Director of Operations

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The ODI is seeking to appoint a Director of Operations, responsible for overseeing the Finance, Delivery Management and Business Support teams

  • Location: Kings Cross, London
  • Salary: up to £100,000 per annum, plus benefits
  • Contract: permanent, full-time (flexible working options considered)

How to apply:

Please upload a CV and cover letter here explaining why you are the right candidate for the role by 23:59 on 30th November. Interviews will be held in January 2021.

The Open Data Institute (ODI) is in an exciting period of growth. Reporting to the Managing Director, the Director of Operations is responsible for overseeing and leading the operations of the business. The Director of Operations has director level accountabilities within the ODI.

The ODI is a lively and fast-paced environment which is made up of a team of extremely dedicated staff and partners. We are looking for someone to bring their experience working at a senior leadership level in a similar role. You must be a professionally qualified individual (possibly in finance) who has developed into more of an operations role as your career has progressed.


As a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) you will be responsible for overseeing the Finance, Delivery and Business Support teams. You will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following:

Finance and Business Support

  • Assisting the Managing Director with determining and protecting our legal status, including managing risks and any corporate restructuring
  • Managing the Head of Finance and the wider Finance team’s performance and their activity, including overseeing our financial operations, ensuring the team file monitoring reports and accounts on time, supporting audits and providing forecasts
  • Ensuring a consistently high quality of work and ensuring that our clients are always satisfied and reporting frameworks are followed
  • Reviewing legal contracts and ensuring continued compliance with contracts
  • Supporting the Audit and Risk Committee and Remuneration and Nominations Committee
  • Overseeing and managing our going concern status, tax position and relationships with tax advisors and auditors
  • Overseeing and managing our annual budget and regular forecasts
  • Putting in place systems, processes and policies that enable the ODI to operate more effectively and efficiently
  • Overseeing the maintenance of our offices and the facilities within them to support the team
  • Overseeing the Business Support function to ensure they effectively support  operational activity
  • Ensuring the team are preparing reports on a timely basis, ensuring they adhere to legislative and regulatory requirements.
  • Ensuring the work we do is delivered within budget and contract terms including reporting
  • Developing the expertise of individual team members as well as ensuring the ODI have the breadth and depth of expertise needed to advance its strategy
  • Embedding impact measurement, learning and dissemination into project delivery, so that everyone benefits from our experience
  • Maintaining relationships with and using external partners to help deliver work
  • Supporting the sales team by ensuring all incoming work is appropriately scoped and estimated to be deliverable and advance ODI’s strategy
  • Overseeing the use and maintenance of the online systems we use to support our communications and the capture and provision of information (e.g Slack, Mavenlink, Xero). Lead the implementation of role related new software systems across the organisation.
  • Supporting the fundraising, Business Development and Delivery teams with budgeting, contracting, subcontracting and legal due diligence
  • Ensuring procurement processes are followed when outsourcing work

Delivery management

  • Assigning project and programme leads to projects, programmes of work and partner delivery
  • Managing and coordinating the allocation of team members to projects, including attending and chairing resourcing meetings, identifying professional disciplines within the delivery team and advancing their development and (internal & external) peer learning
  • Scoping on agreed roles and recruitment into the delivery team (including employees, associates, contractors)
  • Overseeing projects, programmes of work and partner delivery, ensuring the team are performing on objectives led by Heads of Department and our Resource Manager

As the ODI’s Data Protection Officer, your responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring compliance with the GDPR and other data protection laws and our data protection policies. Working to raise awareness through training and audits
  • Ensuring, as the ODI, that we can be considered to be exemplar in all matters relating to data management, protection and use
  • Providing advice and information to the Senior Leadership Team and Board about our data protection obligations and ensuring they remain apprised of current best practices
  • Monitoring and providing advice for people carrying out data protection impact assessments
  • Acting as a contact point for and cooperating with the ICO regarding ODI’s data protection obligations
  • Monitoring and enforcing new GDPR practices for the ODI team and ensuring appropriate training is delivered including training for new starters and as legislation changes
  • Having due regard to the risk associated with processing operations, taking into account the nature, scope, context and purpose of the processing, and the ODI’s reputation for data expertise

As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, your responsibilities include:

  • Advising the Managing Director and Board on ODI’s strategy, aiming towards achieving its mission and being a sustainable organisation
  • Reporting to the Managing Director on your areas of responsibility
  • Exercising financial and contractual responsibilities and compliance controls
  • Representing the ODI to external stakeholders and clients
  • Developing the sustainability of the organisation e.g through developing leads, designing projects and programmes of work, core funding, financial management, restructuring, and negotiating to bring in work to the ODI
  • Supporting and holding to account the whole ODI team in their work and conduct
  • Supporting the whole ODI team pastorally and in their professional development

You will line manage members of the Finance team, Delivery management team, resourcing and Business Support teams. As a line manager, your responsibilities include:

  • Providing pastoral care for your line reports through regular check-ins & catch-ups and monitoring their attendance and sick leave
  • Defining and managing the performance of your line reports by ensuring they keep their role description up to date, helping them define their objectives and reviewing these quarterly
  • Managing the workload of your line reports in collaboration with project leads and delivery managers, including ensuring they take their holiday and helping them to manage their time
  • Helping your line reports engage well with the organisation, including communicating and clarifying company strategy and policies, and dealing with any conflicts they experience with clients or members of the team
  • Ensuring your line reports receive professional required CPD, coaching or mentoring (which may come from you) to aid their professional development
  • Being involved in  the recruitment of new staff, based within your team, including drafting role descriptions, shortlisting and interviewing.

As a member of the ODI team, your responsibilities include:

  • Embracing and reflecting ODI’s values and culture in the way you work
  • Taking time for professionally required CPD, coaching and mentoring, both individually and as a team
  • Engaging in and contributing to the ODI’s work on Diversity and Inclusion

About you

  • You have a self-assured and collaborative style and are able to manage diverse teams
  • You have excellent communication skills, including in the writing of reports, and distilling and communicating complex and detailed information into digestible content
  • You have excelled in leadership positions
  • You have strategic awareness and possess an ability to listen, learn and create solutions based on interpreting strategic information
  • You are able to think and work strategically, manage a diverse workload, meet deadlines and can communicate key information in a clear way to internal and external stakeholders
  • You are a self starter, dependable and are adept at problem solving
  • You are a tenacious, evidence based and reflective person and can proactively think of new ways to improve our current processes
  • You are able to adapt to changing circumstances and have experience of working in fast paced environments
  • You align with our purpose and are supportive of building and maintaining an inclusive working environment
  • Experience and skills


  • Significant experience at a senior level in other organisations, working in a similar role
  • Demonstrable strategic acumen and operational excellence
  • The drive to deliver high quality outputs and to lead others to perform at a high level
  • Experience of risk management
  • A blended work history with commercial and not-for-profit experience
  • Understanding of margins, business models and legal and compliance
  • A proven track record in developing and enhancing a culture of excellence
  • Excellent time management, organisational and planning skills
  • Ability to multitask, prioritise and deliver your work
  • High attention to detail and problem solving skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency in Mac and MS Office and G Suite
  • The ability to apply a strong Diversity & Inclusion lens to your work
  • Professional qualification such as an MBA or a finance qualification


  • Ideally a qualified finance professional who has developed into more of an operational role as their career progressed.
  • Have experience at a hybrid organisation similar to the ODI
  • Experience at a professional consultancy business
  • Professional understanding of support functions such as HR
  • Exposure to a top six accountancy firm and wants to transition into a more operational role

About us

The Open Data Institute is an independent, non-profit company founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt in 2012. We connect, equip and inspire people around the world to innovate with data. We produce products and services for customers that span across many sectors and countries supporting all data activities.

About the ODI team


We are good at what we do. We use our expertise to achieve our mission. We are open and generous with our expertise and experience, and share it outside and inside the ODI.

We can get better at what we do. We recognise the limits of our expertise and respect that of others. We are open to and seek advice, opinions and support to develop our expertise, within and outside ODI. We reflect on what works and what doesn’t to consciously learn, improve and grow.


We succeed when others flourish. We support and challenge others to do their best work. We open up opportunities for other people and organisations, and empower them to take them. We are as open as possible about what we are doing and what we have learnt. We encourage others to refine and build on our work.

We empathise with others so we can help them. We find out what people and organisations really need. We have empathy with their motivations and the constraints they operate under. We communicate in terms they understand.


We are trusted because we are honest and responsible. We are open with our opinion, open to hearing what others say, open to being wrong and open to changing our mind. We are not afraid to speak our mind when it is useful or important, and take responsibility for the results of doing so. We actively and curiously listen to others, and take responsibility for our responses to them.

We can do more than we might think. We are bold, creative and open to failure. We know what we do won’t be perfect at first but that doesn’t stop us. We start small and quickly, and iterate to improve.


  • 5% contributory pension
  • 30 days’ annual holiday plus bank holidays
  • Life assurance cover
  • Long-term disability cover
  • Critical illness cover
  • Flexible working
  • Coaching and mentoring for skills and personal development
  • £750 annual professional development budget

Applying to work with us

The ODI welcomes and encourages job applications from a diverse range of backgrounds to promote an inclusive culture and a diverse working environment.

If you’ve got any queries, please email [email protected]

Please read Your privacy: ODI recruitment process.