Head of Mission – Iran


INTERSOS is an independent humanitarian organization that assists the victims of natural disasters, armed conflicts and exclusion. Its activities are based on the principles of solidarity, justice, human dignity, equality of rights and opportunities, respect for diversity and coexistence, paying special attention to the most vulnerable people.

Terms of reference
Job Title: Head of Mission – Iran
Code: SR-58-2194
Duty station: Teheran, with frequent mission to the project locations
Starting date: 30/01/2023
Contract duration: 24 months renewable
Reporting to: Head of Emergency Unit;
Supervision of: National team & Expat team
Dependents: Family duty station

General context of the project
Iran faces a significant deterioration of the humanitarian situation which is likely to further worsen in the first half of 2022. The recent developments in Afghanistan are further worsening the humanitarian situation for thousands of Afghans who are currently obliged to flee their homes. It is widely anticipated that Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation may deteriorate further, given that the international support to key essential and social services – food aid, health, education, and other essential services, is currently frozen. The deterioration of the humanitarian situation led already to a massive number of displacements towards Iran.
Additionally, Iran is one of the first countries hit by Covid-19 pandemic and remains the most affected country in the Eastern Mediterranean region and among the worst hit worldwide (WHO). The third wave was even more harmful than the previous two, with the whole country in a declared state of emergency. A fourth wave is expected. COVID-19 has worsened a critical situation, both in terms of health and limited capacity to fulfil basic needs. Concerns are further increasing for both Iranians and Afghans with limited access to basic services, especially health care, due to the impact of COVID-19, the country’s ongoing economic crisis and the difficulty to import essential medical goods. COVID-19 has a severe impact on the socio-economic situation and causes loss of employment, especially for the poorest 40% of the population. Most vulnerable Afghans and Iranians increasingly resort to negative coping mechanisms; 46 million people live below or just above the multidimensional poverty line; 32 million people are affected by some food insecurity and malnutrition, with 1 million children already at risk of severe acute malnutrition prior to COVID-19; 3 million households are female-headed, and child-headed households are on the rise. Malnutrition is increasingly visible, in particular in rural and remote areas.
For these reasons, INTERSOS has decided to open its humanitarian operations in Iran since the very first stage of the highly likely Afghan refugee’s influx. INTERSOS strategic presence in Iran will guarantee a strong and effective humanitarian response to the newly displaced as well as the most vulnerable Iranian host communities filling also the gap that the country is experiencing in term of international humanitarian actors presence. The presence in Iran will also strategically boost INTERSOS capacity to respond to the Afghan crisis at regional level considering the over 20 years humanitarian activity in Afghanistan.

General purpose of the position
The Head of Mission represents INTERSOS in Iran, and acts of behalf of the Director General, in leading on initiating and leading on the response, including on strategy, planning, management and implementation of INTERSOS Iran programme.

Main responsibilities and tasks
Strategy and Vision:

  • Based on the review and assessment, and in collaboration with the HQ E-Unit, propose and develop a strategy for INTERSOS programme in Iran in line with INTERSOS values and principles.
  • Lead on developing additional operational activities, if feasible and in line with review and assessment results
  • Lead the detailed annual country strategy planning process.
  • Lead on prioritising of actions and resources to achieve programme objectives.
  • Explore and present funding opportunities that integrate initiatives and leverage impact for the communities; support and direct fund-raising activities with institutional and private donors

Representation and influencing:

  • Represents the organization in country and manage relations with the national authorities, including with relevant government departments, with extreme care and tact in order to safeguard our impartiality and independences and the ethical standing of the organization, and to ensure smooth and timely implementation of planned interventions
  • Proactively represent INTERSOS with donor, partners, local and international stakeholders, and the communities we serve and develop strategic partnerships overall
  • Follow up, guarantee and monitor government recognition procedures for the organization in compliance with the host country formalities
  • Maintain strong communications to donors and ensure that the assessed needs are communicated to help shape donor priorities
  • Represent the Mission in all coordination fora (NGO, national authorities, UN, and others), as per established coordination structure in-country
  • Represent INTERSOS programmes with national and international media and participate in community activities as appropriate, being responsible for the development and promotion of communication and advocacy materials highlighting the beneficiaries needs and the role of the organization in addressing them

Human Resource management:

  • Manage the Senior Management Team (SMT) in country, ensuring that all key issues pertaining to programme implementation, as well as administrative, context and security developments are regularly discussed
  • In coordination with SMT, coordinate, guide and supervise the mission staff, and evaluate their performance
  • Ensure the Mission staff are working in line with organisational values, Code of Ethics and Organization Management and Control Model
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity and ensure that the Mission staff adhere with staff compliance with INTERSOS procedures
  • Ensures the correct flow of operational information within the mission and with the region and headquarter


  • Overall manage security and safety of INTERSOS staff in-country and proactively follow context analysis, security assessment
  • Validate of all the mission security plans (at the capital level and at field levels
  • Regularly interact with HQ on security issues
  • To hold final responsibility for any decision concerning security

Monitoring and Reporting:

  • Continuously assess, analyse and evaluate the impact of the country operations, also through periodic visits to the areas of intervention
  • Oversee programme quality and impact, in line with established programme goals and related indicators
  • Oversee the good functioning of the support services


  • Coordinate and define the mission financial plan, striving towards financial sustainability, and assume responsibility for the mission funds management, including bank accounts

Required profile and experience
Advanced university degree in humanitarian related field (international relation, social studies, IHL, IHRL)

Professional Experience
Minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience at similar position in humanitarian context

Professional Requirements

  • Leadership in managing complex humanitarian programmes in challenging and insecure contexts (7 years of experience in similar positions)
  • Proven experience in managing and bringing together an ethnically diverse / multi-cultural team with team members
  • Proven representation, negotiation, communication and organisation skills
  • Experience in securing funding for country programs from diverse donors.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with external stakeholders, including with host governments, private sector, UN, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
  • Sound knowledge of international donors in humanitarian and development contexts
  • Previous experience in managing complex security environment, and in ensuring quality supervision also in remote
  • Proven experience in strategic planning and negotiation of humanitarian access
  • Proven experience in financial and grants management
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required
  • Previous experience in the country/area of operation an asset.

English is mandatory. Knowledge of Dari/Farsi is an asset

Personal Requirements

  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Exhibit awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
  • Manage conflicts in a constructive way
  • Confidently able to deal with authorities and donors
  • Proactive and collaborative approach to work
  • Able to work independently as well as being a strong team player
  • Contributes to the development of tools and methods that might be useful in the field of work
  • Ability to integrate and work well within multi-ethnic and multicultural teams

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to apply following the link below: https://www.intersos.org/posizioni-aperte/missioni/#intersosorg-vacancies/vacancy-details/618b9d655330f3001f5621bf/

Please note that our application process is made of 3 quick steps: register (including your name, email, password, citizenship and Skype address), sign-up and apply attaching your CV and motivation letter in PDF format. Through the platform, candidates will be able to track their applications’ history with INTERSOS.

In case you encounter severe difficulties applying through the platform – i.e. if and only if it is impossible to submit the requested files through the adequate channel – you will be allowed to submit your CV and Motivation Letter (both in PDF version) via e-mail to [email protected], with the subject line ” Platform issue – SR-58-2194– Position “. Please, bear in mind this is an exceptional measure, as there are allocated channels created for every job opening, which will make this process quicker and easier.
Please note that any application submitted via e-mail may take longer than our standard terms to be processed.

Please also mention the name, position and contact details of at least three references, including the line manager during your last job. Family members are to be excluded.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for the first interview.

Closing date: 24 Jan 2023