Country Director - Syria
The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 6.2 million people are internally displaced and 11.7 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. There are 5.6 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair and has a profound impact on the neighboring countries which are hosting the overwhelming majority of Syrian refugees and find themselves under increasing strain.
The IRC Country Director sets the vision and strategic direction for the response in Syria and oversees all programs implemented within Syria.The Country Director will maintain continuity of humanitarian support in current operational areas in the country, while exploring the possibility of expanding the geographic scope as conditions allow and in collaboration with the regional office.The Country Director is responsible for overall leadership and supervisory management of IRC staff, programming, and operations within South, North East and North West Syria, and those in supporting roles in Jordan, Iraq and Turkey, including program quality and accountability, stewardship of resources, staff safety and security, performance management and external representation. The Country Director is IRC’s principal representative on behalf of the Syria country program to government officials, non-governmental actors, Syrian civil society, donors, international organizations and the media. The Country Director is expected to manage responsive and effective humanitarian programs implemented both directly and with Syrian partner organizations.
Success in this position requires an individual with exemplary, demonstrated leadership abilities who deploys strong communications and interpersonal skills effectively, both internally and externally. The successful candidate will enjoy contextual analytical skills with an ability to translate the impact of geopolitical events to our day to day operation.S/he will build a network of partnerships and diversify program resources. S/he will be directly responsible for the overall coordination and strategic direction of the country program; providing oversight and coaching for directly supervised senior managers; leading country program teams to identify, design and deliver responsive, high-quality programs; ensuring efficient management of public grants and private funds for results, compliance, and focused, timely reporting; and oversight of financial management and compliance systems.
Leadership and Representation
• Develop a vision and carry out strategies that result in contextualized and high quality programs that meet the identified needs of clients.
• Lead the country program by maintaining open and professional relations with colleagues, promoting a strong team spirit and providing guidance, oversight and resources to enable staff to perform successfully.
• Initiate and sustain strong, mutually beneficial and authentic partnerships with local organizations.
• Ensure that IRC remains a partner of choice for major international (institutional and non-institutional) donors.
• Seek out and pursue opportunities to raise the profile of the work of IRC and its partners, as well as the lives and the needs of the people IRC seeks to serve.
• Play a leadership role in efforts to improve humanitarian coordination in Syria.
Strategic Direction, Program Quality and Growth
• Ensure the strategic vision and direction of the country program is aligned with IRC’s Strategy 100.
• Ensure the strategy action plan is of quality, implemented and guides decision making.
• Ensure high program quality is consistent throughout the country program.
• Actively seek out and pursue opportunities to expand humanitarian and resilience programming in Syria, in terms of populations and areas served.
Safety and Security Management
• Take primary responsibility for overall management of safety and security for the country program, including appropriate response to emergency situations as they arise.
• Maintain a culture of safety and security throughout the country program.
• Keep security, evacuation and contingency plans current and accessible to country program staff.
• Maintain close coordination and communication with the Regional Safety and Security Director on safety and security concerns and evolving issues that could adversely affect IRC staff or operations.
Staff Management, Learning and Development
• Ensure the SMT delivers the leadership, management structures, staffing skills and approaches, and operational systems required to ensure a coherent ‘one IRC’ approach to achieve country, regional and global objectives.
• Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely performance feedback, and leading documented semi-annual performance reviews.
• Oversee the management, coaching and development of national and international staff to build a team of skilled, committed and motivated staff.
• As part of succession plan, identify, train and develop capability and capacity of national staff to successfully transition role and responsibilities, by end of assignment.
• Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices.
Stewardship and Operational Management
• Drive operational excellence to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness in all functions and operations of the country program.
• Oversee the development, deployment and utilization of financial and operational policies, procedures, and systems to deliver compliance with IRC and donor requirements.
• Ensure responsiveness and appropriate levels of in-person and remote support to all offices, especially in the areas of HR, finance and supply chain.
• Provide timely and effective oversight of the Syria country program’s financial position.
• Maintain effective and coordinated budget monitoring processes for grant funds and discretionary funds.
• Model and encourage active practice of the principles of the “IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct” throughout the Syria country program.
• Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among IRC staff and with partner organizations.
• Maintain open communication with regional management staff and technical advisors, and HQ departmental staff.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to:Regional Vice-President - MENA
Position directly Supervises: A senior management team responsible for programs, operations, finance, HR, and security
Key Internal Contacts:
• Country Program: All staff
• Region: Middle East Regional Team
• HQ: Crisis Response and Recovery Department (CRRD), Ethics & Compliance, Operations and Strategy, Finance, Global Philanthropy & Partnerships, Technical Excellence and General Counsel
Key External Contacts:
• Partner organizations
• Host country government officials
• Public and private donor agencies
• International and national NGOs
• UN agencies
• Foreign governments.