Program Director/ Chief of Party, Community Resilience Hubs - Puerto Rico

Programs San Juan, Puerto Rico


Position is contingent upon funding

 About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

The Program / Department 

Following Hurricane Maria, Mercy Corps is supporting relief and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Mercy Corps Puerto Rico’s local team is working with community based organizations to deliver humanitarian assistance and rebuild communities affected by the recent emergencies. As we see elsewhere around the world, disaster recovery and resilience requires a concerted, multi-stakeholder effort that involves meaningful coordination among local organizations, government agencies, and communities. Mercy Corps Puerto Rico is currently implementing a $7M+ portfolio focused on building resilience, supporting emergency responses and institutional preparedness, facilitating equitable access to clean energy, water, and connectivity in case of urgent need, and livelihoods recovery and economic resilience. Mercy Corps Puerto Rico is currently designing a new program to expand our Community Resilience Hub model to new locations across the island.

The Position

The Program Director/ Chief of Party Community Resilience Hubs will have responsibility for the overall achievement of the objectives and the day-to-day administration of an anticipated new grant. This will include leading the coordination and execution of approved projects; monitoring compliance with regulations, laws, safety codes, standards, policies for construction; overall program management; and acting as a point of contact with the donor.


Essential Responsibilities 


  • Lead the development of a vision and strategy for the program share with program team, donor, local community-based organizations and other key stakeholders, and communities.
  • Plays an active role in identifying and developing new projects that foster and/or improve the strategic objectives of the program.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative view points are welcomed;

  • Responsible for overall and day-to-day management of project development from each project application through planning, design, construction, and closure. This includes overseeing the coordination of document submission, tracking and reporting status, reviewing, and recommending for payment invoices.
  • 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.
  • 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’ Safeguarding Policy, Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and participant accountability standards.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Create 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.
  • Maintain a complete understanding of all applicable donor policies, procedures, and guidelines.
  • Track and report status and performance of the overall program and individual projects.
  • Ensure system to analyze performance measurement of contractors is created and results are shared with the donor or representative.
  • Lead development of a monitoring and evaluation system.

  • Identify, build, and manage collaborative partnerships with government, local organizations, and other stakeholders.
  • Lead, coordinate and facilitate all necessary high profile program-wide public presentations and meetings.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall program targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Maintain good working relationships with the donor, local leaders, partner agencies, and other key stakeholders;



  • 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 performance reviews;
  • 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.
  • Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance & reach objectives;
  • Supervise and regularly coordinate with project staff and support departments to ensure smooth planning, preparation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of program activities;
  • Lead and coordinate the implementation of change management, risk management, and quality assurance.

Supervisory Responsibility

Program Team


Reports Directly To: Director, Puerto Rico and Caribbean Initiative

Works Directly With: Finance team, Procurement team, and other Puerto Rico staff.


Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • Bachelors in engineering, construction management ,or other relevant field.
  • Minimum 10 years experience implementing large scale infrastructure related programming with increasing responsibility, preferably in Puerto Rico.
  • Possession of a professional engineering license to practice in Puerto Rico.
  • Experience managing large US government programming and knowledge of US Government (e.g. HUD) and Puerto Rico compliance and regulations highly preferred.
  • Previous experience in Puerto Rico is highly desirable. Otherwise, previous experience within a Spanish speaking country.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and sustain interpersonal and professional relationships with different donors, civil society organizations and host country government counterparts.
  • Knowledge and experience in recruiting and managing a large multi-disciplinary consultant team.
  • Experience leading high-level events including public speaking.
  • Strong facilitation and consensus-building skills.
  • Strong team management skills.
  • Risk management and mitigation experience required. Conflict management experience highly desirable.
  • Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Fluent written and verbal Spanish skills preferred.

Success Factors

The successful Program Director/ Chief of Party will have the ability to multi-task, set priorities, and work under tight deadlines. They will demonstrate strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps. The Program Director/ Chief of Party will take initiative and contribute to team efforts, as well as demonstrate an ability to communicate, assume leadership, and make solid decisions while working remotely from country leadership. They will demonstrate an astuteness to the complexities of an International NGO operating a large program within Puerto Rico.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The Program Director/ Chief of Party position is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This position requires 30% of time travelling to field offices, some in insecure environments.


Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.


Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.