JOB POST: Assistant General Secretary for Organizational Learning, American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, USA

Posted on 4 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization, which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.


TITLE: Assistant General Secretary for Organizational Learning
STATUS: Exempt
LOCATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
SUPERVISOR: Deputy General Secretary for Programs

Application Deadline: October 3, 2008

The Assistant General Secretary for Organizational Learning (AGOL) supervises the directors of Evaluation, Program Planning, Strategic Methods and Constituency Outreach and Engagement and provides overall guidance, coordination, interpretation, and expertise to enhance the organizational learning environment at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). The AGOL ensures that senior managers are kept up-to-date on external trends and operational issues that may affect organizational learning at the AFSC. The AGOL works with the associate and assistant general secretaries to strengthen internal management and team building, to establish new models of operation that will facilitate positive cultural changes, and to reinforce a culture of accountability and participation.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/RESPONSIBILITIES: The key responsibilities of the AGOL include the following:
Staff Management, Development and Support
• Cultivate a work environment that attracts and maintains a diverse and highly-motivated staff.
• Set expectations and goals for results; develop objectives, strategies, action plans and financial projections to accomplish goals. Conduct annual performance reviews based on these objectives.
• Provide leadership and vision to staff members to promote teamwork, to achieve a common purpose, and to encourage continuous professional growth.
• Ensure that all AFSC policies and procedures are followed by all assigned staff.
• Work with staff members to ensure that all projects and programs are high quality, effective, and focused on the mission, goals and objectives of the AFSC.
• Function as an effective decision-maker for the organization – using “sense of the meeting,” consultation, concurrent decision-making, and legally binding (union contract) approaches to decision-making as appropriate.
• Recognize that staff members are highly skilled and motivated and that consultative decision-making (where alternative views are sincerely received) is highly desirable.
Planning and Direction
• Provide strategic and creative leadership to the Organizational Learning unit.
• Keep abreast of the major political, economic, social, and cultural issues that may affect the work of the AFSC and ensure that the Organizational Learning unit is highly responsive to the changing external landscape and to opportunities to bring about positive change in the world.
• Ensures that learning is documented and that the Organizational Learning unit provides for the “historical memory” of the AFSC.
• Periodically and systematically assess staff training needs on program planning, strategic methods, program evaluation, constituency outreach and engagement and other strategically significant areas and work with managers across the AFSC to provide staff training as needed.
• Work with staff members across the AFSC to evaluate progress on the strategic plan and assist in updating the plan as needed.
• Foster the understanding of program planning and strategic methods to implement the strategic plan of the organization within resource constraints.
• Provide recommendations to the leadership of the Program area for AFSC-wide responses to urgent matters.
Financial Management
• Engage staff members in Organizational Learning in preparing an annual budget, which should flow from the strategic direction of the AFSC and be based upon the unit target given to the Organizational Learning unit.
• Manage the budgets of the Organizational Learning unit.
• Understand and monitor all financial and management systems, procedures, and processes of the Organizational Learning unit.
Outreach and Communications
• Maintain frequent contacts with the Religious Society of Friends and represent the viewpoints of the AFSC to all constituents.
• Work with the Office of Advancement to maintain on-going dialogue with supportive and potentially supportive individuals, groups and organizations to foster relationships on behalf of the AFSC.
• Function as the chief spokesperson for the Organizational Learning unit.
• Actively seek opportunities to collaborate with organizations, professional groups, institutions, etc. that will expand the reach and maximize the effectiveness of the AFSC.
• Present appropriate collaboration opportunities to staff members.
• Model collaborative behavior to staff members and to the larger humanitarian services community.
• Work closely with Organizational Learning staff members to ensure that all programs and activities interconnect with fund-raising activities.

Baccalaureate degree required; advanced degree in organizational management, public policy, or a related area is desirable. Exceptional work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced degree.

• A minimum of 10 years of broad management experience, with at least five years at a senior level. Non-profit experience is a plus.
• Expertise in one or more of the following areas; strategic planning, program evaluation, strategic methods, or organizational documentation of best-practices.
• Demonstrated organizational skills and experience in budget management.
• Proven track record of staff management, including staff development, coaching and mentoring.
• Experience or thorough comfort level with functioning on an international level.

• Commitment to the faith-based principles and guidelines that define the work of AFSC, including a commitment to nonviolence, equality and anti-oppression work and a belief in the intrinsic worth of every individual.
• An ability to connect with diverse audiences and to influences situations using tact and diplomacy.
• Ability to persuade and motivate others and to gain the respect and attention of AFSC staff members and volunteers.
• Ability to work well under pressure and adapt easily to changing situations and priorities.
• Proven ability to reach out collaboratively to individuals, groups and organizations.
• Strong interpersonal skills with knowledge of and experience in using consultative decision making processes.
• Ability to travel frequently and to work some weekends.
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Excellent computer skills.
• Initiative, creativity, drive, energy and a sense of humor.

The American Friends Service Committee is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of their religious affiliation, race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

The central office of the AFSC is a unionized workplace, represented by District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. This is a management position and is not represented.

The American Friends Service Committee is a smoke-free workplace.

Candidates must apply for this and other AFSC jobs via

Thank you to Linda Lotz at AFSC for circulating this notice, including to We Can Do. Linda Lotz indicates that, due to internal re-organization at AFSC, several job openings are currently available. More job openings will become available within the next few months. People interested in working at AFSC should monitor their website directly to ensure that they don’t miss any announcements. (I’ll try to post them here also, but can’t guarantee that I will be able to include all of them.) Also check their site for volunteer opportunities. AFSC strives to be inclusive of people with disabilities in the programs it runs in low-income and post-conflict countries and also is interested in hiring workers with disabilities.

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