Program Manager

Mercy Corps Northwest Walla Walla, Washington


PLEASE NOTE: This role requires Spanish fluency and experience working in the Walla Walla, WA area, preferably with the Latinx community.

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 Northwest (MCNW), the domestic arm of Mercy Corps, was established in 1998 as a program of Mercy Corps, the Portland, Oregon-based development agency.  MCNW is a Community Development Financial Institution that assists all low-income populations, including people of color, women, refugees and immigrants, incarcerated and previously incarcerated people in Oregon and Washington states by increasing their economic self-sufficiency and community integration through self-employment. For more information about Mercy Corps Northwest, visit

General Position Summary

The Walla-Walla-based Program Manager is responsible for the overall implementation and management of MCNW’s program operating from Walla Walla, Washington. This position has a special emphasis on ensuring MCNW is relevant to the needs of Latinx small business owners and aspiring owners in the area. An understanding of the cultural norms in the Latinx community is essential for the successful job candidate. The position is highly sensitive to the dynamics and needs of the region, reaching underserved individuals and communities and adding value through partnership and collaboration with other actors and particularly the City of Walla Walla. The role requires:

  • Language and cultural fluency in both Spanish and English
  • Strong relationships and connections within the Walla Walla Latinx community
  • A passion and commitment to serve and work with underserved small business owners in the Walla Walla area

S/he will be charged with organizing and implementing two programs that work in concert with one another to support small business development to underserved populations and communities, 1) providing business education and advising, and 2) providing access to financing with grants and microloans. This will be achieved through developing strong partnerships with organizations, clients and city partners and promoting our products to underserved communities in Walla Walla and the surrounding areas.

The position is responsible for overseeing multiple grants and their respective deliverables, as well as adhering to donor requirements and regulations. The Manager will represent MCNW to clients, partners and government agencies. S/he will be required to coordinate closely and report into his/her supervisor and the MCNW team in Seattle and Portland. S/he will work with and manage an Americorps Vista staff member, who will be instrumental in program outreach and organizational capacity building.   

Essential Job Responsibilities  


  • Oversee program implementation and ongoing program management and administration of staff in and around the Walla Walla area.
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to underserved communities’ and partner’s needs and is consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
  • Ensure that underserved clients are effectively served.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with partners, education providers and funders.
  • Oversee the delivery of quality business education by partners or consultants.
  • Develop program implementation and outreach strategies including application and orientation processes and approaches for effectively reaching out to underserved clients.
  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.
  • Ensure program implementation and required deliverables are accomplished on time, target and budget, using effective monitoring and evaluation systems to measure desired impacts.
  • Administer and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.


  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with the community, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
  • Hold regular check-ins with the City of Walla Walla to ensure their vision for this collaboration is being met and solicit their overall input on our program performance.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor requirements are met.


  • 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.
  • Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Contribute to Mercy Corps Northwest’s strategy, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.


  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations and policies.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget. Work with MCNW/Portland to process these requests.


  • 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 partners, while actively engaging partner communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of projects.


Supervises an AmeriCorps VISTA member


Reports Directly To:  Business Development Services Director (Portland-based)

Works Directly With:  Seattle Program Manager and entire MCNW team in Seattle and Portland

Knowledge and Experience

  • Written and conversational fluency in both Spanish and English. Latinx candidates are encouraged to apply.
  • Experience working in the Walla Walla community or the surrounding areas.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience working in the small business industry or managing/owning a small business. Business education may be used in place of work experience. Must have an understanding of basic financial statements and business principles.
  • Demonstrated experience working with and through partners, both public and private sector partners on joint initiatives/businesses.
  • Experience working with underserved communities and low-income individuals. Experience working in other countries is a plus.
  • BA/S or equivalent in management, business or economic development or related field of study.  U.S. based or international degrees are both acceptable.
  • Experience working with start-ups on business modelling, strategy and/or product development is an advantage.
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to present complex concepts and/or analysis clearly.
  • Experience maintaining a database and preparing performance reports is preferred.

Success Factors

The successful Program Manager will be an energetic, self-starter and a doer, capable of driving the programs with minimal supervision. S/he is committed to working with underserved communities and low-income individuals to realize their full potential. S/he has cultural and language fluency in both Spanish and English. S/he will have an excellent ability to engage with partners and develop collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships. S/he will demonstrate excellent emotional intelligence, diplomacy, and drive to push things forward. S/he will have a creative mindset, with ability to generate new ideas, coupled with attention to detail and ability to get things done.  This position will require regional travel around Walla Walla and periodic travel to Seattle and/or Portland.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Walla Walla, Washington and it will require periodic (up to 20%) travel to other areas of Eastern Washington and Oregon, Tri Cities, Seattle and/or Portland.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours. 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.

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.