Chief Business Officer

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation - Austin, TX

30+ days ago
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation ( is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin, TX, New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. To date, the foundation has committed more than $1.3 billion to global children’s issues and community initiatives to accelerate human opportunity for low-income families.

We are currently looking for a Chief Business Officer (CBO). This is a Senior-Executive level role reporting to the foundation’s Executive Director. The CBO works in concert with the Executive Director (ED), Functional Leadership, and Programs Leadership to power the global charitable work of the foundation.

This role is equal parts:
World-class operational excellence combined with
Foresighted innovation that results in
Effective risk management and protection which enables
Creative leadership, bold action, and outstanding outcomes
The urgent nature of our work demands flexibility and creativity in operating structures and funding mechanisms, while our drive for consistently high results demands thoughtful consistency across diverse operating methodologies. At present time, the foundation structure encompasses our corporate parent, an LLP, 4 LLCs, and an NPC. We also use a diverse range of financial structures to accomplish our work, including a $60M+ portfolio of equity and debt investments, along with development impact bonds, guarantees, and other performance-based financial tools, in addition to grants. Recently, the foundation also established and raised a $100M fund for disaster recovery. We actively change our operating structures to best meet the need on the ground.

At a high level, the foundation is organized into ‘programs’ and ‘functions’. The Programs team comprise our field-based leaders responsible for the development, implementation and outcomes of our charitable projects. The Functional teams comprise business and technical leaders responsible for bringing their expertise alongside the Programs teams to create and deliver world-class approaches to our work, in addition to providing consulting and operational expertise to our charitable projects. The Functional teams include Finance & Operations, Communications, Performance Insights (business analytics), Legal, and Technology, and represent roughly 40% of foundation staff. The Chief Business Officer is a Senior-Executive who will lead the Functional teams, each of which is led by a VP of that function. The functional teams are vital to enabling the creativity and flexibility required to match structure and capabilities to the need and context of the foundation’s mission-driven work.

Key Aspects of this Role:
Works closely with the ED to identify, develop and implement the foundation’s operating vision and strategies
Oversees and mentors the foundation’s global functional teams to world-class execution and achievement of our goals to:
be the most effective giving organization in the world
maintain and refine an internal environment that enables our program teams to be extraordinarily successful in our external environments
be a world-class services organization characterized by executional excellence, proactive innovation, cost effectiveness and close client relationships
Serves as a strategic advisor to the ED in the achievement of the foundation’s strategic plan and delivers solutions for a diverse and complex range of business, financial, operational, and fiduciary challenges
Serves as a strategic business advisor to the Programs teams in the development and sustainability of charitable initiatives and assists with a diverse and complex range of business and structural considerations
Drives an organization-wide sense of urgency and moves foundation-wide initiatives through to completion – maximizing the operating efficiency of the foundation through a passion for outstanding project management and successful closure
Serves as a voting member of the Investment Management Committee
Is proactive, measured and knowledgeable about risk management and protecting the foundation
Provides strategic mentorship with a business mindset for the functional leadership team
Mentors and develops key talent
The following are representative of the types of initiatives the CBO would lead:
Strategic business consulting to develop plans to strengthen and scale specific business units or initiatives of the foundation
Driving next level analyses that lead to valuable insights in how we can work smarter, and translating insights into initiatives that change organizational behavior
Leading 3 year planning cycles and facilitating the decisions of longer-term strategic trade-offs
Stepping in to lead an initiative should crisis management demand it
Mentoring and developing key talent
This is an important and strategic role within the foundation, and our expectations are equally high. The successful candidate will have:
The highest level of personal integrity and ethics
Passion for measuring results in productive, creative, and quantitative ways
Passion for driving extraordinarily organized operations that enable aspirational actions
Ability to identify opportunities and solve problems that are highly complex where decisions are made only after extensive research and debate with others
Comfort with conflict, and a demonstrated talent for finding the win/win
Boldness in business mindset while always planning to manage risk
Comfort with and energy for up to 8 weeks of international travel per year
A heart for, and commitment to, the mission of the foundation

Additional Qualifications & Experience:
This position requires an expert-level understanding of business management principles and practices and the ability to manage large, complex organizations, budgets and projects
Minimum of 10 years of direct leadership and management experience in the day-to-day operations of an organization (non-profit experience not required)
General Manager, CEO, or COO experience preferred
Demonstrated experience and success in interacting with global C-level executives
Operations or engineering experience preferred; strong operating mindset required, with a relentless focus on results
Demonstrated ability to bring a broad and insightful business mindset to initiatives and approaches, including financial structuring
Verifiable track record establishing, cultivating and growing strong business relationships up, down, across and outside the organization
Expert-level problem solving and proven ability to interpret analytical information, develop and drive robust solutions, and clearly communicate data driven decisions
Experience/expertise in Business intelligence (BI) preferred, with existing knowledge of frameworks and approaches for structuring and managing large interconnecting data sets
Experience/expertise in creating a culture and discipline around excellent program/project management
Demonstrated effectiveness in identifying and developing key talent
Ability to establish credibility, including exceptional presentation skills, excellent negotiating skills, and strong storyboarding and PowerPoint skills
Demonstrated experience in working with sensitive information and ability to maintain confidentiality
Strong working knowledge of Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and OneNote required
Masters/MBA in Management or Business strongly preferred
Remarkable references