Chief Operating Officer at Singapore American School in Singapore
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Chief Operating Officer
Singapore American School (Singapore)

Nov 16, 22
Dec 9, 22


Singapore American School Job Description




Our vision at SAS explains why we exist. We aspire to be a world leader in education, cultivating exceptional thinkers prepared for the future. We are committed to our mission that has been at the heart of our 65-year history: to provide each student an exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective.


If there is one thing we know about the future, it is that our students will graduate into a rapidly changing, increasingly global world where their success will depend to a large degree on their ability to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and work with a diverse range of people. We aim to build a strong sense of joy and purpose in learning among our students to enable them to do so.


We know that our students’ future success will depend on their ability to develop skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and cultural competence. And, it will depend on the quality of the moral character they develop. We seek to personalize learning for every child to meet their unique learning needs. We know that supporting them in their social-emotional growth is as important as their academic growth. And, we seek to stimulate that growth in a community as rich in equity and inclusion as it is in the extraordinary diversity of our students. Our ability to attract, retain, and develop diverse talented educators, working collaboratively in teams, is vital to our success.


We welcome your application if you would like to join us on this meaningful culturally responsive journey in cultivating exceptional thinkers prepared for the future.


The Chief Operating Officer is an integral member of the Senior Leadership Team and reports directly to the Superintendent. The COO works closely with the leadership team to lead and manage all aspects of the school’s operations including finance, facilities, security, transportation, information technology, and contracted services. This includes the supervision of 4-5 direct reports with 30-40 employees and a large set of contractors.


The COO executes the superintendent’s direction for operations of the school. They are responsible for the development of the financial management strategy and for contributing to the school’s strategic goals.


  • Advise the superintendent and the senior leadership team on financial planning, budgeting, cash flow, and policy.
  • Collaborate closely with senior leadership team members to deliver on the school’s vision and strategic plan.
  • Serve as the management liaison to the Finance, Facilities, and Investment Advisory Committees of the Board.,
  • Supervise and lead on all facilities matters, including the extensive construction and renovation project underway at SAS and the school’s long-term capital needs.
  • Develop new systems of financial and operations management that ensures the most effective use of school resources, strong fiscal controls, and supports the objectives of the school.
  • Consistently lead for a responsive, service-oriented culture to meet the operational needs of our students, parents and educators.
  • Represent SAS externally with parents, businesses, government officials, and community organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and American Association.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Ensure staff members receive timely and appropriate training and development.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate results.


  • Develop and manage school’s long-term cash flows and annual budget
  • Manage strategic budgeting process to allocate resources to fund key priorities
  • Prepare long-term cash flow analyses to meet the school’s future needs
  • Oversee and execute SGD180 million annual budget and allocation of reserves
  • Oversee the School’s cash flow and work with banks to manage SAS debt and hedging strategy and ensure positive cash management
  • Collect, analyze, and present financial information to the Superintendent and SAS Board as requested by the Superintendent.
  • Partner with the Superintendent and Board Finance Committee on strategic financial planning, investments, debt, and overall financial operations
  • Generate financial models necessary to make sound decisions in regards to establishing annual tuition and fees.
  • Create, lead, and execute all financial reporting functions
  • Lead purchasing function and negotiation of major contracts
  • Oversee annual audit processes, insurance assessment, and SAS risk management
  • Create and oversee financial and accounting controls and reporting procedures to ensure tax and legal compliance
  • Work closely with the head of human resources to oversee and develop employee salary and benefit plans, with particular emphasis on maximizing a cost-effective and competitive benefits package.
  • Lead all Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) efforts; including leading the ERM Committee
  • Understand and mitigate key elements of the school’s risk profile
  • Monitor all open legal issues involving the company, and legal issues affecting the industry
  • Construct and monitor reliable control systems
  • Maintain appropriate insurance coverage
  • Ensure that the company complies with all legal and regulatory requirements
  • Ensure that record keeping meets the requirements of auditors and government agencies
  • Maintain relations with external auditors and investigate their findings and recommendations


  • Lead the school’s $400 million campus construction program
  • Lead long-term capital planning
  • Supervise the Facilities & Services Director and school safety procedures
  • Oversee the short and long-term building and maintenance operations.
  • Oversee campus security
  • Ensure continuous collaboration, awareness, and updates of all emergency manual(s), supplies, procedures, and training curriculum.
  • Ensure compliance with all health and safety guidelines and regulations.

Information Technology (ITA)

  • Leads the Director of IT and IT team responsible for managing the implementation and enforcement of policies and educational programs and initiatives relating to the social, legal, and ethical issues related to technology use throughout SAS.
  • Partner with the office of learning to integrate digital technologies into the curriculum.
  • Ability to build, manage, mentor, inspire, and provide direction to IT team
  • Lead the team responsible for the development and implementation of an educational technology plans and faculty and staff IT training and professional development)
  • Oversee and provide guidance to assist the IT team to plan, manage and be accountable to a fiscally responsible budget, guiding IT purchasing decisions and investments.

Contract Operations

  • Provide oversight through the Contract Services Manager for a healthy, cost effective, and pleasing food services operation.
  • Provide oversight of the school’s contractor for print management
  • Demonstrated success in leading teams
  •  Minimum Bachelors Degree in business, finance, or related field. Preferred Masters degree in business or equivalent.
  • 10+ years of leadership experience in budgeting, financial planning,, finance and operations or equivalent.
  • A qualified candidate will demonstrate proficiency in people management, finance, strategic planning capability across broad verticals, and long-term strategic physical plant management.
  • Experience in leading major construction projects
  • Strong commercial negotiation experiences and skills
  • Demonstrated leadership of a service-oriented organization and culture
  • Experience of supervision of Facilities, Information Technology, Security and Risk management.
  •  Experience leading tender procedures for equipment and services and facilities management.
  • Experience working in a fast moving environment and a track record of success.
  • Understanding of the educational sector

Skills and Strengths

  • Excellent leadership and organizational skills.
  • Academic and professional preparation to assist with implementation of large complex initiatives.
  • Understanding of governance best practice and specific practices at SAS.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities simultaneously with changing urgency daily.
  • Ability to collect and analyze data and information, draw conclusions, and produce reports and recommendations.
  • Ability to reason logically and analyze and solve organizational and managerial problems.
  • Ability to plan, coordinate and independently implement administrative decisions.
  •  Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders within the school and community.
  • Ability to work successfully alone or on a team.
  • Ability to develop and/or review proposals, prepare analyses, draft responses.
  •  Highly flexible with availability to work nights, weekends, and during school vacations.

The deadline for application is December 9, 2022. Candidates who wish to be considered for this role may submit their application via the following link.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Gez Hayden led the first international school authorized to offer all three IB programs in China.