Regional Security Advisor, Asia

Security Anywhere, United States Washington, District of Columbia


Location: US UK Asia remote with 50% travel

Position Status: Full-time, Regular

Salary: Compensation will be based on local benchmark, For US candidates it will be $76k-$88k DOE

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

Mercy Corps operates in forty (40) countries in employing over 5000 international and local staff. Our global operations have grown rapidly over the last decade the complexity of programming and locations is anticipated to increase with more high-risk environments and ambitious programs in emergency response and combating the effects of climate change on climate change, peacebuilding and development and other programming expected to continue to expand in the future. Mercy Corps implements emergency and multi-year programs across the globe that are often located in rural, hard- to-reach areas and often moderate to high risk. Mercy Corps values inter-agency collaboration and a security strategy of risk mitigation. Mercy Corps relies on the principles embodied in the IFRC Code of Conduct – primarily: the centrality of community acceptance as the foundation piece of security.

The Position

The primary objective of the Regional Security Advisor for the Asia region is to provide the support, mentorship, and technical expertise so that our security management systems in each country is at the expected standard to ensure business continuity, and safety of team members partners as they conduct Mercy Corps works.

Mercy Corps programs in Asia include a diverse portfolio of development and emergency programs in countries that range from low to high risk. At the writing of this Position Description, the Asia region includes Timor Leste, Indonesia, Nepal, India, Myanmar, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. At the writing of this Position Description, Ukraine and the regional response are also included under the management of the Asia region. This role may also include support to additional countries or forthcoming projects in the region. 

Essential Responsibilities 


  • The implementation of all security management plans lies within each country and the Country Director or Representative is responsible for this.
  • The Regional Security Advisor Asia (RSA) is expected to be a constant and productive support to the Country Directors in achieving our goals outlined in our Global Minimum Standards and our Duty of Care to staff.
  • The RSA will provide technical support and constructive input to the country Security Focal Point (SFP) in achieving effective security management within the context of each country and area of operations. This includes operational security, humanitarian access and safe access for our teams and partners within our areas of operation as well as providing basic analysis on the security context.
  • They will travel frequently and offer support country teams with challenges such as new initiatives, emergency response, program growth and, of course, the response critical incidents.
  • The RSA will be part of the crisis management response of any significant event to support through the resolution of an incident.
  • They will ground truth local risk assessments and contingency planning – ensuring these are ready to be operationalized.
  • The RSA is expected to support the SFP and CD with ensuring the quality of country security management planning. Their support may be required to support the global portfolio at the direction of the Africa Regional Security Advisor.
  • The RSA is expected to communicate clearly and productively to the CDs and RD on security issues or major concerns about security management. Lastly, s/he will be aware and knowledgeable of Mercy Corps policies and commitments to accountability (such as CARM and Ethics) and will help promote these and other important agency values.
  • The RSA’s area of responsibility is Sahel region and as such, will prioritize the day-to-day scheduling and workload with leadership of these countries and the sub-region. The systems, standards and tools are established by the Global Security department.
  • The RSA Advisor provides quality control and technical support to promote and support efforts by field offices to meet management targets in security through effective planning and budgeting for security.
  • Regional Security Advisor will support the development and maintenance of current security plans and provide quality control and useful feedback. They will work with each country team to understand and refine practices in safe access for our team and partners in our areas of operation. 


  • The RSA is expected to follow the security and political situation in each country under his/her remit including significant regional trends.
  • The RSA will work with the Regional Director to ensure the Executive Team and the necessary headquarters teams are alerted to incidents requiring their attention and they may provide ongoing support.
  • This includes (as example) insurance claims, press releases, advocacy statement or other areas where their input is useful. 


  • The RSA should be readily available to the Deputy and Regional Director, the Country Directors and field staff to advise on security developments.
  • The RSA will call upon additional expertise or consultants as needed. They are expected to be available during times of critical incidents and will be a part of any Crisis Management team.
  • They will engage other HLR and security team members as additional support to trainings or specific needs.
  • Significantly, the RSA will provide technical support to the SFPs in achieving the Global Minimum Standards in Safety & Security.
  • This includes safety and security include orientations, trainings, incident reporting & management, journey management, staff tracking, documentation & filing and communications.
  • The RSA will understand and provide the direct support to achieve a culture of security and duty-of-care to Mercy Corps team members.
  • This may be hands-on support to incidents or trainings.
  • This includes productive engagement with the People team in recruitment, training, and onboarding new team members.
  • The RSA is expected to provide trainings in country offices to individuals, groups and the Senior Management Team, as needed and as practical they will work across teams to help develop capacity goals and plans for country teams. 


  • The RSA will be a critical consult and partner to the regional team in understanding cross-border or other trends within the sub-region.
  • They will be up to date on each program, new business or new initiatives and strategies. 


  • The Regional Security Advisor will support field and regional teams with HQ and field-level coordination in the NGO community; seek opportunities for formal and informal cooperation; develop a network of support with peers in the humanitarian community. 


  • The RSA will rely heavily on the individual’s ability to develop strong positive working relationships with the Country Directors, Security Focal Points, field staff, the RD and the global security team for a collective understanding and approach towards effective security management.
  • The RSA is expected to help promote important global and regional priorities such as GDI, localization and all policies. They are expected to be aware and promote agency initiatives and practices in areas such as Remote Management, Emergency Response, Business Continuity and similar. 


  • Effectively represent, promote, and protect Mercy Corps’ mandate for independence, impartiality, and neutrality.
  • Any other duties which are not listed but are essential to the safety and security for Mercy Corps staff, property/material, and reputation.

Supervisory Responsibility 

The Regional Security Advisor currently has no direct reports.


Reports Directly To: The Sr. Director Global Security The primary working partners for the RSA Asia is the Regional Director and Deputy Regional Director in addition to each Country Director and SFP in each country. Regional Security Advisor for the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. With the other team members of the security and HLR teams. 

Works Directly With: Regional Security Advisor for the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. With the other team members of the security and HLR teams.

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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • Desired: Mercy Corps is seeking an individual with a minimum 6 years’ experience in a country program in high-risk environments or a role with similar responsibilities to effectively fulfill this role.
  • Alternatively, extensive experience in the security or management field that reflects 5+ years in team management and working at the senior leadership level is required.
  • Advanced level of understanding with the philosophy and mode of operation of NGOs. At a minimum, of 10 years field-based experience in complex and insecure settings and preferably a conflict environment. Preferably, in more than one country with large teams of staff.
  • Experience working or managing a program that required humanitarian access negotiations and strategizing is highly desired.
  • Proven written and analytical skills (sample may be requested).
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation, and mentoring.
  • Willingness to work and travel frequently in often difficult and insecure environments.
  • Proven experience remotely managing staff in a matrix management environment.
  • Competency in Internet and Microsoft Office systems including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and other database/mapping systems.

Formal training qualifications (HEAT, K&R, Personal Security, First Aid etc.) is a bonus.

Success Factors

Ability to see and help achieve the goal of a stronger security culture using all the existing tools of the agency. S/he will be a well-known name in country offices who proactively reaches out to SLT and SFPs with a proactive, solution-oriented and positive offers of support to reach goals. Over a 12 month period, we will see an increase in the uptake to the availability and institutionalized trainings. As example: all country programs will near 100% of the Training Essentials and we will see a more routine cycle of (in- house) Crisis Management training and scenarios at the SLT level.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is home based ideally in the Asia region with 50% travel. The RSA is expected to be visible and active over Teams, Zoom, Skype and other platforms. The individual must be willing to undertake travel to insecure areas which may have harsh living conditions.


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 based on 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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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 elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

 As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.

Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.


Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees

Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status. This policy is necessary to ensure not only the safety of our workforce, but the ongoing functionality of the organization.

This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities.

For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment.  Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations.  Failure to comply may impact your employment.  Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided