Chief of Staff to COO

Nairobi, Nairobi County, Kenya | Field Operations | Full-time | Fully remote


Location: Global, Remote

About GiveDirectly

GiveDirectly (GD) aims to reshape international giving – and millions of lives – by providing cash grants directly to the world’s poorest. The Brookings Institution estimates that $70B of cash transfers would be required to eliminate the poverty gap; the aid sector currently spends $135B each year, much of it on evidence-free interventions. GiveDirectly wants to change that, establishing cash transfers as a benchmark for foreign aid – as the index fund is a benchmark for the financial industry – and in the process accelerating the end of extreme poverty.

GD has raised over $700M since launching in 2011, delivered cash to more than 1 million people, and launched offices in 10 countries. We’ve also supported large-scale, experimental research that indicates strong recipient impact of our programs. As a result, GD has been celebrated as one of the most innovative non-profit companies by Fast Company, while the growing cash transfer movement (and GD’s leading role within it) have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, This American Life, Foreign Affairs, and The Economist.

We’re looking for exceptional talent to grow our collaborative, diverse team. Joining GiveDirectly provides the opportunity to work alongside individuals who come from 21 different countries and speak 69 different languages. We’re actively working toward an equitable and inclusive environment for all team members, and seek candidates who will bring diverse perspectives and experiences to our organization. We recruit from organizations across all industries: our team has hailed from sectors including start-ups, government, consultancies, investment banks, and nonprofits.

Across our global offices, our culture is candid, analytical, non-hierarchical, and fast-paced. We value ability, adaptability, and willingness to learn. We offer competitive salary and benefits, as well as performance-based bonuses.


About this role

The Chief of Staff to the COO will originate and execute strategic initiatives across the COO’s remit (Africa ops, Humanitarian & US, Innovation, Field Tech, and Recipients Advocacy) that drive overall cross-functional coordination, minimize operating risks, and improve efficiency.


Reports to: COO


40% driving improvements in operations by supporting leadership in identifying and synthesising strategic priorities across COO verticals in the short, medium and long term - 

  • Drive special projects related to key strategic priorities, planning and business improvement. 
  • With COO, vertical leads and country directors, help create and articulate our differentiation and growth/expansion strategy to internal and external stakeholders.  
  • Support development of strong customer feedback loops and work with internal collaborators to embed customer-focus throughout the project design process.


40% improving execution of ‘business as usual’ supporting excellent ops bar - 

  • Support COO in driving critical cross functional initiatives by assuming day-to-day project leadership and enabling cross-departmental collaboration. 
  • Support healthy staffing across COO portfolios, by: (i) directly offering flexible support on high priority projects, (ii) assigning available flexible resources, (iii) supporting / driving key hiring and succession planning initiatives. 
  • Work with vertical leads to monitor and mitigate operational risks/blockers. 
  • Organize/maintain knowledge sharing platforms and tools including: maintenance of OQB standards, create/update priority templates, design KM strategy.

20% general office of the COO management

  • Support cross-vertical compliance initiatives
  • Prepare leadership meeting agendas/strategy documents 
  • Support preparation for important external or board meetings 
  • Represent COO/GD in lower-stakes/lower-profile external meetings


Core competencies and experiences

  • 4-7+ years of experience in a role focused on problem-solving (eg field management, consulting, analytics), team management, and/or new business development
  • Proven track record of effectively interacting with senior management,  influencing without authority and an ability to work strategically and collaboratively across departments
  • Strong logical structuring and analytical skills, be able to see patterns, be a fast thinker and a good decision maker
  • Excellent communication skills (writing and speaking) 
  • Excellent organizational skills, with keen attention to detail and ability to follow up systematically on a broad set of initiatives and decisions
  • Enthusiasm for fast-paced environments, and comfort with ambiguity (At least one work experience that required highly independent work in an exceedingly challenging environment)
  • Alignment with GiveDirectly Values 
  • Active demonstration of GD core competencies: emotional intelligence, problem solving, project management, follow-through, and fostering inclusivity. We welcome and strongly encourage applications from candidates who have personal or professional experience in the low-income and/or historically marginalized communities that we serve.


Why work at GiveDirectly?

At GiveDirectly, we work to ensure that you have everything you need to excel in your role and on your team, including:

  • A positive and supportive team with opportunities for advancement 
  • A demonstrated commitment to helping all staff develop and grow
  • A competitive salary
  • A monthly benefits allowance that covers Health, Dental, and Vision monthly premiums
  • Unlimited PTO (that we encourage staff to take!)
  • Desk allowance and flexible work location


**GD is committed to observing all local, national and international laws that protect children, vulnerable adults, and basic human rights of all. GD is committed to a policy of “zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (SEAH)” and expects anyone who works for GD to uphold the protection and safeguarding of our recipients as a priority.**