Chief of Staff

Kansas City, MO, US


Title: Chief of Staff
Status: Exempt
Category: Full-Time
Reports to: Chief Executive Officer
Location: Kansas City, MO
Effective: March 16, 2017

663 million people – about one in ten – lack access to safe water. 2.4 billion people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are We’re here to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible and cost-effective because we believe that water is the way to empowering a better life that we can all share in, worldwide. We are an international nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we have been pioneering innovative, sustainable solutions to the global water crisis for more than 25 years, giving women hope, children health and communities a future. Visit us to find out more at

The Chief of Staff to the CEO (“the COS”) is a critically important role; one that serves as a principal advisor to the CEO and works closely with him on all aspects of and WaterEquity (“the Organizations”) to ensure the Organizations are running smoothly and efficiently, and that his commitments to partners, funders, and the Boards of Directors are met. This role is a hybrid of activity optimization, thought leadership, project management, and team collaboration. It is a highly strategic and facilitative role that requires a combination of focus and flexibility, as well as a willingness to play an active but behind-the-scenes role. Aspects of this role also extend to coordinating the activities of co-founder with his team in support the goals of the Organizations. Being successful in this role requires a natural aptitude for building solid partnerships, a high degree of self-motivation, and high emotional intelligence; as well as the ability to thrive in a dynamic, cause-driven field.

This director-level, full-time position reports directly to Gary White, CEO of the Organizations, and encompasses these primary accountabilities:

Thought Leadership / Communications / Project Management

  • Through input from the Organizations and ongoing awareness, monitor trends both within the WSS sector and wider environment and make recommendations for co-founder engagement that maximizes their time investment relative to the objectives of the Organizations; including thought leadership efforts and innovative CEO-initiated projects.
  • Anticipate needs and demands of the CEO and work to provide logical, innovative, and creative solutions without explicit instruction.
  • Represent CEO as requested at external meetings to further agenda of the Organizations.
  • Be familiar with and track the breadth of internal and external initiatives within the CEO’s purview, and team with the CEO on confidential or time sensitive projects as required.
  • Develop and maintain an inventory of high priority projects, updating CEO on project status and variations from schedule or scope.
  • Develop draft communications on behalf of the CEO and conduct supportive research as
  • needed. Such communications may range from the CEO update at Board meetings, to follow up correspondence related to meetings with partners and staff, internal communications to all staff of the Organizations, to speaking engagements involving external audiences.
  • Accurately reflect the CEO’s position in internal meetings to help drive understanding of his views.

Collaboration with Senior Teams

  • Collaborate with executives and senior staff to ensure effective monitoring of core operational activities within and across the Organizations.
  • Facilitate expedited CEO decision-making when necessary by helping executives and senior staff raise critical issues and receive timely decisions and guidance.
  • Serve as a sounding board for individuals and groups seeking CEO approval/guidance on a range of issues. Drive alignment among disparate stakeholders as necessary.

Optimization of CEO Activities

  • Collaborate with the Executive Assistant to maximize the CEO’s use of time. This will require judgment and discretion to prioritize key strategic priorities, ensure appropriate time allocation to key constituencies, and manage a demanding calendar of events.
  • Ensure all meetings involving the CEO have clear objectives, participants are prepared, and that there is appropriate and rapid follow-up.
  • Support CEO in establishing a balanced allocation of time and mindshare to both and WaterEquity.
  • Coordinate the level of involvement and role of the CEO in projects or commitments led by others in the Organizations.
  • Work with the and WaterEquity teams to assess opportunities and make recommendations for co-founder engagement that maximizes their time investment relative to the objectives of the Organizations.

Management Responsibility

  • Initially, supervise one staff member; Executive Assistant to the CEO.
  • Acts in capacity of a “lead person.” In most instances does not have management responsibility for the people to whom they provide work direction.
  • As special projects or other activities are initiated by the CEO, the COS will assume management responsibility for direct reports that may be hired or seconded from other departments in the Organizations.

This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required. Some duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.

Skills and Competencies

  • Action Oriented – Taking on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm.
  • Optimizes Work Processes – Knowing the most effective and efficient processes to get things done, with a focus on continuous improvement.
  • Manages Ambiguity – Manages ambiguity by operating effectively, even when things are not certain or the way forward is not clear.
  • Instills Trust – Gaining the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.
  • Resourcefulness – Securing and deploying resources effectively and efficiently.
  • Organizational Savvy – Maneuvering comfortably through complex policy, process, and people-related organizational dynamics.
  • Cultivates Innovation – Creating new and better ways for organizations to be successful.
  • Plans and Aligns – Planning and prioritizing work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
  • Strategic Mindset – Seeing ahead to future possibilities and translating them into breakthrough strategies.

Qualifications –
As the CEO’s ‘trusted counsel’, the role requires a highly- resourceful individual with strong emotional intelligence, self-motivation, and strong analytical skills. Additionally, the following qualifications must be met:

  • 12 years relevant work experience + Bachelor’s degree required, MBA preferred.Strategic consulting, marketing/brand management, media, or general management experience within a complex operating environment.
  • Highly developed communication, collaboration, and negotiation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to design, launch, and scale new projects and initiatives.
  • Solid global orientation is required; experience working in matrixed global organizations.
  • Experience working and delivering economic solutions within developing markets is preferred.
  • Demonstrated success at distilling trends in water & sanitation and the broader global landscape to develop actionable, value-added insights for an organization is preferred.
  • Depth of knowledge in finance, capital markets, blended finance and innovative financial mechanisms strongly preferred.

Travel Requirement – Willingness to travel 30% of the time

This position offers full-time benefits, including medical/dental insurance, life and disability insurance, retirement program and periodic review for merit and incentive pay based on organizational and personal achievement. Salary will be based on education and experience, and will coincide with similar nonprofit organizations in international development.

Application Information
Please apply at is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing an inclusive environment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, military and veteran status, genetic information, and any other status protected by law. We provide qualified applicants and employees reasonable accommodation, when necessary, to enable individuals to complete the application process and/or perform the essential functions of the job.