Regional Director - Middle East
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
The Regional Director oversees Mercy Corps’ multi-million dollar portfolio in the Middle East, which serves populations in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. These are countries undergoing momentous humanitarian crises and dramatic transitions with global implications. The shifting power bases and changing dynamics also offer significant opportunities for development and change. As these changes fall into place, the world’s attention will continue to be fixed on the region. Mercy Corps requires an inspiring leader and shrewd navigator to set the regional vision and steer our team’s efforts toward ever-improving results for one of the agency’s most complex portfolios.
General Position Summary
The Regional Director is the lead regional strategist, skilled at contextual analysis and bringing together the highest quality ideas, expertise, and credible evidence to shape and influence the humanitarian and development agenda. They have a deep understanding of complex crises and are able to operate in the world’s most fragile contexts and most dynamic environments, while driving the region’s momentum forward to create opportunities for transformational change. They are an astute team builder; excel at partnership development; and ensure the agency-level strategy reflects field realities, and is in turn executed with quality through regional and local action. The RD helps country teams transform obstacles into opportunities and realize their goal to achieve greater impact. They ensure we implement programs on scope, on budget and on time, while continually adapting, leveraging new approaches and opportunities. The Regional Director is excellent at business development and stakeholder engagement, including with donors, governments, private sector and peer agencies. A member of Mercy Corps’ senior leadership team, the RD is placed to connect the dots: from issues, to people, to resources. The RD champions the Mercy Corps Cornerstones of Leadership, focusing on impact, innovation and influence to inspire country and regional leaders to see beyond the all-consuming day-to-day operations. They enable and empower teams to analyze the critical underlying issues that drive our work, and create innovative programs that achieve groundbreaking results. The RD grows a team and program platform that positions Mercy Corps as the leader of change in the region and beyond.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Articulate a compelling vision for the region and support country leaders in setting and implementing a vision and strategy, which is aligned with regional and global agency priorities.
- Oversee and support the management of country-level strategic and annual planning, development, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and administration of our programs.
- Contribute to the agency-level strategic planning and annual budget processes, working collaboratively as a key member of agency leadership.
- Connect teams to ideas, partners and resources to drive creative solutions for greater and sustainable impact.
- Strategically position Mercy Corps for new opportunities in the region, prioritizing and managing resources to successfully develop new business.
- Promote thought leadership by ensuring that program innovations and impact are analyzed, documented to contribute to learning, and effectively communicated externally and internally.
INFLUENCE AND REPRESENTATION
- Develop an influence strategy that will expand regional connections and benefit from the region’s expertise and capacity. Engage in advocacy and policy change efforts at the global level to promote effective solutions on behalf of the region.
- Nurture culturally sensitive internal and external relationships and networks to ensure optimum communication and program success.
- Build strong constituencies that include Mercy Corps headquarters (HQ) and regional office teams, civil society leaders, government officials, donors, private sector partners, diplomats and other actors.
- Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media as appropriate.
- Proactively engage with donors to shape and influence their strategies and funding priorities for areas that Mercy Corps deems critical for transformational change in the region.
- Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities that support the objectives for the region as a whole.
- Provide and encourage development for field leaders to develop highly effective diverse and inclusive teams, while remaining attentive to individual career paths and internal promotion.
- Participate in the recruitment, selection, onboarding, and training of Mercy Corps’ regional and country teams.
- Collaborate with the People and Strategy team to ensure sound performance management and field access to high quality learning opportunities, with a special emphasis on national staff development.
- Support the development of systems to ensure that HQ and field staff supporting the regional program are trained and properly oriented in Mercy Corps’ policies, systems, procedures and protocols.
- Mentor and manage Country Directors, Technical Directors and Regional Managers and ensure effective senior management team structures in each country.
- Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Ensure the team culture is positive, transparent and focused on staff wellbeing.
PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
- Drive, track and support consistency of impact through program implementation in the region.
- Enable on-time, on-budget, on-scope implementation of regional initiatives, provide troubleshooting and guidance on management issues per Mercy Corps standards.
- Collaborate with HQ and regional teams to ensure highest levels program quality by supporting country teams’ ability to operationalize Mercy Corps policies, standards and adaptive management and learning practices.
- Mobilize and oversee effective human, material, financial and operational field support systems in the region in cooperation with the appropriate HQ team.
- In the event of a major disaster work and/or liaise with the Humanitarian Leadership and Response (HLR) team for appropriate response.
- Ensure that country teams have effective communication mechanisms for learning and coordination to achieve optimal impact.
FINANCE AND COMPLIANCE MANAGEMENT
- Support country leadership in maintaining healthy, quality-focused operations, developing and implementing program and operations policies and procedures according to Mercy Corps and donor policies.
- Oversee the identification of regional and country risks, coordinate and consult with agency legal, compliance and ethics departments, as well as partner in the resolution of audit findings.
- Ensure effective, transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures.
- Develop and oversee regional budget and regional initiatives.
- Ensure that Mercy Corps’ country leadership are paying special attention to the security and safety needs of their teams.
- Liaise with the Senior VP of Programs, Director of Global Security, and VP of Humanitarian Leadership & Response on on-going risk analysis, critical events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and security policy changes.
INCLUSIVE SENIOR LEADERSHIP AND CULTURE REPRESENTATION
- Accountable for ensuring dynamic engagement mechanisms across the region and globally to ensure every voice matters.
- Responsible for the recruitment, development and mentoring of team members under their supervision.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a collaborative work environment of mutual respect, where team members strive to do the most ethical and effective work of their lives.
- Encourage a climate of idea generation, open discourse, and honest communication, creating a trusting, inclusive team.
Country Directors, Deputy Regional Director, Regional Risk and Support Services Director, Regional Security Advisor and other regional team members.
Reports Directly To: Senior Vice President, Programs
Works Directly With: Executive Team (CEO, CFO, CECO, General Counsel, etc), Senior Director of Programs, Technical Support Unit, Humanitarian Leadership and Response, Performance and Quality, and other Regional Directors
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.
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in international development, political or social science management or other relevant field.
- 8 to 10 years’ field experience in senior management, i.e. Country and/or Regional Director including team management experience, finance and administration; donor relations; and inter/intra-agency communications.
- Significant program operations experience including direct “hands-on” skills in program development, strategic planning, program implementation and evaluation.
- Extensive experience in managing both emergency and development programs. Experience managing programs in fragile contexts required.
- Demonstrated understanding of the critical development issues in the Middle East and significant experience with the challenges of operating programs in the region.
- Demonstrated proficiency and experience with US, EC, FDCO, UN and other public and private donors, government grant and financial management requirements.
- Exceptional strategy development, with proven program conceptualization and design skills.
- Successful and proven negotiation, communication, organization, and prioritization skills and experience.
- Strong preference given to candidates with prior experience in the Middle East. Fluency in Arabic is a plus.
The Regional Director is a visionary tactician, able to see the big picture and establish broad strategy while being attentive to individual country and program needs and constraints. They understand the geo-political dynamics of the region and the drivers of fragility. They are a skilled communicator, able to develop and grow strong relationships with staff, partners and donors and inspire others to take action. They must be resolute in achieving regional agency goals while maintaining an ability to adapt and respond to new emergencies and opportunities that arise, and must ensure that mechanisms are in place to enable such responses. The successful Regional Director will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps country teams. They will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building and will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the regional level. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make transparency and communication a priority.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Regional Director will be based in Amman, Jordan. The location is accompanied and will reside in individual housing. Amman is a modern city with a nice climate, access to excellent schools and diverse entertainment options. In general, the security environment is calm and good medical services accessible. The Regional Director will be expected to travel at least 40% to all countries within the portfolio as well as to HQ and international fora. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/Short Term Assignment to a field 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.
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. 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.