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Senior Director, Governance Technical Unit

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Senior Executive - Internationally recruited position - Senior Executive level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • International Relations
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Managerial positions
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • Democratic Governance
  • Closing Date:

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Requisition ID: req8068

Job Title: Senior Director, Governance Technical Unit

Sector: Governance

Employment Category: Regular

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: Not Applicable

Location: New York, NY HQ USA

Job Description

The IRC’s vision is to lead the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. 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.

TE has three central objectives that we work towards:

  1. Guide program design to achieve better outcomes for the people we serve, by incorporating the best available contextual analysis, insights from clients and partner agencies, evidence of what works, and cost analysis;

  2. Build technical capacity of country program staff to implement, measure and continuously improve programs;

  3. Influence the IRC, peer agencies and donors to use proven interventions and generate new evidence to achieve change in peoples’ lives.

TE is comprised of 6 technical teams, all of which have deep expertise in their respective sectors: Education, Economic Wellbeing, Governance, Health, and Violence Prevention and Response. A sixth team provides cross-cutting support and learning around program quality improvement.

The Governance Unit within TE is responsible for developing and overseeing the quality of IRC’s program portfolio of key interventions contributing to the power of the people we serve, as well as to the governance aspects of service delivery that contribute to IRC’s other sectoral outcomes. Our work helps those we support have a greater degree of influence over the decisions that affect their lives as well as having access to effective and responsive services.

Current IRC Governance programming includes: working with municipal and local government to shape a policy environment that is supportive to crisis-impacted populations, refugees and those displaced within the borders of their country; working with national and local line ministries to develop more functional service delivery systems; working with local communities and local representatives to improve citizen engagement and feedback loops. Future programming directions should include a greater focus on transforming gendered power relations, as well as a continued commitment to evidence generation and learning about the most effective and cost-effective governance interventions.

The Senior Director, Governance, is a key member of the Technical Excellence leadership team and a member of IRC’s larger Senior Leadership Group (SLG). As such, the Senior Director has responsibilities in different arena:

  • As a member of the SLG, the director partners consistently and effectively with IRC regional and country program leadership in order to drive forwards the organization’s global strategy, understanding and adapting the team’s technical assistance to the changing contexts and capacities of IRC’s country programs in the implementation of their Strategic Action Plans.

  • As a member of the TE leadership team, the director partners with peer leaders and the head of the department to assure IRC programmatic models are integrated, outcome-driven and evidence-based and to partner with communication, policy and advocacy colleagues to encourage policy makers, donors and practitioners to target their resources and efforts to interventions that have a positive impact on people’s lives.

  • As the leader of the Governance TU, the director provides a clear vision and execution plan that connects the governance unit to the organization’s strategy. This includes strategic representation and fund-raising in both private and public sectors; diligent and disciplined financial and grants management oversight; and the management necessary to leverage diverse competencies, identify and promote talent and create the type of culture and incentives needed to sustain a high performing and energized team of professionals.

    Major Responsibilities

  • LEADER: Act as the most senior leader of a talented group of technical leaders, researchers, advocates and operations colleagues, bringing vision, cohesion and authentic intellectual dialogue together to create a strong culture of performance and collaboration. As a senior leader with peers across technical and field based domains, bring collaboration, rigor and solutions to opportunities and challenges IRC faces both in the contexts in which it works, and throughout its operations. Represent the Technical Excellence group and the Senior Leaders Group communities consistently in field travel and across teams throughout IRC.

  • STEWARD: Develop and implement strategic business development efforts to support IRC country programs and enable the Governance team to deliver high quality technical assistance, implement a focused research agenda and stay ahead of relevant service delivery systems strengthening, social accountability, conflict prevention and peacebuilding as well as urban policy and practice decisions. Bring discipline and rigor to financial and grants management of Governance unit funds, partnering with colleagues in TE and Finance departments to harmonize planning, budgeting and reporting.

  • MANAGER: Invest deliberately in the support and development of IRC staff within the TU and in support of related technical colleagues in IRC country programs. Responsible for recruitment, retention and assuring IRC has the human resources to deliver superb technical assistance and thought leadership.

ADVOCATE: Act as the most senior advocate in the relevant technical area, regularly communicating the needs and priorities of IRC country programs to donors; participating in high level policy and practice forums; advocating for the adoption of interventions proven to improve people’s ability to influence decisions that affect their lives and for resources to enable the IRC and others to raise people’s voices across contexts. Requires a deep appreciation and support of IRC’s commitment to drive fundamental policy and practice changes that will ensure people receive the wide-ranging support they need to survive and in the immediate aftermath of crisis helps them recover and gain control of their future.


Education:  Masters in relevant field required, PhD preferred.

Work Experience: A minimum of 15 years of relevant experience, with field and programmatic experience in a donor, NGO or comparable international agency required. Experience and familiarity with governance and service delivery donors, peer agencies and national contexts required, preferably in humanitarian and transitional, post-crisis contexts. Experience and expertise raising funds from bilateral, multilateral and private donors. Leadership and management experience in complex global organization.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies: Demonstrated skills and competencies related to governance programming in low resource/conflict affected environments. Strategic planning. Private and statutory business development/ fundraising. Understanding of the program life cycle and best practice 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 results for people. An existing and strong professional network in humanitarian, development and peacebuilding communities. Very strong leadership and management competencies including the ability to bring people along with a stated vision and strategy, and capacity to communicate effectively with IRC field leadership, technical peers, and colleagues in fundraising, communications and advocacy. Excellent public speaking and writing skills are essential.

Language Skills: Excellent spoken and written English essential. Proficiency in one other IRC relevant language (Arabic, French, German, Kiswahili, etc.) preferred.

Working Environment: Travel up to 25% of time. Preferably based in NYC or London but open to discussing other IRC HQ offices.



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