Mercy Corps

Program Officer (Hq Managed Awards)

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 Team

The Regional Program Team (RPT) supports strategic, impactful, high-quality programming in each of Mercy Corps’ geographical regions and HQ-managed awards (HQMA). They support HQMA award managers in aspects of their program and grant Administration. They play a key role in connecting the HQMA portfolio to HQ resources and represent the portfolio interests internally with various HQ teams as well as with external stakeholders. They provide the secondary check and support the implementation team (ultimate point of responsibility) in adhering to internal and external policies and regulations. RPT is the HQ point of responsibility for overall monitoring of grants/programs for both external/donor requirements as well as Mercy Corps’ internal policies and requirements. The RPT Desk Officers are advocates for the mission within Mercy Corps and with external groups including donors, media and civil society.

Multiple departments and teams across Mercy Corps' US HQ offices develop proposals and implement programs funded by a diverse array of donors, including the US Government, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and other corporate and foundations partners. Key departments that support HQ-managed awards include the Mercy Corps Technical Support Unit, the Research and Learning team, and the Innovations team, among others.

The Position

The Program Officer (PO) is a critical member of the Regional Program Team and Global Programs Team. The PO supports strategic, impactful, high-quality programming globally, alongside the Global Programs Manager The PO will work closely with the Global Programs Manager to support HQ-managed awards and grant administration, playing a key role in program and grants administration, donor communications and proposal development. The PO provides the secondary check and supports the Program Managers (ultimate point of responsibility) in adhering to internal and external policies and regulations. The PO plays a critical role in connecting the Program Managers to HQ resources and representing the portfolio’s interests internally with various HQ teams as well as with external stakeholders.

Due to the nature of this portfolio, the PO will assist in navigating complex program, finance and compliance issues in Coordination with other HQ support teams. The PO will support the Global Programs Manager with analyzing current systems, collecting and document lessons learned and serving as a thought partner with key stakeholders to provide solutions to help improve the administration and management of HQ-managed awards at Mercy Corps. As needed, the HQMA PO will support the harmonization of global grant administration processes and fill-in gaps on geographical RPTs.

Essential Responsibilities


Serve as HQ point of responsibility for overall monitoring and reporting on grants/programs for both external/donor requirements as well as Mercy Corps’ internal policies and requirements.

Serve as HQ point of contact to donor representatives.

Support the Senior PAQ Officer in their tracking of Program teams’ adherence to Mercy Corps internal policies and Program Management minimum standards.

Support HQMA programs, as needed, with planning and implementation challenges, and coordinating with other HQ departments, including Technical Support, Compliance, Finance, to provide additional support.

Liaise with HQ departments to catalog new business opportunities and programs, determine roles and responsibilities for administration and management and ensure compliance with Mercy Corps’ processes related to HQMA program and grant administration.

With guidance from Global Programs Manager, fill-in gaps on geographic RPTs and support global grant administration process improvement projects, as requested


Lead HQ coordination for proposals (unless designated otherwise). Throughout the proposal process, monitor the timeline, status of proposal and communicate to the relevant parties as appropriate.

Provide input to proposals, ensuring alignment with donor priorities and requirements. In addition, review drafts for coherence, provide copy-editing and rewrites as necessary, and manage submission to the donor.


With guidance from the Global Programs Manager, advise on strategic opportunities in alignment with the global Pathway to Possibilities strategy.

With guidance from Global Programs Manager, create guidance documents/standard operating procedures to apply MC policies and procedures related to HQMA

With the Senior PAQ Officer, facilitate learning across HQMA portfolio and share lessons learned and knowledge of agency resources/tools/best practices/etc.


Support internal communications and ensure knowledge Management Systems are up to date and accurate to support communication with other teams.

Adhere to retention policies with central filing of program files in agency servers.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Global Programs Manager

Works Directly With: Senior PAQ Officer - HQMA, Operations, Regional Program and Global Programs Teams; HQ Program units and other departments, including Resource Development, Finance, Compliance, Legal, Policy and Advocacy, Mercy Corps Counterparts at MC HQ offices in Europe; MC donors and partners.

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 relevant field required.

2 + years of field-based experience in international relief and development; demonstrated knowledge of relevant sectoral and/or operational areas - preferred.

2 + years of experience managing the development, implementation, administration, and compliance (especially of US Government-funded grants); general program management experience - preferred.

Experience with proposal development including support and writing with various donors, particularly US Government, private foundations, and corporations.

Experience with monitoring and evaluation and other learning efforts.

Experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local and international government officials, local Civil Society Organizations, other international organizations, the media, and the public preferred.

Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

Preference given to candidates with prior work experience with HQ-managed awards.

Success Factors

The successful candidate is a problem solver, who is adept in successfully dealing with issues of complexity. They are a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with staff, partners and donors. They are flexible and able to communicate workloads and team needs effectively. They will coordinate with their supervisor, and be effective at building working relationships with stakeholders. They will collaborate with Mercy Corps’ diverse program support teams, including members of the TSU, International Finance, and Grants Compliance teams to support impactful partnerships with the HQMA portfolio. The PO is part of a team that works with HQ teams to ensure that we learn from experience, thoroughly research and analyze context and develop high impact strategies. They will be a skilled writer and synthesizer of diverse and complex information, helping teams generate new insights into their work, the needs of the HQMA portfolio, and how program impact can be scaled. A robust sense of humor is greatly appreciated.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position can be based in Portland, Oregon or Washington, DC. Travel to support Country Programs may be required – sometimes on short notice – to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a country office posting or on a visit or Short Term Assignment (STA) to a country office posting. 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.

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