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Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) Director

Church World Service
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Last Date: January 31, 2011
Email: (Reference:

Church World Service, Inc.

Position Opening Announcement

Position Title:            Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) Director

Reports To:               Director, Immigration and Refugee Program

Location:                    Nairobi, Kenya

Team:                         Immigration and Refugee Program

Grade:                                    11 – Starting annual salary $60,000

Status:                        o  Non-Exempt                      þ  Exempt

                                    o  Bargaining Unit                  þ  Non-Bargaining Unit

Send Resume to:                  Church World Service
Office of Human Resources – KWL
P.O. Box 968
                                 Elkhart, IN  46515
                                 or fax to 574/266-0087
                                 or e-mail to

Application Deadline:           Received by January 31, 2011 


The OPE Director is responsible for the management of the Church World Service/Overseas Processing Entity (CWS/OPE) Nairobi office, which conducts case processing for eligible refugees throughout Sub-Saharan Africa for the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).  CWS administers OPE-Nairobi on the basis of a cooperative agreement with the US Department of State, as part of its Immigration and Refugee Program. 

In 2011, OPE-Nairobi expects to process cases for approximately 24,000 refugee applicants in 40 countries, largely through the deployment of caseworker teams from Nairobi to refugee camps and other case processing sites throughout sub-Saharan Africa.  The OPE Director is responsible for the oversight of a 200-person staff and for working closely with US Government officials and intergovernmental partner agencies to coordinate all aspects of refugee admissions to the US from the region.   

Position Requirements:

·         Masters Degree in International Relations, Business Management, Public Administration, Migration Studies or another relevant field is preferred

·         Minimum of 3 years management experience with an international organization, preferably focused on refugee case processing or other aspects of refugee resettlement

·         Knowledge of oversees refugee case processing, including the management of electronic data via WRAPS, is highly desirable

·         Demonstrated ability to manage a large and diverse operational program, and to balance the competing needs and demands of different partner agencies

·         Experience ensuring compliance with government-funded projects and knowledge of US federal government contract regulations.

·         Demonstrated ability to analyze budget data and financial reports, and to ensure cost-effective program implementation

·         Experience in managing a large and diverse staff, and the ability to lead teams in a multi-cultural environment

·         Experience with staff performance management and conflict resolution

·         Proven leadership and decision-making skills

·         Strong verbal and written communication skills

·         Demonstrated organizational skills, as well as strong analytical and problem solving skills.

·         Ability to maintain confidential information.

·         Ability to maintain high performance standards and attention to detail.

·         Ability to conduct oneself in a professional manner and to represent the best interests of OPE-Nairobi and CWS.

·         US Citizenship 

Core Functions and Responsibilities: 

1.    Representation and External Relations

·         Maintain regular communication with US Refugee Coordinators in East and West Africa regarding the status of OPE-Nairobi case processing activities.

·         Maintain collaborative and productive working relationships with USRAP partners, including US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

·         Oversee OPE staff members’ communications with counterparts in PRM, CIS, UNHCR and IOM.

·         Conduct periodic work travel to maintain strong relations with partners’ regional offices in West, Central and Southern Africa.   

·         Serve as point of contact with Kenyan counsel for all legal matters affecting OPE-Nairobi.

·         Maintain regular contact with CWS Africa regional office in Nairobi and other CWS staff  

2.    Management and Supervision

·         Ensure efficient and cost-effective implementation of the Cooperative Agreement between CWS and the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) to administer OPE-Nairobi and ensure that case processing targets for Africa are met.

·         Provide leadership and overall management to the OPE-Nairobi work units – Administration, Operations, Data Integrity, Cultural Orientation, and Staff Safety and Security – and directly supervise the five staff members heading these units. 

·         Lead senior management team meetings, and ensure effective communication across OPE units and between supervisors and their staffs.

·         Ensure working culture that values attention to detail, innovation in practices, and responsiveness to refugee clients, funders and operational partners.

·         Chair the CWS/OPE Nairobi Safety and Security Management Team  and lead responses to security or emergency health crises that may arise, in conjunction with the OPE Staff Security Coordinator, OPE Human Resources Manager and CWS headquarters office

·         Communicate regularly with CWS headquarters in New York, including through regular written reports and updates.

·         Participate in CWS Immigration and Refugee Program (IRP) Leadership team activities, including a monthly conference call. 

3.    Program Implementation

·         Provide effective leadership to refugee case processing activities, including through identifying strategies to efficiently move cases forward through the OPE process and integrate these into OPE-Nairobi practices.

·         Provide guidance to Operations staff on setting priorities in case processing, including analysis of refugee case pipelines.

·         Identify challenges to achieving case processing targets as they arise and, in conjunction with PRM and other operational partners, identify and implement timely responses.

·         Ensure the timely and effective implementation of case processing guidance, including oversight to the review and revision of standard operating procedures (SOPs).

·         Working with the Data Integrity Coordinator, ensure a high quality of case processing data and accurate and timely reporting, as well as a strong working relationship with the Refugee Processing Center (RPC).

·         Ensure that there is effective coordination between the Operations, Data Integrity and Human Resources units in identifying staff training needs in case processing, and developing training activities that respond to these needs.

·         Participate in monthly conference calls with PRM and CIS on the Africa refugee admissions program. 

·         Provide guidance to Cultural Orientation program, including pilot overseas ESL activities, and ensure a strong continuum between overseas and domestic cultural orientation for resettling refugees 

4.    Administration and Budget

·         Establish budget parameters and, working with the Deputy Director for Administration, lead staff in developing and monitoring unit budgets.

·         Provide leadership to ensure good stewardship of financial resources and OPE assets, including through participation in annual financial audits.

·         Ensure that administrative policies support the accountability, transparency, and efficiency of OPE-Nairobi, and are in compliance with the Cooperative Agreement, relevant OMB Circulars, and PRM and CWS policies.

·         Ensure that OPE-Nairobi has a robust strategy for using information technology to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its work across the organization.

·         Working with the Human Resources Manager, ensure that OPE-Nairobi employs innovate and effective approaches that ensure high performance and well-being among the staff. 


Communications: Demonstrate “transparency of information” by articulating program strategies, priorities, standards and expectations to staff and stakeholders.  Communicate by example a personal commitment to CWS/OPE values.  Supervise and evaluate the quality of communications within a program or department.  Represent CWS/OPE in varied forums, effectively interpreting its mission, values and programs and inspiring audiences to support its work.  Understand the importance of good media relations and demonstrate comfort and confidence in communicating with media representatives.  Conduct negotiations with local stakeholders with integrity and sensitivity, ensuring all relevant information is clearly communicated and documented.  Provide critical insight, perspective and expertise.  

Constituent Relationships: Manage relationships with stakeholders and work within their structure to identify programmatic linkages, plan and implement services and activities, and coordinate resolutions to problems.  Identify potential constituents with whom to build relationships and flesh out details of those relationships within the context of CWS/OPE’s mission, values and policies.  Participate in developing recommendations and implementing policies governing relations with stakeholders.  Resolve issues of concern to maintain effective constituent relationships. 

Job Knowledge: Has a strengthened understanding of the faith-based nature of CWS and is able to articulate that nature to varied audiences.  Knows “broad stroke” information about OPE programs and services, where to find more detailed information and how programs and services intersect.  Comprehensive knowledge of a particular field and able to use that knowledge in planning and implementing programs.  Demonstrate knowledge of how faith-based organizations are governed and use that knowledge to build support from CWS leadership.  Demonstrate knowledge of effective business management practices.  Assure CWS/OPE mission and values are not compromised in achievement of goals and priorities.  Evaluate staff skills, abilities and knowledge and identify opportunities to advance their development. Keep up to date with “best practices” and establish or adapt procedures that balance business performance with CWS’s ministry and values.  Model creative and effective use of technology. 

Leadership:  Communicate and model CWS/OPE’s mission, values and priorities to staff and stakeholders.  Share changes in priorities with staff and stakeholders, providing guidance to assist them in responding effectively.  Delegate work among staff and hold them accountable for meeting deadlines.  Instill pride in meeting work standards among staff.  Accept personal responsibility for the work performed by others.  Manage and evaluate staff, program and budget, making any changes necessary to achieve goals.   Enable and empower staff to take initiative and be creative. Manage the planning and implementation of CWS/OPE’s vision and program goals. 

Problem Solving:  Identify problems that undermine the effectiveness of a program.  Identify and implement workable solutions for program-wide problems, considering the costs, benefits and potential consequences to CWS/OPE.  Manage and provide the resources necessary to resolve problems within the program or department.  Promote staff involvement with and accountability for problem solving as a means to increase staff and organizational capacity.   

Program Planning and Management: Manage the development, implementation and evaluation of program activities, establishing budget, implementation steps and time frames.  Assure staff understand their roles in supporting program goals and CWS’s strategic plan.  Establish standards and expectations for performing work activities and assure the quality of work produced. Lead the gathering and analysis of information from internal and external stakeholders.  Make time-sensitive decisions affecting outcomes of program activities.  Build consensus with colleagues, stakeholders and management in support of new initiatives.  Successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously.   Invite critical analysis and perspectives from stakeholders and act on their recommendations to improve program effectiveness. 

Resource Building and Stewardship:  Plan budget needed for program activities.  Manage relationships with partners to assure continued support.  Develop opportunities to build support for CWS/OPE among new partners.   Manage staff and systems to make sure resources are used effectively.  Promote CWS/OPE’s mission, programs and services and inspire people to support them. Interpret CWS/OPE’s policies on stewardship and accountability for its resources to the public. 

Teamwork:  Contribute program expertise to the work performed by the team.   Promote effective interactions among team members and facilitate group discussion.  Establish clear expectations regarding team work assignments and assist staff in balancing priorities.  Network with other teams to discuss activities and make decisions on goals and activities that may intersect.  Negotiate issues that cause conflicts within the team to support effective team functioning.  Evaluate team results and individual team member performance, identifying needs and providing opportunities for improvement or enhancing team skills.   Produce reports detailing results achieved.  Provide critical insight and feedback to teams to enhance performance and results. 

Other Skills:

Strong organizational, diplomatic and priority-setting skills are needed to provide oversight of the OPE-Nairobi program and staff.  Strong oral and written communication skills.  Ability to work as part of a team. Experience in working under pressure.


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