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Deputy Director, Education

London | New York City | Nairobi

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: London | New York City | Nairobi
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed
Background/IRC Summary:  
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive, recover and gain control of their future. 
We aim to make our programs a model for the highest global standards and to cultivate power and lasting change not just for our clients but for all people affected by humanitarian crises. To achieve that vision, the IRC’s Technical Excellence (TE) group, located within the Crisis Response, Recovery and Development (CRRD) Department, provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and shares what we learn to influence policy and practice. 

IRC’s Technical Excellence team is comprised of five teams or sector “Units” which have deep expertise in their respective fields: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Governance, Health, and Violence Prevention and Response, as well as three enabling teams which provide measurement, program quality improvement, and finance/grant management support. Technical teams are also matrixed with a team that focuses on the quality and content of cross-sectoral programming in emergency responses.

IRC’s Technical Excellence teams offer five core services to IRC country programs and the wider organization:
1. Program Design: We support country and regional teams to design state of the art programming, incorporating the best available evidence, cost data, and expertise of what has worked elsewhere, with the knowledge that country teams, partner organizations and our clients bring to the table.
2. Quality Assurance: We partner with our measurement teams to design and drive the use of indicators to measure progress towards outcomes; we partner with regional and country teams to review program delivery progress and help address implementation challenges and adapt interventions to changed circumstances.
3. Business Development: We partner within and outside the IRC to design winning bids and identify winning consortia; we deploy technical expertise in public events and private meetings to position IRC as a partner of choice.
4. Research & Learning: We partner with our research lab to design cutting edge research to fill evidence gaps, and with country teams to learn from implementation such that we continuously improve our future design and delivery.
5. External Influence: We showcase the IRC’s programs, technical insights and learning in order to influence and improve the humanitarian sector’s policy and practice.

Education Technical Unit
In 2022, the IRC reached over 800,000 children and youth directly in 20 countries with education programs. We ensure that even the hardest to reach children in the most challenging places are able to go to school and thrive. In the midst of conflict and disaster, education is one of the first things parents and children say they need. Education is a human right. It also helps keep children safe and gives them the skills needed to be resilient, do well now, and later in life. Education offers a glimmer of hope. The IRC defines success with education outcomes from infancy to young adulthood, ensuring results for all girls and boys, in some of the hardest to reach places.  These outcomes are: early childhood learning and nurturing care; primary school-aged learning; and youth learning; as well as the complementary safety in school outcome.

Position Overview
The Deputy Director, Education will play a critical role in the Education Leadership Team (ELT). Primary areas of responsibility include:
Lead: Thought partner to the Senior Director (SD) and engaged member of ELT, cultivating a kind, supportive team culture that reduces bureaucracy and anchors strategic decisions in evidence and good practice.
Manage: of a team of highly skilled regional leaders to ensure the delivery of high-quality education programming across IRC.
Oversee: the development and implementation of IRC processes and policies across the Education TU e.g. budget allocation, strategic workforce planning, wider people and culture goals and policies.
Champion: and support the implementation of the Education Unit’s strategic plan.  Providing strategic leadership to the design of programs that are evidence-based and evidence-generating, in close collaboration with the Senior Director, as well as with key stakeholders within and outside of the Education Unit.
Resolve: operational problems to ensure program challenges are promptly addressed and staff are supported. 
Promote: cross-functional collaboration and a ‘One IRC’ way of working both within the Education Unit and between the Technical Excellence, CRRD and the wider organization. 

Management of technical support functions: The Deputy Director will ensure that high quality, effective technical assistance is delivered to IRC’s Country and Regional programs by translating technical norms and standards to practice and elevating examples of good practice as accelerators of quality, scale and impact. 

They will do this by: 
- Providing excellent line management to education Regional Leads in close collaboration with the Deputy Regional Director for each region, to enable colleagues succeed, feel supported and work well in a regionally aligned structure.
- Creating strong connections and communication between the Regional Leads and the Technical Unit, as well as across each other. 
- Cultivating a strong and inclusive culture of performance, accountability, and collaboration, and ensuring high quality of technical support is provided by the team to IRC’s country programs.
- Ensuring TA is fit for purpose and innovative, as a key bridge between regions and countries and global practice and technical leaders and amplifying the voices of our clients and frontline staff. 
- Providing strategic leadership to the design of programs that are evidence-based where possible and
evidence-generating where necessary, Collectively and in close collaboration with the Senior Director, as well as with key stakeholders within and outside of the Education Unit.
- Representing the Senior Director as required.

Technical Unit strategy and operations: The Deputy Director, in close collaboration with the Senior Director, will foster operational and strategic excellence by cultivating a culture of data-driven decision making and leading on the operationalization and delivery of both the strategy of the Technical Unit and the application of IRC’s overall strategy (“Strategy 100”) to Education programming. 

They will do this by:
- Overseeing the implementation of IRC strategic processes and policies across the Education Technical Unit e.g. budget allocation, Strategic Workforce planning, wider people issues and policies.
- Taking forward strategic initiatives and change management processes as appropriate, contributing to the implementation of the IRC Education strategy, unit-wide ways of working, setting direction and workplans, as well as performance and knowledge management. 
- Ensure the
- responsible management of the Education Unit funds, partnering with technical and finance colleagues to harmonize planning, budgeting, and reporting. Driving improvements in ways of working across the TU.
- Helping make the Education TU a great place to work. Identifying priority people issues on the back of People Survey scores and lead/coordinate on particular areas.  
- Providing strategic oversight and assurance of portfolio, including quality and performance of programs, staff capability and management of delivery risk. 
- Building a strong network and collaborative relationships with other TUs, Regional and Country Leadership, Finance, People and Culture and other central teams to support the delivery of Education Technical Unit objectives.

Professional Profile
Success in this position requires an individual with outstanding leadership abilities and deep expertise in designing, operationalizing, and delivering high-quality education programming across geographies and contexts.  Extensive lived experience and deep understanding of cultural, societal, and political context in at least one of the regions where IRC operates is desired. A people-centered leadership style, driving performance enablement culture, engagement, and wellbeing.

Work experience desired: 
12+ years of relevant experience, including programmatic experience in a service delivery NGO or international organization.
Experience and familiarity with education donors, peer agencies and national contexts required, preferably in humanitarian and transitional, post-crisis contexts, with familiarity with development programming strategies.
Leadership and management experience in complex global organizations at regional/global levels.
Experience and expertise raising funds from bilateral, multilateral, and private donors, and leading teams to design winning bids.
Experience undertaking strategic planning and leading teams through change.

Demonstrated skills and competencies:  
Deep expertise in education programming and hands-on experience (preferably in 1 or more of the Education Technical Unit’s sub-sectors – early childhood development, social and emotional learning, foundational literacy and numeracy, girls’ education) in low-resource/conflict-affected environments.
Understanding of the humanitarian/development sectors and effective practices used by aid organizations to design, implement and measure the progress of interventions.
Fluency in the relevance and use of empirical evidence to know what works best to achieve meaningful program outcomes.
Excellent analytical skills and a demonstrated ability and comfort in effectively managing and using data and evidence to inform program design, adaptation and monitoring and learning.
Demonstrated leadership and management proficiencies including the ability to build a diverse team, foster an inclusive team culture, encourage confidence and trust and lead team in a unified vision and strategy.
Commitment to creating a learning culture and supporting internal learning within and beyond the team.
Communicates effectively with IRC program leadership, technical peers, and colleagues in fundraising, communications, and advocacy.
Demonstrated ability to navigate a large multi-national organization.
An established and collaborative professional network in humanitarian and development communities. 
Excellent public speaking and writing skills essential.

Education: Masters’ degree in a relevant field or an equivalent professional experience of background is required. Sound training on the use of data and research evidence for programmatic decision making and rigorous analytic skills are an advantage.

Language Skills: Excellent spoken and written English essential. Proficiency in French or additional IRC relevant languages (Arabic, Spanish) strongly preferred. 

Working Environment: Travel up to 30% of time. Preferably based in one of our international hubs in London, Nairobi, or New York. Other IRC locations may be possible.

Compensation:
Posted pay ranges apply to US and UK-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget.  Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

US Benefits:
We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.
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This vacancy is now closed.
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