General Position Summary
The Interim Country Director is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully managing all programming, resulting in lasting improvement in the lives of communities in Liberia. S/He has held senior roles in formulating strategic direction within an international development context. The Interim Country Director will be responsible for developing the overall strategic direction for programming in cooperation with the Deputy Regional Director, Mercy Corps’ senior management team and local and international partners. S/He will also responsible for developing and implementing systems, policies and procedures for Mercy Corps’ operations in Liberia with approval from the Deputy Regional Director . As Mercy Corps’ senior manager in Liberia, the Country Director is also responsible for financial oversight, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, staff security, human resource management and representation in the field. The CD develops sustainable, multi-sector programming and is accountable to beneficiaries and donors, placing a high value on innovative solutions and potential new partnerships to development issues and creative partnerships in tough environments.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Formulate, plan and communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to team members and stakeholders that translates into concrete programs and work plans.
- Lead the annual country planning process and provide strategic updates.
- Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program and agency objectives.
- Use technical support teams collaboratively.
- Explore, evaluate and present new country and project funding opportunities that leverage impact and integrate initiatives and activities; support and direct related fund-raising activities with both institutional and private donors.
- Lead on identifying innovative, new partners and programs that push development approaches and programs beyond traditional development.
- Develop and grow the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Develop and motivate a robust and united Mercy Corps team across Liberia with strong team spirit and collaboration.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and support each other.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
PROGRAM OPERATIONS Management
- Oversee program quality and impact by ensuring programs are based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required M&E systems.
- Ensure effective, transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures.
- Oversee budget management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors, if applicable.
- Build and maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs, as well as segregation of duties between finance and operations.
- Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
- Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
- Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
- Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics and fully support field programs.
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media and participate in community activities as appropriate.
- Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local governments, foundations, the private sector, etc.
- Anticipate needs, understand donor pool and contribute to shaping donor’s views on development.
- Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities that support the objectives for the country as a whole.
- Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
- Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
- Exhibit awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
- Liaise with the VP of Operations and Regional Director on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and security policy changes.
- 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: The Country Director supervises all international and national staff in Liberia.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Regional Director, Africa
Works Directly With: HQ-based Program Operations, HQ Finance, Technical Support Unit, HQ HR, HQ desks, New Initiatives advisor, Compliance teams.
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
- 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing (large, complex, transitional) development programs.
- 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
- Capacity to respond to emergency and disaster response as appropriate.
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in emergency response preferred.
- Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with (donor), (government) grant management.
- Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
- Previous work experience in (location) and in insecure environments (if this is an insecure region) preferred.
The successful Liberia Interim CD will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team. S/he 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 community level. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Interim CD will be based in Monrovia, Liberia. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation. There are International schools in Monrovia. Staff has good access to services, medical, electricity, water, etc. This position requires up to 30% of travel to field offices in secure environments.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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.