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Kyrgyzstan Recruitment - Country Director

Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)


Mercy Corps in Kyrgyzstan has one overall ultimate goal to contribute to the strengthening of communities and institutions so they are better able to work together to build healthy, financially stable communities based on civil society principles. In 1994 Mercy Corps became one of the first international non-governmental organizations to work in the newly independent Kyrgyzstan. Today our programs reach more than 500,000 people in all major urban and rural communities of the country’s seven regions. Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan’s current and recent programs focus on food security and nutrition; education; youth and stability; agricultural and economic development; peacebuilding; and emergency response.

Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan’s flagship program is USDA’s Food for Education, a five-year program that is implemented country-wide supporting improved learning environments for children through enhance school and at-home nutrition, school infrastructure and education policies working towards achieving sustainable school feeding programs. This core program was due to end in August 2016, but has just been awarded a \$5M 1-2 year extension. Two other programs are pending potential awards for work in nutrition/school gardens and working with youth for a potential additional \$1.25M for a year.


The Country Director (CD)) is the senior management position in Kyrgyzstan with supervisory and managerial responsibilities over all country personnel, offices, programs, security and policies. The CD will also serve as the FFE project’s Chief of Party and ensure that the project is planned and executed with quality, accountability and measurable impact. The CD is responsible for developing a culture of professional development and teamwork for all Mercy Corps team members in Kyrgyzstan and also maintaining a proactive approach to security management. He/She will be responsible for all donor communication, as well as be responsible for liaising with relevant government entities and for external representation of Mercy Corps’ program in Kyrgyzstan. The CD is also the primary point of contact for inter-departmental agency coordination.


Strategy and Vision

  • Develop program strategies that animate and maximize internal and external resources and relationships;

  • Formulate and plan a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies which can be clearly communicated to team members, local beneficiaries, international partners and donors – in this context there should be a clear emphasis not only on managing the USDA FFE program well, but also on extending and expanding Mercy Corps’ presence and impact in Kyrgyzstan due to the continuing needs in the country;

  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.

Program Management

  • Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.

  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.

  • Develop partners MoUs and contracts & oversee a training program for program partners.

  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.

  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.

  • Focus on impact data and data collection for adaptive management and influence;

  • Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.


  • Develop and nurture culturally sensitive internal and external relationships and networks to ensure optimum communication and program success;

  • Build strong constituencies to include Mercy Corps headquarters and regional officers and staff, international and local NGOs, government officials, donor community officials, diplomatic corps and embassies, and the media.

  • Use research and impact data to market MC programs for further expansion and development

Team Management

  • Manage with an emphasis on excellence and achievement;

  • Encourage a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation;

  • Recruit, manage and motivate an informed, skilled and efficient team;

  • Incorporate staff development strategies and Performance Management systems in team building process.

Operations Management

  • Manage security and safety of the team and field office/s supported by necessary systems and training;

  • Manage all aspects of quality program design and implementation;

  • Establish and maintain effective program reporting, monitoring/evaluation systems for internal and external use;

  • Build and maintain structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, logistics, program and administration;

  • Understand and incorporate resources, systems and structures available from Mercy Corps worldwide;

  • Ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.

  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.


  • 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.

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.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: Mercy Corps senior management team in Kyrgyzstan (4 staff members);

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Regional Program Director

WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: All HQ offices in the USA, UK, and local authorities, NGOs, INGOs, and civic leaders.


  • BA/S, MA/S or equivalent in natural resources management, social sciences, management or international development required and MA/S preferred

  • At least 7 years of work experience in progressively responsible roles in international relief and development required;

  • Strong understanding of agriculture and linkages to livelihoods, nutrition and microfinance;

  • Demonstrated experience in the sectors such as youth and stability; governance; and/or conflict and peacebuilding programming;

  • Preferred experience and strong understanding of behavior change communication strategies and programming;

  • Proven competence in long term planning and development of strategies (inclusive of objectives, activities, and key performance indicators) for international relief and development programs, and proven ability to mobilize resources around these strategies;

  • Proven ability to develop, nurture, promote, and mentor project and administrative teams and teamwork;

  • Strong organizational and communication skills with the ability to work effectively and creatively, independently and with a team;

  • Demonstrated ability to successfully communicate, and initiate and maintain positive relationships, with different stakeholders including local communities, host country governments, donors, INGOs and NGO partners;

  • Experience of working with the rules, regulations and requirements of one or more of the following: USAID, USDA, DFID, SDC, EU, private donors and foundations;

  • Verifiable record of developing successful proposals for new projects from conception to submission;

  • Security management experience;

  • Computer literacy and excellent written and verbal communication, multi-tasking and interpersonal skills;

  • Experience living and working in Central Asia highly desirable

  • Knowledge of Russian and/ or Kyrgyz/Uzbek strongly preferred.


The successful Country Representative will display an entrepreneurial spirit that is both creative and flexible, and will understand how to work closely with and develop the capacity of national staff. S/he will combine strong communication skills, creativity, initiative, participatory leadership and tactful decisiveness to assist in the development and implementation of Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan strategy. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. An understanding of the current political, economic, cultural and historical context of Central Asia is preferred. S/he must possess the ability to work effectively with a large variety of people who will be diverse economically and politically. S/he must be sensitive to political and cultural nuance. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.


The position is based in Bishkek and is an accompanied post. Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan has grant-funded activities with offices in Bishkek (principle), and Osh, and also supports the activities of Kompanion (majority owned by Mercy Corps). The position is based in the Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan Bishkek office, located in north Kyrgyzstan, with expectation of regular travel to all field offices and sites. Bishkek has access to basic amenities with both individual houses and apartments available. There is an active community of expatriates in Bishkek. The country is not politically stable and is prone to civil upheaval leading to government turnover.

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.

Please apply here:

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Grade: Mid/Senior - Internationally recruited position - Mid/Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Human Resources
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Human Resources
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2016-12-22

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