Chief Operating Officer (f/m)

Location: International Office Innsbruck and/or Vienna

SOS Children’s Villages International is the umbrella organisation for the global federation of SOS Children’s Villages. As a non-governmental social development organisation we help children without parental care and families in difficult living conditions through services in care, education, health and emergency relief, and we advocate for children’s rights. Our work is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. We work in 136 countries and territories, reaching over one million children, young people, families and caregivers each year.

Mission and Position Purpose:

As a member of the Management Team (MT), which is the executive body of the federation and consists of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as its leader, as well as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), s/he is co-accountable for the overall performance of the General Secretariat (GSC) and carries individual accountability for the respective portfolio. Consequently, being an integral part of the Management Team, s/he jointly shapes the strategy of the GSC.

In her/his role, the incumbent reports to the CEO and provides strategic guidance within the scope of the assigned portfolio to major stakeholders, including but not limited to: the President, International Senate, CEO, CFO, Management Council, member associations and International Directors for the Regions.

Supported by the Deputy COO, s/he will lead a multicultural team with the strategic aim to manage and coordinate GSC support in the regions (i.e. Asia, Middle East and North Africa, West and Central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa, Central Eastern Europe/CIS and Latin America and the Caribbean) and directly supervise the respective International Directors for the Regions.

In this context, the incumbent will follow up on the implementation of plans, agreements and KPIs in the regions and ensure compliance with federation policies and standards.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership

  • Responsible for the implementation of SOS Children’s Villages International’s vision, mission and values, global strategy, policies and standards throughout the regions
  • Provide strategic guidance and safeguard the translation of the global strategy into regional realities and requirements with respect to local as well as content/service related topics
  • In close strategic cooperation with the International Competence Centres, support alignment of programmes to our global strategy and build capacity in the regions
  • Monitor the implementation of programme services in line with the strategy and policies of SOS Children’s Villages International; support necessary innovation to improve programme quality and impact
  • Oversee high profile risks emerging from operations in the regions using risk management and mitigation techniques, as well as handle crisis management in cooperation with the International Directors for the Regions

Managerial Leadership

  • Proactively promote leadership, organisational development, governance, strategic outlook, effectiveness, quality assurance as well as co-operation within the federation
  • As the direct supervisor, manage the performance of International Directors for the Regions in accordance to targets and plans aligned with the overall strategy
  • Oversee the development of regional leadership and management
  • Participate in the Federation governance bodies and together with the President and other Management Team members, he/she will represent the federation externally

Professional Experience / Qualifications/ Skills:

  • Advanced university degree in International Development, International Humanitarian Affairs, Political Science or Social Science, or other related fields or first level university degree with substantial comparable experience
  • Professional experience in a leadership role with relevant international experience in a development and/or humanitarian context preferably with a child focused or social organisation, combined with a good understanding of political and operational priorities and strategic direction
  • Strong relationship builder and communicator with experience in leading diverse and cross-cultural teams with the ability to develop and implement an organisation-wide strategy for programme excellence
  • Excellent leadership and people management skills to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and to inspire and motivate managers and co-workers under her/his supervision. Leads by example by setting high ethical standards in line with our SOS Children’s Villages values: commitment, courage, trust and accountability
  • Openness to flexibility and an ability to adapt quickly to change with an optimistic outlook and an emphasis on collaboration, including prioritising our mission and recognising the achievements of teams
  • Excellent analytical skills to identify key points, develop and generate strategic goals and translate them into practical proposals for action; drive and encourage innovation
  • Proven multi-cultural awareness with strong communication skills
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills; knowledge of additional languages (German, Spanish or French) would be an asset
  • Willingness and ability to undertake significant travel activities
We offer:
  • The opportunity to drive the operational implementation strategy of one of the largest NGOs globally and support our meaningful mission: We build families for children in need, we help them shape their own futures and we share in the development of their communities.”
  • A high level management position with a varied scope of tasks and the responsibility to further develop the organisation to achieve its strategic goals

If you are interested in this position, please send your detailed application via e-mail
to, SOS-Children’s Villages International,

SOS Children’s Villages International strives to ensure gender balance in senior management. Therefore, we strongly encourage women to apply for this position.