Mercy Corps

Director (Security Capacity Strengthening & Training - Global Security)

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.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps works to achieve real and lasting impact in the world’s toughest humanitarian emergencies. We save lives and help people live with dignity in crises of all kinds. At the same time, we create the conditions to pivot to innovative and transformative recovery quickly and effectively. We work wherever local capacity is overwhelmed, connecting people to the opportunities they need to strengthen their community in recovery. Whether it is a sudden shock or a slowly emerging crisis, whether the threat is natural or man-made, no matter how complex the environment, Mercy Corps is committed to bold, rapid, needs-driven assistance. Mercy Corps supports a response that is market-driven and leverages the capacities of both traditional and non-traditional aid partners—and ultimately gives people the ability to make their own decisions and secure their own lives and livelihoods.

The Humanitarian Leadership and Response (HLR) team provides the agency with timely and effective leadership to prepare for and respond to humanitarian emergencies, develops sharp, timely and influential Humanitarian Analyses to make informed Program Design and implementation decisions, and supports our agency leadership as well as our regional and country teams with security and safety expertise. Our model uses an experienced leadership team in each of these areas supported by a network of professionals spread across the agency - in field teams and headquarter departments.

Mercy Corps employs approximately 5,500 staff in over 40 countries around the world. Many, if not most of these countries exhibit extraordinary security environments with all trend Analysis indicating that these security conditions will persist. At Mercy Corps, our security strategies are based on a risk management approach. We primarily strive for security strategies in which mitigation measures are primarily founded upon community acceptance. We recognize every context is different and when and where necessary, we will integrate protection and deterrent measures towards security. We will adapt to meet the specific requirements of each operating environment; and in some cases, this may require a blended approach which integrates elements of deterrence and protection to ensure we are operating safely. Our goal is to be the leading NGO responding to complex crises and to do this we must be best in class for adaptive risk management and sound Security Policies and practices.

The Position

The Director, Capacity Strengthening and Training is a member of the Global Security team. His/her primary focus is the support to integrating capacities in safety and security to Mercy Corps at the individual, country, regional and global level. This will include 1) the development of an achievable strategy appropriate to the operational realities in country offices and globally 2) an evaluation and integration of existing training tools and 3) the hands-on support to country, regional and global teams (Human Resources, Risk Management Teams (RMTs), Senior Leadership Teams (SLT), Security Focal Points (SFPs) and key program staff to meet basic goals of a capacity strengthening and training package. In some cases, the Director will be expected to support contracting or directly train / facilitate a training (such as a crisis management training).

Essential Responsibilities


Establish a strategy to achieve a stronger security culture within Mercy Corps using our existing structures and processes such as: recruitment process, Risk Management Teams, complex programs, Talent Development site, Next Generation Leadership and similar tools. This strategy should also cross reference and reinforce the objectives of these tools and processes.

Set-up realistic targets for the roll-out and implementation of capacity strengthening projects and security training at organizational, regional and country level.

Ensure that all Mercy Corps staff have access to relevant security trainings, with a focus on national staff.

Support, with the Roving Training Manager, the development of similar strategies at regional level. Provide guidance for implementation of these strategies.

Coordinate the development of new training tools, including but not limited to online modules.

Coordinate with the People team on existing staff capacity and strengthening initiatives (such as ELP, Next Generation Leadership) to include management-level training and capacity support that is consistent with the goals of these internal programs. (such as Crisis Management Trainings and workshops).

Coordinate with the Global Security Director and Security team on a 24-month plan to role-out and institutionalize Crisis Management training and refresher programs to each country SLT.

Identify and manage the procurement process for external service providers on various aspects of security related training (first aid, safe driving etc..).

Stay informed and abreast of each region, trends in our operational context and the emerging, large, complex programs at Mercy Corps.


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.

Identify trends and mentor advisors to effectively embrace and work in changing conditions and with updated approaches.

Build team skills so they can address upcoming priorities while maintaining the quality of current interventions.

Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.

Supervisory Responsibility

The Director, Security Capacity Strengthening and Training directly manages a Roving Training manager (to be recruited). The position will work closely with Regional Security Advisors and Regional Security Trainers and may work closely with Security Focal Points, Security Officers, Managers or Security Directors. The Director may also manage the outcomes of consultants and in specific cases, may supervise part-time security staff.


Reports Directly To: The Sr. Director Global Security. The primary working partners are the Deputy Director Global Security, Regional Security Advisors, the Regional Directors and Deputy Regional Directors.

Accountability To Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, and 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

Advanced level of understanding of the philosophy and mode of operation of NGOs.

Undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree in International Relations, Politics, or humanitarian related field

A minimum of 6+ years of experience in complex and insecure settings, preferably within a conflict environment. Preferably, in more than one country with large teams of staff.

Alternatively, extensive experience in the security or management field that reflects 3+ years in team management and working at the senior leadership level is required

Experience delivering training modules related to operating in insecure environments.

Experience working or managing a program that required humanitarian access negotiations and strategizing is highly desired.

Experienced in access negotiations.

Strong understanding of International Humanitarian Law, and how it impacts Humanitarian and Development operations in the field. Candidates should also have a good understanding of counter-terrorism legislation and how it can impact operations.

Proven written and analytical skills (sample may be requested).

Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and mentoring.

Willingness to work and travel frequently in often difficult and insecure environments.

Proven experience remotely managing staff in a matrix management environment.

Competency in Internet and Microsoft Office systems including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and other database/Mapping systems.

English is the main working language, knowledge of French, Spanish or Arabic is an asset.

Formal training qualifications (HEAT, K&R, Personal Security, First Aid etc) is an asset.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will have the ability to envisage and contribute to the goal of a stronger security culture using all the existing tools of the agency. S/he will be practiced at developing productive working relationships in high pressure environments. A proactive operator, he/she will bring a proactive, solution-oriented approach with a culture and practice of offering positive pathways of support to reach goals.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is home based from a Mercy Corps HQ location. Travel is expected with this position at 30% of the time to remote and insecure environments with living conditions that may be quite basic and may include accommodations in guest houses or group living. They are expected to be visible and active over Teams, Zoom, Skype and other platforms.

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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct eLearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.

Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.

Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees

Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status. This policy is necessary to ensure not only the safety of our workforce, but the ongoing functionality of the organization.

This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities.

For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment. Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations. Failure to comply may impact your employment. Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.

Apply Now