Mercy Corps

Response 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.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps’ Ukraine crisis response seeks to meet the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Ukrainians and other conflict-affected people where they are: displaced inside Ukraine, refugees in Poland, Romania and Moldova, or trapped behind frontlines. We aim to reach 500,000 vulnerable people with multi-purpose cash assistance, in-kind humanitarian support, and protection services across four countries. In addition, we will build resilience programming to assist communities and market systems withstand repeated shocks due to the conflict. Almost all of our impact will be delivered in partnership: with Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian and Moldovan Civil Society Organizations through a granting program that matches Humanitarian Action with capacity strengthening, and with peer international NGOs through a consortium in Ukraine.

General Position Summary

The Ukraine Response Director leads and manages a regional response team to ensure Mercy Corps is implementing high quality, impactful programming with the necessary management and support structures to sustain response programs in Ukraine, Poland and Moldova. The role also includes ensuring appropriate systems and support mechanisms are in place to track, analyze and report on results as well as setting the strategic direction of the overall response. S/he directly manages a high-level Response Senior Management Team, comprising a Deputy Response Director, Director of Programs, Director of Operations, Director of People, Director of Security and Humanitarian Access, Director of Finance and Compliance, Ukraine Cash Consortium Director, and Director for Poland and Moldova. The Response Director also leads on identifying program development opportunities into and beyond 2023, expanding Mercy Corps’ work into resilience and inclusion programming.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Set a clear vision for the response, working closely with field leadership across three to four country interventions
  • Ensure response fit within regional and global strategies
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives
  • Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and convince stakeholders to provide support
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed
    Program Management
    • Lead the program teams in implementation of a humanitarian response while building complementary interventions focused on economic resilience and social inclusion
    • Oversee program startup and ongoing program management and Administration of teams across various field locations.
    • Ensure program implementation is responsive to communities and partners, and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
    • Ensure beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria, and that feedback mechanisms are in place.
    • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
    • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Code of Conduct; Gender, Diversity and Inclusion guiding documents; Core Humanitarian Principles and Do No Harm.
      Team Management
      • Pro-actively manage and lead the Response Senior Management Team (RSMT) and provide an example of inclusive leadership to the whole response.
      • Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.
      • Ensure team members improve performance & reach objectives.
      • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and cultivate resilience and well-being under challenging situations.
      • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify Problem Solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
        Finance & Compliance Management
        • 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 related to emergency programming.
        • Build and/or maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs.
        • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
          Influence & Representation
          • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders
          • Represent Mercy Corps Ukraine Response to donors and policymakers in Ukraine, Poland and Moldova as well as with Mercy Corps in the U.S.A. and Europe
          • Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media and participate in community activities as appropriate.
          • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
          • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
            • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
            • Contribute to creating a secure environment for team members.

              Supervisory Responsibility

              The Response Director will manage the Response Senior Management Team (RSMT): Deputy Response Director, Director of Programs, Director of Operations, Director of People, Director of Security and Humanitarian Access, Director of Finance and Compliance, Ukraine Cash Consortium Director, and Director for Poland and Moldova.


              Reports Directly To: Regional Director Asia & Europe

              Works Directly With: Deputy Regional Director and Director of Regional Support Services, Regional Program Teams in London, Edinburgh, Washington DC and Portland, relevant departments at HQ including International and Corporate Finance, General Counsel, Human Resources and Recruitment, Global Procurement and Logistics, and Fundraising.

              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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

              • 10+ years of field experience in international relief and development programs required, including demonstrable success in managing programs in active conflict zones, transitional environments and working in insecure emergency situations
              • Mercy Corps experience preferred
              • Experience with partnerships with civil society organizations and local government
              • Ability to support multiple office locations simultaneously. A good sense of order and organization.
              • Effective communication skills: able to work in person and remotely with geographically dispersed and culturally distinct teams
              • Experience designing practical and effective monitoring systems, including data and database Management Systems.
              • BA/BS or equivalent in the relevant field; MA/S preferred.
              • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Russian or Ukrainian is desirable.

                Functional competencies

                • Understands program strategy development
                • Possesses basic fundraising and proposal development skills
                • Understands donor regulations and compliance (USAID, ECHO, DFID, UN, etc.)
                • Can develop and manage budgets
                • Can communicate with donors and convey information on program’s impact
                • Can identify and mobilize HQ technical and functional support
                • Can oversee and implement participatory processes in all response phases
                • Effectively manages teams/people and applies relevant Mercy Corps’ procedures and approaches
                • Supports team members through Capacity Building
                • Can ensure team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies
                • Is comfortable using social Media Platforms and speaking publicly
                • Has knowledge of humanitarian negotiation

                  Success Factors

                  The successful Ukraine Response Director will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team during active conflict and through the transitional response environment. They will be capable of multitasking, rapid decision-making, have initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building. They will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. 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.

                  Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

                  The position is based in Kyiv, Ukraine (security permitting – context may dictate another location). Accommodations is provided and Access to Services – medical, electricity, water, etc is in place but may change depending on the situation and is subject to outages. This position requires travel to surrounding countries, as security permits. Given the emergency context, this position requires exceptional work schedules, including evenings and weekends.

                  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.

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