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Chief Operating Officer

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  • Full-Time
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  • Post date:10 Sep 2019
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Job Description

Somaliland – Chief Operating Officer

Company Overview

The Pharo Foundation (“the Foundation”) is a privately funded entrepreneurial organisation that runs philanthropic programmes as well as for-profit social enterprises. The Vision of the Foundation is an economically vibrant and inclusive Africa. The Mission is to achieve the Vision by investing in the human and physical capital of Africa, with an emphasis on job creation.

Established in 2011 as a UK based non-profit, the Foundation has already carried out more than 30 projects, primarily in Ethiopia and Somaliland. The key themes for the philanthropic side of the Foundation are education, health, water and agriculture. Social enterprises cover all areas where the Foundation feels an effective impact can be made with the aim of sustainability and job creation.

Headquartered in London, the Foundation also has an operational HQ in Nairobi and offices in Addis Ababa, Assosa, and Hargeisa.

Position Summary

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a senior leadership role with The Pharo Foundation in their Hargeisa office in Somaliland.

The COO will be entrusted with the overall responsibility for developing and managing the Foundation’s operational and administrative activities in Somaliland. This will include putting in place and managing strong teams across all of the key functions and creating best in class governance structures.

The COO will be the face of the Foundation’s activities in the country. The COO will embrace the role of advocate for the Foundation’s mission and lead in the dialogue with government, regulators, community stakeholders and other key counterparties. S/he will also be responsible for building and running all key administrative and business functions (e.g. HR, Finances, IT, legal, security…).

Comfortable in a dynamic environment the COO will be motivated by the chance to put their skills to use in what is a highly impactful enterprise. Directly reporting to the COO in Nairobi, the COO will be comfortable with working in a small, high-performing boutique style environment.


Chief Operating Officer (COO) based in Hargeisa, Somaliland

Reporting to:

The Pharo Foundation COO based in Nairobi, Kenya

Functional Relationships:

Head of Programmes in Somaliland

Direct reports:

Support and administrative functions within The Pharo Foundation in Somaliland

Somaliland – Chief Operating Officer

Key duties and responsibilities in coordination with the COO in Nairobi, Kenya 1. Government and Key Stakeholder Representation

  • To ensure that relationships are developed with the Government and partner agencies at all levels to enable the appropriate development of the Foundation’s activities.
  • To represent the Foundation with the Government, regional governments, partners, auditors and other stakeholders, including the media and the public.
  • To ensure that the Foundation is fully compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements at all times; and, to inform senior management (COO in Nairobi, CEO in London) immediately if any issues or concerns arise around non-compliance.
  • To promote and safeguard the Foundation’s recognition and reputation in Somaliland.
  • In accordance with agreed schedules, to oversee the preparation of country, situational, financial and other reports.
  1. Human Resources Development and Management
  • To expand and strengthen our Somaliland team by recruiting the best talent possible domestically and from the diaspora.
  • To provide solid leadership, inspiration and mentorship to the team.
  • To ensure that an employee handbook and other guidelines compliant with the Foundation’s HR policies and the local employment law and regulations are updated on a regular basis and shared with the staff.
  • To identify the training needs of staff and ensure processes are in place to support and encourage appropriate personal and professional development of staff within the context of the organisational objectives.
  1. Resources and Financial Management
  • To pre-plan and outline the resource requirements for all activities and functions and ensure that systems and teams are in place for the effective management of resources in relation to finance, transport, supplies and capital assets.
  • To ensure that effective and secure control of the Foundation’ finances in Somaliland are established and maintained, in line with the Foundation’s financial procedures and guidelines.
  • To oversee and monitor the Foundation’s finances in Somaliland and ensure regular reporting is in place.
  • To manage the IT function in order to ensure adequate technological support for all Foundation activities in Somaliland.
  1. Security, Health and Safety
  • To maintain an overview of the political and security context, noting how developments may affect programme work.
  • To ensure that robust and effective security plans and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed and updated in order to secure the safety of all staff at all times.
  • To ensure that the health and safety policy is regularly reviewed, and all staff are aware of this policy and follow its guidelines.
  • To comply with other relevant policies and procedures as they are developed.

Somaliland – Chief Operating Officer

Qualification Requirements

  • The ideal person should possess a postgraduate qualification (e.g. MBA) and/or membership of a professional association.
  • S/He must possess a minimum of ten (10) years professional experience, preferably international; five (5) of these must have been in executive management roles or with P/L responsibility.
  • Prior experience of working across diverse entities or subsidiaries is a distinct advantage but as a minimum each candidate must be able to demonstrate strong leadership in sizeable companies or divisions.
  • S/He is an excellent bilingual communicator, written and spoken, in Somali and English.

Behavioural Competencies

  • Strong and charismatic individual with solid pedigree and experience of working for and leading significant organisations.
  • Superb management skills: able to manage and motivate a wide variety of employees from diverse backgrounds in a professional and compelling manner.
  • S/He is someone who respects and understands the local culture and values and yet embraces and can work within European work ethics and standards.
  • Problem solving and creative thinking skills: the ability to get results in unstructured environments, solid track-record for growing businesses and implementing best practice policies and processes.
  • Self-assured, internally motivated and passionate individual with outstanding communication skills driven to succeed and make a difference.
  • Must possess high levels of integrity, resilience, accountability, commitment and determination.

Application Procedure

The application deadline is 3 October 2019.

Review of application packages will begin as soon as they are received and only complete application packages will be reviewed. In the event that an outstanding applicant is identified early in the search process, we reserve the right to appoint before the deadline. For this reason, we encourage interested candidates to apply at the earliest possible time. Due to the high volume of applications, we regret that we will only be able to contact short-listed candidates.

Please send the information listed below, as a single PDF file, to the following email address:



  1. A detailed CV and Covering Letter
  2. A 1,000-word essay on both of these: 1. What experience have you gained that makes you think that you are the most qualified candidate for the role? 2. How would you motivate the Somaliland team and work with them in promoting the Foundation’s work?
  3. A one-page list of five references with current addresses, phone numbers, and email contacts.

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