Chief Operating Officer

Root Capital
Cambridge, MA
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Root Capital invests in the growth of agricultural enterprises so that they become engines of impact that transform rural communities. We seek out enterprises whose credit needs are too big for microfinance and too small or risky for commercial banks. We provide loans ranging from about $200,000 to $2 million specially tailored to harvest and sales cycles. To help businesses grow over the long-term, we mix that financing with highly-customized training to strengthen their financial management, governance, and agronomic capacity. With growth, these businesses become engines of impact that can raise incomes and create jobs, empower women and young people, sustain peace, and preserve vulnerable ecosystems. With a presence in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, Root Capital has distributed $1.2 billion to date to improve the lives of six million people in farming communities worldwide. As a non-bank financial institution, we leverage a mix of investment and philanthropic capital to achieve impact.

This is a full-time position located in Cambridge, MA. For more information on Root Capital, please visit

At this important time on the organization’s history, Root Capital seeks to hire a seasoned, strategic and mission-driven Chief Operating Officer (COO) to oversee the day-to-day management of the organization and ensure that all people and systems are operating in support of the organization’s mission. The COO will be a detail-oriented and disciplined leader who is able to translate vision and ideas into results and motivate and inspire the team to achieve results. Reporting to and working in close partnership with the Founder & CEO, the COO will have the skills and personal confidence to empower others while holding them accountable to delivering measurable results. With a passion for the mission, a strong work ethic, a commitment to transparent and concise communication, and the ability to learn quickly, the COO will have the opportunity to play a tremendous role in Root Capital’s impact in the coming years.

In addition, the COO will possess the following attributes and competencies:

Passion for the Mission
The COO will lead by example, demonstrating a passion for the mission of Root Capital and a keen focus on achieving organizational goals. With a strong operations background and a commitment to results, they will understand and model the importance of efficient business practices as a key factor in organizational success. They will have a deep respect for the history of Root Capital and our unique model as a nonprofit and an impact investor, while staying focused on the opportunities for sustained impact in the future. With regional offices located throughout Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, the COO will bring an understanding and fluency in working across cultures and time zones.
Strategic Leadership and Management
The COO will be an experienced leader who enjoys inspiring staff to achieve exceptional outcomes. Working with the CEO and other senior leadership, they will help to translate the organizational vision into a strong business model for the organization, lead the team to execute the business model efficiently, and continuously make improvements based on internal learning and market feedback. Highly intelligent and confident in their ability to contribute, they will be skilled at managing in all directions and will approach others with a deep level of respect and curiosity. The COO will manage and work closely with an executive team that represents the leadership of Advisory and Impact, Credit, Development and Communications, Finance and IT, Legal and HR, and Lending.

Building Relationships and Using Influence
The COO must be able to build and sustain excellent relationships at multiple levels internally and externally and must demonstrate a high level of cultural fluency and a deep respect for the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, they must readily be able to coach the senior team and understand how to nurture and leverage external constituencies, including the Board of Directors, clients, donors and investors, and key vendors and contractors, as it relates to shaping the business model, delivering exceptional services, and ensuring financial sustainability. It is imperative that they are an excellent and persuasive communicator with exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills, and the ability to foster an atmosphere of collaboration and partnership across and beyond the organization. They will help to build and retain a talented team and be deeply committed to the personal and professional growth of the staff.

Finance & Operations Expertise
The COO will bring strong financial management skills, an understanding of nonprofit financial management, and an outstanding and comprehensive record of overseeing business operations and business management. They will have proven experience in process management, budgeting, strategic forecasting and planning, capital planning, and in overseeing financial, accounting, compliance and risk management of a complex organization. An experienced executor who can link strategy with tactics, they will have a strong data and analysis orientation, knowledge of lending and overall credit risk management, and a proven ability to use financial and operational metrics to drive organizational decisions and achieve strategic objectives. The COO will also be skilled at presenting financial and operational information in a clear, concise fashion to a range of constituents with varying levels of expertise in those areas.

The ideal candidate for this position will possess many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications and personal qualities:
• Deep belief in and commitment to the mission of Root Capital
• Understanding of impact-driven organizations, lending (especially in developing markets), international development and/or impact investing
• Ability to set targets and drive progress against a plan in service to Root Capital’s strategic direction, with an affinity for/experience with impact-driven decision making
• High level of financial acumen, including successful P&L management and an understanding of nonprofit finance specifically
• Demonstrated success in business or program operations along with an affinity for systems and structures designed to increase efficiency and standardization
• Highly strategic mindset, including the demonstrated ability to develop and execute plans for growth and reach those goals
• A collaborative and respectful management style that focuses on employee growth and learning and a demonstrated ability to lead experienced and diverse teams
• High level of cultural competence, especially with international clients and/or teams, and a commitment to building an environment that respects and values diversity, equity and inclusion
• Exceptional relationship-building skills and an ability to establish positive relationships with both internal and external stakeholders
• Experience working with a nonprofit Board of Directors and knowledge of Board governance
• A high level of personal responsibility and demonstrated experience holding talented and experienced teams accountable for results
• Strong affinity for technology and experience identifying ways to capitalize on technology to achieve a mission
• Bilingual (English/Spanish) strongly preferred
• Advanced degree in relevant field preferred but not required (business, international development, public administration, nonprofit management, etc.)
• Ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed
• Legally able to work in the United States

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

Erin Reedy and Alicia Salerno of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please apply here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Root Capital provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, active military or veteran status, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and breastfeeding and expressing breast milk), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Root Capital is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that upholds our leadership principles of: empowerment, equity, integrity, service, and transparency.

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners,