Chief Operating Officer

About HFX

HFX is an independent non-governmental organization based in Washington, DC, dedicated to strengthening strategic cooperation among the world’s democracies. HFX is best known for its annual Halifax International Security Forum. HFX’s annual Forum in Halifax, Canada is recognized as the leading gathering of democratic leaders committed to global security and prosperity. 

Position Summary 

This position will act in partnership with the President as a key leader and strategic advisor with  responsibility for providing oversight of the organization’s managerial, operational and program  support functions. The position will ensure HFX’s internal effectiveness through planning,  performance metrics, resource allocation, and the development and execution of efficient  operational processes, strategies and communications.  

Essential Accountabilities/Responsibilities 

  • Oversee all operations and program support functions, including developing, communicating,  and implementing plans that provide an effective and efficient operational infrastructure of  systems and processes.  
  • Advance the President’s vision by promoting and reinforcing a performance culture and the  attainment of institutional goals. 
  • Advance HFX’s vision, mission, and values by promoting and reinforcing a performance  culture and the attainment of institutional goals in line with the President’s vision.
  • Work with the President and other senior leaders to develop HFX’s strategy, goals and  objectives, and align overall management of the organization to achieve them. 
  • Advise President on issues related to overall organizational health, including developing and  implementing necessary change management strategies. 
  • Lead a varying portfolio of strategic projects and initiatives in collaboration with relevant  teams and stakeholders.  
  • Ensure all activities are performed/completed in compliance with applicable regulations and  laws, as well as in accordance with HFX established values, policies, standards and  procedures.  
  • Ensure that responsibilities, authority and accountability for all direct reports are defined and  understood. 
  • Direct supervisory responsibility of HFX DC staff, in collaboration with President.
  • Represent the Forum at various external meetings, forums and events; travel as necessary on  behalf of HFX; develop and maintain a network of external contacts and collaborative  partners to promote HFX’s brand, mission and work. 

Required Qualifications 

Education and Experience 

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, public administration or management, or a related field, or  equivalent relevant work experience. Masters degree in a similar discipline is a plus.
  • Fifteen years of progressive leadership experience, five of which were in executive  management roles, and which preferably included work with a non-profit, international  NGO or similar organization that focused on international security and democratic  development, social justice, civil society or other such mission-focused work.
  • Previous leadership experience overseeing operational, financial, strategic planning, and  Board (or equivalent) relationships as well as supervision of seasoned management staff. 
  • Demonstrated experience leading, participating in, and executing strategic and  operational planning and strategies to ensure clarity around performance expectations,  both at the organization and individual levels; alignment with the organization’s vision;  and integration of relevant market and stakeholder information. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities 

  • Advanced business acumen, as well as demonstrated in-depth knowledge of and  experience in the development and execution of operational and management processes  e.g., financial management, budgeting, planning, project management, etc., and policies  as well as related process improvement, business development, and change  management strategies.  
  • Excellent organizational, project management, facilitation, negotiation, and analytical  skills, as well as a demonstrated propensity to be creative, proactive, and self-motivated  in the execution and completion of required tasks.  
  • Superior communication skills, both oral and written, with the ability to develop/deliver  presentations to varied audiences in various settings, and plan, lead and facilitate group  meetings and project teams. Must be able to translate and present complex information  into a meaningful, understandable, and credible context for business decisions. 
  • A high level of confidence, integrity, cultural sensitivity, and exceptional interpersonal  skills, as well as a professional executive presence, for effectively engaging and  interacting with and influencing others, including key stakeholders and decision makers,  as well as for building/fostering relationships and meeting public speaking/presentation  requirements. Must demonstrate high standards of tact, diplomacy, and discretion. 
  • Demonstrated ability to establish credibility, and be decisive and results-oriented while  balancing varying business considerations/priorities.
  • Demonstrate sound judgment, political savvy, and critical thinking relative to complex  problem solving/resolution at both the strategic and functional levels. 
  • Ability to manage uncertainty and conflict, as well as maintain composure and  demonstrate control in difficult or complex situations. 
  • Highly effective leadership skills relative to staff management and achieving results  through others. 
  • A commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the ability to model and reinforce behaviors  that value and respect diverse individuals and perspectives and encourage contributions  by all team members.  
  • Technical proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office, i.e., WORD, Outlook, etc. Previous  experience with Google Suite is a plus.  
  • Demonstrated passion and commitment to HFX’s mission. 

Work Environment 

This position generally works in an office environment, with occasional travel requirements  and/or attendance at external events and activities. Work outside normal business hours,  evenings and weekends may be required to meet these and other position requirements. 

Required business travel is anticipated to be no more than 15% and may include successive  overnight and occasional weekend travel. 

ADA Notation: 

The physical demands and work environment that have been described are representative of  those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the  essential functions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Note: This job description is an overview of the functions and requirements for this position. It  is not intended to be an exhaustive list encompassing every duty and requirement. Other duties  may be assigned as deemed necessary by the supervisor. 

Compensation and Benefits 

HFX provides an industry leading compensation package. 

Application Timeline 

Applications will be considered until 11:59 pm on August 5th, 2022. Please send your cover letter and CV to Please reference “Chief Operating Officer” in the subject line.

HFX is an equal opportunity employer and actively seeks candidates from a diverse background.