
  3. Support in Board of Directors relations.
  4. Ensure strong processes and procedures are developed to have teams across regions operating in sync.
  5. Strategy and operational excellence:
  6. Develop organizational budgets, growth models and lead operational excellence initiatives
  7. Organization quality control – ensure all domains have updated KPIs and are fluent in their needs and goals
  8. Manage cash flow and optimize for operational excellence.
  9. Ensure key deliverables are met across teams.
  10. Business Development:
  11. Develop strategic partnerships with foundations, academic, and bi/multilateral organizations.
  12. Manage fundraising team, events and donor relations.
  13. Develop a network of thought partners to collaborate in sector building.

Who you are

You are a leader with a passion for democracy, citizen participation and building great teams. In your free time you may discuss with colleagues and friends about what good governance looks like and how to improve democracy. You are open to new ideas and feel great when you hit or exceed your goals. You proactively seek out feedback and input from varied stakeholders and are able to rally teams around your initiatives.


  • Experience managing mid level staff.
  • Has led operational expansion.
  • Desire to work in an entrepreneurial setting in systemic change initiatives and decentralized approaches to development.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Please email hr@sparkmicrogrants with your resume/CV and a cover letter. In the header of the email please use this format: ‘US Chief Operating Officer // your name 2018’. Thank you for your interest.