Deputy Regional Director - Asia (based in Yangon, Jakarta or Kathmandu)
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 implements a variety of programming throughout Asia in response to the diverse humanitarian and long-term development needs of the region. Our portfolio in the Asia region includes ongoing or future programming in the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Georgia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Uzbekistan. Mercy Corps is committed to delivering high quality, high impact programming that reaches communities or individuals in need, wherever they are.
General Position Summary
Mercy Corps seeks a impact-driven Deputy Regional Director (DRD) with a bias for innovation in Asia to guide strategic direction and support to Mercy Corps programs and initiatives in the region. The successful candidate will work closely with the Regional Director (RD) to ensure transformational change occurs through the combination of: programmatic impact in our communities; the ability to influence change makers at local and global levels; and a restlessness to innovate in search of better solutions. The DRD will collaborate with the RD to build and sustain a cohesive regional management team ensuring the Asia portfolio is geared towards excellence with heightened accountability measurements. The DRD is directly responsible for enabling excellence in all operations functions across country teams, and coordinates with managers and directors, predominantly within the technical support unit, program performance and quality, security, human resources, ethics and finance departments to ensure support functions are of the highest quality and standards. The DRD also is responsible for overseeing and managing a broader regional support, technical and leadership team.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY & PLANNING
● Assist in developing, refining and sharing a regional strategy for Mercy Corps Asia focused on the most complex issues in the region;
● Contribute to the development of compelling, coherent country-level strategies that integrate and align with the regional strategy, and support the agency’s impact, influence and innovation objectives in the Mercy Corps Global Strategic Compass.
● Act as a key partner for the RD to achieve an effective regional management team that delivers programmatic excellence and significant impact and influence in the region.
● In coordination with the RD and other senior leaders lead the planning and preparation of agendas of regional gatherings.
SUPERVISING OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT
● Provide support to RD and country teams on matters pertaining to strategy, planning, budgeting, programming, management and security incidents.
● Assist in the administration of country strategies work plans and budgets throughout the fiscal year;
● Ensure effective human, material, financial and operational field support for all country programs, in cooperation with senior staff, prioritizing resource allocation as necessary;
● Engage in regular and timely communication with finance directors/managers and operations directors/managers, including travel to country offices as needed;
● Support country leadership in adhering to Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures, including rollout of new initiatives and standards;
● Assist with the identification, location, set up and transition of Mercy Corps offices as necessary.
● Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development, particularly performing a key mentoring and capacity building role with Directors of Programs and Deputy Country Directors, both individually and collectively.
● Directly supervise members of the regional management team, (Country Directors as required), and regional programs team members. Supervise the Program Director/Chief of Party of multi-country programs.
● 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.
● In partnership with the RD, motivate, empower and guide teams towards excellence;
● Work closely with the RD to ensure the team culture is positive, transparent and well focused on staff wellbeing;
● Participate in the recruitment, selection, orientation and training of key Mercy Corps staff in the region;
● Assist with the on-boarding of senior team members, ensuring they are set up for success;
● Support the development of systems to ensure that all staff supporting the regional program are trained and familiar with Mercy Corps systems, procedures and protocols;
● Ensure sound performance management and staff access to high quality learning opportunities, with a special emphasis on national staff development.
● Fill in as needed for Regional Director when s/he is on leave, and occasionally gap fill for country directors during periods of transition.
ENSURING QUALITY AND INTEGRITY
● Ensure all programs in the region are achieving the highest possible impact and are in line with overall regional and global strategies;
● Ensure the integrity of Mercy Corps’ operations and program implementation through adherence to Mercy Corps and global best practices, policies and procedures.
● Encourage a culture of learning and innovation among all Mercy Corps staff in the region;
● Work closely with headquarters office support units (technical advisors, procurement/logistics, program development, finance, private fundraising, etc.) to ensure continuous quality improvement of field programs, and that teams are working towards achieving long-term excellence, especially during periods of rapid growth.
● Liaise with country leadership, Regional Director and HQ Ethics and Finance and Compliance Unit to manage issues related to Ethics and Fraud.
● Play a leading role on the board of complex programs in the region when necessary.
DEVELOPING PROGRAM AND PORTFOLIO GROWTH
● Provide direct support to new programming initiatives that build on country/regional strategies, and position Mercy Corps for complex programs, scale up and/or multi-country funding opportunities.
● Coordinate and prioritize the development of concept notes, proposals and other funding requests, ensuring quality submissions that maximize chances for success;
● In the event of a major disaster or emergency in the region, work directly with Mercy Corps Humanitarian Leadership and Response unit to coordinate an appropriate and timely response.
INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
● Ensure program coordination and information sharing within and between countries;
● Support regional knowledge networks to enhance strategies, learning agendas, collaborative action and common programmatic approaches to fostering greater regional coherence;
● Maintain close working relationships with counterparts in other regions, facilitating the gathering and sharing of experiences and lessons from other regions.
● Along with the RD, act as a key liaison between headquarters, regional management and country teams to effectively publicize program innovations and successes;
● Help to ensure timely and targeted communication and information flow that highlight Mercy Corps’ regional and global impact.
● Connect teams to ideas, partners and resources to drive creative solutions for greater impact;
● Build strong constituencies among international and local civil society leaders, government officials, embassies, media and the general public;
● Develop and maintain strong relationships with global and regional donors and partners that contribute to regional portfolio development, influence and impact.
● Represent Mercy Corps at external events to build voice, brand and influence.
● Establish leadership and personal credibility with regional and country teams, and support an organizational culture of accountability and responsibility;
● Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure;
● Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity;
● Demonstrate awareness of own strengths and development needs.
● Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
● Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
● 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 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.
Regional management team, Country Directors, Regional Programs team members
Reports Directly To: Regional Director, Asia
Works Directly With: Country Directors, Operations Managers/ Directors, Finance Managers/ Directors, Senior Management Teams as required inclusive of program teams and supplemental support teams based at HQ in locations such as Portland, OR and/or Edinburgh, Scotland
Knowledge and Experience
● MA, MS or equivalent in international development, political or social science, public administration, business management, or another relevant field.
● At least 8-10 years field experience in senior management related to support functions and/or, direct program development and implementation; experience in complex/fragile environments is a plus.
● Demonstrated ability to think strategically, and to solve complex problems at the organizational level;
● Detailed understanding of the finance, operations and administration mechanisms that support a grant/project implementation life cycle;
● Direct experience managing and supervising large teams, as well as staff mentoring and development: experience managing multi-country programs is a plus Experience implementing approaches related to gender equity, diversity and inclusion.
● Demonstrable success skills in business development and portfolio growth within complex settings;
● Confident communication skills applicable to donor relations, media outreach, and inter-agency coordination;
● Ability to handle multiple issues at one time, especially in emergency situations, and to organize and prioritize accordingly;
● Demonstrated proficiency and experience with US, UK, EU, UN and other public and private donors, government grant and financial management requirements;
● Demonstrated understanding of the critical humanitarian and development issues in Asia, and significant experience with the challenges of operating in the region;
● 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.
The successful candidate will apply a strong combination of strategy development, leadership, management, coordination, and relationship-building skills with an outstanding ability to support innovative, impactful programs. With a high capacity to deliver results under tight deadlines with multiple priorities, the DRD will have the ability to think ahead and decide on courses of action, ensuring that the required resources to implement are available to achieve high-quality outcomes. Commitment, flexibility and openness to new practices, concepts, ideas and change for continuous improvement will serve the position and team well. Strong operational and contractual skills and experience are integral success factors in this position. Excellent negotiation, public relations and communication skills will foster the development of donor and partner relationships. The role also requires a deep understanding of the region, its recent history, current trends and political environment. Being a team player, a positive attitude and a sense of humor are definite pluses, along with strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and a commitment to the values and mission of Mercy Corps.
Location and Travel
This position can be based in an existing Mercy Corps location (Yangon, Jakarta or Kathmandu) and can be accompanied. Not less than 50% travel will be essential.
Conduct. 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.