Senior African Regional Representative

Programming London, London


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’ country programs in Africa are undergoing both momentous humanitarian crises and significant development challenges that offer the opportunity to empower people to survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. Moreover, Africa can also be characterized by a high rate of urbanization and a massive youth population. Against this backdrop Mercy Corps’ focus in Africa has been in promoting good governance and conflict resolution, enhancing resilience, facilitating market systems, access to finance and economic opportunities, as well as youth employment and empowerment. It is imperative that Mercy Corps presents itself as a key and credible partner with the many donors, government authorities and civil society actors in order to contribute to the process of positive change across the continent. Mercy Corps looks to actively engage and partner with an ever growing and innovative African private sector to achieve greater and sustained impact. It is also critical that we are executing our current and future programs on scope, on budget and on time across the continent, while looking at new approaches and opportunities and leveraging innovations for the greatest impact and influence in the region.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps requires an astute Senior African Region Representative able to steer our donor engagement including engagement with technical expertise and participation in relevant forums for what represents one of the agency’s largest and most complex portfolios. Mercy Corps seeks an inspiring, creative and focused individual to further the impact, influence, and breadth of Mercy Corps’ humanitarian and development efforts in London in close partnership with regional and country leadership. This individual works closely with the Regional Director and the three Deputy Regional Directors and is an essential member of the Regional Program Team. S/he is the London focal point for regional and country level strategic donor, external and internal stakeholder and partner engagement on Mercy Corps’ Africa vast programming portfolio. S/he will work closely with the Senior Program Officer as well as other RPT in PDX and Edinburgh to support in connecting the field to HQ resources and represents country/regional interests with donors and external stakeholders. S/he will also support grant administration for a discreet grant portfolio from the Africa region with a specific donor and or fund manager in close coordination with the SPOs and desk teams as well as Regional Finance Officers.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Represent Africa regional interests and programs with key major donors, foundations working closely with Corporate and Foundations team, partners and external stakeholders with field teams, Regional team and Regional Program Team (RPT).
  • Act as key program representative to donors and coordination entities relative to Mercy Corps’ program presence in Africa based in London.
  • Represent Mercy Corps at programmatic workshops, briefings, meetings, working groups, and other outside events in the London, as directed or requested by RD, Vice President Programs, Director for Policy & Advocacy for Africa, New Initiatives and other relevant units/teams.
  • Represent Mercy Corps and the Africa programs to external audiences and serve as a spokesperson to media coordinating closely with the communications and Policy & Advocacy teams.
  • Assist the field with production of public relations materials as needed.
  • Coordinate response to external requests for information from donors for Africa, donor and technical assistance agencies.
  • Coordinate response to external requests for information from donors for Africa, donor and technical assistance agencies.
  • Responsible for proactively establishing, developing and nurturing relationships with partners in London and other relevant UK areas in collaboration with Regional team, field leadership and HQ teams including Corporations and Foundations Teams, Policy & Advocacy, and the RPT team.
  • Coordinate partnership negotiation & development, ensuring necessary teams are engaged to help further program, country and regional interests.
  • Engage and support as relevant new proposal development with country teams and new initiatives. This may include engaging with donors in the capital cities as appropriate and with other relevant partners.
  • Work closely with the SPOs and new business development team in the coordination of proposals (unless designated otherwise) and communication with donors.May be appointed a different role in the design process of proposals and travel to field if needed.
  • Support country teams with strategy development and planning and travel to the field to support facilitation of the process as requested in coordination with RPT.
  • Help facilitate connection to key stakeholders - both internal and external - for program team members traveling to London.
  • Advise country teams and RPT on donor priorities and opportunities to ensure that country strategies are relevant and key influence opportunities identified.
  • Facilitate learning across country portfolios and regions and share lessons learned and knowledge of agency resources/tools/best practices, etc. in conjunction with RPT.
  • In partnership with New Initiatives team members in Africa, and in HQ, Technical Support Unit team members,Corporate and Foundations, PRT and Policy & Advocacy Team Members, identify through representation efforts and other working group meetings etc. and communicate new business opportunities to the country teams and regional management teams.
  • Work in close partnership with the Policy and Advocacy team to support Policy and Advocacy efforts to represent and influence on issues as they relate to the Africa region and program implementation, funding trends etc.
  • Work with country teams to collect and communicate success stories, one-pagers, leave-behinds, and impact summaries of our programming from across the region internally and externally and facilitate cross learning between teams.
  • Act as a liaison for the Africa Region with other key heads of departments based in London & Edinburgh, this will include Technical Support Units.
  • Lead efforts to enable program teams in the field and RPT to better understand donor expectations, trends etc, specific to their program and more generally.
  • Provide input in coordination with the RPT to regional newsletters with focus on donor and strategic partnership updates and general communication through existing agency channels e.g. workplace and the Globe.
  • Play a greater and more direct role in internal communication management during periods of humanitarian crises and disaster response in close coordination with the RPT and HLR team.

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: None


Reports Directly To: Regional Director for Africa Region

Works Directly With: Other HQ Program units and other departments, including Resource Development, Finance, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, Legal, Policy and Advocacy, Mercy Corps Counterparts at MC HQ offices in Europe; MC donors and partners.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • BA required (MA/S preferred) in international development, political or social science or other relevant field.
  • 7+ years of field-based experience in international relief and development.
  • High preference given to candidates with recent work experience in Africa.
  • Fluency in at least one other language prevalent in countries in which Mercy Corps works is preferred and is a plus.
  • Demonstrated understanding of critical development issues throughout the developing world and significant experience with the challenges of operating programs in different areas of the world.
  • Demonstrated proficiency and experience with US, UN, Canada and other public and private donors, government grant and financial management requirements.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and successful and proven negotiation, communication, organization, and prioritization skills and experience.
  • Exceptional program and project conceptualization and design skills.
  • Program Management Certification and Financial Analysis Skills a plus
  • Significant experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local and international government officials, civil society organizations, donor representatives, other international organizations, the media and the public required.
  • Experience with proposal development including support and writing with various donors, particularly UK and European Governments, private foundations and corporations.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
Success Factors

The successful candidate demonstrates the skill, professional maturity and finesse required to engage with donors and represent the region and agency while also providing excellent, timely support to the Africa region. S/he is a problem solver, who is adept in successfully dealing with issues of complexity. The African Region Representative is a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with staff, partners and donors. S/he will coordinate with the Mercy Corps Africa Desk and be skilled at building highly effective working relationships with the Regional Management team, Country Directors and their teams. S/he will harness the expertise, experience and ideas of Mercy Corps’ diverse program support teams, including members of the TSU, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness and Social Innovations teams and channel them into impactful partnerships with country programs and the region at large. The African Region Representative will work with country teams to ensure that we learn from experience, thoroughly research, analyze context and develop high impact partnerships with donors, foundations, partners and external stakeholders. S/he will be a skilled writer and synthesizer of diverse and complex information, helping teams generate new insights into their work, the needs of their countries and the region as well as how program impact can be scaled. A robust sense of humor is greatly appreciated.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in London and is expected to travel up to 40% of the time, both to the country programs in Africa and to the office in Portland – sometimes on short notice— to areas with limited access to medical facilities and amenities.

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.

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.

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK at the time of appointment.