Senior Grant Compliance Advisor
Senior Grant Compliance Advisor – Finance & Compliance Support Unit
Full-time / Regular / Exempt / Portland, OR
Current unrestricted authorization to work for any U.S. employer is required
Starting salary, based on experience, will be between $78-85K
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.
Program / Department Summary
The Finance and Compliance Support Unit (FCSU) provides support to Mercy Corps’ field operations in the areas of finance training, finance systems and processes, compliance with internal policies and procedures, and compliance with donor regulations. Our mission is to increase the level of knowledge and the availability of tools and resources to promote the highest possible standards of financial accountability, transparency, efficiency and donor compliance.
General Position Summary
The Senior Grant Compliance Advisor (SGCA) focuses on providing expert technical guidance, training and support to Mercy Corps’ country office and Global Support Team operations, including financial, program and administrative staff, on donor regulations compliance along with related internal policy compliance. Each SGCA provides this support to their assigned countries/regions and in addition has responsibility for assigned compliance focus areas and related projects. Responsibilities include direct compliance support to field and HQ teams, including direct support for complex programs, enhanced compliance support for proposals and awards that are higher value or have complicating factors, and staying current on donor regulations. The SGCA will also participate in matrixed teams, share and build the capacity of others, and help integrate their technical areas with others. Compliance focus area for this position is managing the grant compliance resources program.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Act as the primary “FSCU Compliance Help Desk” function. This function entails serving as a resource for and providing counsel to the International Finance team, Program team and country offices, in reviewing grant agreements and other compliance-related documents. Be available to answer and/or research compliance related questions from applicable International Finance, the Program Department and country office teams. Escalate issues as needed to Director of Grant Compliance.
- Provide risk-based enhanced compliance support for higher value or higher effort awards from proposal to close-out, including leading the negotiation of award terms, leading the resolution of compliance issues with donor and guidance on tracking compliance requirements.
- As assigned, perform periodic compliance monitoring of specific procedures or areas related to country operations.
- Travel to country offices to lead or assist with country specific compliance projects, including compliance trainings.
- Lead or assist with audit responses related to compliance in coordination with the FCSU, Legal and International Finance teams. Deploy to the field to assist in the gathering of documentation or to support in-country audits as needed, as assigned.
- Attend Internal Audit Action Plan review meetings when there are applicable grant compliance issues.
- Lead workshop sessions for the Worldwide, Global Support and Complex Program US Government Regulations trainings as assigned.
- Serve as the primary FCSU representative on the Complex Program Board for specific programs/awards and assist Global Support and country teams in supporting Complex Programs by providing regulation interpretation, advice and guidance throughout the cycle of the Complex Program.
- Review and participate in negotiation of donor agreements, including reviewing internal comments, summarizing issues, and reviewing/drafting final response letter(s) to the donor.
- Lead the delivery of in-country regulations training or other start-up activities for new US Government funded Complex Programs.
- Develop and assist the country offices in managing the program specific compliance tracker.
- Advise on or assist in drafting compliance related requests for approval to donors/funders of Complex Programs.
- Provide in-depth compliance assistance to program management and country teams with the design of innovative or new areas of program implementation to be compliant with donor regulations while achieving the desired outcome(s).
- Attend Complex Program Board meetings. As a part of this responsibility, maintain an in-depth knowledge of the program description, award terms and current status of the program through review of relevant documents.
- Advise on or assist with close-out activities to ensure compliance with the award terms.
Grant Compliance Resources
- Develop and manage, in coordination with the Director of Grant Compliance, an overall grant compliance resource program.
- Establish and manage a web-based information center for donor compliance information.
- Design and create new compliance guides and templates as need arises, and maintain existing compliance templates for changes in regulations.
- Responsible for overseeing the grant award review and approval process, including applicable resources, and provide targeted training to address deficiencies. Coach other team members on approaches and methodologies for negotiating terms with donor representatives.
- Lead or assist with compliance related special projects, such as the researching of new donor requirements, supporting donor inquiries or responses, or developing compliance systems, as assigned.
- For new compliance resource initiatives, in coordination with the Director of Grant Compliance, lead or serve on team designing system, policy, procedure and developing manuals, as need.
- As assigned, upon establishment of a new compliance resource, responsible for supporting and ensuring resource is functioning as intended.
- In coordination with the SGCA – Training Focus, create and/or deliver other grant compliance training and/or programs, such as periodic webinars.
- In coordination with the Subaward Compliance Officer (SCO) and the Director of Grant Compliance, provide backstopping support for departmental subaward responsibilities, including drafting and negotiating subaward agreements and modifications based on agreed procedures, reviewing pre-award assessments and audit reports, and other support.
- Other duties as assigned or requested.
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.
Reports Directly To: Director of Grant Compliance
Works Directly With: Country office personnel, including Country Finance Managers, Country Directors and Program Managers; International Finance; Regional Program Team; Internal Audit; Global Procurement & Logistics; and Accounting.
Knowledge and Experience
- This position requires a BA/S or equivalent experience in finance or a relevant field.
- 5-8 years of progressive grant management experience in a medium to large international organization, including responsibility for compliance systems and subaward administration.
- An advanced knowledge of the rules and regulations governing the management of US Government grants (particularly USAID, Dept. of State and USDA), as well as other donor-funded grants.
- Demonstrated experience and understanding of generally accepted accounting principles, financial reporting, accounting systems, budget development and administration.
- Effective verbal and written communication, analytical, organizational and prioritization skills as well as presentation skills.
- Employment overseas and experience working for an NGO with high levels of USAID funding is preferred.
- Fluency in English is required; fluency in a foreign language (such as Arabic, French, Spanish) preferred.
Advisor will demonstrate significant experience with the regulations of MCG’s major donors. Proven ability to successfully communicate concepts, procedures and objectives and initiate and maintain positive and productive relationships with country office staff, program staff and donor agencies is necessary. The ability to read, understand and interpret detailed award terms and conditions as well as maintain a detailed knowledge of the regulations will be a critical success factor. A high level of attention to detail in all aspects of their work is a necessity. The Advisor must be able to conduct themselves with a high degree of integrity and objectivity while also working towards an overall objective of positively promoting compliance. Through significant experience with MCG’s major donors, the Advisor will be able to advise and coach other Mercy Corps staff on how to respond to and/or negotiate with donors on regulations issues. Advisor must demonstrate the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
Some travel (up to approximately 20%) may be required to international locations, including program locations that may include insecure or harsh 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.
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
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.
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.
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.