Director of Risk Management

New York, NY

Overview of AJWS

Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS promotes civil and political rights; advances sexual health and rights; defends land, water and climate justice; and aids communities in the aftermath of disasters. AJWS pursues lasting change by supporting grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing supporters in the U.S. to advocate for global justice. Working together, the AJWS community strives to build a more just and equitable world.

Overview of Risk Management and Administrative Services

The Risk Management and Administrative Services (RMAS) Department is one of four teams within the Finance and Administration Division of AJWS. The ‘mission’ of the RMAS Department is to inspire risk-aware thinking to enable AJWS to run effectively, operate efficiently and manage risk thoughtfully. The team achieves this mission by developing and implementing a broad range of organizational operations and processes, and by providing training and support to help staff in diverse roles manage the myriad risks that arise in pursuing AJWS’s ambitious mission. The team champions effective risk management and manages staff safety, facility safety and security, legal compliance, contracting, AJWS facilities, travel, shipping/mail services and reception.

The department works to:

  • inspire confidence on the part of the AJWS Board, executive leadership, programs/operations/administrative staff, and other stakeholders that the organization’s commitments to stewardship and safety are sincere, substantial and lasting
  • position AJWS to seize opportunities for growth and mission advancement
  • reduce or eliminate hazards, injuries, and loss/damage of financial and other assets

Team Goals and Responsibilities

The five-member RMAS team, working alongside colleagues in the F&A Division, has a number of shared responsibilities. The team:

  • develops and implements risk management tools, policies and practices
  • collaborates with other teams and departments at AJWS in order to identify, understand and address risks
  • establishes, leads and staffs cross-functional teams and task forces formed to explore and address risk issues
  • collaborates with and supports the executive team of AJWS to ensure timely and effective responses to crisis events and emergencies
  • keeps apprised of developments in the fields of risk and insurance to support the evolution of risk practice at AJWS
  • fosters a culture of safety, stewardship, and risk-awareness
  • explores and champions ways to improve contracting processes, insurance relationships/contracts, and other policies and processes that fall within the team’s scope of responsibility
  • designs and conducts post-mortems for near-misses and critical incidents
  • identifies ways to demonstrate the efficacy of the risk function, and demonstrate the link between risk management and mission advancement
  • develops and delivers staff training on risk management, workplace safety, contracting, compliance, and other topics that fall under the team’s scope of responsibility
  • works to sync risk management goals and initiatives to the organization’s strategic goals and direction

The Position

The Director of Risk Management leads the AJWS department responsible for risk management, claims, insurance, safety, security, contracting and facilities. The function exists to motivate, lead, and support the adoption of cost effective risk management practices that enable AJWS to appropriately steward assets while taking on high-risk, high-reward ventures.

This role reports to the Vice President of Finance & Administration, which necessitates an effective, mutually trusting relationship with the VP as well as other department directors in the F&A Division. In consultation and partnership with the Vice President of F&A, the Director of Risk Management:

  • builds support for an enterprise-wide approach to risk management at AJWS, and the continued evolution of risk management capabilities
  • advises and supports the negotiation and purchase of commercial insurance for insurable risks, including oversight of professional insurance advisors
  • develops, updates and delivers risk reports to inform and solicit input from staff leadership teams, board committees and the board; this responsibility includes the development of informative, forward-looking reports that spur the implementation of proactive risk management strategies.

The Director of Risk Management also:

  • leads the Risk Management and Administrative Services (RMAS) Department and champions effective risk management across AJWS
  • manages, motivates and coaches the RMAS team to achieve the goals of the department
  • facilitates collaboration within the RMAS team and amongst cross-functional teams, including HR, IT and Finance (the F&A Division), other divisions, and contractors
  • advances the identification, tracking and management of key risks facing the organization
  • ensures that the risk function advances and supports the strategic objectives of AJWS and does not create unnecessary burden or organizational drag
  • champions compliance with applicable federal and state regulations and inspires compliance values across the organization
  • fosters a culture of openness, transparency, and questioning with regard to risk identification and reporting
  • formulates/facilitates functional and problem-oriented teams as needed to address specific risks
  • oversees the AJWS internal contracting process
  • oversees travel risk management policies and their implementation
  • tracks and reports on department milestones, benchmarks, and lessons learned—particularly how RMAS lessons can be reflected upon or applied across AJWS
  • advises, supports and collaborates with the Vice President for F&A to ensure timely response to crisis events and emergencies, as well as strategic and external risks that warrant attention of the executive team and/or board
  • recommends changes in policy and practice, to enable AJWS to establish and achieve ambitious strategic goals and specific objectives related to risk management, safety, security, and facilities management
  • oversees contracts with third-party vendors for contracted services in risk, insurance, security and facilities, including: ensuring AJWS receives all of the services and support promised in third-party contracts, and that services are delivered on time and per the quality standards or requirements contained in these contracts; champions the value that holding contractors accountable is fundamental to ensuring that AJWS funds are spent wisely
  • represents the RMAS Department at management team meetings


  • Bachelor’s Degree; Master’s Degree or JD preferred
  • Supervisory experience
  • 5+ years of experience leading a risk management program, or serving in a senior role in a large risk management department
  • Knowledge of the risk management and insurance industries and nonprofit sector, including industry and sector trends and best practices
  • Courage to take risks, show initiative, and take action to address / tackle risk issues that have been identified, and to create new risk management resources from scratch
  • Knowledge of the risk management and insurance industries, including industry trends and best practices
  • Ability to generate and execute on creative ideas to integrate AJWS goals and objectives related to ERM, compliance, safety/security, contracting, facilities and insurance functions into a cohesive and comprehensive department
  • Curious nature and ability to formulate questions and engender trust in order to discover issues; ability to identify issues and opportunities as well as take action to address or leverage them
  • Ability to cultivate the support and participation of diverse AJWS stakeholders—including superiors, peers, and subordinates—in organization-wide or department/division-specific risk initiatives
  • Ability to inspire AJWS teams to take informed risks in order to advance our mission
  • Open mindset and high EI/EQ
  • Excellent communication skills – written and verbal

Additional Considerations

People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds.

Authorization to work in the US is required.

How to Apply

For immediate consideration please send your resume and cover letter to

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.