We are delighted that you are interested in exploring a future with us.

Heartland Alliance is a global human rights organization that advances social, economic, and racial justice on behalf of those denied it. We partner with communities and populations that have been systemically marginalized and oppressed, often going where others can’t or won’t. We address the whole person through health and healing, safety and justice, housing, and economic opportunity programs and services. We respond to urgent challenges at scale. 

We are seeking the next Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Heartland Alliance International (HAI) to drive our next phase of growth. HAI leads programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and in Chicago at the Marjorie Kovler Center. HAI’s technical areas include mental health and psychosocial support, gender equity, access to justice, and stigma-free HIV prevention, care, and treatment. Across all programs, HAI promotes progressive, innovative approaches to human rights protections and gender equity. Our mission is to secure the rights and well-being of marginalized people and communities.

HAI believes there can be no healing without justice, and no justice without healing.

The COO reports to the HAI Executive Director. The ideal candidate will be energetic, creative, collaborative, and courageous. The candidate should be a proactive values-driven leader who has deep experience in advancing human rights and equity.  The candidate will possess a deep understanding of the international development, human rights and United States Government funding environment and philanthropic sectors.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual success objectives, within the framework outlined below.

If you are inspired by this opportunity and see yourself in the position description, we look forward to meeting you.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Lead a high performing team of associate directors and global operations staff by providing them with management guidance and operational assistance. 
  • Enhance organizational excellence by establishing operational benchmarks, timelines, and resources needed to achieve strategic goals, recommending and driving improvements as necessary; and setting standards for accountability and measurements of success.
  • Develop and implement recruitment, training, and retention strategies.
  • Contribute to the implementation of HAI’s goals and objectives as well as the overall management of the organization.
  • Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the Executive Director informed of all critical issues.
  • Provide leadership in development of inter-team communication and cohesiveness, sustaining culture and supporting staff during organizational growth
  • Represent HAI in industry-group conferences, professional associations, and other public venues.
  • Ensure staff members receive timely and appropriate training and development.
  • Support the senior leadership team, regional directors, and staff to make consistent progress toward organizational and programmatic consistency and sustainability; effectively communicate work plans and priorities derived from the organization's strategic plan by partnering with senior leaders to follow through with coordinated accountabilities, objectives, and associated budgets.
  • Support the Executive Director in fulfilling leadership roles during their absence.


  • Liaise with Heartland Alliance Business Services departments to develop high quality operations systems in line with best practices, including setting objectives, establishing priorities, monitoring results, and troubleshooting challenges.
  • Identify best practices and improve internal systems in response to field and HQ needs with an eye toward future needs and budget realities.
  • Oversee fiscal year budgeting process, including proposing strategic use of resources and projecting expenses for sound decision-making
  • Manage security incidents with HAI’s Global Security Advisor.
  • Provide support to field operations and visit field offices as necessary.
  • Oversee implementation of the reporting structure to ensure necessary information is reported to the Executive Director and Senior Management.
  • Support new program or country site start-ups and shut downs.

Program & Grants Management Strategy, Implementation and Reporting Leadership

  • Lead and guide the efforts of the associate director team and field-based program leadership and staff teams to monitor, guide and strengthen HAI’s capacity to achieve and exceed outlined program objectives and goals on schedule and within budget 
  • Ensure consistent project start-ups and closeouts plans, practices and tools that engages all relevant stakeholders to ensure donor compliance and successful program implementation across the globe.
  • Lead efforts that instill collaboration and integration across all field-based teams, operations and HABS partners to support the development, alignment and synchronization of program management and implementation policies and procedures that are aligned with relevant local laws, HAI, HA and donor driven policies and requirements.  

Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience:   Bachelors degree and five years progressive relevant experience in international development.
  • Language Skills:  Ability to read, analyze, and interpret accounting principles, government regulations, financial reports, and legal documents.  Ability to respond to common inquiries or questions from management, staff, Board members, auditors, and regulatory agencies.  Ability to prepare and write narratives for financial analyses that conform to prescribed style and format in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  Ability to effectively present information to top management, staff, and Board members. Preference for second language capability in Spanish, French or Arabic. 
  • Mathematical Skills:   Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.  Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference.
  • Reasoning Ability:  Strong analytical ability required. Ability to identify problems, ask questions, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.
  • Computer Skills: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to use Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.  The individual must have thorough knowledge of fund accounting software.  

Leadership Competencies 

  • Teamwork & Collaboration
  • Strategic Agility
  • Communication 
  • Managerial Courage
  • Talent Development

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The employee is regularly required to talk or hear. 
  • The employee is frequently required to sit and use hands to key, handle, or feel. 
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk and reach with hands and arms.

Work Environment:  The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.



Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at (312) 660-1431.