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Chief Operating Officer

The deadline for applications is 20 January 2021.

Chief Operating Officer

Salary: Competitive

Vacancy reference number EN25127

We are looking for a Chief Operating Officer to join the Executive Team of one of the most dynamic, fast-growing institutions of the University of Cambridge. The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is internationally recognised for its work in sustainability leadership & solutions for a sustainable economy & offers graduate & executive education, convening of leaders in business, government & finance, & research to underpin the transformations that are required.

CISL is currently embarking on a major expansion project, & in 2021 will move into ultra-low carbon refurbished headquarters in the centre of Cambridge allowing for further growth across the Institute.

Role purpose

- This role will work with the Director, fellow Executive Directors & Team Leaders to help take CISL to the next stage of its significant growth & impact journey, leading all the operational systems in the delivery of CISL's global strategy.

- The post holder will be responsible for leading necessary transformations to enhance matrix working across teams & ensure successful migration into the new building. The COO oversees operational efficiency across CISL, with responsibility for finance, people, digital & IT, HSE, & facilities.

- The COO will also lead CISL's strategy development, business planning & reporting processes, overseeing all governance, legal & compliance processes.

- This role will also deputise for the Director in their absence as required.

Main responsibilities of role

- The COO will be one of three Executive Directors at CISL, fully contributing to the formulation & review of CISL's strategy, business plan, financial models & forecasting, as well as policy development & implementation. This will include leadership of necessary transitions in the way that the Institute operates in support of strategy.

- Utilising a strategic & operational approach to ensure CISL is aligned, well resourced & operating optimally. This includes ensuring appropriate finance & compliance practices, & ensuring alignment with University policies.

- Build & lead a high performing, collaborative & diverse Operations team.

- Develop strong professional relationships with senior management across CISL and within the University more widely, facilitating effective cross-functional working.

- Act as an anchor point as required between the Director & Team Leaders, anticipating & challenging, where necessary, the implementation of CISL's global strategy & business plan.

- Lead necessary changes in diversity & inclusion, culture, systems & processes to unlock greater innovation & collaboration across the Institute, as well as efficiencies & effective use of resources.

Candidate profile

- Established experience in a COO role making a significant contribution to strategy & corporate direction & scaling through rapid, high-impact growth.

- Educated to degree level (MBA, accountancy or other relevant qualifications are desirable) / relevant experience.

- A decision maker who will establish & lead operational governance & performance across the organisation, from metrics to resource allocation & delivery, creating synergy, alignment & efficiencies.

- Demonstrable experience of process, project & change management & the ability to establish appropriate ways of working to unlock effective communication & information workflows.

- Strong commercial orientation with the stature to act as an ambassador for CISL within the University & externally, with the appetite to drive international growth alongside a complex network of stakeholders.

- A natural, motivational leader with demonstrable experience of fostering cultures of inclusivity & equity, building an environment that empowers & develops high-performing teams, promoting complex inter-departmental collaboration.

- A lateral thinker with excellent communication skills. A good influencer who is tactful, respectful, diplomatic, whilst action-orientated & results focussed.

For further information about the role and the benefits that the University can offer please download the ‘Further Information’ document attached to our advert.

This is a permanent, full time role located in Cambridge.

CISL is an equal opportunities employer and candidates from all backgrounds and predispositions are encouraged to apply. Informal enquiries may be sent to the CISL Human Resources team:

To submit an application, please click on the link in the 'Apply online' section of the advert:

This will take you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you do not have an existing account) and log in before completing the online application form.

Job details

The deadline for applications is Wednesday 20 January 2021.

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