Description

Location: US locations with a preference for DC area, East Coast or Puerto Rico; Guatemala, Colombia.

Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular

Salary Level: The salary range for this role will be $90,000 – $102,000 for US-based applicants, commensurate with experience and location. The salary will be benchmarked locally for candidates based outside of the US.

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program

Mercy Corps’ expanding operations in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region currently focus on the countries of Haiti, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, and several Caribbean Island nations and territories. Mercy Corps LAC’s strategic programmatic priorities encompass addressing issues related to climate change, human displacement, rural development, humanitarian response, and the inclusion and protection of LGBTQI+ individuals throughout the region. Mercy Corps LAC works with local leaders from civil society, government and the private sector to find and implement solutions that foster sustainable growth and thus contribute to Mercy Corps’ global commitment of creating a better world for all.

The primary role of the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Program Team (RPT) is to provide essential headquarters support to Mercy Corps programs in the region. The Latin America and the Caribbean RPT is the key point of HQ contact for field management including Regional Director (RD), Country Directors, Program Managers and other staff. The RPT links country programs to a range of U.S. and international-based resources and represents the region to potential and current funders and other organizations and institutions in the US. Additionally, the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Program Team provides targeted strategic support and management capacity to Mercy Corps’ growing portfolio of US domestic managed awards through regular engagement with key agency stakeholders and headquarters-based teams.

The Position

The Deputy Regional Director, Operations (DRD-O) is a senior leader providing significant strategic support to Mercy Corps country offices in the region. They work closely with the Regional Director (RD), Country Directors, as well as Finance, Supply Chain, Safety & Security and Human Resources focal points to improve coordination of global support functions. They will collaborate with the RD to build and sustain a cohesive regional management team, ensuring the Latin America and Caribbean portfolio is geared towards excellence with established and responsive systems. In addition, they manage the ethics and safeguarding efforts at the regional level to ensure enhanced prevention capabilities, improve investigations and response rates, and strengthen communication between HQ and country offices.

The Deputy Regional Director, Operations will oversee regional initiatives to strengthen capacity to manage and mitigate operational risks, to ensure excellence and accountability. They collaborate with other members of the regional team to set up support systems that ensure the regional portfolio is geared towards excellence with heightened accountability. In addition, the DRD-O will ensure timely support to country programs, and that the region is adhering to internal and external policies and regulations.

Essential Responsibilities

STRATEGY AND PLANNING

● Act as a key partner for the RD to achieve an effective Regional Management Team (including the Deputy Regional Director, Programs) that delivers programmatic and operational excellence and significant impact and influence in the region.

● Contribute and review Regional Overviews and Annual Implementation Plans with a focus on operational strategies.

● Provide support to the RD and country teams on matters pertaining to program planning, budgeting, and management.

● Mobilize and oversee effective human, material, financial and operational field support systems in the region, in cooperation with the appropriate agency support team.

● Mobilize support services and risk management resources to enable country and regional leadership teams to execute their respective strategic priorities.

● Manage and administer regional core budgets in coordination with regional and global leadership.

● Lead on overseeing the regional scorecards and other performance indicators at country and regional level to inform strategic decision making.

TEAM MANAGEMENT

● In partnership with the Regional Director, motivate, empower and guide teams towards excellence. Ensure a positive team culture and work environment. Fill in as needed for RD and for field leadership during leave and or leadership gaps as necessary.

● Dual Management of key regional support service resources, including those in Finance, Supply chain, Human Resources, and Safety & Security, while liaising and coordinating with functions in Information Technology, Compliance, Legal and Ethics.

● Ensure that dual managed team members have a deep understanding of their roles and are connected to relevant stakeholders across the agency to inform and promote agency strategies and best practices.

● Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on one meetings and performance reviews.

● Coordinate with country and regional/global leadership on recruitment of key support positions.

● Identifies opportunities for training and integration of these standards into core country and regional operations.

OPERATING FOOTPRINT

● In collaboration with Global Legal/General Counsel, responsible for Mercy Corps’ operational footprint in the region, including monitoring registration, tax status, or legal standing in current countries within the region as well as managing registration, tax status, or legal standing in other countries where we monitor potential entry, or in countries where we have had historical programming.

● Responsible for country exit/entry strategies and implementation in the region, including downsizing, complex program startup/closeout etc.

● In collaboration with General Counsel, ensure that adequate legal counsel is identified and in place for existing, former and watch-listed countries within the region.

● Support Country Teams working closely with the Legal Department on the management and resolution of pending or threatened litigation, regulatory actions, etc.

RISK MANAGEMENT

● Lead on assessing and addressing risks at regional and country level in partnership with key stakeholders.

● Engage and support countries across the region to ensure that adequate risk management systems are in place.

● Actively provide assessment of risks associated with program implementation, and support country leadership on identifying risk mitigation measures and solutions.

● Collaborate with country leadership to support preparedness and response to major disruptive events.

● Ensure country team adherence to security procedures and policies, so that team members operate in a secure environment.

● Engage with country level Ethics and Assurance managers as well as the global Ethics and Assurance department to track and analyze trends and needs across countries.

● Engage with country teams on the Internal Audit process to track findings and ensure country team compliance with IA findings and recommendations.

REGIONAL SYSTEMS AND SUPPORT FUNCTIONS

● Track and analyze trends and needs across the region, and work with the regional team and country focal points to manage related issues.

● Collaborate with support functions International Finance, Supply Chain, Compliance, HR/People, Safety/Security, IT, Legal and Ethics – to enable country and regional leadership teams to execute their respective strategic priorities.

● Lead relevant support services for the region to ensure country needs and technical support are aligned.

● Work with global counterparts to preemptively address upcoming issues and needs at the systemic level whenever possible.

● Regularly engage with governance bodies for complex and flagship programs of comparatively large budgets, ambitious scopes, and high visibility, programs within the region and engage as a strategic leader so that implementers remain accountable to delivery and that challenges are understood and addressed. Play a leading role on complex program boards in the region when necessary.

● Acting as a senior representative for the region with internal MC stakeholders at all levels, ensure effective HQ and regional support for all country programs, flagging and advocating for support requests from country teams, prioritizing as necessary.

FINANCE

● Work with the International Finance and country teams to identify weaknesses and build strategies to provide adequate support and address capacity needs across the portfolio.

● Review and monitor the portfolio’s financial performance, analyze spending against award budget and forecasted revenue projections for the year, review of disallowances, and participate in Mercy Corps’ annual planning and budgeting exercise.

● Collaborate with regional/country finance leads to produce bi-annual master budgets, (or as required in response to country needs), including scenario planning based on pipeline. Coordinate Core/unrestricted budget requests to regional and global leadership and use as a tool to identify BD needs.

● Responsible for overseeing a departmental budget of approximately 2 million USD. Supporting the planning of country program budgets within the regional portfolio of approximately 200 million USD.

PEOPLE AND HUMAN RESOURCES

● Support Mercy Corps global and regional initiatives for human resources, including safeguarding and diversity, and talent development.

● Streamline HR and operations related policies across the region, helping to develop new policies/policy guidance, as needed.

COMPLIANCE

● Lead on country level operational/legal compliance in collaboration with country leadership and global teams.

● Support country leadership in adhering to donor policies and procedures in collaboration with Global Compliance and Awards Management teams.

● Support the rollout of new internal Mercy Corps initiatives and standards, particularly those related to Finance, Operations, People, Safety & Security and Ethics & Safeguarding functions.

● Collaborate with country and global teams on award /subaward issues and management that are high risk/high profile.

OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES

● In coordination with the RD and other senior leaders, lead the planning and preparation of regional gatherings.

● In the event of a major disaster or emergency in the region, work directly with Mercy Corps Emergency Response Team to coordinate an appropriate and timely response, focused on support functions and risk management, including providing dedicated support to country teams and internal communication management.

● Maintain close working relationships with counterparts in other regions, facilitating the gathering and sharing of experiences and lessons from other regions.

● Play a direct role in crisis/incident management in collaboration with country, regional and global teams.

● Represent Mercy Corps with external parties/donors/events as instructed by Regional Director and Global teams. Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.

● Lead the logistics management and support the planning and preparation of regional gatherings, strategic meetings, program exchanges, learning events, etc.

As a seasoned leader, the Deputy Regional Director, Operations will be expected to provide cover for the Regional Director, Country Directors within the region, or other strategic leadership gaps should they arise.

Supervisory Responsibility

Regional focal points for Finance, Supply Chain, Human Resources, and Safety & Security, dual managed with global structures for associated competencies.

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean

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.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

● A detailed understanding of the grant/project implementation life cycle.

● Confident communication and facilitation skills applicable to donor relations and inter-agency coordination.

● Demonstrated capacity to lead multi-department teams

● Demonstrated ability to think strategically and solve complex problems at an organizational level.

● Ability to handle multiple issues at one time, especially in emergency situations, and to organize and prioritize accordingly.

Required Education and Experience

● BA/S in international development, social science, public or business administration or other relevant fields required, MA/S or equivalent years of experience strongly preferred. An advanced degree or certification in finance and accounting is preferred.

● At least 8-10 years field experience in senior management and direct program implementation; experience in complex/fragile environments is a plus.

● Demonstrated proficiency and experience with US, UK, EU, UN and other public and private donors, government grant and financial management requirements.

● Demonstrated understanding of the critical humanitarian and development issues in the region, and significant experience with the challenges and contexts of operating in the region.

● An internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.

● Fluency in written and spoken English or Spanish with fluency in Spanish or English as a second language required, French and Haitian Creole preferred.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position may be based in United States locations with a preference for the Washington, DC area, East Coast or Puerto Rico. It may also be based in Guatemala or Colombia. Some travel may be required, up to 40% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/short term assignment to a field posting. Staff 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.

How to apply

https://jobs.jobvite.com/careers/mercycorps/job/obABtfwz?__jvst=Job%20Board&__jvsd=email

Location