Senior Director - Technology for Development

Programs Washington, District of Columbia Anywhere, United States


*This position will be based in Washington DC or London (open to other Mercy Corps locations) Please provide a cover letter along with your resume/ CV.

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.

Department Summary

Digital technology is transforming the world of international relief and development - the contexts in which we operate, and how we achieve our mission.  At Mercy Corps we seek to apply technology to innovating and scaling our impact around some of the world’s most complex challenges.  The Mercy Corps Technology for Development (T4D) team collaborates with Mercy Corps’ global teams and external partners to unlock new possibilities that increase program quality, impact and innovation, helping improve more lives through the power of technology. We think beyond today’s context, exploring how we can use current and emerging technology to shrink the global digital divide and help people in vulnerable communities adapt to and overcome evolving challenges. Our mission and purpose are to drive sustainable program impact through responsible application of existing and emerging digital technologies (i.e. digital identity, digital payments, big data analytics, etc.).  Mercy Corps is focused on driving the use of digital technologies to maximize scale, efficiency and impact within key strategic outcome areas, such as Food Security; Economic Opportunity; Water and Climate Adaptation; Peace and Governance; and Humanitarian Response.

The Role


The Senior Director of Technology for Development (T4D) is Mercy Corps’ most senior leader responsible for guiding organizational and programmatic vision and strategy on the application of digital technology within Mercy Corps’ programs. Sitting within the Programs Department structure, the Sr. Director works in close partnership with the Vice Presidents of Technical Leadership, Program Performance and Quality (PaQ), Innovation, Humanitarian Leadership and Response and their management teams; sector technical experts, and regional and country leadership, all of whom are key stakeholders in various applications of technology. As a key leader, the Sr. Director of T4D works in seamless collaboration with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and other department leaders to ensure strategic integration with enterprise-level technology priorities. The Sr. Director leads a team of experienced technologists and other subject matter experts charged with supporting the broader organization to apply technology to accelerate and amplify the scale, speed and sustainability of program impact. 

  • The Sr. Director is a skilled partnership builder internally, with senior leaders and technical experts building and executing on a shared vision for how technology can amplify impact throughout our work. They will steer required organizational adaptations to be fit for purpose in a digital world.  This will include partnering with relevant teams to drive a clear internal communication, knowledge management and learning agenda around technology at Mercy Corps.  This is a highly entrepreneurial role that progresses the use of digital technology across Mercy Corps’ programs.


  • They are a skilled partnership builder externally, particularly with the private sector, institutional donors and foundations. The Sr. Director will be very comfortable discussing highly technical and complex scenarios and will initiate, develop and steward partnership agreements with private sector technology companies, in order to establish formal partnerships in pursuit of shared value, funding, services, expertise and/or product. They will connect Mercy Corps teams with resources to deliver on program technology outcomes. The Sr. Director will influence relevance, access and affordability of technology solutions through thought-leadership and partnerships, often drawing on a broad network of technology organizations and experts.


  • The Sr. Director ensures that Mercy Corps maintains a principled position that protects all program participants through ethical decisions in the use of technology and data, applying the principles of Do No Digital Harm.


  • They are a skilled team leader, motivating a diverse team of technologists to be creative collaborators across the organization.  They will be a talent developer and talent scout, helping to attract and retain great technology experts into the organization.


  • The Sr. Director of T4D drives Mercy Corps’ influence and thought leadership agenda around technology in the sector.

Success Factors

The Senior Director of T4D must be able to envision and implement a strategic vision for digital transformation at Mercy Corps, be able to translate this vision into practical actions, and lead the organizational changes required to build energy and momentum around this vision. This vision must evaluate the application of existing and emerging technology models and solutions. The Sr. Director must have a demonstrated track record of leading technological and organizational innovation - we need to both improve the way we do things, and imagine better ways of solving old problems that will drive greater impact.  They must be a self-starter who demonstrates exceptional ability in leading organizational initiatives and understanding of Mercy Corps’ highest-level strategic plans and objectives.  They must exhibit an expert ability to interact with the Executive Team, Board Members, high-level private sector professionals, and high-profile donors to present complex issues, build strong relationships, and establish a highly respected professional reputation. In addition, the position must reach across departments within the agency, and to networks and associations outside it, to build critical partnerships to further thought leadership, program innovation, and ensure Mercy Corps’ relevance and impact on the industry. The position must demonstrate deep experience managing and empowering teams, mentoring talent, and fostering future leaders within the agency. The Senior Director of T4D works closely with the Sr. VP of Program, as well as within the Senior Leadership structure to develop team and agency strategies. The individual must have high proficiency for working in varied cultural, political, and religious environments, and must be able to travel and work successfully in austere environments and maintain poise in stressful situations.


Supervisory Responsibility

Leads a team of 10 team members



Reports Directly To Vice President, Technical Leadership

Works Directly With Vice Presidents in the Programs Division, Regional Directors, Country Directors, Corporations and Foundation Partnerships team, CIO, partner organizations, Technical Support Unit, Innovations, Humanitarian Leadership and Response, and Program Performance and Quality. 


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.


Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, or relevant field preferred.
  • Experience as a senior technology leader at an international organization, leading diverse technology teams with global delivery models and geographically dispersed employees highly desirable.
  • 15+ years’ experience in technology and related business; increasing levels of responsibilities preferred.
  • Demonstrated track record of building powerful external partnerships and fundraising/sales
  • Experienced in managing multi-million-dollar performance dependent agreements.
  • Experience and comfort with extensive international travel, often in austere conditions.
  • International NGO or non-profit experience preferred.
  • Experience implementing activities in countries where Mercy Corps works preferred.
  • Experience in leading organizational change initiatives, particularly digital technology transformations, especially with implementing enterprise-wide solutions.
  • Experience in the development and management of service, capital and operating budgets.


Living and Environmental Conditions

The position will be based in one of Mercy Corps’ key global offices with the opportunity for international and domestic travel estimated at 30 percent.

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 elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.