Director – Strategic Leadership Team

  • Contract
  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

Mercy Corps

Location: This position is open to any Mercy Corps office location

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.

The Program / Department / Team

The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Unit supports effective, efficient and equitable program performance through a culture of quality management, to achieve greater impact for those that matter most — our program participants. PaQ enables the delivery of high-quality programs by establishing and maintaining standards, championing an evidence-based practice to improve program performance, and supporting portfolio and program services and strategic program change management. The PaQ team oversees several business processes including monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL); program management standards; program data management; community accountability reporting mechanisms; infrastructure, cash, and goods programming quality assurance; country operations support; strategic change management; and facilitating the Complex Program process.

The incumbent is a member of the Strategic Leadership sub-Team (SLT) within the PaQ Unit. The SLT supports Mercy Corps country teams and agency initiatives during times of change to achieve high program performance and quality. The SLT has three focus areas: 1) The SLT takes a holistic approach to leadership continuity by proactively supporting new senior leaders and helping Senior Management Teams to strengthen their cohesion, efficiency, and effectiveness. The SLT is also responsive to leadership transition needs by helping country teams source internal and external leadership support when needed. 2) The SLT provides support to Complex Programs by providing the necessary framework and resources to ensure that these programs are successfully implemented and are set up to achieve significant impact while appropriately managing risks. 3) The team serves as an agency resource to collaboratively lead strategic agency initiatives. Examples include program expansions; opening or closing of a country operation; consolidation of learning and development of strategic knowledge resources; restructuring projects or mergers and acquisitions; and response to unforeseen challenges.

The Position

The leader will be a partial-year member of the SLT who will be called upon for not less than (6) and no more than 9 (nine) months per year to provide on-site support to global programs and portfolios, with an emphasis on Country Director, Deputy Regional Director, Program Director of large complex programs, Team Lead, or equivalent-level vacancies during staffing gaps, times of transition, or the need for additional leadership. These will be extended assignments of two to four months or more per assignment. While on-site, the incumbent will provide team and portfolio leadership, overseeing programs, operations, finance, and other functions, while ensuring a smooth transition from outgoing to incoming leadership. The incumbent is an accomplished senior manager who is equally comfortable leading and managing country or regional teams and portfolios and managing individual programs. They are a flexible facilitator and problem-solver with a clear commitment to operational and program excellence and healthy teams. They facilitate beneficial connections between program, country, regional, and global teams and partners to ensure quality programming is supported by effective and integrated systems and the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed.

Essential Responsibilities


  • While on assignment, contribute to and facilitate integrated portfolio level strategies and plans.
  • While on assignment, contribute to program conceptualization or proposal development.
  • Support country teams to understand and align with agency, regional, and country visions and strategies. Contribute to the development or refinement of country strategies as needed during assignments.
  • Mobilize support services and risk management resources to enable country and regional leadership teams to execute their respective strategic priorities.
  • Prioritize resources during assignments to achieve objectives in variable scenarios including urgent change circumstances, crises, and emergencies.
  • Facilitate program planning when on assignment to identify future resources and support needs.


  • Foster an equitable and inclusive work environment where individual and team wellbeing is prioritized.
  • Provide leadership and managerial support to programs and portfolios through effective coordination, supervision, decision-making, information-sharing, performance monitoring and quality control, designed to enable achievement of program and portfolio objectives.
  • Deploy to support urgent change scenarios such as country start-up/close down, staffing transitions, portfolio transitions, and identify and implement solutions to management challenges.
  • On in-country assignments, support full and proper implementation and adoption of policies, procedures, and systems for quality team management, compliance, procurement, hiring, HR, logistics, warehouse, fleet, asset, and administrative functions.
  • Support adoption and accountability of all Mercy Corps policies, including the revised Program Management Policy.
  • Work with agency counterparts to mitigate risk, including fraud, corruption, safeguarding, conflict of interest, security and safety, and legal ramifications of Mercy Corps activities.


  • Maintain productive relationships with all stakeholders.
  • Facilitate or strengthen beneficial connections between program, country, regional, and global teams.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally.
  • Complete after-action reports following each assignment, summarizing the assignment and providing any recommendations to inform continuous improvement or highlight pending risks and issues.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.


  • Support Mercy Corps global and regional initiatives for human resources, including safeguarding and diversity, and talent development.
  • Collaborate with the people team to promote staff access to high quality learning opportunities, with a special emphasis on national team member development.
  • Assist with the on-boarding of senior team members, ensuring they are set up for success and familiar with agency systems, procedures, and protocols.


  • On assignments, engage with country teams on the internal audit process to track findings and ensure country team compliance with IA findings and recommendations.
  • Engage with country level Ethics and Assurance managers as well as the global Ethics and Assurance department to track and analyze trends and needs across countries.

Supervisory Responsibility

Variable when on assignment.

Reports Directly To: Senior Director of Program Performance; may have an additional reporting line when on assignment

Works Directly With: Global Programs, Country Directors, PaQ, Regional Leadership, Program Teams, and other technical and support teams

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

  • BA/BS degree in a relevant field.
  • A minimum of 10+ years experience in humanitarian or development programming, including in direct program management and senior leadership roles. Former experience as a Country Director or equivalent leadership role for an INGO is required.
  • Experience in insecure environments, including managing programs or teams in complex emergencies.
  • Knowledge of Mercy Corps processes, systems, and procedures is desirable.
  • Knowledge of rules and regulations governing the compliance/regulatory management of grants from US Government, DFID, EC, and other institutional donors is an advantage.
  • Experience effectively mentoring and training others.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in French, Arabic and/or Spanish is strongly preferred.

Success Factors

The incumbent will skillfully fill senior staffing gaps in various Mercy Corps locations, representing the priorities of the agency while providing effective management to priority portfolios. They are a skilled team leader with experience in a range of humanitarian and development technical sectors. They are attentive to detail, follow procedures, meet deadlines, and work and problem-solving independently and cooperatively. They proactively translate learning into strategies, and strategies into planning, for improving quality and preventing crises. They have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills, and proven experience with capacity building. The incumbent possesses excellent negotiation and representation skills. They are committed to managing risk and maintaining highly effective and efficient operational processes and teams. They bring positivity and a focus on solutions, along with a commitment to accountability, and a passion for navigating complex change processes. They thrive in evolving and challenging environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority. They work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment; comfortably handle highly ambiguous circumstances, and adapt to changing strategic and operational priorities.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The incumbent may be home-based/ remote in any Mercy Corps allowable location. The position is designed to conduct – or complete preparatory or close-out work for – specific country assignments, and as such must be prepared to travel frequently and remain on assignment for up to nine months per year.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when visiting or on an assignment 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.

How to apply

Apply here