Chief Operating Officer

Job Type

Full Time




KG 11 No 183


About Generation Rwanda/Kepler

  • The challenge: All across sub-Saharan Africa, millions of young people struggle every day with access to education and employment – and the kinds of livelihoods that lead to economic security and mobility for themselves and their families. Every young person deserves the chance to be educated; every young person deserves the opportunity to have a meaningful job.

  • Who we are: Kepler is a nonprofit university program that is building a transformative model of education-to-employment services for young people across the region. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to the economic mobility of thousands of individuals, families and communities in all of our countries of operation. We want to reimagine what higher education can look like in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • What we do: Through a rigorous curriculum of in-person, online and on-the-job learning, Kepler students graduate with the relevant skills and the right attitude to meet the needs of the changing global economy. We partner closely with Southern New Hampshire University - a global leader in higher education - which allows our students to attain affordable, internationally recognized degrees while studying in East Africa.

  • Our history: Kepler launched in Rwanda in 2013. Our 50+ staff currently serve 550 students across two campuses in Rwanda – our flagship campus in Kigali, as well as a second campus in the Kiziba refugee camp in Western Rwanda, where we serve refugee learners.

  • The future: Kepler has an ambitious new strategy for the next five years, which will include launching in two new countries; expanding our academic offerings; partnering with other public and private sector universities; and reaching a new level of organizational sustainability.

About the Position

As Kepler embarks on its new 5-year strategy, the COO will be critical to ensuring the internal workings of the organization are ready for growth and scale across multiple locations and contexts. Primary to the role is the oversight of all Kepler operations related to finance; student lending; HR; technology and facilities. The COO is a critical part of the global management team and one of the primary thought partners to the CEO in strategic decision making. This is a keystone role for the success of Kepler’s growth strategy over the coming five years.

The ideal candidate has held successively more senior leadership positions in the nonprofit or higher education space over their career, and has significant experience working in sub-Saharan Africa. The ideal candidate has a can-do attitude and is relentlessly committed to reaching the organization’s goals through inspiring leadership, creative problem solving, and persistence.

Job Responsibilities

  • Lead all of Kepler’s global operations and help build country-level operations as we expand
  • Manage all organizational leads for Finance, Lending, HR, IT and Facilities
  • Collaborate with senior management on Kepler’s 5-Year growth strategy and plans
  • Help set yearly goals for the organization and build team work plans that move toward meeting these goals; Evaluate performance by analyzing and interpreting data and metrics
  • Measure effectiveness and efficiency of operational processes both internally and externally and finds ways to improve processes; oversee systems planning for growth
  • Represent the organization at conferences, professional associations and other public venues
  • Establish policies that promote a strong company culture and vision
  • Finance and Lending duties include:
  • Managing the annual budgeting process; monthly reports; Board and donor reporting; cash flow management and analysis; and cost modeling
  • Managing the development of Kepler’s student loan program, which will grow to include a number of different lending products
  • HR duties include: Managing all talent recruitment, continuous professional development and retention programs for all Kepler staff
  • Tech duties include: Ensuring the ongoing development of tech systems for growth including Kepler’s HRIS, SIS, CRM; oversight of network maintenance and improvements
  • Facilities duties include: Ensuring safety and compliance;  acquisition of facilities and potential full campus build-out

Required Qualifications

  • 10+ years in a senior management positions in a related field
  • Work history in sub-Saharan Africa
  • BSc/BA in Business Administration or relevant field; MSc/MBA is a plus
  • Outstanding organizational and leadership abilities; excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills; and aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving
  • Demonstrable competency in strategic planning and business development
  • Deep understanding of business functions nonprofit finance and reporting; HR systems; IT infrastructure and tools; facilities management; and systems performance/operation metrics
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide array of people – junior and senior, for-profit and nonprofit, and from diverse backgrounds
  • Passionate about mission and impact of Kepler

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in student financing and lending is a plus

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree