Assistant Program Officer – Asia

Mercy Corps

Location Portland, OR, or Washington DC

Position Status Full-time, Non-exempt, Regular

Minimum Starting salary $46,000 commensurate with experience

About Mercy Corps

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 implements a variety of programming throughout Asia in response to the diverse humanitarian and long-term development needs of the region. Our portfolio in the Asia region includes ongoing or future programming in the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Mercy Corps is committed to delivering high quality, high impact programming that reaches communities or individuals in need, wherever they are.

Each region has a dedicated support team (the “Desk”), which is a component of the larger Regional Program Team (RPT) and based in Mercy Corps’ US headquarters in Portland, Oregon and Washington DC. The Desk is the key point of HQ contact for field management including Regional Director (RD), Country Directors, Program Managers and other country field team staff. The Desk links the country programs to a range of U.S. and international-based resources and represents the region to potential and current donors and other partner organizations and institutions in the US.

General Position Summary

The Assistant Program Officer (APO) provides administrative support to the Senior Program Officers (SPOs), Program Officers (POs), Deputy Regional Director (DRD), Regional Director (RD), and the field teams for the growth and implementation of high-quality and impactful programming in the Asia region, particularly for India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, etc. S/he plays a key role in managing programmatic knowledge and data from the country teams to facilitate use and access of it by other HQ departments and for retention of institutional knowledge. The APO effectively supports the SPOs/POs to provide the secondary check, and supports the field in adhering to internal and external policies and regulations and is responsible for administrative duties for the region.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Track donor requirements for programs by reviewing grant agreements, tracking reporting requirements and deadlines, and sending regular reminders to field teams about reporting deadlines.
  • Work with POs and SPOs to review, edit, assemble, and ensure timely submission of donor reports.
  • Proactively lead logistical support for field and headquarters teams including consultant requests and travel.
  • Work with field and HQ staff to handle requests for procurement of materials for field offices, adhering to Mercy Corps procurement policies.
  • Ensure that invoice requests for payment from field staff are accurately completed and submitted to the Accounting and Finance teams.
  • Work with POs, and SPOs to help ensure that program quality standards are maintained and that programs adhere to Mercy Corps and donor requirements, including retention of relevant documents.
  • Provide administrative support to the Regional Director as requested.
  • Work with PO and SPO to schedule internal and external meetings and provide administrative support through taking and disseminating notes, collecting agenda points, help plan event logistics, etc. as needed.


  • Collaborate with APOs, POs, and SPOs to ensure all field office requests receive a response within 48 hours.
  • Liaise between field offices and HQ departments, including Recruiting, Human Resources, Resource Development, Finance and the Operations Department to provide support in the areas of recruitment, consultant contracts, payroll, procurement and other areas of need.
  • Respond to requests for information from other HQ departments, particularly Resource Development and International Finance, at the direction of POs and SPOs.
  • Provide support to field teams to edit and finalize communications materials as requested by POs and SPOs.


  • Maintain up-to-date country and grant information in Mercy Corps’ online knowledge management tools, e.g., GAIT, Digital Library, The Hub.
  • Support POs and SPOs to maintain adequate records of all documentation and correspondence of grants, ensuring that grant information is entered into the Grant and Information Tracker (GAIT) database, the internal shared drive, SharePoint, the Digital Library, and donor tracking systems as requested. Track reporting requirements and deadlines of program reports and help ensure that report deadlines are met. Responsible for implementing HQ file retention policy.
  • Maintain up-to-date information about country programs on The Hub (Mercy Corps’ intranet).


  • Track upcoming proposal opportunities using GAIT and file go/no-go documentation
  • Format documents and obtain signatures by appropriate agency representatives.
  • Work with POs and SPOs to edit, assemble, and submit proposals including annexes such as capacity statements to donors.
  • File final submitted documents.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Senior Program Officer

Works Directly With: APOs, POs and SPO; Asia field staff; Regional Director; Regional Advisers; Program and Technical Support Units staff; Finance, Resource Development; 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 International Development or related field highly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in providing high-quality Assistant Program Officer and administrative support to complex teams at a distance required.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with colleagues overseas from various backgrounds.
  • Strong understanding of complex challenges faced by field teams in difficult operating environments.
  • Ability to effectively use all MS Office software (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, Sharepoint) and other web-based platforms (e.g. Digital Library, GAIT, Google Docs, etc.).
  • Prior NGO or international development experience preferred.
  • Prior experience with US Government grant compliance is a plus.
  • Preference given to candidates with prior work experience in Central and/or South/SE Asia.
  • Knowledge of relevant technical sectors (emergency relief, economic development, youth, health, nutrition, or hygiene) is a plus.

Success Factors

The Full-Time Assistant Program Officer must be a detail-oriented multi-tasker who is able to communicate clearly and work under pressure. They must demonstrate patience, flexibility especially given the challenges of time zones, and initiative to independently solve problems. Vital skills include communication (both written and verbal), as well as building and maintaining effective internal and external relationships. They must demonstrate the ability to understand and follow agency procedures, meet deadlines, and work both independently and as part of a complex distanced-based, multi-cultural team. An exposure to and interest in international development issues is important, and an understanding of the complex challenges faced by program teams operating in overseas environments is critical.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

Portland, OR, 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.

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.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. Any offers of employment or continued employment are dependent on the successful completion of the screens which include, but are not limited to our Background Check and Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme processes,

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.

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

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 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.

How to apply

Apply here