Mercy Corps

Director of Global Human Resources Investigations

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 Department

The Intake and Investigations department is a newly formed team which is tasked with the intake and investigation of all reports of ethics violations including fraud, corruption, and Code of Conduct and Global Human Resources complaints. The team is responsible for managing all phases of this process from intake to investigative conclusion and then works with Senior Leadership for case closure. The Intake and Investigation department reports to the Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer.

The Position

The Director is responsible to allocate cases, manage caseloads, and support and conduct investigations into allegations of violations of Mercy Corps’ Global Human Resources-related Code of Conduct policies to effectively facilitate management decision-making, including consequence management. The Director will supervise and support a team of dedicated Investigators and Co-investigators (field-based team members trained to support investigations) from receipt of an allegation, donor notification if applicable, through to submission of final investigation reports.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Manage investigations by ensuring adherence to established policy and procedures; anticipate challenges and risks and identify strategies for mitigation.
  • Deliver quality results even under difficult or changing conditions.
  • See ideas through to completion with determination, acting with sensitivity to timeliness, attention to detail, and consistency.
  • Ensure the capture of lessons learned from investigations for the agency to consider when revising policies, procedures, and training.
  • Identify and track data on investigations over time to inform learning, adaptation, and improvement of Mercy Corps’ GHR-related Code of Conduct violation prevention and response.
  • Lead and enables activities that enhance Mercy Corps’ reputation for analytical rigor; anticipates challenges and identifies opportunities.
  • Support and promote a strong survivor centered approach to investigations.


    • Allocate, coordinate, and oversee all GHR-Code of Conduct investigations and investigators.
    • Ensure investigations are conducted in a manner that considers the safety and security of all involved, including risk assessments and mitigation.
    • Analyze workflow volume and distribution to ensure appropriate level of staffing is in place to ensure complete and thorough investigations are completed on a timely basis.
    • Manage and track cases to support timely completion and to assist in mitigating investigative barriers.
    • Coordinate with other Directors on complex cases and workflow.
    • Review and revise investigation reports for completeness and clarity.
    • Assess intake and investigation process as it evolves to identify opportunities for process improvement.
    • Effectively manage external investigators.
    • Review and assess new GHR complaints.
    • Responsible for approving all GHR-Code of Conduct investigation reports.
    • Review and evaluate existing GHR cases to determine priority and ensure closure of completed investigation.


      • Provide full-cycle communication to complainant.
      • Ensure timely and appropriate reporting of incidents to donors, as appropriate, including reporting to/ and managing communications with Offices of Inspectors Generals for U. S. Government donors and coordinating with Mercy Corps Europe to ensure proper reporting to European donors; manage communications, updates, and case closure notifications with donors as appropriate.
      • Provide initial case and case closure notifications to Country Director, and other Mercy Corps team members where appropriate, i.e., security, compliance, human resources.
      • Maintain appropriate confidentiality within the agency and with third parties.


        • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
        • Manage remotely based investigators and co-investigators and coordinate with country leadership in diverse time zones.
        • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with Career Development.
        • Assist team members with information, tools, and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
        • Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
        • Create and sustain a collaborative work environment of mutual respect, where team members strive for the most ethical, effective, and survivor-centered investigations possible. Encourage a climate of idea generation, open discourse, and honest communication, creating a trusting, inclusive team.
        • Prepare, review, and revise policies and procedures related to investigations, ethics, and reporting requirements.
        • Prepare and conduct investigations training.


          • Serve as GHR focal point and maintain productive relationships with all stakeholders, including country teams, other headquarters functions, donors, and regulators. Build mutually rewarding professional relationships inside Mercy Corps at all levels.
          • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets, and donor obligations if applicable, are met.
          • Remain up to date on relevant trends, training, and activities in global compliance investigations within the humanitarian and development sector.
          • Highest levels of personal and professional ethical standards that set the example for the team and organization.
          • Prepare reports and present GHR Code of Conduct trends data to Board committees.

            Supervisory Responsibility

            Global Human Resources Investigator(s)

            Global Human Resources Co-Investigator(s) (through dotted-line reporting)


            Reports Directly To: Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer

            Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

            Mercy 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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills

            • At least 6 years of experience as a trained and practiced investigator is required.
            • Demonstrated understanding of survivor-centric practice, donor, regulatory and sector-wide standards, expectations, and rules or ability to learn quickly.
            • At least 6 years’ experience in human resources.
            • Experience working in humanitarian aid or development, either living overseas or spending significant amount of time in foreign countries is preferred.
            • Previous supervisory experience and demonstrated ability to partner closely with direct reports and other team contributors.
            • Ability to navigate difficult circumstances with a calm demeanor and in a methodical, analytical manner.
            • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, effective organizational and interpersonal skills.
            • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including preparation of system documentation.
            • Strong investigative skills that include the ability to act as a lead investigator, to include the
            • interviewing of survivors, subjects of complaints, and witnesses, collection of potential evidence, and other related investigative skills.
            • Good project management skills, with implementation experience.
            • English fluency required; strong preference for additional fluency in French, Spanish and/or Arabic Additional experience as an ethics officer, attorney, or similar position is preferred.

              Success Factors

              The successful Investigation Director—Global Human Resources will have deep knowledge of the INGO environment; deep knowledge of best practice in conducting investigations, including knowledge on how to conduct internal investigations in the context of insecure and opaque environments, with varying cultures, languages, and education levels; and an enduring ability to move complex problems forward in a timely yet methodical manner. This person will have an utmost understanding of and appreciation for the confidential nature of this work. This person will have an abiding sense of empathy for the difficulties that INGOs face and an unwavering commitment to improvement in the face of these difficulties. They will have very strong project management skills and will be adept at communicating with and motivating a diverse array of stakeholders.

              Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

              The position is based in Portland, Oregon or Washington, D.C. and it requires up to (25%) travel to countries which may be listed as failed or failing states. Travel for investigations is occasionally urgent, resulting in travel departure within days of notice.

              Ongoing Learning

              In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.

              Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

              Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

              We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

              Equal Employment Opportunity

              Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

              We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

              Safeguarding & Ethics

              Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC

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