Senior Project Specialist - Gender, Diversity, & Inclusion

Human Resources & Talent Acquisition Portland, Oregon Washington, District of Columbia




Full-time / Regular / Exempt / Portland, OR or Washington, DC

Current unrestricted authorization to work for any U.S. employer is required

Starting salary, based on experience, will be $62-70K


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

The Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) Initiative is a multi-year participatory, inclusive process that endeavors to facilitate living and breathing our Mercy Corps culture and values by ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace, our teams and our work with the community. The GDI Initiative seeks to leverage the learning from the assessment in Spring 2018 into a multi-year action-oriented strategy for the agency which builds on previous gender integration and diversity efforts.

The Position

The Senior Project Specialist for GDI will be responsible for developing, managing, and tracking the GDI priority’s annual work plans, managing the GDI budget, and supporting GDI communications, learning and evaluation efforts. Additionally, the SPS will be responsible for spearheading specific projects or workstreams integral for creating greater equity and inclusion in Mercy Corps’ structures, policies, and practices. Examples of projects could include: rolling out an equitable performance management process (Performance with Possibility), developing online trainings on key GDI-related concepts for the global team, developing and rolling out equitable and inclusive leadership competencies, or expanding Mercy Corps’ affinity group program to the global team, among others. This position will require extensive communications and collaboration across the People & Strategy Team as well as the broader agency.

Essential Responsibilities



        In close collaboration with the GDI Director, develop and execute an annual GDI workplanning process that aligns with the Gender Equality, Diversity, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) strategy

        Track and manage progress towards GDI work plan

        Create tracking tool for GDI deliverables

        Lead and support collaborative GDI priority learning and workplan adaptation that engages key People & Strategy Team stakeholders

        Develop learning and adaptation workplan with GDI Director

        Co-facilitate learning and adaptation workshops with GDI Director for key People & Strategy Team stakeholders

        In partnership with the GDI Director and other relevant People & Strategy Team stakeholders, develop, finalize, socialize and implement GDI-related reforms, including an equitable performance management process, GDI trainings for team members globally, and equitable and inclusive leadership competencies

        Track and manage the roll-out of special GDI-related initiatives

        Bring together key internal stakeholders to coordinate and communicate progress on reform initiatives, garner diverse perspectives and ownership of reforms, and incorporate relevant feedback from stakeholders to strengthen reform efforts

        Facilitate communications and workshops for internal stakeholders as needed during the roll-out of reform process

        Gather external best practices to inform development of reform initiatives



        Lead and coordinate GDI priority communications, including promotional communications, learning communications, updates, and ongoing engagement with relevant stakeholders

        Build and maintain strong working relationships with key People & Strategy Team stakeholders and other relevant stakeholders engaged in rolling out GDI priority projects

        Co/Manage the global GDI Core Team, supporting the GDI Director with developing meaningful Core Team meeting agendas and equipping Core Team members with meaningful engagement opportunities

        Track and manage the GDI team’s budget

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Director – Gender, Diversity, & Inclusion

Works Directly With: GDI team, People & Strategy Team, Internal Communications, Global GDI Core Team

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

  • Minimum 5-7 years of experience in process development and implementation, project management, and/or change management; training experience is a plus
  • Deep knowledge and experience in programmatic diversity, equity, and inclusion; experience with human resources processes is highly beneficial and strongly preferred
  • Ability to communicate, problem-solve, and facilitate collaboration effectively with a culturally diverse and geographically dispersed teams, including members of HQ and country leadership
  • Exceptionally strong organization, planning and time management
  • Experience working in a global environment is strongly preferred
  • Fluency in English is required; Language skills in French, Arabic or Spanish are a significant plus
  • Experience working within non-profit donor requirements and HR compliance is a plus
  • BA or comparable experience in a relevant field is preferred
Success Factors

The successful candidate is an expert relationship and consensus builder. In a variety of contexts and in environments of broad cultural differences, they demonstrate the professional maturity and finesse to shape feedback into effective and robust workplans, create messaging that resonates with that diverse audience, and implement and advance the GDI priority. They are an expert problem-solver, an excellent collaborator, and a highly skilled communicator. They are passionately committed to the enduring success of Mercy Corps, flexible and resilient, and able to maintain a good sense of humor in the face of tough challenges.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in HQ location Portland, OR, or Washington, D.C. and requires minimal travel. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit or short term assignment 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.

Ongoing Learning

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.