Chief Operating Officer

Ref: 3858

Living Goods

Nairobi, Kenya or Kampala, Uganda

Role Managed by:

George Hourmouzios

Research Associate

t: +44 (0)20 7340 6246


Primary Practice Group: Global Non-Profit Practice

Salary & Benefits: Competitive and commensurate with experience

Closing Date: 29/04/2019

This vacancy has now expired, and is not accepting any new applications.

Please search for live opportunities or use the Register Interest facility to sign up for job alerts and/or leave your CV speculatively.

Operational Excellence
Reports to: CEO
Location: Nairobi, Kenya; or Kampala, Uganda
Direct reports: Country Directors, Community Health Strengthening,
Supply Chain, and Strategic Growth Initiatives
Travel: Up to 50 percent


Do you want your work to matter? Do you want to use your skills to make a difference, not just a living? Do you want to improve millions of lives, including your own? 

Living Goods works to reinvent how we improve the lives of the under-served. We think big, but operate lean and nimble. We believe community health is critical to deliver universal health coverage and that community health workers are essential because they bring health services to people’s doorsteps. 

We also help governments transform community health through mobile phones.  Using the disruptive power of mobile technology, we’ve equipped and deployed 9,000 community health workers across Africa. These community health workers treat common illnesses like pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria focusing on children and mothers.  They also provide primary healthcare to 7 million people at a fraction of the cost of doctors and nurses.  And they’ve reduced child mortality by 27 percent.

The secret to our success is a winning team.  One that enables people to bring their ideas and creativity to work every day.  If you work well in a dynamic collaborative culture, set high standards, meet challenges with determination and a have a sense of humor, come work for Living Goods!

Organizational Growth

Living Goods is growing!  We’ve grown 30 percent every year for the past 5 years. We now have a staff of 450 and 9,000 community health workers spread across two countries soon to be four. Our budget is $30 million this year and we will continue to increase, thanks to a recent $35 million challenge grant from the TED Audacious Ideas project.    

We’re growing because we have a winning model and mission: to ensure that every family has high quality health care in their community.  No matter how dense the neighbourhood or how remote the village.

Our growth is anchored in three S’s:  scaling, strengthening and spreading.  To scale we aim to increase the number of people served within our two operational countries, Kenya and Uganda, and to launch operations in two new countries by 2021. This will be the key focus of this role. To strengthen, we will broaden and deepen our impact with new programs and products and make big leaps in our operating effectiveness. Finally, we will spread our impact in current and new countries by influencing community health policy.

The Opportunity

Organizational growth can be dizzying for the faint-hearted but exciting for thrill seekers.  To manage both growth and our thrill seekers, we know we need the steady hand of a Chief Operating Officer (COO) who will serve as a Deputy to our CEO.

Opportunity assessment: We want you to lead in assessing opportunities that ensure we can deliver our long term scaling plans. To drive organization strategic discussions about what are our best bets for return on investment could be and to support in business development proposals. To help us think big but ensure that we get the details right. To serve as a deputy and trusted advisor to our CEO.

New country expansion: You will develop the plans and marshal the resources to bring us into new countries. You will lead discussions on where we should go next and broker deals with government to make it happen.

Deliver results: Just like we measure community health worker performance and product sales, we need you to measure our operational success. To define what it means to excel as a country director, a partner with government ministries of health, a supply chain manager and to help your team learn, grow, and thrive.

Manage country operations: You will guide and oversee Living Goods new country operations and in time our existing country operations, ensuring that each country has a strategy, policies and procedures, and the people necessary to succeed. You will ensure that operational processes are measured for effectiveness and efficiency.

Lead from within: We need you to help to hire, onboard and retain Living Goods top talent. We also look to offer global guidance on pivotal issues like where to expand, when to contract, where to invest in the organization, and key leaders to nurture. Finally, we need you to represent the CEO externally and to lead the organization in the CEO’s absence.

Your Background

Track record leading growth: You have successfully managed growth in an African company or NGO; in a growing company or NGO in Africa – one that is expanding in size (people, $) and geography (new countries, counties). 

Strategy development and execution: You are experienced at strategy development and execution, including opportunity sizing, assessments and developing project plans for implementation. You’ve articulated strategies at Board level and able to break them down to operational level

Operations expertise: You have 15+ years’ management of program operations in a global company. You’re experienced at setting up in new countries and know what excellence looks like in human resources, finance & accounting, supply chain, facilities, IT, contracts & grants.

Thought leader: You have influenced top leaders or board members of a company or organization. Others look to you for insight and your opinion. You have cutting edge ideas, spot trends, and propose ideas to address challenges.

Love for Africa: You have lived and worked in Africa. You love lions, coffee, mobile money, and other gifts that Africa has given the world.

Ability to execute: You have great ideas and the ability to implement them. You can translate a vision into plans so that we understand where we’re headed and what we need to do to get there.

Country management experience: You’ve led a country an NGO or for-profit company, ideally more than one country.  You can coach country directors on challenges and solutions associated with start-up and country management because you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.

Thrive under pressure: This role isn’t for the meek. We want excitement, not reluctance when a big decision needs to be made, or you’re asked to speak in front of a hundred people.

Gets our model: Living Goods is a hybrid model. We’re a nonprofit organization with a business minded approach. We use business practices to achieve social goals. We are looking for candidates with for-profit and nonprofit experience.

Lives our values: You can thrive in our culture – you can demonstrate inclusion, integrity, innovation, quick footedness, collaboration, and accountability.  


A competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience including health insurance and bonus opportunity.  The opportunity to be your best while making lives better for those in need.

Living Goods is an equal opportunity employer and will consider every qualified applicant for employment. Living Goods does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

The closing date for applications is: 12pm EAT on Monday 29th April 2019.

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This vacancy has now expired, and is not accepting any new applications.

Please search for live opportunities or use the Register Interest facility to sign up for job alerts and/or leave your CV speculatively.