Director of Operations

Requisition Number:



Baltimore, MD


The Center for American Indian Health (CAIH) is located administratively within the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. There are also satellite offices located in the Southwest and Great Lakes regions of the Midwest where much of our community-engaged work is done. The Center employs over 250 staff and faculty, has 10 distinct satellite offices and an annual operating budget of $25 million. The core activities housed at CAIH include research studies of behavioral/ mental health, infectious diseases, a graduate and doctoral training and scholarship program and wide array of public health service activities. More information about the CAIH can be found here:

Center for American Indian Health is seeking a Director of Operations (DO).  This leadership position serves as a core member of Center’s Leadership Team, guiding the overall development and operations for the successful implementation of the Center’s strategic plan. As envisioned, the DO position addresses capacity building needs within the Center to enable the successful implementation of its strategic plan in Baltimore and across multiple US hub sites (Arizona, New Mexico and Minnesota). The position is designed to help bridge the implementation of CAIH’s research, education, and practice activities in alignment with Department, School and University policies and systems. 

The DO position is multifaceted and involves a range of demanding responsibilities that require multiple skills and knowledge areas. The DO contributes advanced knowledge, skills, and expertise in defining and implementing the strategic direction of the Center and leads initiatives that effectively leverage resources and staff to achieve strategic goals and objectives. Other responsibilities include overseeing several day-to-day operational and administrative activities, implementing and monitoring Center policies, and managing systems to onboard new staff and faculty that enable the Center to efficiently and effectively conduct its work in research, education, and practice. The DO is also responsible for developing new operational methods and approaches that refine/change protocols and processes to strengthen the Center’s capacity to function with agility and efficiency.   

Successful performance in this position requires excellent problem-solving skills, and the ability to apply a systems thinking approach in identifying, analyzing, and addressing opportunities to improve operations. Possessing strong skills in bridging programmatic objectives and challenges with appropriate operational and administrative solutions is an important aspect of this position. 

Brief summary of duties and qualifications:

Specific Duties & Responsibilities: 

  • Serve as a core member of Center’s Leadership Team to guide the development and successful implementation of a strategic plan and related policies and activities.
  • Contribute advanced knowledge, skills, and expertise in defining and implementing the strategic direction of the Center.
  • Work closely with other members of Center Leadership Team and assume a leadership role in designing and implementing activities that engage Principal Investigators, team leads, stakeholder in key processes, working groups and committees to translate the broad strategic vision and goals into short-range and long-term plans. 
  • Lead activities to build /strengthen staff capacity to make strategic decisions that are informed by sound and insightful operational, administrative, and financial practices. 
  • Maintain a central leadership and management role to ensure efficient and effective operations of Center activities.
  • Provide ongoing counsel and advice to Center’s Leadership Team regarding strategic direction, as well as the operational and administrative aspects of the Center.
  • Provide expertise, guidance, and support to Center Leadership in navigating complex issues, challenges, and problems while identifying opportunities and problem-solving approaches to address them.
  • Provide Center Leadership and colleagues with synthesized insights reflecting on operational and financial data and analysis, benchmarking, and other key information to inform the evaluation of Center’s progress in achieving its strategic goals, and in identifying areas requiring further attention and/or improvement.
  • Oversee management of Center’s off-site facilities and operational resources, including rental properties, a fleet of leased and purchased vehicles, lab and office equipment, materials related to research (i.e., gift card incentives)
  • Serve as catalyst in developing high priority projects/initiatives on behalf of the Center including major new initiative proposals, business plans, significant partnership opportunities.
  • Assist and contribute to projections and analyses of long-term trends in overall budget for the Center, including analysis of expected changes in educational offerings, research and professional practice activities, fellowship and scholarship support, staff size and composition, organizational development as well as analysis and resolution of short-term issues.
  • Maintain ongoing awareness and responsibility for the Center’s operational actions in partnership with the leadership team (Director, Associate Directors, Department Administrator, Financial Manager, etc.).

Leadership in Day-to-Day Operations

  • Oversee day-to-day operational and administrative activities associated with the Center’s research, education, and practice portfolios.
  • Direct and oversee Center administrative staff in support of the Center’s goals.
  • Oversee all aspects of administrative management for Center’s full-time faculty, staff, student employees, post docs and doctoral fellows, which includes developing and implementing effective systems for recruitment and onboarding.
  • Maintain ongoing vigilance in advancing the Center’s priorities, anticipating emerging issues, informing center leadership and staff, and working closely with Center colleagues to develop creative options and solutions in resolving issues and complex problems. 
  • Lead the execution of critical Center activities in close collaboration with relevant project and financial leaders.
  • Oversee all operational aspects of Center facilities, building/space needs, resources, etc. 
  • Lead the development of the Center’s standard operating procedures (SOP) and ensure maintenance and timely updates. 
  • Ensure timely responses to requests for regular and ad hoc reports from Directors, faculty, department administrator, School and University administration, as well as donors and sponsored research agencies.
  • Work closely with Center leadership and other relevant teams, establish criteria and guidelines for the Center’s directed research, academic offerings, etc.
  • Ensure compliance with Department and University policies and procedures and all applicable regulations, and Sponsor guidelines.

Leadership in Program Development

  • Work collaboratively with Center leadership and staff to translate broad directions into concrete goals and accomplishments.
  • Provide senior-level project management leadership, meshing substantive organizational development goals with sensitivity to the interests and concerns and accomplishments of the Center’s staff, faculty, and students.
  • Lead the design and implementation of activities that engage Leadership Team, project team leads, working groups and committees in translating the broad strategic vision and goals into short-range and long-term plans. 
  • Develop and support Center staff capacity to make strategic decisions that are informed by sound and insightful operational, administrative, and financial practices. 
  • Play a center-wide leadership role in workplan development to advance implementation of Center’s Strategic Plan. 
  • Identify and address administrative needs to facilitate and support research and practice productivity and efficiency.
  • Leading and delegating as needed, the DO fosters optimal work environments by implementing proper administrative support that can greatly impact productivity of research and practice teams and enable colleagues to better focus on the science/work.
  • Communicate regularly with the senior staff and project leads across the Center to ensure compliance across the board and to develop plans for each project and the Center as a whole.
  • Advise the program and project leaders on resource needs and risks facing the Center in order to anticipate and address challenges and opportunities

Leadership in Human Resources & Organizational Development

  • Develop new methods and approaches that strengthen Center’s operational agility and promote efficiency and optimization by changing organizational protocols and processes.
  • Lead center-wide efforts to develop, maintain and improve operational policies and procedures that align with our Department, School and University
  • Identify, engage, leverage, and allocate appropriate and knowledgeable staff to implement new projects according to skills, knowledge, and experience. 
  • Work actively with other Center leaders to develop talent from within Center and recruit talent from outside as needed to implement our strategic plan. 
  • Lead initiatives to effectively leverage resources and staff to achieve strategic goals and objectives.
  • Serve as Center’s lead on, human resources and organizational development, cultivating management and leadership capacity at all levels.

Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory):

  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, Finance, Accounting, or other related field or at least 10 years of demonstrated experience in progressively responsible professional-level positions including 7 years supervisory experience and management experience.
  • Additional education may substitute for required experience and additional experience may substitute for education, to the extent permitted by the JHU Equivalency Formula.*
  • Experience in managing diverse and multi-disciplined teams of people.
  • A strong background of demonstrated experience in applying strong analytical and strategic thinking skills.
  • A strong background in performing leadership roles and responsibilities.
  • Commensurate with experience.

* JHU Equivalency Formula: 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience. For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job. 

** Applicants who do not meet the posted requirements but are completing their final academic semester/quarter will be considered eligible for employment and may be asked to provide additional information confirming their academic completion date. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's Degree in a related field.
  • Cross-cultural experience and commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism, Equity (IDARE) principles.
  • Transformative leadership style
  • 10 years of experience in performing senior leadership roles and responsibilities, including decision-making to support and facilitate organizational development and strategic growth. 
  • Proven leadership skills, expertise, and experience in a multifaceted and fast-paced environment
  • 10+ years of experience working in academic and/or research environment, with strong preference for JHU-specific experience.

Special Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Successful performance in this position also requires the following special skills and knowledge: 
  • Skills, expertise and demonstrated experience in in applying both a systems thinking approach and problem-solving skills to effectively bridge program activities with operations and administration solutions.
  • Excellent planning skills in strategy development, work plan development, etc.
  • Excellent skills working directly with a range of colleagues and stakeholders, including senior JHU staff and faculty, donor organization leadership, etc. 
  • Excellent communication skills in conveying thoughts and requests in multiple formats. 
  • Strong skills and knowledge needed for successful proposal development, especially regarding the relationship between proposed program ideas and the operational, finance and administrative implications.  
  • Outstanding ability to multi-task, and superior interpersonal skills.

Supervisory Responsibility:

  • 3-5 staff.

Contact Information

For more information or to apply for this position, please go to the job posting here.

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