Mercy Corps

Senior Advisor (Executive Office (Maternity Cover)

Mercy Corps

Job Description

Location: Edinburgh Position Status: Full-time, Fixed 1 year - starting in April 2021 for a 1-year parental leave cover Salary: circa £35,000 depending on experience + Benefits Closing Date: apply with CV and Cover Letter before 12 March 2021 Candidates must have the right to work in the UK at the time of appointment.

About Mercy Corps 

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.

In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Now, and for the future.

Mercy Corps Europe

Mercy Corps Europe (MCE) has grown rapidly both in terms of the volume of activity and its complexity. With offices in Edinburgh, London Geneva and The Hague, we now attract over £100m in income, and employ around 100 domestic and expatriate field team members. The breadth and impact of our programmes makes Mercy Corps a unique and truly rewarding place to work. Our teams are proud of what we achieve in the field and we are always looking for talented individuals who share our passion and commitment.

Position Summary

The Senior Advisor will deploy specialised expertise, provide direct project management, Counsel and advice in support of Mercy Corps’ mission. You will engage and lead on strategic opportunities and cross organisational projects depending on the shifting requirements of the organisation, supporting the Executive Director and the other members of the Senior Leadership team to strengthen decision making, communications and progress towards achieving stated objectives. Utilising your knowledge of organisational priorities and global opportunities, the Senior Advisor will participate and lead on strategic initiatives. You will function as a key member of the European Senior Leadership Team (ESLT), working with other Directors on specific projects to implement and deliver Mercy Corps vision, mission and strategic priorities. You will organise and gather information from various departments and meetings, reporting that information, along with recommendations, back to Senior Leadership. A particular focus will be on strategic initiatives that may not neatly fit into one specific department’s remit. The Senior Advisor will supervise the work of the Coordinator - Executive Office to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the Executive Office, providing support to the Executive Director in their representational and management roles. You will advise and support the Executive Director, acting as a sounding board as well as a representative for them across the organisation. The Senior Advisor oversees all internal leadership communications from within Europe, working closely with Media & Communications colleagues, ensuring regular and effective communications and feedback processes. Working closely with colleagues across Mercy Corps, you will support the development and delivery of internal communications across the global agency, helping to embed the European voice where relevant.

You will be a key point of contact between the Executive Director, the Boards, and the European Leadership Council. This role is responsible for advising and supporting the Boards of Directors on the delivery of specific projects and workstreams, working in close Coordination with the Executive Director, General Counsel and CEO offices. You will have a strong focus on fostering productive relationships across the Boards, as well as across the ELC, leveraging networks and relationships of all members within Europe. Key to success in this role is working collaboratively with team members across Mercy Corps, which will require a strong analytical mind and a focus on process improvement. You will also accompany and support Board & Leadership Council members with field visits and meetings as and when requested by the Executive Director.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Utilise knowledge of organisation priorities & global opportunities to ensure the Executive Director is best placed to achieve strategic aims
  • Advise and lead on strategic opportunities and cross organisational projects to strengthen decision making, communications and progress towards achieving stated objectives
  • Provide advice, Analysis and executive coordination and support to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the Executive Office
  • Provide advice and support to the European Senior Leadership Team with strategic planning & decision making
  • Develop & maintain strong, supportive working relationships across Mercy Corps teams to ensure effective cross-team information sharing and collaboration
  • In partnership with the Executive Director, manage the development of the European Strategy. Coordinate and oversee any necessary updates, and work with the ESLT to ensure the delivery of the Strategic Objectives are captured and communicated to internal stakeholders
  • Act as primary liaison between Executive Director and ELC
  • Support the Executive Director with the delivery of the ELC’s and Board’s aims and objectives, inclusive of maintaining & delivering an engagement strategy
  • Represent the Executive Director and Mercy Corps in an appropriate manner and communicate and liaise professionally with internal and external contacts
  • Line manage the Coordinator - Executive Office to ensure structured, efficient and highly effective planning, executive and administrative support to the Executive Office
  • Support participation in key global forums, utilising your knowledge of the networks and understanding of agency priorities to maximise impact of Executive Director’s attendance


  • Act as primary liaison between Executive Director and the Board
  • Work in partnership with General Counsel’s office and CEO’s office on matters pertaining to governance of Mercy Corps
  • Utilise existing knowledge and experience of good governance practice in Europe to help drive forward the work of the Board
  • Assist in identifying key events at which Board and Committee members could represent Mercy Corps, and coordinate with relevant team members to provide support in the lead up to such events
  • Advise and support the Executive Director through leading on an analysis of current effectiveness of Board committees, determining where additional support is necessary and where efficiencies can be created
  • Foster strong and productive relationships across the Boards
  • Prepare and monitor the Board budget providing reports as requested
  • Oversee all internal leadership communications from within Europe, working closely with Media & Communications colleagues, ensuring regular and effective communications and feedback processes
  • Develop a regular schedule for disseminating information across a range of internal platforms to provide all team members with regular, meaningful and consistent information
  • Support on the development and delivery of internal communications across the global agency, ensuring the European voice is accurately captured and represented
  • Utilise awareness of global priorities to work with other members of the ESLT on the delivery of any European-specific internal communications to the global team
  • Participate in internal communications working groups and maintain close working relationships with counterparts across departments
  • Identify opportunities whereby internal communications can help successfully deliver internal initiatives, with a particular emphasis on managing organisational change effectively
  • Coordinate, support, and (where appropriate) lead special initiatives

Supervisory Responsibility Coordinator - Executive Office


Reports Directly to: Executive Director, Mercy Corps Europe Works Directly with: Mercy Corps Europe Board of Directors, Mercy Corps Executive Team, European Senior Leadership 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.

Knowledge and Experience

  • 5 to 8 years of experience providing proactive administrative, operational and strategic support to executive teams and board of directors
  • Significant experience in executive decision-making teams within national, international or multilateral environments
  • Experience in a strategic level role within an organisation of comparable complexity
  • Proven expertise providing strategic and analytical support to senior management and/or governance bodies
  • Experience as Board Secretary in a complex organisation highly preferred
  • History of providing oversight and guidance to multi-layered cross-organisational projects
  • Ability to employ a strategic, analytical approach to a wide variety of tasks
  • Demonstrably strong verbal and written communication skills, including experience of writing communications on behalf of Senior Executives
  • Evidence of advanced interpersonal, influencing and negotiation skills
  • Capacity to build excellent relations and influence wide range of internal and external stakeholders and partners
  • Capable of adapting quickly to changing priorities, flexible and with the ability to process information quickly and provide creative solutions you will work both independently and collaboratively as required

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This role is based in Edinburgh.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a short term assignment to the field. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country locations.

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. 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.

Apply Now