Mercy Corps

Program Officer (Emerging Leaders Program)

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 People Team ensures that Mercy Corps has the resources, systems, culture, and support in place to drive an ambitious global mission while ensuring our individual team members thrive. The People Team seeks to foster and achieve fulfilled, equitable, inclusive, diverse, and high performing global teams. We do this through recruiting and retaining the best global talent and shaping this talent into our future leaders through equitable development opportunities, and then by driving strategic partnerships at all levels of the organization. We steward the organizational culture through our systems, structure, and processes and align conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, wellbeing, total rewards, learning & leadership development; and connect all of this to our core operations and overall mission.

The Position

The Program Officer (PO) is an integral member of the Learning & Leadership Development Team. This position plays an important role in project management, operational Coordination, and communication in support of the organization’s learning and leadership development programs portfolio. The portfolio currently consists of the mid-level Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) and Women in Leadership Program (WiL), as well as the senior-level Next Generation Leadership Program (Next Gen). The PO also supports several on-going and pilot initiatives including program alums engagement, external partnerships, and coaching. This role works with a dynamic and dispersed team responsible for the leadership and learning programs at the organization.

Essential Responsibilities


Support all logistics for the Emerging Leaders Program in-person conference, including travel and lodging for participants traveling from around the world, materials development, session support, coordination for planning meetings, support to training partners, and overall customer service before, during, and after the event.

Lead the development and implementation of tracking and project management tools and systems, including preparing work plans, mid-term assessments, and final evaluations.

Support the development of a program quality tracking framework across the programs, including data Analysis.

Support leadership program cohorts in using Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, running webinars, and building/maintaining SharePoint pages and resource libraries.

Lead the Design and administration of leadership program selection processes and platforms in partnership with IT and project leads.

Provide design and content input into leadership programs as appropriate.


Provide overall operational coordination to the Leadership & Learning team, including using appropriate and future thinking technology and platforms to propel programming forward.

Support coordination and facilitation of Leadership & Learning portfolio planning meetings, program sessions, and partnership meetings, including support around scheduling, agenda tracking, and communications.

Manage operations and administration of key programs in the Leadership & Learning portfolio including follow-up on tasks by the learners and participating stakeholders.


Maintain and distribute a database of leadership portfolio alums on a regular basis including ensuring that program graduates are recorded in the Learning Management System.

Maintain valuable relationships with key stakeholders and external partners in collaboration with program leads. Prepare drafts and outlines for internal and external reporting and proposals.

Organize the communication outreach plans for the leadership portfolios including email, globe articles, Workplace, presentations, and other channels and tools.

Maintain and update SharePoint and intranet pages, and other channels as appropriate.

Work collaboratively with key stakeholders in support of Leadership & Learning at Mercy Corps.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Director, Learning & Leadership Development.

Works Directly With: Talent Management, Learning & Leadership Development Team.

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

BA/S in a relevant field is required

2+ years of experience in general project management and coordination with demonstrated interest in relevant processes that support leadership & learning initiatives.

Ability to communicate and problem-solve effectively across diverse cultures and geographies.

2+ years of experience coordinating logistics for training events or conferences.

Demonstrated ability to maintain confidential information.

Experience with Microsoft 365 (SharePoint, MS Teams), intranet editing, and demonstrated skills in Database Management and record keeping is preferred.

Ability to complete tasks with high quality outputs, meet deadlines, and work well under pressure while building relationships with team members and stakeholders.

Experience successfully guiding, coaching, orienting, and/or training colleagues to adapt and use new or updated business processes and/or systems.

Proficiency in French, Arabic, and/or Spanish preferred.

Success Factors

You are a problem solver who is adept at successfully resolving complex issues. You are a skilled communicator, able to develop strong relationships in person and virtually. You enjoy breaking down solutions into clear, actionable steps. You work effectively and collaboratively as a member of a highly visible, geographically dispersed team. You have the ability to manage a wide variety of projects while meeting deadlines and focusing on continuous improvement. You are passionate about learning and helping others to achieve their professional goals. You have a sense of humor and strong interpersonal skills in order to work independently and collaboratively across culturally and geographically diverse teams.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is based in Portland, Oregon. The Program Officer must be able to work flexible hours in order to accommodate early morning and late-night calls where necessary to coordinate across our global team.

This position may require occasional domestic and international travel. Mercy Corps team members represent the organization both during and outside work hours when traveling for work. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs, and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times, and in all in-country venues.

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