Operations Director, WRI China

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Overview and Job Summary

As Operations Director, you will have responsibility for the management and smooth functioning of the Operations Team serving the growing number of staff based in WRI China. This will focus on Finance, Compliance, HR, Communications, Grant & Contracts, Development, etc. Working collaboratively, you will ensure the Operations Team addresses evolving operational needs effectively, enabling WRI's collective impact.

This is a role with substantial leadership, delivery and transformation aspects with an internal focus. It will suit an experienced operations professional who enjoys delivering quality services in a complex and dynamic set up, playing a pivotal role in the matrixed structure of the organization. You will provide leadership in streamlining current practices and identifying innovative solutions to the administrative requirements across WRI China ’s areas of work.

In close coordination with the WRI Global Operation Team, you will manage all operational processes for WRI China in accordance with regional local regulations where we have activities. You will lead routine processes to ensure the smooth functioning of the China office with a high level of engagement and attention to detail as well as manage significant growth in staff and the operations team, always ensuring solid foundations and required infrastructure are in place.

Job Responsibilities

Oversee the daily operational support including financial management, Human Resources, Grants & Contracts, Communications, Legal, IT, Sustainability, office facilities management and risk control management functions.

Analyze the evolving business requirements and network at leadership level within WRI China and across the Institute to determine operational needs and ensure these are addressed effectively and efficiently.

Ensure appropriate operations processes, policies, practices and systems are in place and aligned and consistent with China law and organizational strategy, values, processes, systems.

Overseeing compliance, controls, financial and legal requirements in local countries to ensure smooth operation of the entities.

Enable smooth functioning of the WRI China office by providing required operational support to WRI staff working across China and ensuring that the Operations team staffing and capacity remains fit for purpose

Complete other tasks and work arrangements assigned by the leaders.

Finance and Compliance

Directing and coordinating organization's financial and budget activities to fund operations, maximize outcome, and increase efficiency.

Oversee external auditing activities (for the entity and projects), including negotiation of work and fees.

Enable smooth functioning of all WRI China programs by providing required operational support to all program staff.

Ensures that there is sufficient capacity and oversight of compliance with the terms and conditions of all funding instruments.

Review financial statements and activity reports, and other performance data to measure operational productivity and outcome achievement and to determine areas needing cost reduction and program improvement.

Work closely with project managers on an ongoing basis to ensure project grant financials and outcomes/deliverables are on track.

Conduct quarterly financial reviews of program spending and revenue to minimize program risk of deficits or over-spending versus budget.

Lead the annual budgeting process and capacity and risk assessment process.

Human Resources

Assist WRI China Country Director in office people management and related work.

Provide oversight and support to the Human Resources Function to manage employee relations and help create a positive and productive work environment for all staff located in the WRI China offices.

Collaborate with the Global Operations Director and Chief People Officer to ensure consistency with WRI policies as much as feasible under local country laws.

Legal and administrative

Manage all other operational functions and staff in the China offices to ensure sufficient staff capacity and strong internal controls.

Oversee all the legal aspects of the Entity with external attorneys (Fiscal, statutory and labor aspects).

Oversee all compliance, risk controls, financial and legal flows.

Business Planning, Statutory Compliance & Risk Management:

Develop an understanding of statutory regulations applicable to WRI China’s functioning, regularly assess the compliance, legal and regulatory status of the organization and develop processes to mitigate this operational risk.

Be an advisor and a source of analysis to the Country Director on all Operations issues and long-term operations planning.

Be the nodal point in contact for all compliance related activities including statutory, donor and other government regulations if needed.


Design and highly execute communication and engagement strategies to promote WRI’s impact in China and effectively convey WRI China’s key messages to the world.

Manage and develop advertising and communication channels (especially domestic and international media) to prioritize WRI’s stories placement on a national and global level.

Oversee the creation of communications collateral to ensure that it is consistent with the organization's brand, including but not limited to all social media channels, communication products, and knowledge products that require promotion.

Lead the coordination with other international offices, programs on behalf of WRI China Communications for joint promotion work during critical moments, like COP.

Oversee the management progress of communications projects


Other tasks directed by the line manager

Qualifications and Requirements

Education & Experience

Minimum of 10 years of full time relevant professional experience working in management and operations.

Master’s degree in business administration, finance, management or similar discipline related to the job description.

Substantial experience including management responsibility for an operational or support department in a complex and fast-changing and growing organization with a strong track record of delivering high-quality services across a variety of operations areas.

Excellent people management skills with the ability to motivate and lead a team.

Knowledge of regional labor law and financial regulation preferred.

Knowledge and experience of communications, marketing, media engagement, PR or other relative fields preferred.

Knowledge of written and spoken English is mandatory.


Strong interpersonal skills and a passion to work with people across levels, functions and programs to build a strong coherent institution.

Outstanding organizational, planning and time management skills, paired with the flexibility to adjust and innovate.

Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced office environment, both independently and as part of a global team across time zones.

Strong problem solving and decision-making skills in the face of complexity.

Excellent inter-personal communication skills, including the ability to encourage collaboration with other programs, international offices, and partners.

Highly motivated, proactive work style and excellent organizational skills.

Ability to manage multiple priorities and work under pressure with tight deadlines.

Strong analytical and strategic thinking capabilities.

Willingness to travel to locations where WRI China has program activities to trouble shoot solutions to local issues.

Reporting Relationship:

This position will report to the China Country Director and will have a dotted line to the Global Operations Director.

How to Apply:

You must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered.

Please submit EN and CN resume.

Final candidate will be required to take a writing test

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is commensurate with experience and skills. WRI offers a generous, comprehensive benefits package.

Duration: Full-time

Location: Beijing, China, Preferred

Application Deadline: Open till filled.

About WRI China

WRI China was established in 2008 as WRI’s first international office. Currently, WRI China has more than 50 full-time staff members working on Climate, Energy, and Cities & Energy, Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Investment, and Food & Nature Resources. We engage with businesses, policymakers and civil society at the local, national and international levels to advance transformative solutions for sustainable development and “ecological civilization”. WRI China recently registered as a foreign NGO under the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: Climate, Energy, and Cities change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa, Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.

The World Resources Institute (http://www.wri.org) is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.