Director of Operations - Kigali, Rwanda

Davis College - Rwanda

Job Summary

You will work hand-in-hand with the Chief Growth Officer to achieve the organization’s planned expansion goals in Africa. By June of 2020, Davis College will open its first co-ed campus in Kigali, and will simultaneously grow its women’s-only campus (Akilah) to 1600 students.

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Management level
  • Experience Length: 5 years

Job Description

Reports To: Chief Growth Officer

Department: Operations

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Supervises: Maintenance Support Team / Senior Operations Officer

About the Organization

Are you ready to revolutionize global education? We’re on a mission to provide transformational, personalized learning experiences that prepare students for professional success in the 21st century.

Over the past ten years, the Akilah Institute has become East Africa’s pre-eminent institution for women’s leadership and career development. Now, after a decade of impact in Rwanda, we are launching Davis College, a new global co-ed network of universities. We’re expanding access to more students than ever, and will offer degrees to male and female students. We have an ambitious vision for scale of our unique model of personalized and affordable higher education, while maintaining Akilah as a unique campus for female leaders.

Davis College Rwanda and Davis College Hong Kong will open in 2020. By 2030, we will create a global network of 10 Davis College campuses in Asia and Africa and educate 1 million students in online and face to face environments over the next ten years.

Our pillars (21st-century skills, personalized learning, innovation, ethical leadership, and sustainability) underpin all of our academic programs and serve as our guiding light during this phase of rapid expansion. We’re committed to equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in careers in the fastest growing sectors of the economy.

About the Position

You will work hand-in-hand with the Chief Growth Officer to achieve the organization’s planned expansion goals in Africa. By June of 2020, Davis College will open its first co-ed campus in Kigali, and will simultaneously grow its women’s-only campus (Akilah) to 1600 students. Given the upgrades in the academic pedagogy (move to personalized learning via a Blended Learning model), as well as introduction of new academic offerings, each campus will need specific infrastructure to create a conducive learning environment. In alignment with our vision to scale the Davis College network in Africa, as new markets are identified, you will serve as the right-hand expansion advisor and implementer to launch new campuses.

In addition, you will oversee and lead on all Rwanda Operations strategy and activities, including facilities planning, management and procurement.


Expansion, Facilities & Campus Operations

  1. Lead on the strategy for identifying and securing new campus facilities or space, and for renovating/outfitting existing ones, in alignment with growth, pedagogical and sustainability objectives and requirements;
  2. Liaise with commercial, private and government offices managing property and land;
  3. Work strategically with architects and contractors to identify facilities that meet our functional and growth requirements;
  4. Align all campuses with local regulations, and serve as lead on securing approval for new campuses from regulators;
  5. Plan, execute and manage relocation of campus(es);
  6. Collaborate across departments to ensure physical campus facilities address the needs of functional departments, such as Academics (i.e., student labs) and IT, as well as the needs of the organization overall (such as cafeteria and parking);
  7. Maintain Maintenance Care work order system, updating as necessary to meet campus maintenance needs and review monthly maintenance records for proactive resolution of recurring issues;
  8. Negotiate and manage all maintenance and facilities related contracts;
  9. Serve as primary liaison to Landlords, and overseer of leases, while also leading on damage or malfunction issues;
  10. Liaise with security companies and manage the performance of security team;
  11. Liaise with colleagues in other locations where Davis/Akilah has operations to share best practices and contacts;
  12. Evaluate and recommend improvements to campus security in collaboration with the President & Vice Chancellor; and
  13. Other duties as assigned related to growth and operations. 

Procurement, Operations & Financial Management

  1. Manage Rwanda Ops team, including maintenance support team and Senior Operations Officer, and build their capacity to help manage growth;
  2. Identify proper staffing levels, hire, develop and train a team of employees to deliver superior customer service and perform daily job functions;
  3. Manage and oversee facilities and operations budget;
  4. Oversee the procurement process for all campus goods and services;
  5. Responsible for the appropriate storage, monitoring, and physical verification of all Akilah assets (furniture, keys, supplies, equipment, etc.) and related policies;
  6. Ensure adequate insurance coverage based on evaluation of organizational risk;
  7. Seek to optimize expenditures, find savings, and keep operation lean; and
  8. Advise on how to better manage and scale operational activities.

Education & Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferred in Engineering, Facilities Management or related field; an Associate’s degree plus relevant experience may be substituted
  • Minimum of three years experience managing facilities and operations, preferably in a higher education or startup environment
  • Fluency (speaking, reading, writing) in English and Kinyarwanda

Desired Skills/Qualifications

  • Ability to work independently and meet deadlines;
  • Exceptional communication and negotiation skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to solve complex facility problems quickly and proficiently;
  • Ability to develop space plans, move management, reconfigurations, and construction/capital improvements;
  • Strong vendor management skills and ability to interface with property management;
  • Ability to take initiative for planning and supervising projects, manage multiple tasks concurrently, and apply continuous improvement principles;
  • Skilled at moving quickly, prioritizing critical tasks with grace and tenacious follow up in a fast-paced startup environment;
  • Demonstrated skill in cross-functional collaboration and the ability to evaluate the abilities of those around you and leverage their skills to execute quickly and with excellence;
  • Relentless resourcefulness, refusing to be slowed down by real or perceived obstacles,with a clear willingness to push to get access to the resources you need, contribute unsustainable effort when the situation calls for it, and be creative in finding ways to remove block;
  • Extraordinarily resilient, positive, and proactive, approaching work with a commitment to building a positive organizational culture that values continuous learning, excellence, transparency, honest feedback, perseverance, and sense of humor;
  • A high level of emotional intelligence and the ability to earn the trust of your team, peers and other key partners and stakeholders;
  • Exceptionally motivated by the idea of building a global community of lifelong learners.
  • An enthusiastic proponent and impeccable user of all available systems in order to continually drive improvements in operational efficiency;
  • Proficiency with Google Drive applications, Asana, Slack and Microsoft Office applications strongly preferred; and
  • Knowledge of education in the East African context a plus.

This is not a 9-to-5 position and we are not a 9-to-5 company. You can lead by example and be ready to do whatever it takes to ensure success;


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