Operations Director, WRI China

Date Published

Beijing China


World Resources Institute China Office

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World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address six critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water and sustainable cities. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of nearly 700 people with work spanning 50 countries. We have offices in Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges, and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.

The Leader We Are Looking For

WRI China was established in 2008 as WRI’s first International Office. Currently WRI China has more than 30 full-time staffs working on climate change, energy, cities, transport, water, and finance issues. We engage with businesses, policymakers and civil society at the local, national and international levels to advance transformative solutions for sustainable development and “ecological civilization”. WRI China recently registered as a foreign NGO under the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

In response to our growing program and staff, we are seeking an experienced and multi-talented Operations Director with strong financial background to lead our China operations team. Together with WRI China leadership and WRI Global Office, you will manage the China operations team to provide world class operations support to the program teams, to help them work more efficiently and effectively to turn big ideas into actions and impacts. At the same time, you will ensure appropriate controls are implemented and exercised in order to comply with WRI’s global policies and Chinese regulations, including the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Domestic Activities of Overseas Non-Governmental Organizations. You will serve as a member of WRI China Management Team to ensure the leaderships are well informed about the operations needs, requirements, and can make fact-based decisions.


Establish and manage all operational processes for WRI China in accordance with Chinese law and WRI policies including:

Grants and Contract Stewardship and Compliance
Human Resources
Registration & Legal Affairs
Office Administration
Business Planning
Information Systems
Risk Management

Finance and Compliance Lead:
Take accountability for ongoing business planning and work with the China Management team to drive decisions on financial sustainability, office expansion, staffing, and fundraising.
Direct and coordinate organization’s financial and budget activities to fund operations, maximize outcomes, and increase efficiency.
Conduct financial reviews of program spending and revenue to minimize program risk of deficits or over-spending versus budget.
Ensure sufficient capacity and oversight of compliance with the terms and conditions of all funding instruments.
Review financial statements and activity reports, and other performance data to measure operational productivity and outcome achievement and to determine areas needing cost reduction and program improvement.
Work closely with individual project managers on an ongoing basis to ensure project grant financials and outcomes/deliverables are on track.
Oversee external auditing activities (for the entity and projects), including negotiation of work and fees.
Lead the annual budgeting process.

Overseas NGO Law Compliance Lead
Responsible for completing WRI China’s post-registration procedures and transition under the Overseas NGO law.
Ensure continued compliance with the law by ensuring regular communication and liaising with appropriate government agencies.
Play a coordinating role in ensuring compliance with the various planning and reporting requirements under the Overseas NGO law.
Update annual office registration renewals.

Grants and Contracts
Provide oversight and support the grants and contracts officer to ensure compliance at WRI China with all obligations and deliverables as per the grants awarded to WRI China.
Provide oversight and support the grants and contracts officer to ensure due diligence and compliance on all onwards grants and contracts made by WRI China.

Build access to legal expertise to advice WRI on all matters relevant to operating in China so that WRI can be agile and continue its work with partners and gain access to resources to continue its activities
Oversee all the legal aspects of the entity with external attorneys (fiscal, statutory and labor aspects).
Oversee all compliance, controls, financial and legal flows.

Human Resources
Provide oversight to the HR Manager and function in WRI China to support the analysis, updating and implementation of HR-related policies, including compensation and benefits policies, to stablish competitive programs and compliance with statutory requirements under Chinese law.
?Provide oversight and support to the HR Manager to manage employee relations and help create a positive and productive work environment for all staff located in the Beijing office.
Provide oversight and support to the HR Manager to ensure staff access to professional training and development opportunities.

Develop or update project plans for information technology projects, in conjunction with WRI IT Director, including information such as project objectives, technologies, systems, information specifications and schedules.
Confer with WRI China Deputy Director, the IT support team in DC, and project personnel to identify and resolve problems.

Other Administrative Matters
Manage all other operational functions and staff in the China office to ensure sufficient staff capacity and strong internal controls.
Ensure that Employee Handbook and Administrative Procedures are up to date and relevant to the needs of the China office.
Plan and organize annual office retreats.

Strong financial skills, with solid experience in financial planning, budget oversight, grants management, and oversight of sub-grants and contracts. (core skill set required for the position)
A detail-oriented and highly organized individual with at least 10+ years of hands-on experience in management and operations, ideally within an international nonprofit matrixed organization.
Strong interpersonal skills and a passion to work with people across levels, functions and programs to build a strong coherent institution.
Adequate knowledge of financial and accounting requirements and rules, Chinese labor law, and latest Chinese regulations on international non-governmental organization.
Experience in building operational, accounting capacity, and developing new systems to improve efficiency or effectiveness.
Commitment to WRI’s mission and values.
Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Mandarin.
Resourceful with strategic thinking capabilities, ability to think out of the box, deal with ambiguous situations and come up with solutions where there are none apparently visible.
Master’s degree in business management, public administration, or related field. An MBA qualification and ACCA/CPA will be desirable.
Some domestic and international travels may be required.

Please note: Only selected candidate will be required to take a writing test.

Position reports to:
This position will report to WRI China Deputy Director and for global coordination and consistency to the WRI Global Operations Director.
The holder of this position will be expected to operate in close liaison with the operations support teams in Washington, DC.

Salary and Benefits: Salary is commensurate with experience and skills.

Duration: full-time regular

Location: Beijing, China

Start date: As soon as possible

Application deadline: June 15, 2018

How to Apply

To Apply: <strong>Qualified applicants should apply online at </strong><a href=”http://www.wri.org/careers.”><strong>www.wri.org/careers</strong>.</a> All applications must be submitted online through this career portal in order to be formally considered.

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