Director of Operations - Sana'a, Yemen

Operations and Logistics Sana'a, Yemen


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 seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the world and has worked in the Middle East since the 1980s. In response to acute and increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen, Mercy Corps opened its office in Yemen in 2010. More than 22 million people are need and reliance on humanitarian assistance continues to grow. The main thrust of the work of Mercy Corps along with its national and international partners for the foreseeable future will be primarily focused on meeting urgent humanitarian needs across the country while building resilience and social cohesion elements in its programming strategy. Strategies to enhance the resilience of communities to the harsh environmental and social conditions in the country cut across the portfolio.


Yemen is in the midst a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country. Mercy Corps Yemen country program is moving to a new structure that is cost efficient and has clear lines of accountability.


General Position Summary

The Director of Operations is a critical member of the country's senior management team with supervisory and managerial responsibility. Reporting to the Country Director, the Director of Operations will be primarily responsible for enabling excellence in all operations functions of all offices in Yemen including procurement, logistics, assets, fleet, and warehousing. She/he will in addition line manage a series of Heads of Office or Field Managers, responsible for the coordination of field operational hub offices out of Sana’a, Taiz and Aden. The Director of Operations serves as a full member of the Senior Management Team.

S/he will be required to strengthen the operational performance and efficiency of the organization by developing the capacity of operations staff, setting policy, and establishing robust and accountable systems. S/he will also ensure that managerial processes, resources, and the necessary infrastructure are all in place to ensure cost efficient and effective functioning for the country program. In undertaking these functions, the Director of Operations will be required to travel extensively across field offices and sites, and spend appreciable time in the two main hub offices in Sana’a and Aden.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Establish a strategic direction for operations teams in pursuit of quality, accountability and excellence.
  • Serve on the country program’s Senior Management Team and contribute fully to strategic decision making.
  • Assist the Deputy Country Director and program staff in managing consortia and partnerships, through the establishment and maintenance of robust, effective operating systems.


  • Ensure integration of operations systems and processes in all Mercy Corps Yemen offices.
  • Ensure all offices have capacity (human and technical) to support smooth program operations.
  • Ensure internal and donor procedures, policies and guidelines are followed.
  • Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies, overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation; oversee NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed.
  • Ensure unified and cost effective fleet management, including tracking of maintenance, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling.
  • Oversee set-up and development of Mercy Corps offices including drafting and reviewing contracts for office and housing space, leasehold improvements, IT.
  • Develop and periodically review country or field office specific policies and communicate them to teams.
  • Oversee database and file management for administration, procurement, logistics and human resources documents.
  • Oversee facility management, including housing and office leases; ensure that security standards are maintained at all premises.
  • Ensure that Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships are transparent and in compliance with Yemen law and Mercy Corps/donor policies.


  • Lead and develop program support teams in the main office and all field offices.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Take ultimate responsibility of performance of program support functions.


  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations.
  • Draft and review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
  • 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.
  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward 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

Directly Supervising: Operations Managers and team.

Indirectly Supervising: Field based and Field Operations Managers.


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: HQ Regional Finance Officers, HQ Global Procurement and Logistics (GPL), Internal Auditors, Deputy Country Director, Finance Director and Programs Managers/Directors.



Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor degree or equivalent in related field. Masters preferred.
  • A minimum of 7 years' experience setting up and managing administration, procurement, logistics, and human resource systems with NGOs or a business with supervisory responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated understanding of supporting complex operations in challenging environments.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively.
  • Knowledge of Mercy Corps systems and procedures (esp. procurement systems) desirable; knowledge of USAID and other donor regulations helpful.
  • Excellent negotiation and representation skills.
  • Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required.
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.

Success Factors

The successful Director of Operations will be good at problem solving and have the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. An impeccable professional standard and procurement ethics and the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures is essential. S/he will maintain strong cooperative relationships with other departments and interact effectively with all personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity, while demonstrating the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This unaccompanied position is based in Sana’a, Yemen, with travel to other offices, as security allows.

When traveling around the country, strict adherence to Mercy Corps security policies and procedures will be required as will respect for local cultural norms and traditions. The position will require travel to the field sites in Mercy Corps Yemen’s operational areas up to 60% time including travel to some locations that may be insecure or austere. Frequent travel to project sites in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden or other areas will be required, if security allows.  Security conditions in the country are variable, with a range of violence and insecurity, requiring close monitoring and vigilance. Conflict and corruption have also badly damaged the country’s infrastructure. Candidates must be able to work in an environment with energy, transportation and communication challenges.


Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Team members 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.