Director of Finance and Operations, USAID/Mali Local Governance Activity At Save the Children – US


Save the Children is seeking a Director of Finance and Operations (DFO) for an anticipated Local Governance Program in Mali. The USAID Local Governance Program intends to improve the development of high-quality local development (PDSEC) plans, social service delivery, and public accountability. The activity will focus on the inclusive participation of all citizens in the development of plans at the Commune level that account for the needs of women, youth and marginalized groups. It will strengthen civil society organizations capacity in advocacy, and support resource mobilization for social accountability. It will raise awareness of citizens about their roles in development planning, budget analysis, public hearings and advocacy, while also improving the capacity of local authorities to respond to their populations’ needs.

The DFO reports directly to the Chief of Party and is responsible for the overall leadership of the project’s finance and operations team, overseeing all financial and awards management, internal controls and financial compliance aspects of the project, in accordance with USAID guidance and regulations. They will manage the implementation of accounting systems, budgeting, expenditure tracking, and financial reporting for Save the Children and any sub-awards. The DFO is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate operational structure exists to ensure effective support of field operations and to protect the integrity of the country office operations to implement the project. They will also need to maintain consistent coordination and teamwork with other senior positions and individuals working on the program as well as with USAID guidelines.

This position is contingent upon donor approval and funding.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)

Management & Oversight

  • In collaboration with the COP and other senior staff, provide leadership to ensure the successful implementation of project activities according to the contractual requirements with the donor and government.
  • Verify that appropriate segregation of duties exists to ensure effective support of field operations and to protect the integrity of the country office financial and administrative operations.
  • Prepare and monitor budgets to ascertain that spending occurs as planned and that variances are anticipated, noted, and corrected; ensure that program personnel are able to monitor their respective budgets in order to make timely progress towards completion and achievement of program objectives.
  • Encourage a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

Project Financial Management

  • Provide day-to-day leadership, management, and oversight of the project’s finance team.
  • Review and consolidate monthly financial reports to ensure accuracy and to provide regular feedback to senior management. Monitor burn rates, reconcile timesheets with financial reports, advise on spend projections and maintain and update the status of obligated funds.
  • Ensure all financial plans, invoices, reports, and other financial documents and transactions are accurate, timely, and consistent with Save the Children and USAID guidelines and regulations.
  • Perform financial review of purchase requests, purchase orders, and payment requests to ensure compliance with Save the Children’s policies and procedures and the donor’s grants and contracts requirements.
  • Oversee subgrant monitoring and compliance including organizational assessments, organizational capacity development, review of financial reports/advance requests, and financial tracking; develop subgrant monitoring plans; and perform and document compliance visits.


  • Provide day-to-day leadership, management, and oversight of the project’s Operations Manager and team.
  • Prepare and revise operations guidelines in order that they adhere to SC and USAID requirements.
  • Oversee administrative duties as needed.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in relevant area of expertise preferred, such as business administration, finance, or international development. Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of seven years of experience managing finance and operations for USAID-funded projects in Mali; in-depth knowledge of USAID financial management rules and regulations.
  • In-depth knowledge of US Government rules and regulations including 22 CFR 226.22, CFR-145, and OMB Circulars A-122 and A-133.
  • Proven ability to prepare multi-year budgets, donor financial reports and USAID audits.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with government representatives, private sector entities, local organizations, donors and other stakeholders, particularly at the sub-national level.
  • Strong analytical, leadership and interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to lead and work effectively in team situations.
  • Experience as a coach/mentor to train staff and develop financial skills of colleagues.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French. Proficiency in Bambara and/or other Malian national languages preferred.
  • Expert computer skills in Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ten years of progressively responsible experience in financial and operational management for large and complex programs funded by international donors, including the U.S. Government.
  • Strong experience of working within a complex national program in the context of an emergency intervention or in conflict/fragile state contexts.
  • Experience supporting democracy, rights and governance programming preferred.
  • Ability and willingness to be very flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes dangerous working circumstances.
  • Personal commitment to gender equality, child rights and social inclusion.

Qualified local national candidates are highly encouraged to apply.

About Save the Children

No matter your role when you join Save the Children, each and every day you will challenge yourself to devote your skills, talent and expertise to changing the world for kids. It’s an ambitious goal, and a meaningful one no matter how you see yourself professionally: an accountant, a writer, a data analyst, a teacher, a driver, a designer, or any one of the hundreds of dozens of roles we’re looking to fill every day.

You see, Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Our work for children and their families requires that we commit—at every opportunity—to work together to identify and dismantle persistent systemic and structural racism, inequality, and any other forms of discrimination in this country and beyond. As an anti-racist organization, Save the Children will not tolerate discrimination in any form—in our employment practices, amongst our staff, in our leadership or toward the people we serve. We stand in solidarity with all people to fight for equal rights, justice, inclusion, and belonging.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom we are in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation.

Save the Children is committed to minimizing safety and security risks for our valued employees, ensuring all are given training, support and information to reduce their risk exposure while maximizing the impact of our programs for children and families. Our shared duty, both agency and individual, is to seek and maintain safe working conditions for all.

How to apply

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December 2023