Country Director - Myanmar - Yangon, Myanmar

Programs Yangon, Myanmar


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 began working in Myanmar in 2008 to help communities recover from the devastating damage of Cyclone Nargis. Our overarching goal is to enable communities to determine their future through inclusive and equitable access to opportunities, leading to peace and prosperity. We approach our work through a resilience lens, to ensure households and communities are able to manage a myriad of shocks and stresses that threaten these outcomes.
General Position Summary
The Mercy Corps Myanmar Country Director is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully managing all programming in Myanmar, resulting in lasting improvement in the lives of Myanmar women and men. S/He has held senior roles in formulating strategic direction within an international development context. The CD has supervisory responsibility for the entire country operations, and line manages 4 team members directly (Director of Programs, Finance and Compliance Manager, Human Resources Manager, Operations Manager. The CD is responsible for ensuring continued portfolio development in a liquid funding context with all major development donors present. There is a vibrant private sector with whom Mercy Corps already has good relationships.  These can and should be further exploited.  There are some opportunities for more innovative financing arrangements and capital development and Mercy Corps is in a good place to begin exploring these options more consistently.  Ultimately, the CD is accountable for developing a footprint in the country that is commensurate with the scale of the challenges and Mercy Corps brand. Therefore, s/he must be interested and able to grow and diversify the portfolio. Mercy Corps places high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships in tough environments. S/he is able to provide empowering leadership and must be interested in creating ownership of national staff. It is critical that s/he is able to operate in contexts where team members respect each other and place a high value on being able to work together.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Formulate, plan and communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to team members and stakeholders that translate into concrete programs and work plans.
  • Review the country strategy annually
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve program and agency objectives.
  • Use technical support teams collaboratively.
  • Explore, evaluate and present new country and project funding opportunities and grow the portfolio, especially related to climate action; support and direct related fund-raising activities with both institutional and private donors.
  • Ensure that there is continued portfolio development and responsible growth for the entire portfolio.
  • Base this growth on both the country strategy objectives and on spontaneous opportunities that present themselves.
  • Explore innovative funding and resource development models and new sources of capital.
Team Management
  • Provide empowering leadership and develop the capacity of the team, and lead career development efforts.
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Manage collaboratively, 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.
  • Oversee program quality and impact by ensuring programs are based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required M&E systems.
  • Ensure effective, transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures.
  • Oversee budget management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors, if applicable.
  • Build and maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs, as well as segregation of duties between finance and operations.
  • Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Prevention of Sexual Exploitation, Do No Harm principles, and beneficiary accountability standards.
Finance & Compliance Management
  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to programming.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.
  • Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics and fully support field programs.
Influence & Representation
  • Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, foundations, the private sector, etc.
  • Participate in efforts to shape donor’s views on development.
  • Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities that support the objectives for the country as a whole.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Exhibit awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
  • Liaise with the Operations Manager and Director of Programs on safety policy changes.
Accountability to gender, diversity and inclusion  
  • Lead efforts to make Mercy Corps Myanmar a leader in promoting a safe, accountable, inclusive and diverse culture in all its aspects.
  • Ensure that CARM is implemented in all Mercy Corps Myanmar’s projects.
  • Ensure that agency wide safeguarding policies are in place, understood, adhered to and reported on.
  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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.


Reports Directly To: Regional Director
Supervisory Responsibility: Director of Programs; Finance and Compliance Director; Senior Human Resources Officer; Operations Director, Security Advisor
Works Directly With: All relevant TSUs: Markets and Agriculture; Youth and Gender; Policy, Asia Desk teams, Regional Senior Leadership Team, HQ technical, regional team, PaQ, legal, compliance, and other departments and teams as needed.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
  • 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing (large, complex, transitional) development programs.
  • 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
  • Knowledge and ability to simultaneously manage and develop a portfolio that consists of development, peace and recovery projects in a highly fluid environment.
  • Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Political acumen, curiosity, and an ability to remain flexible are critical.
  • Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with bi- and multilateral donors
  • Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in (language) is (a plus/required).
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
  • Previous work experience in Southeast Asia and / or Myanmar and in insecure environments preferred.

Success Factors

The successful Myanmar CD will be an individual that combines curiosity with sensitivity, able to take advantage of the opportunities that Myanmar presents, yet able to make sure his/her team is not left behind.  Myanmar is a context that requires political acumen, great sensitivity and patience and effective leadership will show itself through a continued responsible portfolio growth and an empowered team.  The future CD needs to be able to demonstrate commitment to creating an organizational culture that is safe, accountable, inclusive and diverse and an interest to lead these efforts.
S/he will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with capacity building and will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level.  
S/he will be able to get the best out of team members whose default position is not to ‘speak out’ but, when motivated properly, are able to be high performers. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The CD is based in Yangon. Travel to field sites is generally restricted. The location is unaccompanied until further notice but may open for adults/spouses should the context significantly change. Housing is individual accommodation with consistent access to water and electricity.
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.

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 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 participate in 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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.