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The Department of Global Health has an outstanding opportunity for an Operations Director of the START Center.
The Department of Global Health was established in 2007, bridging the schools of Medicine and Public Health, with a mandate to harness the expertise and interdisciplinary power of all UW schools and colleges. Our mission is to improve health for all through research, education, training, and service; to understand and address the causes of disease and health inequities at multiple levels; and to collaborate with partners to develop and sustain locally-led, quality health systems, programs and policies. Driven by tremendous interest among both students and faculty, the Department has grown explosively to more than 400 graduate students and hundreds more undergraduates. We have more than 380 faculty and 1,000 staff working on projects across 130 countries with our deepest ties in United States, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, Mozambique, India, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua. At the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. The Department recognizes that disparities in health around the globe stem from inequity. The Department encourages and supports the multiple identities of staff, faculty and students including, but not limited to, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, culture, spiritual practice, geography, mental and physical disability and age. The Department strives to become a local, national, and international leader in developing and maintaining increased representation and recognition of each of these dimensions of diversity among its faculty, staff, and students.
The Strategic Analysis, Research & Training (START) Center is a research consulting group established in 2011 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the University of Washington (UW) Department of Global Health. Since 2011, START’s expert researchers have completed projects for clients including the BMGF, the World Health Organization (WHO), Boston Scientific, and more. START researchers have diverse and interdisciplinary expertise in global health, epidemiology, business, and law. Currently, the START team includes 9 UW faculty who are leaders in global research and 18 graduate research assistants in addition to leveraging a network of 4,700 faculty experts across the UW. Visit us at www.uwstartcenter.org.
In nine years the START Center has: •Completed over 175 projects (strategy support and operations, landscape analyses, & data metrics) •Delivered over 255 reports, presentations and tools •Trained over 80 graduate students (including current trainees) in research methodology, data presentation, leadership, project management, and communication •Expanded START’s clientele, partnering with multiple new global clients including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organization, PATH, Boston Scientific, Sherris Consulting, etc.
The START Center is a leading exemplar of a successful collaboration between the Department of Global Health with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is often highlighted as one of the exemplary collaborations in evolving Population Health Initiative (PHI) conversations and within the Department of Global Health. The START Center is actively discussing partnerships with the PHI to continue to grow collaborations between BMGF, the Department of Global Health, and the broader University of Washington community. Given that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently made a significant investment in the Population Health Initiative at UW, the START Center is further positioned to represent the goals of this large investment–to reach across the University of Washington and form inter-disciplinary teams to solve the world’s most pressing global and public health questions.
It is essential that the START Center’s Operations are led by a highly skilled and experienced operations leader, to manage this leading research and training Center which remains a priority for the Department, School and University of Washington. The Operations Director facilitates the Center’s success by serving as an integral connector and leader, bringing together leading faculty and researchers from across the University with high-profile clients across the global and public health sphere.
The Operations Director of START provides top-level managerial leadership for the Center. Alongside three leading faculty, the Operations Director sets the vision for programmatic, financial, training and client needs for START.
This position independently leads the operations and administration of the START Center, spanning 30 faculty, staff and research assistants, including collaborations across the School of Public Health, Business School, School of Law, and University of Washington at large. This position partners closely with the Center Executive Director and Director to implement START’s operations. The Operations Director is responsible for leading the implementation of the Center’s strategic direction, and collaborates with a wide range of program and department staff to implement processes.
This position requires the ability to function independently and autonomously while working closing with the Center Director and Executive Director. In addition, this position requires a wide range of proficiencies, including human resources, grant management, financial management, and the ability to communicate with high-level leaders from global and local entities, including funders from BMGF. The Operations Director is responsible for negotiating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and additional global and public health clients, to initiate contractual agreements and financial systems for numerous research engagements. This individual must maintain acute oversight of the Center’s daily operations while implementing the strategic vision set by the faculty leadership of the Center and its research initiatives.
The Operations Director manages the progress, improvements, and functioning of multiple operational systems, provide direct supervision and mentorship to staff and students, provide leadership and representation of START at many levels, craft new policy and make independent financial policy decisions, and serve on the four-person Leadership Team. The Operations Director facilitates a four-person Leadership Team, comprised of the Center Director, Center Associate Director, Global Program Director and the Center Operations Director. This position is the only 100% FTE position on the Leadership Team, and is responsible for facilitating and furthering the goals of the Leadership Team. As the sole staff leader on the Center’s Leadership Team comprised of very senior faculty, this position must effectively navigate often very politically sensitive conversations and topics, while ensuring the Center continues to operate successfully, as well as navigate intrinsic University hierarchical structures and barriers among faculty, students and staff. The senior faculty this position works closely with to direct engagement and responsibilities include the Chair of the Epidemiology Department, Vice Chair and leading researcher and Professor in the Department of Global Health, and a leading researcher and Director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network at the Fred Hutch.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Center Operations Leadership and Management •Direct, design and implement standard operating procedures for Center-wide activities and strategic priorities •Direct routine communication and coordinate flow of information between UW team members in different Departments, Schools and programs, and between UW and sponsor/external stakeholders, to support effective communication and efficiency •Facilitate communication, on behalf of the Center, with Department, University, clients, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) stakeholders •Direct Center’s “rhythm of the business” through overseeing annual schedule of reoccurring activities and events •Lead and facilitate regular Center Leadership meetings to address daily operations, capacity management, and priority setting, including managing follow-up action items and incorporating strategy into overall operations •Lead the planning and implementation of monthly All-START team meetings, including agenda development and design, trainings, pre-reads, post-reads, etc. •Lead communication in regular calls/meetings with BMGF relationship manager, to discuss any operational, financial, and/or capacity needs •Direct and facilitate annual START Center retreat, bringing together all faculty, staff and research assistants for two-days, through developing retreat agenda, designing and implementing training sessions, overseeing logistics and preparation, and supporting the contracting mechanism •Manage the financial and personnel implications of taking on new clients; this includes hiring staff, students, and faculty when needed, developing contracting methods with new clients, aligning on payment options with new clients, and ensuring the administrative systems are in place to smoothly take on an additional client •Oversee Center-wide archival database tracking Center progress including historical project data, START alumni tracking, and Center project and training outputs •Ensure that contractual and programmatic goals and objectives are met and assure that performance is well-documented and communicated to funders and other stakeholders •Triage emerging challenges through independent creative problem solving, administrative oversight, and independent decision making •Provide logistical and administrative consultation and support to Operations Manager and Program Coordinator for START program activities to facilitate smooth and efficient program implementation •Communicate with BMGF Leadership and Department of Global Health Leadership on behalf of the Center regarding Center’s progress, successes, and reporting statistics •Oversee Center implementation plan and activities through tracking progress via the implementation spreadsheet, and supporting respective work streams •Model superior leadership, communication, and team-building skills
Center Personnel Management and Project Leadership •Supervise 2.0 FTE staff, 1.0 FTE Operations Manager and 1.0 FTE Program Coordinator (PC), including assisting with work-load management, prioritization to optimize capacity, provide coaching on problem-solving, reviewing work, and ensuring successfully completion of all job duties •Direct Center-wide project capacity via providing oversight to 15+ live projects, managing project statuses and team work load, and mentoring student-faculty teams through independent decision making, independent problem solving, client management, and agility •Manage intake for work order requests from BMGF relationship manager and additional clients; review work order request, asses student and faculty capacity, identify student- faculty mentor team, and serve as a liaison to the client for any administrative needs during the project duration •Initiate new projects by communicating externally with the client, internally with the project team and serving as the leadership point person for new clients •Implement a robust training model for graduate students, including 360 reviews, curated trainings, 2-day training retreat, faculty coaching and leadership •Manage communication with BMGF investment manager on behalf of the Center regarding all proposed work orders, projects and personnel needs •Oversee work and capacity of approx. 18 0.50 FTE Master’s and Pre-Doctoral Research Assistants hired to work on research projects for BMGF and additional clients •Provide 1:1 mentorship to Research Assistants via quarterly personal development plans (PDP), ongoing coaching and mentorship in leadership, communication, client management, and team dynamics •Direct onboarding and offboarding processes, including developing standard onboarding and offboarding materials for START Research Assistants, faculty and staff, ensuring successful quick ramp-up period and successful separation from Center, including onboarding trainings and offboarding exit interviews •Recruit, screen, interview, and hire all Research Assistants, staff, faculty mentors, Subject Matter Experts (SME), and others engaged in START related. This includes writing job descriptions, fielding applications, responding to questions, tracking applicants, conducting pre-screenings, forming interview committees, facilitating decision-making, completing hiring paperwork, and onboarding to team and work •Oversee annual Epi Days recruitment session through fielding 100+ applications, conducting 30+ interviews, responding to questions and inquiries, planning and executing information sessions, facilitating hiring decisions •Facilitate engagements and interactions with subject matter experts from across the University of Washington •Direct Center Operations Team by onboarding and training Operations Manager and Program Coordinator, holding weekly 1:1’s, advising on scheduling and coordination as needed, oversee PC workload, review and approve timesheets and schedule requests, and being available for questions and support as needed
Center Financial and Awards Management and Leadership •Oversee pre- and post-award administration for all Center and Program awards, totally over $7.4 M of grants, contracts, and gifts annually •Lead communication at regular BMGF grantee to check-in about the Center award progress and renegotiate award expectations and timeline as needed •Oversee financial forecasting across multiple funding sources to ensure alignment on fiscal and personnel capacity needs across center resources •Design and direct Center-level financial systems and billing structures to review and oversee Center’s 9 budgets and reporting requirements •Design and develop Center, Program, project and event budgets, and spending plans •Review, interpret, analyze and make recommendations based on financial reports to ensure ongoing spending plans appropriately support overall START strategy •Manage START Operations Manager, Grants Managers, and BMGF grants and accounting team to ensure all reporting needs are met and awards are managed successfully •Communicate annual progress reports and award milestone reports to University, Department, and BMGF •Lead efforts in writing and applying for awards through iterating on content, developing budgets, facilitating the completion of applications, then ushering through the UW systems •Establish benchmarks for invoicing and payments, track payments and negotiate changes initiated by the Foundation that enlarges the project and determining subsequent additional costs •Track and approve purchasing and expenses on respective budgets, including purchasing allowability •Attend monthly MRAM, RAPN meetings to stay up-to-date on University grants and contracting policies
REQUIREMENTS: •Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration, Business, Public Health or related field •Minimum of 4 years of experience, including 3 years in a supervisory role •Excellent leadership and independent problem-solving skills •Strategic and tactical excellence at the finance and operational manager level in a large, complex organization •Proven project management skills •Self-motivated, resourceful with strong organizational skills and able to multi-task and work collaboratively in large, complex, multi-departmental, cross-functional, cross-cultural teams effectively •Demonstrated ability to independently complete tasks with high quality and in a timely fashion, identify problems and possible solutions and assess the impact on timelines •Diplomacy, excellent judgment, proved ability to communicate effectively, both in written and oral communication •Work experience in a fast-paced environment with demonstrated ability to juggle multiple and competing demands, establish priorities, and meet deadlines. Proven ability to manage complex workloads and competing deadlines •Ability to operate in situations of uncertainty, and trouble-shoot challenges independently while demonstrating appropriate judgment and seeing projects through to completion
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
DESIRED EXPERIENCE •Master's Degree in a related field •Experience in global health programs or research projects, and broad understanding of global health sectors •Finance administration and grants management experience •Research administration experience •Program management experience •Experience with UW administrative and purchasing systems and personnel procedures (PurchasePath, Ariba E-Travel MyFinancialdesktop, eProcurement
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: •Ability to accommodate periodic domestic and international travel •Ability to work a flexible schedule to meet the client and Center needs •Ability to work more than 40 hours per week due to the workload and deadlines •Ability to work remotely, given current Washington State and University of Washington guidelines
Application Process: In your cover letter, please include 1-2 paragraphs describing your experiences with managing operations in ways that support a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion within the organization. The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
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