Chief of Staff at Aga Khan University (AKU)

The Aga Khan University is a private, autonomous university that promotes human welfare through research, teaching and community service initiatives. Based on the principles of quality, access, impact and relevance, the University has campuses and programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Its facilities include teaching hospitals, Faculties of Health Sciences with Schools of Nursing and Midwifery and Medical Colleges, Institutes for Educational Development, an Examination Board and an Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. The Graduate School of Media and Communications, the East African Institute, the Institute for Human Development and the Kiswahili Centre have been launched recently while several Graduate Professional Schools and Faculties of Arts and Sciences are to be set up in Pakistan and East Africa. Through its needs-blind admissions policy, the University imbues the most promising leaders and thinkers of tomorrow with an ethic of service and the skills to help communities solve their most pressing challenges. The Aga Khan University is one of nine agencies in the Aga Khan Development Network.

Reporting to the Dean, the Chief of Staff will serve as the right hand of the dean, effectively operating as Chief Operating Officer of the school. He/she will oversee day-to-day financial and operational management of the school, help identify and coordinate strategic priorities, manage operations, oversee grant proposals and management, and represents the dean as directed to senior university leaders, campus officials and critical external constituencies.

The selected candidate must possess the ability to build consensus and collaborate with internal and external constituents, creating a balance between institutional strategy and other emerging priorities. This position requires exceptional people, project management, and verbal and written communication skills, as well as the ability to work effectively with a group of diverse, highly motivated peers.

The incumbent will be, based in Nairobi Kenya.

Responsibilities

  • Oversee all financial aspects of the college, including developing and maintaining budgets, day-to-day financial management of the school’s units, development and management of project and unit financial reports, generating donors reports and data for donor audits, serving as primary liaison to the university Finance Department
  • Represent the dean on university-level committees and meeting
  • Advise the dean on institutional planning, policy development, and problem resolution
  • Advise the dean on policy, procedural and operational issues of the university, and may be charged with leading the operationalization of strategic initiatives for the dean
  • Provide counsel to the dean, serve as a sounding board and advise on sensitive matters. Synthesize information from a variety of internal and external sources and ensures the dean has all the information necessary to make informed decisions. Provide excellent judgment, diplomacy, and understanding bureaucratic issues to support the dean
  • Monitor and track metrics, and drive the design and/or execution of deliverables
  • With the director of academics and other senior staff, work with the dean to develop long term strategic priorities, programs and development goals
  • Manage an administrative team that includes project finance, contracts, project management teams, and related issues that ensure timely and efficient support for academic, training and other units
  • Assist in coordinating University-wide projects that cross various University divisions
  • Oversee operations of the Dean’s Office, including management of staff, budgets, grants, policies and procedures to maximize the effectiveness of the Office of the Dean with respect to workflow, scheduling, communications, events, and interactions with key internal and external constituencies, as well as assisting in the operational and financial details of grants applications and management
  • Help lead in change management efforts, partnering with appropriate leaders and staff to achieve goals

Requirements

  • Master’s degree in finance, business administration or related field required; PhD preferred
  • 3-5 years prior experience in business, higher education or non-profit management with a proven track record of successfully managing multiple priorities and complex fiscal challenges
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to prioritize
  • Appreciation for academia, comfortable working on cross-functional priorities at a strategic and operational level
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills and demonstrated ability to work effectively with a wide variety of constituencies, including members of a leadership team, faculty, administrators, students, parents, alumni, legislators, community leaders, business officials, and community members
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills for navigating and influencing within a complex environment with diverse and varied stakeholders
  • High attention to detail and analytical orientation
  • Independent and proactive
  • Quick learner
  • Works accurately and calmly under pressure
  • Ability to define clear objectives and enforce accountability for meeting deadlines
  • Collaborative work style; ability to maintain relationships with executives, colleagues, external stakeholders, partners and community leaders
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word) and financial management software; PeopleSoft preferred

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