Apply now
Clock icon

The Head of Operations at Emirates Nature-WWF is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of the organization’s operations unit. This role will ensure the efficient and effective management of organizational processes, encompassing Finance, IT, HR, Legal, Administration, data management, and strategic oversight. The role demands a forward-thinking leader who can implement and oversee robust operational systems, foster innovation, and drive strategic initiatives to support the conservation mission of Emirates Nature-WWF. Additionally, the Head of Operations will shadow the COO, manage the COO's schedule, and attend meetings with the COO as required.

Major Duties and Key Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership and Oversight

  • Develop and execute the operational strategy in alignment with the overall organizational strategy.
  • Lead the design, implementation, and continuous improvement of operational processes and systems.
  • Oversee the creation and management of budgets, ensuring alignment with strategic goals and financial sustainability.
  • Foster a culture of innovation, continuous improvement, and operational excellence.

Programme and Project Management Systems

  • Develop and oversee robust programme and project management systems.
  • Monitor and evaluate project progress to ensure alignment with organizational goals.
  • Manage project timelines, budgets, and deliverables.
  • Implement best practices from WWF International and other global leaders to enhance project management efficiency.

Financial Management

  • Oversee financial planning, budgeting, and reporting processes.
  • Ensure compliance with local and international financial regulations and standards.
  • Manage accounts payable and receivable and coordinate with the finance team to maintain financial health.
  • Optimize financial performance through integration of best practices from leading global companies.

Human Resources (HR) Management

  • Supervise HR activities including recruitment, training, performance management, and employee relations.
  • Develop and enforce HR policies and procedures to foster a positive organizational culture.
  • Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives inspired by global HR best practices.
  • Oversee talent management, employee engagement, and development programs.

Legal and Compliance

  • Ensure compliance with local and international laws and regulations.
  • Oversee legal matters including contracts, agreements, and disputes.
  • Implement and manage comprehensive compliance programs and risk management processes.
  • Ensure adherence to governance standards and best practices.

Information Technology (IT) and Data Management

  • Oversee IT operations ensuring systems are secure, reliable, and efficient.
  • Implement new technologies to improve operational efficiency and cybersecurity.
  • Manage IT support and maintenance activities, leveraging innovative solutions.
  • Develop and implement data management strategies to support decision-making and operational efficiency.
  • Ensure data protection and compliance with relevant regulations.

Business Process Analysis and Oversight of SOPs

  • Conduct business process analysis to identify areas for improvement and optimization.
  • Oversee the development, implementation, and maintenance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Ensure due diligence, governance, compliance, quality control, and quality assurance across all operations.

Stakeholder Management

  • Create a stakeholder mapping and management strategy.
  • Manage key stakeholders, ensuring effective communication and engagement.
  • Participate in WWF International practices calls as required.
  • Liaise with WWF International and its offices to ensure alignment and collaboration.

Governance and Compliance

  • Support the development and implementation of governance frameworks and policies.
  • Liaise with the Board of Directors and other stakeholders as needed.
  • Ensure adherence to governance standards and best practices from top-tier organizations.

Administration and Office Management

  • Oversee administrative functions including office management and logistics.
  • Ensure efficient operation of office facilities and services.
  • Manage vendor relationships and procurement processes adopting procurement best practices from global leaders.

Event Management

  • Provide operational support with the planning and execution of major stakeholder events.
  • Support the management and planning of events.
  • Provide operational support to WWF personnel, including high-level officials and visiting missions (protocol, liaison, procurement, and security coordination).

Strategy Development and Business Planning

  • Develop and implement strategic plans for the operations unit.
  • Conduct business planning, risk and mitigation planning, and contingency planning.
  • Model scenarios to support decision-making and strategic initiatives.

Sustainability and Environmental Impact

  • Integrate sustainability considerations into all operational activities.
  • Implement practices to minimize environmental impact and enhance sustainability.
  • Monitor and report on sustainability metrics and performance.

Innovation and Technology Integration

  • Drive the adoption of innovative technologies to improve operational efficiency.
  • Stay abreast of technological advancements and integrate relevant solutions into operations.

Partnership Development

  • Develop and manage strategic partnerships to enhance operational capacity and reach.
  • Engage with external partners to foster collaboration and support for organizational initiatives.

Crisis Management

  • Develop and implement crisis management plans.
  • Lead the organization through crisis situations, ensuring continuity of operations and minimal impact.

Reporting and Transparency

  • Ensure transparent reporting and communication with stakeholders.
  • Develop and implement reporting frameworks to track performance and impact.

Capacity Building

  • Build capacity within the operations team and across the organization.
  • Develop training and development programs to enhance skills and capabilities.

Shadowing the COO

  • Shadow the COO to gain a comprehensive understanding of organizational operations and strategy.
  • Manage the COO’s schedule, including planning and coordinating meetings, travel, and other commitments.
  • Attend meetings with the COO, providing support and ensuring follow-up on action items.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Management, Finance, IT, or a related field.
  • At least 10 years of experience in operations management, preferably in non-profit or environmental organizations.
  • Proven experience in managing multiple departments and cross-functional teams.
  • Strong knowledge of financial management, HR practices, IT systems, data management, and legal compliance.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment.


Emirates Nature-WWF Focus: Acts as a member of Emirates Nature-WWF, placing higher priority on Emirates Nature-WWF goals than own goals and anticipating the effects of own area’s actions on others to ensure holistic Emirates Nature-WWF outcomes.

External Orientation: Looks outwards ensuring WWF stays relevant, continues to anticipate and adapt to external environmental and global trends.

Delivering Quality Outcomes: Establishes stretch goals, plans, using best judgment and takes responsibility for planning to and delivering on outcomes.

Building Working Relationships: Builds collaborative relationships through the understanding and development of other’s and own ideas.

Communicating Effectively: Uses appropriate means of communication to convey messages, seeks input from others and ensures understanding.

Leading Teams: Develops direction and shared purpose, builds a team through coaching to ensure the accomplishment of goals and high level team performance.

Leading Change: Encourages and seeks out innovative solutions and brings people on a journey constructively and empathetically.

Managing Resources: Makes the right judgments based on financial and resource availability.

Establishing Strategic Direction: Generates options to achieve long-range goals, selects the best strategies for success and delivers on strategic goals.

Building Organizational Capability: Diagnoses individual and team capability and development needs and champions talent management.

Skills Required

  • Interpersonal skills: building relationships and working collaboratively with colleagues, staff members, and external partners. Should be approachable, empathetic, and have a customer service-oriented mindset.
  • Excellent knowledge of administrative policies, procedures and best practices as applicable to the support services. In addition to a deep understanding of non-for-profit policies and procedures, as well as relevant regulations and guidelines, to be able to ensure compliance with these requirements.
  • Ability to prioritize the workload in an effective manner; work under pressure within a busy environment and meet tough deadlines.
  • Ability to plan and execute complex projects and initiatives, manage timelines and deadlines, and ensure that goals are met.
  • Good knowledge of office management practices within a dynamic and highly automated work environment.
  • Ability to foster cooperative work relationships within a diverse community that involves multiple internal and external parties.
  • Proficiency level of MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Arabic.
  • Ability to convey complex information in a clear and concise manner and be skilled at diplomacy and conflict resolution.
  • Good knowledge of budget preparation and fiscal resources management.
  • Ability to gather data, conduct research, compile information, and write reports.
  • Ability to analyze data and information, identify trends and patterns, and make recommendations based on their findings.
  • Strong attention to detail and be able to maintain accurate records and documentation.
  • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances and priorities and be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment.
  • Ability to identify problems, evaluate options, and develop effective solutions.
  • Ability to think strategically, understand EN’s mission and goals, and align the work of the with these objectives.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion and maintain the highest level of professionalism at all times.

Working Relationships

Internal - Collaborates with all departments within Emirates Nature-WWF.

External - Engages with external partners, vendors, stakeholders, and WWF International.

Behavior Description

  • Impact driven
  • Balance between proactivity and reactivity
  • Plan but not over-plan
  • Implement innovatively with a future driven mindset.
  • Being courageous
  • Embedding MTP with impact at scale

Experiment & Solution Driven
  • Embrace decision making process based on adaptive management.
  • Ensure all changes in decisions do not move away from original goal and MTP

  • Entrepreneurial
  • Keeping to the ambition/vision/goal and MTP
  • Ensure we are meeting the plan to achieve goals whilst adapting tactical plans along the way

Together we are stronger
  • Working together as a matrix organization to implement strongly

Integrity & Trust
  • Be confident
  • Believe in success
  • Retain high level of ethics

Additional Information

Emirates Nature-WWF is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome diversity in the workplace and offer a flexible and diverse place of employment.

Emirates Nature-WWF staff participate wholeheartedly in general activities and events that require the full support and participation of all staff members, whether the focus of any particular event or activity has any bearing on the job description and assigned project objectives and activities.

How To Apply

Please send your application consisting of a cover letter explaining why you are the right candidate to work with EN-WWF and your CV with the subject ‘Application for Head – Operations ’ to the attention of Ms Magdalena Tayoun on before 19th July 2024.

Emirates Nature-WWF reserves the right to appoint a candidate prior to this date.