Operations Director - Iraq
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.
Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq current goal is to work with new and existing civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate and long-term needs by strengthening communities’ ability to rebuild amidst increasing crisis. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) a relief-to-resilience pathway to meet the needs of conflict-affected communities leveraging agency expertise in conflict management and civil society development (2) a humanitarian response that empowers conflict-affected populations to meet their own needs (3) partnering with conflict-affected adolescents to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society.
General Position Summary
The Operations Director is a member of the country’s senior management team (SMT) and is responsible for ensuring operation functions support the advancement of the country strategy. The Operations Director is to development an operations strategy while providing oversight for the Procurement, Logistics, and Assets, Fleet, Warehousing and IT. S/he ensures compliance with donor regulations as well as Mercy Corps’ internal policies and procedures and updates local manuals and policies. The Operations Director builds the capacity of operations team members across the MCIQ offices. S/he provides support and advises the Country Director on operational issues. The Operations Directors works closely with the rest of the SMT members as well as the Program Leadership Team (PLT) to ensure the efficiency and integrity of operation functions is maintained.
Essential Job Functions
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Articulate and lead the strategic direction of the operations department.
- Contribute to the country strategic planning process and provide regular updates.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COORDINATION
- Supervise the functions of liaison with governmental departments.
- Maintain productive relationships with the private sector inclusive of, vendors and suppliers, etc.
- Work in close coordination with legal advisors to seek the required guidance to keep Mercy Corps policies and activities aligned to the Iraqi laws.
- Work closely with Global Procurement and Logistics (GPL) HQ department to ensure alignment to agency rules and regulations.
TEAM MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
- Develop the capacity of the operations team and assist with continued development of a career path.
- Work with all Mercy Corps staff to ensure smooth introduction and adoption of operational systems and procedures.
- Responsible for the full and proper implementation of Mercy Corps systems of management, compliance and control as described in Mercy Corps field manuals contained in the Office in a Box.
- Establishing and streamlining systems to ensure efficient and effective country office wide operations
- Work closely with Program Leadership Team to facilitate operations aspects of program planning, and upcoming operations resources needs.
- Work closely with Program, Finance and Grant & Compliance teams to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations.
- Work with Ethics department and finance compliance to mitigate fraud, conflict of interest and legal aspects of Mercy Corps activities.
- Participate in management meetings and ensure close collaboration with Program and Finance Management across the Mercy Corps Iraq Country operations.
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT – PROCUREMENT AND LOGISTICS
- Ensure quality, timely and accurate processing and documentation of procurement as described in the Field Procurement Manual (FP3) and in line with in country SOPs.
- Ensure procurement records systems are well managed and maintained.
- Ensure the warehouse procedures are followed as described in the Warehouse Policy and Procedures Guidelines.
- Ensure the establishment of a pipeline of supplies to Iraq overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation.
- Oversee the fleet management team and ensure that systems are in place to track maintenance schedules, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling as described in the Field Fleet Management Guidelines.
- Ensure tracking of all assets to ensure accurate record keeping of Mercy Corps and donor assets, including exceptional items that require registration and movement tracking, in accordance with the Mercy Corps Asset Management Manual.
- Oversee customs clearing, equipment registration, licensing and insurance, etc.
- Oversee tender processes as required.
OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT - ADMINISTRATION
- Ensure Admin systems are implemented as described in the Field Administration Manual
- Oversee the set-up and development of Mercy Corps office(s) to meet needs of team members. Review contracts for office and housing space, leasehold improvements, IT etc.
- Continue the development or review of country or field office specific policies (phone policy, IT policy) and with the communicate new policies to all staff, ensuring fully understanding and adherence to all policies.
- Oversee file management for administration, procurement, logistics resources documents.
- Oversee facility management, including housing and office leases. Ensure that security and safety standards are maintained at all premises with the close coordination with Access and Security Team.
- Responsible for expatriate visa and work permits, if necessary.
- Supervise IT System Administrator to ensure IT systems functions as needed.
- Ensure that all Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships are transparent and in compliance with Iraq law and Mercy Corps/donor policies.
- 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.
ACCOUNTABILITY TO PARTICIPANTS
- 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.
Supervisory Responsibility: Area Operation Managers, Procurement Manager**,** Senior Liaison Manager.
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director, Ethics Manager, PAQ Director, Finance Director, Access and Security Manager, HR Manager, Policy and Advocacy Advisor, Program Leadership Team .
Collaborates With: All Mercy Corps Procurement, logistics and operations team members as required.
Knowledge And Experience
- BA/BS degree in a relevant field, masters preferred
- A minimum of 5-7 field experience setting up and managing administration, procurement, logistics, and human resource systems with humanitarian NGOs with supervisory responsibilities.
- Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns and appropriate responses with experience in the Middle East and in insecure environments.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
- Knowledge of Mercy Corps systems and procedures (esp. procurement systems) desirable;
- Knowledge of donor regulations including USAID, EC, DFID regulations.
- Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
- Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic is a plus.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Demonstrated understanding of complex emergencies, related security concerns, and appropriate responses to such emergencies.
Critical problem solving skills and the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. Maintaining strong cooperating relationships with other departments is crucial. A successful candidate will have the ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity and demonstrate ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites.
The successful candidate will have a desire to grow and learn in one of the most interesting and complex crisis of our times. S/he will face challenges with a smile and light heartedness. The successful candidate will be comfortable in asking colleagues for help as well as stepping out of her/his role to assist others. The Mercy Corps team is one that emphasis the value of joy and curiosity. The team enjoys a great sense of humor and appreciates sharing meals amongst colleagues.
Living Conditions/Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Baghdad, Iraq and is unaccompanied. Travel within Iraq is required to support all Mercy Corps Iraq’s offices and programs. This position is eligible for R&R and hardship allowance.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit 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.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.
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.