Position Title: Chief Operating Officer, Meridian Institute

Location: Remote; Dillon, CO; Washington D.C. (preferred)

About Meridian Institute

For over twenty years, Meridian Institute has helped partners solve challenging problems facing our global community. As a trusted third party, Meridian produces results by convening the right people, asking the right questions, making the right connections, and creating a path forward. Meridian is a key changemaker addressing the world’s most pressing issues.

Position Overview

This is an opportunity to lead a growing and impactful nonprofit consultancy’s operations and systems. The Chief Operating Officer (COO), as part of the senior leadership team of Meridian Institute will provide leadership, management, and vision for the organization as a whole. This leader will be responsible for ensuring that the organization has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to deliver excellent results to funders and partners, grow the organization, cultivate a caring and supportive organizational culture, and ensure operational efficiency

The COO will oversee a $13 million budget in partnership with a talented and committed leadership team, about 50 dedicated staff, and an impressive Board of Directors comprised of leaders in agricultural development, environmental policy and management, philanthropy, politics, and business. This leader will have the unique opportunity to shape the next chapter of the organization.

Meridian Institute is a fast-paced organization that operates at the national and international level with a strong culture of collegiality and connection. Strong candidates will be team players with flexibility, a sense of humor and camaraderie, and the belief that great people and systems not only create a positive work environment, but help organizations achieve their missions.

Position Description

The COO will be part of a new leadership team comprised of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Reporting to the CEO, the COO will oversee at least three direct reports and four functional areas of responsibility, including: human resources, legal, information technology, and operational system functions. The COO will work closely with the CFO to ensure that the management of the business operations and systems is closely aligned and integrated with the financial management of the organization.

The COO is responsible for Meridian Institute’s operations and systems. This includes overseeing the requirements for any affiliated organizations. The COO is responsible for overseeing the implementation of Meridian’s strategy including the integration of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as fundamental underpinnings of the organizational strategy, human resources, knowledge management (organizational learning), and financial matters such as contracting.

Responsibilities

The COO will have oversight over:

  • Organizational Strategy and Effectiveness: The COO will work with the CEO, CFO, and other members of the Leadership Group to develop and refine an effective organizational strategy to advance priority opportunities and overcome challenges. The COO will lead the design and implementation of business operations that increase efficiency and strengthen the ability to deliver excellent service. The COO will work with the CFO to track the performance metrics of the organization and work with the CEO and CFO to guide organizational strategy.
  • Human Resources: In collaboration with the Human Resources (HR) Manager, who will report directly to the COO, the COO will ensure that Meridian is an excellent place to work. This goes beyond compliance with employment laws in the jurisdictions where Meridian operates and includes helping to strengthen organizational culture and ensure that Meridian policies and practices promote a working environment in keeping with Meridian’s JEDI Principles and mindfulness practices. This responsibility includes the fair, efficient, and cost-effective provision of employment policies and procedures.
  • IT Systems: In collaboration with the IT Manager, who will report directly to the COO, the COO will ensure that Meridian has the IT systems and staff capacity necessary to conduct the project-based work of the organization as well as the human resources and financial management systems needed for operational effectiveness and continuous improvement.
  • Knowledge Management & Internal Communications: The COO will help to strengthen organizational knowledge management and organizational learning. This includes basic things like bolstering virtual collaboration tools and associated skillsets and setting up systems to capture, store, organize, and disseminate knowledge – both about process design and project execution and substantive knowledge related to Meridian’s focus areas and networks. It also includes managing internal staff communication, including supervising the staff who produce a twice monthly internal organizational newsletter.
  • Offices and Leases: The COO will help to strengthen organizational knowledge management and organizational learning. This includes basic things like bolstering virtual collaboration tools and associated skillsets and setting up systems to capture, store, organize, and disseminate knowledge – both about process design and project execution and substantive knowledge related to Meridian’s focus areas and networks. It also includes managing internal staff communication, including supervising the staff who produce a twice monthly internal organizational newsletter.
  • Legal and Business Support: In collaboration with the General Counsel and HR Manager, the COO will manage the following legal and business compliance issues for all Meridian entities:
    • Corporate insurance
    • Governance risk and compliance, including maintenance of bylaws
    • Business licenses and reporting for Colorado and Washington, DC
    • Legal support, including trademark maintenance
    • Organizational non-disclosure agreements and conflict of interest policies and procedures

Candidate Profile

Meridian Institute is seeking a motivated and enthusiastic leader looking to apply exceptional organizational leadership to a mission-driven organization working to resolve the world’s most pressing problems. While it is understood that no candidate will offer every desired skill and characteristic, the following offers a detailed, aspirational view of the ideal candidate profile.

  • Strategic Implementation and Execution
    • A visionary leader who partners with other senior leadership team members to set ambitious goals, lead effective teams, and achieve results.
    • A track record of delivering results against ambitious goals, particularly focused on ushering a strategic plan into action.
    • Action-oriented with a natural inclination to take on challenges and drive toward solutions.
    • The ability to effectively build organizational and staff capacity to develop a world-class workforce and processes that ensure organizational efficiency and excellence.
    • Experience working hand-in-hand with a CEO and/or CFO to deliver organization-wide solutions and measure success over the short-, medium-, and long-term.
  • Communications and Relationship Building
    • A strong leader, communicator, and collaborator who is skilled at listening to and learning from colleagues and constituents.
    • Experience working effectively both within and across functional areas with a specific focus on team dynamics and conflict resolution.
    • Strong emotional intelligence and a compassionate approach to working within the Meridian culture.
    • Exceptional critical thinking and problem-solving skills, with excellent judgment and a strong ability to communicate in writing and verbally
  • People and Culture Management
    • Proven ability to lead organizational change, with a keen sense for getting to an enduring result and through a process that strengthens trust and organizational relationships.
    • Ability to make tough strategic and operational decisions when confronted with difficult choices and in highly complex situations and fast-moving environments.
    • Experience developing an environment of collaboration, transparency, and respect by strengthening working relationships between functional areas as well as team members and helping to identify and resolve work conflicts.
    • Capacity to build and sustain open, collaborative relationships with a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders by leading with compassion, respect, and professional maturity.
  • A Demonstrated Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
    • A personal passion for and commitment to Meridian Institute’s focus on transformative change: establishing and strengthening trust with a diversity of perspectives, driving collaborative decision-making, and supporting implementation.
    • Unimpeachable integrity and moral compass, with refined discernment and emotional intelligence to ensure that internal organizational culture is consistent with highest ideals of equity.
    • A high level of cultural competence and a commitment to building an environment that respects and values justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Operations Expertise
    • An understanding that strong operations and people development are the foundation of organizational success and the skills and experiences required to instill policies and practices that lead to continued growth and impact.
    • Demonstrated financial management skills; demonstrated success in business or program operations and experience implementing systems and structures designed to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
    • Proven experience successfully leading the operations, administrative, and/ or financial functions of a mid- to large-sized organization

Compensation

Salary Range: $180,000 – $210,000

We are dedicated to advancing our employees’ professional growth, supporting the balance between work and personal life, and helping them meet their healthcare and retirement needs. Meridian employees receive competitive benefits including:

  • A dynamic and inclusive work environment
  • Structured professional development opportunities and mentoring
  • Flexible work schedules and locations for proven high performers
  • Medical/dental insurance with same sex spouse and domestic partner coverage
  • Employer contributions to 401k retirement plan

Contact

Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Kara Teising and Libby Cornelssen are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express interest in the role please visit this website. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential

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