Mercy Corps

Country Director

Mercy Corps

Job Description


Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact. The Program / Department / Team Mercy Corps seeks a passionate, visionary leader to manage major programming in Iraq. The Country Director (CD) role is an exciting opportunity to influence key outcomes and make a lasting difference in the lives of millions of Iraqis. Mercy Corps’ approach within Iraq has allowed us to continue to provide critical assistance to some of the country’s most vulnerable populations during a period of tremendous upheaval, while expanding early recovery and development programs to support access to water, food, economic opportunities and peace and good governance for populations affected by years of conflict. Operational in Iraq since 2003 – and with a current annual budget of about USD $33 million from programs funded by USAID, DRL, PRM, Global Affairs Canada, GiZ, AFD, and others – we are now searching for a leader to continue to nurture and expand sustainable programming.

With the launch of Mercy Corps’ Global Strategy, Pathway to Possibility, the country office is poised to operationalize an exciting three-year strategy with the vision to enhance the resilience of Iraqi communities to address the drivers of conflict, thrive in the face of climate change, and facilitate long term peace and prosperity. The resulting situation brings together a diversity of staff, technical expertise and program learning, along with a critical opportunity to influence policy makers and donor priorities moving forward. This exciting time requires a resourceful and proven leader who has held senior roles in large, complex organizations, preferably in locations transitioning away from humanitarian response and into early recovery. They will be an experienced and thoughtful leader. The CD will be able to lead on establishing powerful partnerships in a complex environment and accountable delivery to program participants and donors. The successful candidate will be an inspirational leader, committed to advancing the organization’s strategy and maintaining a healthy team culture that promotes collaboration and open communication. The Position The Country Director (CD) is the top management position for Mercy Corps in Iraq with supervisory and managerial responsibility over all personnel, programs and policies. The CD is responsible for developing the overall strategic direction for programming in cooperation with Mercy Corps’ senior management team and local and international partners. They will ensure we learn from experience, through research and contextual Analysis to develop high impact strategies that address both the current crises as well as longer-term solutions. The CD is also responsible for implementing systems, policies and procedures for Mercy Corps’ operations in Iraq. The CD is responsible for financial oversight and compliance, staff security, Human Resource management and representation. They are a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with staff, partners, national government and donors.
Essential Responsibilities STRATEGY AND VISION

Formulate and plan, in consultation with key stakeholders, a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies which can be clearly communicated to team members, local beneficiaries, international partners, governmental counterparts, and donors. Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed. Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve goals and objectives. Explore, evaluate and present new project funding opportunities that leverage impact and integrate initiatives and activities, support and direct related fundraising activities with both institutional and private donors. Evaluate program priorities within the country and participate in regional prioritization. TEAM MANAGEMENT

Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence. Recruit, manage, motivate, and onboard an informed, skilled and efficient team with an emphasis on excellence and achievement; encourage a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, incorporating staff development strategies and performance Management Systems into the team building process. Establish leadership and personal credibility with the Mercy Corps team, and implement by example an organizational culture of accountability, responsibility and quality of services. Ensure excellent human resource plans are available and consistent with Mercy Corps policies, including position descriptions, personnel orientation and professional development plans, personnel evaluation system, field, personnel policy manual, and personnel grievance procedure system. Institute a disciplined culture of performance management and regular feedback between supervisors and their direct reports. PROGRAM IMPACT, MONITORING AND EVALUATION AND LEARNING

Oversee program quality and impact by ensuring programs are based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required M&E systems. Gather evidence of program impact through robust agency standard procedures for data gathering, reporting, and evaluating program outputs and outcomes Lead country team to strive for impact at country and regional level leading to sustained change based on solid systems and incorporation of learnings into programs. Fulfill Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide. Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and program participant accountability standards, including an effective Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism and safeguarding mechanisms across all programs.PERSONAL LEADERSHIP

Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure. Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity. Demonstrate awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.

Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, national government, foundations, the private sector, etc. Maintain productive relationships with the international community inclusive of the United Nations, International NGOs, Think Tanks, Research Institutes and Foreign Governments. Anticipate needs, understand the donor pool and contribute to shaping donors’ views on humanitarian and development strategies. Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media. PROGRAM OPERATIONS AND COMPLIANCE

Coordinate overall country budget; manage budget within approved spending levels and establish an annual cash flow plan to ensure a steady and adequate supply of funds for program activities. Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, Administration and logistics and fully support field programs. Build and maintain an environment of collaboration among program, finance, operations and human resource team members resulting in optimal support for program activities. Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts. Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures. Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations, policies and procedures, and the implementation of appropriate risk mitigation measures to reduce Mercy Corps exposure to potential risk. SECURITY

Manage security and safety of the entire country team and Mercy Corps assets according to best practices, MC operating standards and field realities. Liaise with the Regional Director and Global Advisor" id="link" class="link">Security Advisor on crucial events, high risk periods, incident reporting or security policy changes.
Supervisory ResponsibilitySenior Management Team in Iraq Accountability Reports Directly To: Regional DirectorWorks Directly With: Regional team, Global Programs team, Finance and Technical Support Unit, other Country Directors in the region Accountability to Participants and StakeholdersMercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects. Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, and international development preferred. 10 plus years of field experience in international relief and development programs with demonstrable success in managing complex emergency response and its transfer into early recovery or development. Prior experience in setting country level strategy with annual implementation plans and resource managing towards the strategy. Great communication skills and prior experience in building, managing and leading a team of professionals. History of working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO and NGO partners in complex environments. Excellent writing skills and experience directing successful proposal development processes with prior experience with USAID, FCDO, EU and other bilateral funding agencies. Prior experience working and managing a program in a high security alert area, with demonstrated knowledge and skills to manage the security in conflict and post-conflict situations. Previous work experience in the Middle East and demonstrated ability to work comfortably, and sensitively, in the environment required. Proven skills in financial management. English proficiency required; Arabic and Kurdish language skills preferred.
Success Factors A successful Iraq CD will provide effective leadership to the Mercy Corps team. They will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with Capacity Building. The Country Director will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. The Iraq CD will represent programmatic priorities of the team to donors and regional counterparts. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority. The ability to facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles is essential. The Iraq CD will thrive with the uncertainty the context brings and can gracefully handle difficulties. Living Conditions / Environmental ConditionsThe position is based in Erbil, Iraq and it requires frequent travel to offices throughout the country; in total Mercy Corps implements programming in 10 governorates of Iraq. SMT members are based in Baghdad or Erbil. In Erbil team members live alone in single 1-bedroom apartments high-rise apartment buildings with relative freedom of movement and good amenities. Elsewhere in the country, there is group accommodation with limited freedom of movement beyond the house/office.

This position is unaccompanied and is eligible for hardship and R&R breaks.
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