Chief Operating Officer (StrongMinds Global) | StrongMinds

Chief Operating Officer (StrongMinds Global)

Position: Chief Operating Officer
Reporting to: Chief Executive Officer
Location: Preferably Africa based and flexible to other locations.
Compensation: $130,000 – 162,000 annually.

StrongMinds is a global nonprofit organization driven by the fundamental belief that mental health is a human right, and the foundation of thriving families and communities. At StrongMinds, we deploy ground-breaking innovations to bring free, evidence-based, culturally relevant depression care to the world’s most under-resourced populations. StrongMinds is committed to turning the tide against mental health disparities, ensuring that every individual on the planet has the support they need to lead healthy, satisfying, productive lives. Our mission is to radically expand access to mental health care to people with depression globally. Depression is the most common mental health disorder, it can impact anyone at any time, devastating lives and livelihoods. All too often, the people most at risk for depression are those with the least access to care.

Since 2013, we have treated depression in 550,000 people in Africa, primarily in Uganda, Zambia, and Kenya. Over the next decade, we will expand globally, with pilots currently underway in the United States.

StrongMinds has earned an impressive reputation as a high-impact, cost-effective charity. We were featured as a TIME100 Health innovator in the global mental health space, and in media outlets that include The New York Times, Forbes, BBC World Service, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The UK organization Founder’s Pledge says, “Strong Minds is among the most cost-effective options available to donors seeking to improve people’s quality of life.”

Position Summary:

The position of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) is a senior leadership role that works directly with the Global Leadership Team to ensure delivery of StrongMinds (SM) strategic direction. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, the COO is responsible for leading and managing the SM country directors and key global functions that are critical to SM’s programme delivery i.e Programmes, Innovations, Research, and Partnerships. The COO is an important member of the Global Leadership Team (GLT) and plays a key role in ensuring that StrongMinds achieves its annual milestones, completes its longer-term strategic goals, and ultimately attains its mission of radically expanding access to mental health care to people with depression globally.

In collaboration with the CEO, the COO will articulate and implement a strategic vision for SM, that focuses on effective growth; oversee implementation of the strategic plan in close collaboration with country directors and the GLT, build new partnerships to grow and sustain the organisation and manage special pilot projects. This role also serves as an innovator and 2 | P a g e implementer of game changing opportunities to advance SM, working across the senior team of direct reports to facilitate change that ensures programmatic alignment and the effective utilization of resources.

Job Responsibilities

Leadership and Strategy

  • Serves as a visible, vocal, and accessible leader who provides daily mentorship within the organization and builds relationships to encourage a collaborative, team-oriented and results-focused environment.
  • Working in partnership with both the CEO and GLT, develop/execute new processes and approaches to implement StrongMinds’ strategic initiatives/milestones to drive the organization’s mission and strategies. Work to maintain and strengthen the culture of Strong Minds as a nimble, fast-paced, innovative results-oriented entity.
  • Oversee SM’s long term strategic plan, making it actionable through the three-year operational plan and annual milestones.
  • Lead and build infrastructure for scalable growth, facilitating collaboration and results across SM, and drive data-based decision making.
  • Lead with a high level of risk management and awareness, effectively managing risk in country programmes and global office programmatic oversight.
  • Working with the Chief People Officer, create an environment that supports learning and professional growth for staff. Ensure that StrongMinds is a fair and ethical employer and a workplace of choice.
  • Role model to the highest degree, the core values of the organization.
  • As needed, partner with the CEO to represent StrongMinds with external constituency groups, including donors and other organizations/stakeholders.

Programme Delivery

  • Provide effective and inspiring leadership and management of StrongMinds by actively leading the country and global office programmatic areas. Ensure that innovations, partnerships, research, M&E and programs are high-performing, high-quality, efficient, improving, innovating, and delivering/surpassing their objectives.
  • Lead the country directors and actively engage key country programmatic personnel. Ensure that programmatic milestones and donor requirements are consistently met/exceeded.
  • Vigorously lead the efforts of StrongMinds to scale/increase its impact. Ensure the resources and plans are in place and that the team meets/surpasses its scaling goals.
  • Work closely with the organization’s communications and development team to facilitate routine and strategic information requirements, to ensure that current and future programs receive the necessary financial resources.
  • Work closely with all the organization’s partners, to include scaling partners like INGOs and the government.
  • Lead the development, improvement and implementation of systems that will better track and report on programmatic initiatives.
  • Lead the global research director to provide oversight to the monitoring and evaluation functions in the countries. Drive the research, M&E function to continuously innovate and improve.
  • Mentor, coach and develop staff using effective performance management and collaborative approaches; assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, monitor/evaluate results. Conduct real-time performance feedback.
  • Lead the innovations director to manage and advance the StrongMinds Mental Health Advisory Panel (MHAP), working to ensure the MHAP is a vibrant source of mental health technical advice for the organization.
  • Maintain a strong connection to the global mental health community, ensuring that StrongMinds increases its funding base, thought leadership and learning.
  • Serve as the key advocate and focal point for country programs, keeping the CEO and GLT informed of progress and needs for change, strategic decisions, process, and programme improvements.
  • Promote regular and ongoing opportunities for all direct reports to give feedback on program operations.
  • Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the CEO informed of all critical issues and involved in important decision-making.
  • Lead the budget development process and maintain a high level of fiscal responsibility in the country programmes and global office functions.


  • An MBA, any other relevant master’s degree equivalent e.g project management, international development.
  • 15 + years’ experience with significant experience leading strategic planning and all the major aspects of an organization (e.g., strategy development, advocacy, programs, policy development, operations, fundraising and partnerships)
  • 5 years’ experience at a C-Suite level position
  • Demonstrated successful experience in partnering with the CEO and country level project management including organization-wide project implementation.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple teams, with members who are geographically distributed throughout the organization.
  • Familiarity with international development practices and trends. Strong community awareness and astuteness.
  • Demonstrated experience managing a high-performing team in a multi-tiered structure to include professional development and mentorship.
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of organizational planning, organizational structure, budgeting, administrative operations, and fundraising.
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and compile complex data for planning purposes.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, with the ability to represent the organization externally across a wide range of stakeholders and constituencies.
  • Strong relationship builder, comfortable with leading from behind, with the ability to find common ground, build consensus and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to successfully navigate organisational dynamics in a fast-paced, outcomes-driven, and entrepreneurial, data rich environment.
  • Ability to respond enthusiastically and positively to ambiguity, be resilient to shifting priorities and setbacks, and be comfortable with imperfect analysis and solutions.
  • Working familiarity of mental health programming is an added advantage.
  • Must share StrongMinds audacious mission to end depression.

StrongMinds Core Values

  • We are people focused.
  • We think big and act fast.
  • We are data driven.
  • We do what we say and say what we do.
  • We believe in collaboration, not competition.


This position is remote, preferably Africa based and open to any other location for outstanding candidates.

To Apply

Please submit a thoughtful and brief cover letter and resume to Eunice Kabahikyeho mentioning ‘Chief Operating Officer’ in the subject line before 1st August 2024.