Operations Director, Singapore

Organization icon

Conservation International

Location icon

Singapore, Singapore

Clock icon

30+ days ago

Operations Director, Singapore

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a global challenge. Due to the fluidity of the situation, we periodically reassess our plans to reopen our offices. For the safety of our employees, our approach is tailored to the situation in each of the 30 countries we operate in. Travel is only conducted when absolutely necessary and safe to do so. Hiring managers will provide guidance on flexible work arrangements in accordance with country-specific safety policies.

Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork, and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, biodiversity, and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples, and local communities to help people and nature thrive together.


The Operations Director will be responsible for and oversee the Finance, Grants Management, Legal, IT, and administrative functions of the Program. In addition, the Operations Director will guide the Program to develop and implement sustainable management strategies, support fundraising/business development efforts, set standards related to operational management, and ensure that human and financial resources are aligned and maximized for the most significant conservation impact.

This position reports directly to the VP, Operations, APFD dotted line to VP, Corporate and Ecosystem Finances, and closely collaborates with VP Climate Finance as well as CI-HQ operations units. The Operations Director will innovate toward effective processes and drive change wherever needed to ensure efficiencies in Operations in support of the Singapore programs and Singapore office.

The Operations Director may be required to partner with external stakeholders and donor organizations, such as strategic donors and Board members, attend regular meetings, and communicate effectively in person, on calls, and in written form (eg. email). The Operations Director will also maintain compliance with the Singapore statutory reporting requirements, working closely with GCO and the Board management teams.


  • Implements practices and guidelines in the areas of Finance, Grants Management, and Administration to ensure attainment of program business plans for growth and sustainability.
  • Supports the Program’s interactions with GCU, Legal, IT, and HR as appropriate.
  • Supports the implementation of Project Management practices and guidelines, ensuring sound and effective management of donor projects across the Program.
  • Leads the financial management of the Program through the adoption and implementation of sound financial and grant management, accounting, budgeting, and oversight of audits.
  • Maintain accounting records to align with the organization’s policy and country regulations.
  • Ensures effective and efficient operational capacity for the Program and supports fundraising efforts by developing cost proposals and donor management functions.

The Operations Director will ensure compliance with local and global standards, policies, and practices in all functions.


Leads Financial Management to ensure sustainability, efficiencies, and effectiveness:

  • Provides strategic direction to ensure sustainable growth for the Program while minimizing risk.
  • Leads the program budgeting and long-term financial planning processes in all stages: planning, review, approval, and implementation.
  • Ensures financial and accounting records comply with donor requirements, Singapore and IPC regulations, and CI policies and procedures. Review transactions to ensure accuracy to minimize risk, errors, and fraud.
  • Ensures timely and accurate submission of financial reports to Finance-HQ in compliance with organization, donors, and, local policies.
  • Monitors monthly budgets, ensuring that Program year-round expenditures are utilized based on the approved budget. Ensure that all disbursements are within the ceiling and the significant deviation, if any, are justified and approved both by CI and donor.
  • Ensure monthly financial reports are provided and understood by the Senior Management and program team.
  • Provides strategic advice on the development of budgets for project proposals in concert with program work plans.
  • Manages internal control systems and procedures. Based on CI Operational Policies and Procedures and local regulations, leads the development and implementation of internal control mechanisms within the Program to safeguard all assets (i.e., cash, supplies, and CI property and equipment) from loss or unauthorized use.
  • Supervises the internal and external annual audit and ensures that all audit findings and observations are corrected and addressed after audit completion on time.
  • Ensure compliance with Singapore financial standards and IPC requirements, including annual statutory audits, reports, and filing of annual returns and AGM.
  • Provides oversight of IPC compliance and maintains the IPC status.
  • Prepares and presents the regular financial report to the AP and IPC Board.

Provide oversight and guidance over contractual, external grants, and incoming donor agreements:

  • Coordinate and work closely with the VP, Climate Finance, Director, Development and Marketing, and VP of Operations, APFD (i.e. Fund Raising and Grant Management Unit) to ensure implementation, proper oversight over external grant-making processes, including review and evaluation of proposals, risk assessment of applicants, drafting of agreements, review of financial reporting, close-outs, and associated documentation and record-keeping.
  • Coordinates and supports the implementation of Project Management practices and ensures sound and effective management of donor projects.
  • Ensure contracts are awarded and managed in conformity with CI’s procurement and contracting policies and procedures.
  • Ensure timely closeouts of donor and external grants in line with CI Policies and Procedures.
  • Monitoring timely collection of pledge payments from in-country donors.
  • Maintains the fundraising trackers and provides reports as needed.

Ensures effective and efficient Program Operational capacity:

  • Assesses program operations performance and takes steps to address and remedy areas of concern.
  • Works autonomously to address issues as they arise and advises the team on all aspects of Operations to the degree that ensures the Program is run smoothly and effectively.
  • Leads staffing and organizational structure efforts in operations, ensuring roles, responsibilities, and workflow are clear among the operational staff.
  • Ensures the HR processes and practices, including recruitment and selection, and maintenance of all CI Singapore staff’s personnel records, in compliance with legal requirements of the Singapore labor laws and other local codes.
  • Ensures that the Performance Management cycle is understood and implemented by all supervisors and employees, overseeing that the annual Performance Appraisal process is done in compliance with corporate guidelines.
  • Assesses staff training needs and recommend/design/implement training programs for staff development and capacity building.
  • Provides advice to the senior management team on issues related to employee relations, including performance improvement plans and termination proceedings as necessary.
  • Ensures the international staff are supported by appropriate permits and visa.

Provides support to ensure operations compliance and best practices for Australia Program in coordination with Singapore and Australia Operations Manager. Other duties as assigned.


  • This position is based in Singapore.
  • This position may travel 10% of its time within the Asia-Pacific area and/or CI’s headquarters.



  • Bachelor's degree in Finance and/or Business Administration or relevant combination of education and experience.
  • 7 or more years of related experience in the management of operations (administration, finance, human resources, grants resources, and donor management) functions, preferably for an international NGO.
  • Experience in managing the Singapore and IPC statutory reporting compliance and maintaining financial books according to the country's accounting principles.
  • Experience with diverse funding environments, multi-laterals, and large foundations.
  • Solid business acumen with strong supervisory experience.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in English. Proficient in management of Information Technology.
  • High-level skills in the use of standard accountancy software including MS Excel.
  • Analytical: Utilizes effective and practical problem solving and decision-making models.
  • Capacity to analyze trends and tendencies and to translate this information in the review and development of the Program’s strategic directions.
  • Capacity to plan, prioritize and implement a strategic approach.
  • Facilitate and involve strategic contributors in key decision-making processes allowing the senior management team to reach an agreement.


  • Knowledge and understanding of IPC requirements.
  • Effective time management skills in addition to confidence and experience in prioritizing tasks and responsibilities across a large and dynamic set of stakeholders, programs, donors, and team members.
  • Complete personal integrity aligned to the management of donor funds according to the needs, understanding, and expectations of the program and development teams.
  • Leadership skills to ensure coordination between operations, technical and programmatic units along with an understanding of how to help plan, manage, and communicate budgets and complex operational procedures to senior management and junior colleagues.
  • Capable of projecting credibility to gain the respect of and be able to influence the senior management team and Board of Directors as appropriate.
  • Flexibility and creativeness to adapt corporate practices to local context while working closely with the local program and fundraising teams to ensure efficient and effective solutions in a dynamic environment.
  • Have a strong and integrated personality, accountability, and good interpersonal relationship to work in a team.

To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter.

See all Conservation International Career Opportunities HERE

Conservation International is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled