Humanitarian Leadership and Response - Regional Team Leader (Open to any Mercy Corps Location)
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
Mercy Corps works to achieve real and lasting impact in the world’s toughest humanitarian emergencies. We save lives and help people live with dignity in crises of all kinds. At the same time, we create the conditions to pivot to innovative and transformative recovery quickly and effectively. We work wherever local capacity is overwhelmed, connecting people to the opportunities they need to strengthen their community in recovery. Whether it is a sudden shock or a slowly emerging crisis, whether the threat is natural or political, no matter how complex the environment, Mercy Corps is committed to bold, rapid, needs-driven assistance. Mercy Corps supports a response that is market-driven and leverages the capacities of both traditional and non-traditional aid partners—and ultimately gives people the ability to make their own decisions and secure their own lives and livelihoods.
Humanitarian Leadership and Response (HLR) team provides the agency with timely and effective leadership to prepare for and respond to humanitarian emergencies. Our model uses an experienced leadership team supported by a network of response professionals spread across the agency - in field teams and headquarters departments.
General Position Summary
The HLR Team Leader is responsible for working closely with regions and countries before, during, and after a humanitarian crisis to be better prepared to lead fast, excellent responses. The Team Leader will work with field teams to support or manage a team of field professionals to ensure that Mercy Corps is implementing high quality, impactful programming with the necessary management and support structures to sustain those programs.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy and Vision
- Strategy and Vision. The Team Leader will work to move the agency towards our Vision for Humanitarian Response at Mercy Corps. This means engaging at an HLR team level, working with countries and regions, and supporting technical and operational teams as they develop approaches, design tools, and build capacity. This also means working with countries to link development and humanitarian programming and build resilience.
Preparedness and Response
- Leadership. The Team Leader will be responsible for anticipating, tracking, overseeing, or supporting Mercy Corps’ response to humanitarian emergencies, both in complex crises and with natural disasters. She/ he will make sure responses fit within country and regional strategies and will set a clear vision for the response, working closely with field leadership.
- Lead and Support Humanitarian Responses: When there is a response, the HLR team leader will work closely with country and regional teams to ensure the response meets PM@MC minimum standards, global standards of technical excellence, as well as follow all necessary M&E, operational and financial policies.
- Country and Regional Preparedness: The Team Leader will work with RPT and country teams to ensure all countries (and regions) have current and updated emergency preparedness plans that are understood fully by the team on the ground. As field teams implement their preparedness action plans, the Team Leader will provide humanitarian response technical guidance to field teams, where appropriate.
- Extended Support to Longer Humanitarian Programs: In this world of complex and protracted crises, there are many programs which meet basic needs and last for months or years, without the support or deployment of surge capacity. For these programs, the HLR team leader will work with the program team to ensure their programs are meeting the highest technical standards, have M&E and management systems in place that feed into wider-agency systems, and serve to mentor new humanitarian leaders as they take on complex roles.
- Work Beyond the Region: Team Leaders are expected to be deeply engaged in her/ his region for the majority of the time. But due to the nature of humanitarian response work, she/ he will need to be able to step in and deploy or support other countries/ region when colleagues on the HLR team are deployed.
- Build Humanitarian Response Capacities: Assist in identifying gaps across the Mercy Corps globe where additional capacity building in emergencies and country start-ups would strengthen our work. Mentoring or tailored training activities that enhance field, regional support team, Technical Support Unit, other service support teams’ capacity to support humanitarian programs.
- Developing Local Emergency Excellence: The Team Leader will build local capacity and enhance strong regional humanitarian responses.
- Lead the Community of Practice: Support a consistent standard of excellence in humanitarian response and strengthen best practices at country-level. Coordinate appropriate internal learning and external training opportunities to build a network of humanitarian professionals.
Influence and Representation
- Donor Relations: The Team Leader will have a significant role in developing strong relations with donors and partners in their regions of focus and involves deepening the engagement with key emergency donors.
- Key Stakeholder Relations: The HLR team leader will strengthen partnerships and information flow with local networks, private sector partners, institutional partners and corporate and foundation partners, and other entities to enhance impact and advance programming, in close coordination with regional, field and technical leaders.
- Internal Relations: The HLR team leader is a key link between the field and decision makers and budget holders at headquarters. The HLR team leader will often be the go-to source for analysis and suggested next steps for emerging humanitarian crisis.
- Fostering Strong Relationships: Coordinate and develop the necessary relations and systems to quickly identify and organize for response in coordination with other support and technical units in Mercy Corps.
- Humanitarian Networks: Developing and maintaining contacts with relevant practitioner and learning networks to build local and regional visibility and connections and support dialogue on key issues related to humanitarian advocacy with MC’s public advocacy counterparts in the US and/or the United Kingdom.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- 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.
Will vary with assignment
Reports directly to: Senior Director, Humanitarian Leadership and Response
Works directly with: Regional Directors and RPT, Country Directors, Technical Support Unit, Global Procurement and Logistics, Strategic Program Operations, Finance, People, Mercy Corps Europe
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S required & MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development preferred.
- 7+ years field-based emergency and development experience in managing complex environments.
- Ability to lead teams, handle negotiations and facilitate planning processes, including delicate transitions.
- Ability to work effectively under tight deadlines and in sparse working environments.
- Successful track-record in program design & proposal development in a wide variety of sectors & geographic locations.
- Knowledge and experience in applying SPHERE and other international best practices in emergency situations.
- Exceptional written and interpersonal communication skills required.
- Proven ability to work productively with a wide variety of stakeholders to run both participatory process and also meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products.
- Experience with a wide range of donors including institutional donors, such as USAID, DFID, ECHO, and UN agencies.
- Language skills in French, Spanish, or Arabic.
- Certified in Program Management such as PRINCE2 or PMDPro (preferred).
- Strong representation and relationship-building skills.
The successful team leader must be a self-starter who demonstrates leadership in clear and concise writing and communications, strategy and planning, work-planning and logistics, and resource coordination. S/he is flexible and creative in planning and problem solving, and has a proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results. Multi-tasking with proven ability to manage competing priorities, follow procedures, and meet tight deadlines is required. It is essential the team leaders is able to work closely with a diverse team of individuals in varied cultural, political, and religious environments doing intense and dynamic work with fluid security environment. S/he will be able to influence and advocate with limited authority and work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. S/he is proactive in seeking engagement and feedback.
Living and Environmental Conditions
The position is based at a headquarters office (US or Europe) or in the region. When traveling to field offices, strict adherence to Mercy Corps security policies and procedures will be required as will respect for local cultural norms and traditions. The Team Leader will be capable to deploy on short notice (72 hours) and lead a joint field-HQ response team to directly manage humanitarian responses. The position will require travel to the field up to 60% time including travel to some locations that may be insecure or austere with significant restrictions to personal movement and some operating risks, for up to two months deployment. Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit or on a short term assignment to a field posting. Staff are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment