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Director of Operations


The mission of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is to empower leaders to tackle critical global challenges and build a sustainable economy. CISL has been working with business, governments and the financial sector for 30 years, and is internationally recognised for its work in sustainability leadership. In addition to Executive and Graduate education and international leadership groups, CISL is currently embarking on a major expansion of its activities to include, a new programme of research and the introduction of an accelerator programme for SMEs. These activities, and a growing demand for its services and support means that CISL will almost double in size over the next 5 years. To accommodate this growth the Institute has plans to move into a larger, refurbished building in the centre of Cambridge.

The Director of Operations is a new and exciting position within CISL's senior executive team that reports directly to the head of the Institute. The role will have strategic oversight for the business services teams and systems that support this successful and growing activity within the University. This includes HR, Finance, Risk, Contracts, Estate, HSE, IT, Governance, and the coordination of the development and delivery of the Strategy and Business Plans that lie behind these developments. The role will also be responsible for developing a digital strategy to enhance CISL's performance and long-term resilience.

Applicants must be committed to the values that underpin CISL's work and demonstrate the following essential skills and experience:

  • Educated in a relevant qualification to degree level or higher (or have equivalent professional experience)
  • Demonstrated experience in Operational Management
  • Experience in project delivery in line with well-known methodologies and in consideration of operational and technical issues (including digital)
  • Experience in strategic planning in support of business development or client management
  • Experience in financial planning, budgeting, financial analysis, and reporting
  • Experience of Estates/Asset Management
  • Experienced people manager with evidence of managing performance of large teams for high quality results
  • Evidence of working at a strategic level to create and deliver organisation-wide change
  • Outstanding project and change management skills and the ability to coordinate and maximize the contributions of others
  • Excellent people management skills and development of teams
  • Excellent negotiation, communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to develop and maintain influential relationships with colleagues, suppliers, and partners at senior levels
  • Strong problem solving, strategic thinking and planning skills
  • Excellent presentation skills both via oral and written communication
  • Business development acumen, from opportunity identification to delivery
  • Ability to manage financial and accounting systems and processes
  • An understanding of health and safety, and risk management.

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

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal enquiries may be made to the CISL Human Resources team, Human.Resources@cisl.cam.ac.uk.

Please quote reference EN15377 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online