Mercy Corps Syria Dir (Amman, Jordan)

This material is cross-posted from the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and appears to be an interesting opportunity for the Humphrey community.   This is meant for information sharing purposes only. 

Job Description
As Mercy Corps seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the world we recognize that instances of sudden change within a country or region, like the events currently sweeping across the Middle East, are rare moments of opportunity. It is imperative that Mercy Corps present itself as a key and reliable partner with various donors, INGOs, government authorities and civil society actors, to be part of the process of positive change. Mercy Corps, with her global experience in working in countries undergoing major transitions, will be a key contributor in the process, bringing knowledge, expertise and strong management skills to position the agency as a partner of choice for progressive change in Syria.

Syria is currently in the midst a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country as well as a number of the neighbouring countries. The main thrust of the work of Mercy Corps along with her national and international partners for the foreseeable future 1-2 years) would primarily be focused on meeting the urgent humanitarian needs across the country. In addition to that as the complexity of the crisis continues to unfold and unleash itself on millions of people the heightened insecurity and continuous acts of violence and war is making the humanitarian response not only more challenging but also highly complicated.

The Syria Director is the most senior position for Mercy Corps covering Syria. S/he is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully managing all programming, resulting in lasting improvement in the lives of millions of Syrians in his/her area of operations. S/He has held senior roles in formulating strategic direction within an international development context. The SD has supervisory responsibility for the team under his/her management and manages a substantial and diverse portfolio with a number of international and national staff working at multiple locations and implementation of all security protocols. The SD develops sustainable, multi-sector programming and is accountable to beneficiaries and donors, placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships in tough environments.

Strategy and Vision
  • Articulate and communicate a compelling vision of present and future program goals and strategies to team members and stakeholders that translates into concrete programs and work plans;
  • Lead the annual country planning process and provide strategic updates;
  • Connect teams to ideas, partners and resources to drive creative solutions for greater impact;
Personal Leadership
  • Model inclusive and collaborative leadership that respects and engages team members across Syria;
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure;
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity;
  • Demonstrate awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs;
  • Demonstrate a high level of diplomacy and have highly developed negotiation skills;
  • Being able to lead by example and to exhibit grace under pressure;
  • Ability to work across multiple ethnic groups and linguistic barriers;
Representation and Influence
  • Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media and coordinate internally on external public relations and advocacy messaging;
  • Engage and lead relationships with peer agencies and the United Nations in Amman and other field locations;
  • Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local governments,foundations, the private sector, etc.;
  • Anticipate needs, understand donor pool and contribute to shaping donor’s views on development;
  • Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities that support the objectives for the country
  • Ability to work with formal and informal government structures and representatives;
  • Maintain a high degree of sophistication and excellence when negotiating with various ethnic factions and groups;
  • Respecting and understanding differing cultural and ethnic differences and nuances and being able to navigate through them;
Team Management
  • Create a sustainable work environment of mutual respect that attracts motivated, skilled and effective team members and enables them individually and collectively to strive to achieve excellence;
  • Supervise and provide leadership to a diverse team of direct and indirect reports in field offices;
  • 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;
Impact and Operations Management
  • Apply Mercy Corps’ Design M&E principles and framework to programs and ensure the country’s overall strategy includes effective, timely reporting systems for all donors;
  • Ensure effective, transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures;
  • Oversee budget management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors, if applicable;
  • Build and maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs, as well as segregation of duties between finance and operations;
  • Work closely with the Regional Security Director, Security & Safety Manager and Regional Program Directors on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and security policy changes.

Organizational Learning:
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries:
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: N Syria and South Central Syria Directors, Regional Advocacy Adviser,  

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Regional Program Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: TSU, SPO, Global Security Advisor, RFO, Internal Audit, HR, Recruiting team and PALM team

  • BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
  • 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success inmanaging large, complex, humanitarian and transitional programs;
  • 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
  • Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
  • Proven skills in project delivery and grants management; prior experience with USG, UKAid, ECHO, and other leading humanitarian donors;
  • Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is preferred;
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Previous work experience in Middle East and in insecure environments is preferred.

The successful candidate will be able to work collaboratively with key stakeholders internally and externally to further the strategy to expand the Syria presence into dynamic and innovative programs, be focused on team-building and capacity-building of national staff, have good information management skills and maintain a sense of humor. S/he will be a strategic thinker, able to bring ideas to implementation in growing program operations. S/he will have exceptional proposal development skills and an outstanding ability to design, implement and manage innovative programs that respond to current needs and reinforce the future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. 

The position is based in Amman, Jordan. The location is accompanied and is not eligible for Hardship or R&R. Individual housing is provided. Staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a high standard. Water and electricity are present with occasional cuts. This position requires up to 50% of time of travel to field offices and partner agencies in less secure environments. 
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. 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 venues.
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