Director of Operations

Columbia University in New York

Date Posted February 19, 2014
Type Executive
Salary Commensurate with experience
Employment Type Full-time

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) ( was launched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in August 2012. The network is led by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and has five objectives: (i) to provide expert advice and support to the various international processes working on the post-2015 development policy agenda, including the Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals; (ii) to organize Thematic Groups mobilizing global expertise to identify critical pathways to sustainable development in priority areas; (iii) to promote Solutions Initiatives that can significantly accelerate progress towards sustainable development; (iv) to build a global Network and National as well as Regional SDSNs involving universities, research centers, civil society organizations, and companies around the world to accelerate practical problem solving for sustainable development at the local, national, regional, and global level; and (v) to promote online and other educational material on sustainable development targeting university students, high-school students, and professionals.


The secretariat of the SDSN is housed by the Earth Institute of Columbia University in New York, Paris, and Delhi.


The Director of Operations will drive and oversee the operations of the SDSN secretariat in New York and structure special initiatives by the SDSN in support of its key objectives in cooperation with a large number of internal and external partners. This will include developing and executing budgets totaling some $6-10 million per year; overseeing all contracting by the SDSN; managing the New York office of the SDSN; and helping build the SDSN team globally. The position will report to the Executive Director and work closely with the Director. The Director of Operations will be based in New York with occasional international travel.




  • Bachelors Degree required and a minimum of 7 years related experience.

  • Proven ability to structure complex projects from operational, financial, and human resource perspectives.

  • Excellent track record in managing budgets and relationships with donors. The successful candidate will require at least 3-5 years experience in managing budgets.  

  • Successful 3 to 5-year record of team and project management, including the ability to motivate others and the flexibility to respond to changing priorities in a fast-paced environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage partnerships and client relationships at senior level and outstanding ability to network.  Passion for the mission of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

  • Outstanding English oral and written communication skills.

  • A professional and resourceful style with the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative and manage multiple tasks and projects at a time.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with the administrative, financial and human resources systems of Columbia University or another academic institution is preferred.

  • Good knowledge of academia and/or institutions involved in sustainable development.

  • Advanced degree in economics, development, natural sciences, engineering, business or related discipline is preferred

  • International work experience.



Applications must be submitted on-line at the Columbia University Job website where full details on the responsibilities of the position and a detailed list of all requirements may be found.


Apply at: https://  


Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at https://