Chief of Party, Food for Peace - South Sudan

Programming Juba, South Sudan


This position is pending funding

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 

This program will be a Multi-Year Emergency Emergency Food Security Activity, funded by the United States Agency for International Development -- Food for Peace, with a goal to enhance food and nutrition security, reduce future humanitarian caseload, and improve the resilience of communities to recurrent shocks in one of five sub-regions of South Sudan.

General Position Summary 

The CoP will provide overall leadership, management, representation, and strategic vision to the implementation of a three year multi-million dollar USAID/ Food for Peace funded Emergency Food Security Activity to ensure that the program meets its targets and deliverables on-time and within budget. The CoP will supervise program staff and ensure accountability to Mercy Corps policies and donor rules and regulations. S/he will be the primary program representative to donors, relevant government entities, partners, other implementers and stakeholders.  

Essential Job Responsibilities 

Strategy & Vision

  • Lead the development of a vision and strategy for the program shared with program team and key stakeholders. 
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative
  • viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Play an active role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program and the country office.

Program Management

  • Oversee program start-up, management and administration. Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values, quality standards and strategic plan.
  • Confirm beneficiaries are effectively targeted according to transparent criteria.
  • Develop partnership frameworks, partner agreements/Memorandum of Understandings, and oversee partner capacity building. 
  • Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity and capacity building into all activities as appropriate.  Certify all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
  • Ensure program strategies and activities represent global good practice in food security, market systems development, disaster risk reduction, resilience, and gender equality and social inclusion, among other sector-specific activities
  • Supervise and/or review the work of program consultants.
  • Supervise procurement, logistics, security, administration, and human resources teams to ensure operational systems support field activities.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.

Team Management 

  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary. 

Finance & Compliance Management 

  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations. 
  • Create and maintain systems to ensure effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with program, donor and Mercy Corps’ needs.

Influence & Representation 

  • Represent Mercy Corps and the FFP MYE program to the Partnership for Resilience and Recovery by participating in joint work planning at the state, county, and payam level in support of recovery and resilience frameworks endorsed by the PfRR
  • Represent Mercy Corps at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events, in close coordination with the Country Director.  
  • Coordinate activities with consortium partners, subgrantees, local government and other implementers, as well as with other Mercy Corps programs.


  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.  
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.

Organizational Learning  

  • 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 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

Program Team including technical specialist lead for Livelihoods/MSD, technical specialist lead for Social Cohesion/Conflict/Disaster Risk Reduction, two cross-cutting specialists covering gender/GBV, youth, and trauma, and all program and operations staff under the FFP MYE program.  


Reports Directly To: Country Director 

Works Directly With: Other program managers, in-country finance and operations teams, HQ regional program and finance teams, HQ Technical Support Unit

Knowledge and Experience 

  • MA/S or equivalent in development studies, international relations, agriculture, nutrition, public health, business administration or related field or two years of similar experience to substitute for a master’s degree 
  • A minimum of 7 years of overseas experience including 3 years in a senior management position. 
  • Strong skills and a track record in strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams, including experience managing a program of similar size and scope.
  • Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program. 
  • Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques.
  • Preferably a strong understanding of USAID Food for Peace compliance issues and the ESFP funding mechanism.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
  • Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
  • Demonstrated technical expertise in food security, market systems development, disaster risk reduction, resilience, conflict management/peacebuilding, and gender equality and social inclusion or related fields
  • Experience in South Sudan or Sub-Saharan Africa preferable.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.

Success Factors 

The successful CoP will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. S/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. 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 

The CoP is based in Juba, South Sudan and is an unaccompanied location. Secure housing will be provided by Mercy Corps with some restrictions on freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff have a moderate degree of access to basic services – medical, electricity, water, etc. The climate is very hot, humid and dusty. Medical facilities are basic, and tropical diseases including malaria are endemic. Housing is group accommodation with limited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. This position requires approximately 30% of travel by air to field offices in insecure environments. 

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.