Country Director - Mercy Corps, Goma or Kinshasa

Closing date:  21 Jan 2012

Mercy Corps is seeking a visionary leader who is capable of successfully managing a large portfolio of programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), resulting in lasting improvements in the lives of our partners. As Mercy Corps’ most senior manager in the country, the Country Director (CD) shapes the strategic direction and management of the portfolio, building upon the strengths and experience of current staff and recruiting new staff as needed to manage existing and new projects. The CD has supervisory responsibility for the country team, comprised of approximately 75 people. The country office is in Goma, North Kivu with sub-offices in Nyanzale and Dungu. The CD will be expected to travel to these field offices, as well as make regular trips to Kinshasa for donor and other representational meetings.

The CD is also responsible for financial management, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, staff security, human resource management, agency representation, and coordination with headquarters in Portland, OR. The CD will ensure that country program operations are of the highest quality and standards and supportive of Mercy Corps’ global and regional strategies.

Mercy Corps has worked together with communities and stakeholders in DRC since 2007, focusing on both emergency response as well as longer-term development programs. For example, Mercy Corps is providing emergency water, sanitation and hygiene services to thousands of displaced persons and host communities, and we are working with local stakeholders to rehabilitate water sources to create a reliable supply of potable water. At the same time, we are also implementing programs aimed at improving food security through agricultural development, sanitation, health, nutrition, governance, and local capacity-building.

Strategy and Vision
  • Lead the annual country planning process: develop and communicate to team members and stakeholders a clear vision of present and future program goals that translates into concrete programs and work plans that achieve impact and accountability.
  • Collaborate with team members to provide high-quality reports on program activities to donors.

Program Management
  • Maintain oversight of all aspects of programs, ensuring progress towards achieving program objectives and pro-actively identifying challenges and solutions, in collaboration with team members.
  • Oversee the production of high-quality proposals and reports to donors, ensuring that staff have budgeted time and resources to deliver complete reports that effectively communicate program activities.

Team Management
  • Supervise and provide leadership to a diverse team of approximately 75 direct and indirect reports in field offices.
  • Create a work environment of mutual respect that attracts motivated, skilled, and effective team members and enables them deliver excellent performance, both individually and collaboratively.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options, and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.

Operations Management
  • Apply Mercy Corps’ Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DM&E) principles and framework to programs to ensure the country’s overall strategy includes effective, timely reporting systems for all programs.
  • Ensure effective, transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures.
  • Oversee budget management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors.
  • Build and maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs.

  • Closely monitor and contribute to the development of UN, Donor, Governmental, and Civil Society strategies and plans;
  • Maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders, such as NGOs, local governments, donors, etc.;

  • Coordinate with team members, including the VP of Operations and Regional Program Director on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting, and security policy changes.

Personal Leadership
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience, and an ability to maintain positive relationships with composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs, as well as a willingness to improve performance.

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.

Accountability to Beneficiaries: 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: Deputy Country Director, Finance Director, Chief of Party – MYAP, and Technical Advisors (governance, agriculture, WASH) - total 7 direct reports.

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Deputy Regional Program Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Senior Program Officer, Assistant Program Officer, Regional Finance Officer, Technical Support Unit team members

  • 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing large, complex programs.
  • 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building, and field management experience.
  • Previous work experience in sub-Saharan Africa and in insecure environments.
  • Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
  • Proven skills in financial and grants management.
  • Prior experience with US, UN, and EC grant management required.
  • Experience with multi-year assistance programs and Title II food aid programs preferred.
  • Successful and proven negotiation, communication, and organization skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically-diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Fluent verbal/written English and French required.
  • MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development, or related field preferred.

  • Ability to navigate complex situations with diplomacy.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, multi-tasking, organizational, and prioritization skills.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
  • Ability to train and facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles.
  • Sense of humor appreciated.

This position is based either in Kinshasa or Goma; both locations are accompanied. This position requires 30% travel by vehicle to field offices in remote, at times high-risk environments.

Security in Kinshasa and Goma is improving, but still tenuous. Good housing, consumer goods, and proximity to Rwanda for travel are accessible. Water and electricity are generally available with occasional outages. Good housing, consumer goods, and proximity to Rwanda for travel are accessible. Security is sometimes high-risk. Staff will have decent access to medical, electricity, water and other services.

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.

Mercy Corps is an AA/EOE.
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