Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (VP/COO)

Reporting to: President

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Application closing: Open until position is filled

About Interpeace

Interpeace is an international organization for peacebuilding, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its aim is to strengthen the capacities of societies to manage conflict in non-violent, non-coercive ways by assisting national actors in their efforts to develop social and political cohesion. Interpeace also strives to assist the international community (and in particular the UN) to play a more effective role in supporting peacebuilding efforts around the world through better understanding and response to the challenges of creating local capacities that enhance social and political cohesion. For more information about Interpeace, please visit

General Position Summary

Reporting to the President, the VP/COO is responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the organization, optimizing Interpeace’s performance and executing the organisational strategy to achieve Interpeace’s strategic objectives.

The VP/COO harmonises and aligns the operating strategies and plans of all Interpeace functions (i.e. programme implementation, programme development, policy, learning and knowledge management, strategic partnership management, finance, human resources, communications, information technology and administration) to the strategic plan of the organization. S/he manages the coordinated and integrated execution of the latter and in alignment with Interpeace’s strategic direction and core values.

The VP/COO takes direction and priorities from the President and manages the Global Management Team (GMT) to implement initiatives and strategic imperatives required to build and achieve greater organisational agility, responsiveness and operational excellence.

Duties and responsabilities 

Programme and Operational Management

The VP/COO raises the level of accountability, transparency, performance, agility, and responsiveness of the organization. More specifically, the VP/COO

  • Oversees the organizational development and enforces frameworks that achieve the standards of excellence of a well-managed and responsibly governed organization
  • Is responsible for achieving and surpassing the strategic goals of the functions under his/her purview
  • Coordinates the process of design, implementation and periodic review of the operational and programmatic frameworks, policies and strategies
  • Is responsible for the measurement and collective performance of the functions under her/his purview and reports to the President on the programmatic and operational performance of the organization
  • Briefs the President and ensures the President is kept regularly informed, on ongoing trends and developments of Interpeace’s work
  • Facilitates organizational adaptation and change through effective development of integrated risk and threat assessment frameworks
  • Assesses the organisational capacity to implement initiatives pursuant to Interpeace’s strategic goals, measuring and evaluating the programmatic, financial, human and operational implications of key opportunities
  • Develops a culture of high performance and professional development at Interpeace
  • Monitors and manages compliance with local laws, donor rules and regulations, enforces the organisation’s internal policies and procedures, and makes recommendations on policy changes to the President
  • Approves exceptions to Interpeace’s internal policies and procedures

People Management and Leadership

  • Creates an enabling work environment where staff members can achieve their potential
  • Guided by the mission and core values of the organization together with integrated talent management strategies, recruits, leads, motivates, develops, inspires and builds a high performance and cohesive GMT
  • Monitors, evaluates and documents the individual performance of GMT members through a staff development lens
  • Mentors and coaches staff members

Integrated Planning, Coordination, and Execution

The VP/COO is directly responsible for operationalizing the organisational strategy and delivering coordinated and harmonized programmatic and operational functions. More specifically, the VP/COO

  • Supports the development of Interpeace’s strategic plan
  • Develops the integrated operational strategy to execute Interpeace’s strategic plan
  • Guides the development of methodologies, action plans, and function-specific operational strategies that constitute the integrated operational strategy necessary to effectively carry out Interpeace’s peacebuilding mandate
  • Plans, develops and establishes the GMT’s collective and individual workplans and key performance indicators
  • Coordinates and aligns Interpeace’s activities and resources to the strategic direction of the organization – set by the President – prioritizing areas of impact, resource development and talent management
  • In discussion with the President, takes decisions for programmatic disengagement
  • Uses a centralised reporting and knowledge management system to disseminate relevant information across units and to relevant stakeholders

Budget Management 

The VP/COO is responsible to the President for the financial health of the organization, and more specifically, for all budgets within Interpeace (with exception of the Innovation Fund managed directly by the President). The VP/COO:

  • Prepares and manages the organization’s annual budget and financial report, adhering to the highest standards of transparency and resource stewardship. In close collaboration with the Director of Global Operations, the VP/COO monitors organisational spending, budget compliance and anticipates and mitigates financial risk
  • Assesses and approves project budgets and programmatic and operational design for proposals to be submitted to potential funders
  • In line with the budget framework laid out by the President and Governing Board, approves funds allocation for activities that are not funded by projects
  • Implements the organization’s investment strategy developed by the President


  • Master of Business Administration
  • At least 12 years of relevant experience with at least 7 years of progressive leadership and management experience internationally and in cross-cultural, international organizations
  • Demonstrated experience managing organizations with financial operations of a medium size organizations with diverse funding models. Broad knowledge of best market practices in budget management
  • Experience leading successful organizational development and change management initiatives
  • Understanding and knowledge of public donors’ rules, regulations and operational guidelines
  • A proven capacity to build, lead, inspire, advise and motivate cross-functional teams towards delivery of goals
  • Demonstrated track record of delivering results: interpreting a strategic vision into an operational model, translating strategic priorities into deliverable operational plans, and leading implementation of strategic plans
  • Track record of improving organizational performance and organizational performance evaluation processes
  • Track record of solving complex problems
  • Track record of recruiting and developing high performance staff globally, building frameworks that create a culture of clear accountability and employee engagement
  • A proven capacity to build strong interpersonal relationships and systems that foster trust, open dialogue, and full transparency
  • Ability to communicate powerfully, persuasively and prolifically
  • Fluent in English and excellent communication skills in Spanish and/or French
  • Background in peacebuilding or development or humanitarian work a strong asset

Interpeace Competencies

  • Collaboration and Weaving
  • Communication
  • Drive for results
  • Adaptability and Continuous Learning
  • Respect for Diversity

Success Factors

  • A master integrator, proficient at tying together multiple functions
  • A creative leader with an entrepreneurial spirit, keen sense of ethics, integrity and commitment to Interpeace’s mandate
  • Strategic with a focus on details
  • Has an eye out for ways to improve the organization by deepening the pipeline of talent, constantly raising the level of talent through strong hires, and providing opportunities to develop existing team member skills

How to Apply

Qualified candidates may submit a complete curriculum vitae and a letter of interest to open until filled.

“Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (VP/COO)” MUST BE included in the subject line of the application e-mail to be considered.

Please note that due to high volume of applications, ONLY short-listed candidates will be notified.

Interpeace values diversity among its staff and aims at achieving greater gender parity in all levels of its work. We welcome applications from women and men, including those with disabilities.

For more information about Interpeace, its values and working principles, please visit the Interpeace website