Chief Operating Officer

Responsible to: Executive Director

Staff Reporting Directly: Head of Projects, Director of Finance, Office Manager, Organisational safety and security.

Key Relationships: Board of Trustees, Regional Directors, Director of Human Resources, Senior Director of Programmes, Senior Director of Law and Policy, Director of Communications and Information.

Working hours: Full time (5 days/37.5 hours a week)

Salary: Circa £80k

Contract: Permanent

Location: ARTICLE 19's International Office in London, UK



Established in 1987, ARTICLE 19 works for a world where all people everywhere can freely express themselves and actively engage in public life without fear of discrimination. Our mission is to promote and defend the universal human rights of freedom of expression and information around the world, through international advocacy, legal analysis, and regional and national projects.


ARTICLE 19 operates internationally: although our international secretariat is based in London, we have regional teams based in the Americas, Asia, MENA, Europe, and Africa through an established network of offices and personnel.



The COO works in close collaboration as trusted partner to the Executive Director and the Global Leadership Team.  Using strong management and interpersonal skills, knowledge of organizational change, and financial acumen the COO is expected to establish the strategic direction for long-term sustainability of ARTICLE 19.  As such the COO plays a pivotal role in determining and implementing our organisational strategy, as well as leading our vital functions of Finance, compliance, project support and security.

This COO is a new role within ARTICLE 19 and after a period of tremendous growth is responsible for consolidating that growth to enable effective business planning; balancing our human rights goals, with the drive for organisational sustainability.   As a leader of change within the organisation, it is expected that the COO will use sharp financial and operational instincts, to positively challenge the status quo, help us evolve, and ensure that ARTICLE 19 is able to respond to external world change in a timely manner. To do this the COO is responsible for establishing the necessary systems to support staff across our international organization to respond to changes in policy and practice; to deliver impact and foster a culture of accountability where each can contribute towards our global mission. These changes will be backed up by providing effective operational leadership based in ARTICLE 19’s core values. 

The successful individual with have a demonstrable track record of driving change, organisational development, financial management, human resources, and IT and security across diverse geographies. They will also have experience in international organisations, particularly with regional and country level operations. Crucially, the successful candidate will have strong people management skills, the confidence to lead, inspire and motivate multi-disciplinary teams.



  • Introduce and oversee effective and efficient operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, across all relevant departments and systems; 
  • Drive positive change in the organization by identifying opportunities to adopt new effective internal processes;
  • Overseeing ARTICLE 19’s strategic and operational planning and reporting processes, ensuring they align with our human rights strategy, are prioritized and are appropriately resourced with clear accountabilities;
  • Oversee the Director of Finance to ensure the accounts of ARTICLE 19 are appropriately managed and administered with oversight of compliance and risk; 
  • Oversee the Projects and Finance teams to ensure contracts are managed effectively and with due diligence checks carried out regularly;
  • Coordinate with the Director of Human Resources to oversee relevant administrative areas of the HR portfolio, such as contracts and payroll in close coordination with the finance and compliance functions of the COO role;
  • Oversee the provision of accurate and timely financial management information to Directors in the Regional Offices and London, the Board and relevant ARTICLE 19 teams to enable effective decision making;
  • Oversee global budgeting, and the implementation of institutional budgets, so as to monitor progress and present operational metrics to internal and external stakeholders;
  • Lead the delivery of our enterprise information security review, the operational processes required for an effective IT and Information and Security function to ensure safe and effective functioning of the organisation globally.  Lead on the provision of physical and operational security, of staff and partners in coordination with the Senior Director of Programmes; 
  • Support the ED to ensure ARTICLE 19 is able to fulfil its governance and compliance requirements in a timely and effective manner. Act as ARTICLE 19’s Company Secretary and ensure compliance with Company and other legal obligations in the UK;
  • Maintain effective communications with the Board to facilitate board processes and decision-making, including sitting on the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the International Board;
  • Work with the Regional Directors of Affiliate ARTICLE 19 offices to realize the negotiated relationships defined by the MOUs with each office on behalf of the Executive Director;
  • Develop and disseminate a culture of learning and development throughout the organisation, working with the Director of Communications in support of the design and implementation of an internal communication and knowledge management strategy that fosters innovation; 
  • Deputise for the ED where necessary in order to maintain continuity and consistency of internal management, external profile and fundraising/donor management.  This includes providing direct leadership for the International Office when appropriate. 




  • Extensive experience of senior management leadership preferably within the charity sector;
  • Extensive experience with, and sound understanding of, international organisation and challenges linked with managing national/regional offices;
  • Excellent financial management skills;  
  • Proven ability to initiate, improve and manage operational systems, particularly in a multi-donor, international programme and overseas office environment;
  • Experience of strategic organisational policy development and implementation;
  • Strong analytical skills, with good attention to forward planning and achieving strategic objectives combined with proven capacity to manage procedures and detail;  
  • Experience managing security concerns in organisations;
  • Ability to play a senior leadership role within an organisation;
  • Ability to self-direct and self-start, to work well under pressure, and to tight deadlines, and to prioritise the management of a heavy workload;  
  • Knowledge of UK charity law requirements;
  • Excellent planning and organisational skills;
  • Excellent IT skills (preferably involving experience of Excel, Word, etc)
  • Excellent inter-personal and communication skills including fluency in written and spoken English;
  • Proven ability to supervise, support and motivate staff;
  • Commitment to and appreciation of the role of freedom of expression and access to information;
  • Must already have or be able to obtain the right to work in the UK. 


  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural work environment and commitment to equal opportunities and non-discrimination;
  • Commitment to work within ARTICLE 19's philosophy and objectives with strong desire to contribute to the effectiveness of regionalisation policy;   
  • Willingness and availability for regular travel;  


  • Formal business qualification MBA preferred.
  • Past management of financial teams.
  • Ability to communicate in one of ARTICLE 19’s languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, or Arabic.


Application deadline is 30th November 2020.                                                 

Interviews from w/c 14th December 2020.


ARTICLE 19 is striving to be an equal opportunities employer. The aim of this policy is to ensure that no job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on grounds such as race, colour, nationality or citizenship, ethnic or national origins, religion, sex or gender identity, marital status, age, disability, or health status, sexual orientation or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified. We actively encourage applications from all sections of the community.