Program Operations Specialist

Washington, DC
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

About Accion:

Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by –  the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through its work with more than 90 partners in 40 countries. More at

About Global Advisory Solutions:

Accion’s Global Advisory Solutions (GLAS) team provides experienced operational and management support to help build sustainable and scalable companies focused on serving the financial needs of underserved individuals and small businesses.  We strengthen our partners and maximize their impact by leveraging innovations in technology and financial services to lower costs and increase quality at scale.

GLAS is a global team of advisors with hands on experience and deep technical and managerial expertise in building and supporting a range of financial service providers (FSPs).  We work with organizations in emerging markets across Latin America, Africa and Asia to help them plan, implement, scale and enhance technologies and business models that can reduce bottlenecks to and catalyze the growth of financial services.  In addition to our advisory work with FSPs, we contribute to industry development through case study work and research, knowledge sharing, as well as training and capacity building activities.

Position Summary

Accion is looking for a Program Operations Specialist to provide direct support to the Global Advisory Solutions (GLAS) Managing Director (MD), and to work closely with the GLAS senior leadership team to ensure that the department operates smoothly, meets its commitments, and is on the correct path to reach its longer-term strategic objectives. Based in Washington D.C., s/he will play an essential role in the administration and effectiveness of the GLAS team by supporting local and field-based staff with day-to-day operations and organization. The Program Operations Specialist will support and develop strategies for improving internal department and inter-departmental communication and knowledge sharing, and will play a facilitator role within the GLAS senior leadership team. The ideal candidate will possess excellent project management skills, be comfortable working across regions and functions, demonstrate strong analytical skills and attention to detail, be a proactive problem solver, be highly responsible, exercise discretion, and have a positive, energetic attitude.

Operations & Administration

Facilitate the implementation and operationalization of the GLAS strategy and structure, working with the senior leadership team to ensure its success.
Work with the MD to identify annual department goals and priorities, establish performance metrics, and measure progress against them.
Develop GLAS business and policy procedures for department use, specifically standardizing project management and knowledge sharing processes.
Facilitate the development of task forces as a part of the operationalization of GLAS’s strategy, and monitor their progress.
Prepare and manage annual department budget; work with program and project managers to develop and prioritize project budgets and track spending throughout the year. Responsible for reviewing the department level budget to actuals throughout the year.
Organize monthly team meetings, setting agenda, and recording session for circulation.
Organize weekly GLAS Managers meetings, developing agenda in collaboration with MD, taking meeting minutes and noting action items for follow-up.
Organize bi-annual GLAS Managers Retreat; supporting agenda, material development, and overall logistic coordination.
Organize the annual GLAS Retreat; supporting agenda and content development, vendor management, budget management, travel coordination, etc.
Support the MD with administrative responsibilities such as completion of expense reports, reviewing senior management team expense reports, completing visa applications, monitoring timely payment of contractors, printing and organizing Board materials, and updating the GLAS calendar with relevant information (e.g. MD travel, major events/conferences, Accion U.S. holidays, etc.)
Oversee GLAS job postings, manage GLAS onboarding of new department staff and consultants (conduct introduction meeting/webinar to GLAS, review department policies and procedures, introduce KNEX and Alfresco folders, provide access to Alfresco folders, etc.), as requested.
Keep current with Accion policies and procedures and ensure that GLAS staff is in compliance.
Manage requests received through the GLAS support email.
Responsible for hiring and managing interns, as requested, providing general and administrative oversight (e.g. approving timesheets, coding, coordinating with HR/IT, etc.), supporting work plan development, and coordinating support needs with other team members

Program Management

Support our global program management efforts, including supporting the pilot of a new PM software, the use of an organization-wide CRM, and feedback collection from our project teams and partners to ensure greater consistency in and improve the quality of our partner engagements.
Support VP, Global Program Management with the capacity building efforts for current staff and hiring of new staff to best meet our clients’ needs.
Support development of standard project management resources, processes and feedback systems for GLAS partner engagements.
Oversee the timely collection and distribution of project, quarterly portfolio and business development updates, as well as conference attendances for the department.
Support GLAS performance metrics work, including tracking outputs and key performance indicators (KPIs) of our partner engagements.

Communications and Reporting
Lead the development of GLAS’s internal and external strategic communications (department emails, memos, advisory service reports, etc.), boilerplate language, and development of marketing materials.
Oversee on-time delivery of Board reports and management reports, working with CROs, program managers and project managers to ensure all necessary information is provided.
Develop presentations and other materials for Managing Director as necessary (e.g. for speaking invitations, Accion Board meetings, OC management meetings, Red Accion, etc.)
Liaison and communicate with Accion departments (Center for Financial Inclusion, Venture Lab, Gateway, Communications, Resource Development) and external partners to support the achievement of GLAS team goals; support donor reporting and proposal development as needed.
Liaison with Communications for updates to website content and marketing materials
Participate in Communications-led working group(s),representing GLAS perspective/interests to ensure accurate representation of our work/messaging

Client & Industry Engagement

Contribute to thought leadership efforts (blogs, publications, webinars, etc.) to maximize demonstration effects and showcase lessons learned.
Support GLAS leadership in fundraising efforts to support core areas of focus.Support content development and blogging
Perform desk research and market scans for new business opportunities as requested.
Participate on a Service Offering Area of Practice (SOAP), supporting the ongoing development of GLAS’s service offerings, including tool development and standardization, capacity building activities, industry trend research, sharing SO-related learnings across projects and regions, etc.
Collaborate with global team and provide support to additional projects as requested.
Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field (e.g., economics, business, international development)
Minimum of 2-3 years of relevant work experience (e.g. business operations, project management, international development, or a relevant field)
Aptitude for interacting effectively with a variety of people at all levels, internally and externally, in an international and multi-cultural environment
Strong leadership, interpersonal, and diplomatic skills
Demonstrated ability to handle sensitive information and exercise discretion
Highly organized, and strong attention to detail; excellent project management and event planning skills
Strong problem solving skills, with a demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple tasks and meet deadlines
Excellent communication skills, particularly written
Entrepreneurially minded; ability to work independently and proactively, and as a part of a highly collaborative team; quick learner; receptive and responsive to feedback
Professional-level fluency in English required; additional language skills highly desirable (preferable Spanish and/or French)
Knowledge of/experience in virtual systems and tools a plus (e.g. Blackboard Collaborate, Drupal, Survey Monkey, Alfresco)
Advanced MS Office skills, especially PowerPoint and Excel
Interested in our mission and working globally.
Willingness to embody our values of excellence, respect and passion for social change.
Excellence: Accion staff should always put forth their best effort in all activities, strive for high quality of collective and individual performance; and demonstrate honesty and integrity at all times while in the workplace and while working on behalf of the organization.
Respect: Accion staff should value one another’s roles and responsibilities as much as their own, be encouraging, and value the diverse and unique perspectives of colleagues. They should honor obligations and commitments to each other and to external partners.
Passion for Social Change: Accion staff should be committed to making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate, value the greater good of the organization over personal gain, and promote a productive workplace by acknowledging the accomplishments of others.