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. Mercy Corps Guatemala has been operational for approximately 15 years with a program focus in: (1) Community Health & Mobilization; (2) Agriculture; (3) Land Conflict Mediation and Economic Development; (4) Community Strengthening and Violence Prevention; and (5) Disaster Response and Risk Reduction.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps Guatemala’s current programs build on our long experience in the highlands region. Our national office recently relocated from Guatemala City to Coban, Alta Verapaz. The Coban office allows us to draw on strong program leaders and support teams (finance, operations, human resources etc) who are representative of the communities where we work.
Mercy Corps seeks a Guatemala City-based Country Representative to help guide strategy development and support the Coban-based staff primarily on new business development and external relations with donors, partners and Guatemalan government counterparts.
General Position Summary
The Country Representative is Mercy Corps’ senior representative in the country and works closely with the Coban Head of Office and the Guatemala Senior Management Team to ensure that the organization achieves its mission. They have primary responsibility for representation in the capital and for new business development. The Country Representative has supervisory and managerial responsibilities, and ensures appropriate representation of Mercy Corps in Guatemala City with frequent travel to Coban. They work closely with key staff to define and realize a visionary but practical strategy for the Guatemala program and Mercy Corps’ work in the Northern Triangle including networking, donor representation and leading all aspects of proposal development to expand programming. The Country Representative works directly with the Coban Head of Office, Program Team, and technical support staff to develop and implement initiatives that are effective, innovative, and achieve the greatest possible impact. They are expected to provide energetic leadership that inspires creativity and excellence in the program team, while at the same time ensuring that team members receive appropriate mentoring and professional development opportunities. They will supervise the Mercy Corps program team, finance, procurement and logistics, and human resources/admin staff—and work closely with HQ support teams, when necessary to ensure that program operations receive strong support. The Country Representative will play a critical role in representing Mercy Corps Guatemala externally and in ensuring that the agency remains accountable to the standards and expectations of donors, government, and communities. The Country Representative acts as Mercy Corps’ senior representative for Guatemala.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Represent Mercy Corps at donor, partner, and coordination meetings as appropriate.
- Develop and maintain internal and external relationships to ensure optimum program success.
- Assist Program Managers with program implementation and representation as needed.
Strategy & Vision
- Lead efforts to refine the country strategy together with program teams and key stakeholders.
- Play an active leadership role in identifying and developing new initiatives that foster and/or improve strategic objectives of the program.
- Help Mercy Corps Guatemala staff relate to and feel part of Mercy Corps as a global organization.
- Start up new business initiatives in Guatemala (with assistance of program teams and HQ support).
- Collaborate with other senior staff to develop and secure funding for new program concepts.
- Liaise with Mercy Corps HQ teams to support donor and opportunity research and engagement and prepositioning for funding opportunities.
- Lead proposal and budget development.
- Oversee the transformation of proposed concepts into operational programs.
- Help Mercy Corps prepare and position for humanitarian responses and programmatic work related to trends including regional migration and economic recovery from the COVID crisis.
- Supervise Coban Head of Office and collaborate with him/her and all Program Managers to develop operational plans, identify and build the capacity of local partners, and ensure that program activities are implemented according to the standard of excellence expected by Mercy Corps, its donors, and its beneficiaries.
- Ensure that projects are in line with community priorities, Mercy Corps’ principles, and established country strategic objectives.
- Work in close consultation with the Finance Manager, and program and finance staff to ensure that program activities are carried out in accordance with Mercy Corps’ policies and donor regulations, agreements and budgets.
- Cooperate with the Finance Manager to create regular budget forecasts and incorporate pipeline analyses into program planning.
- Supervise Coban Head of Office and other senior managers who in turn oversee all Mercy Corps Guatemala staff, including Program, M&E, admin, finance and logistics staff.
- Work with senior program staff to recruit and lead a diverse, skilled, and committed team; incorporate staff development strategies and performance management systems into team building processes.
- Ensure all program staff have performance plans and that they are reviewed and provided with feedback formally on an annual basis and informally at least every 3 months.
- Mentor and contribute to an atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development for program staff in accordance with Mercy Corps’ commitment to excellence and achievement.
- Encourage a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation.
Finance & Compliance Management
- Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps’ regulations.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
National and international team members working on the program, as well as partnerships with international and national program partners. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Regional Director
Works Directly With: Coban Head of Office, Program staff, partner organizations, finance, HR and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in international development, education, or other relevant field.
- A minimum of 10 years of development experience including 8 years in a senior management position overseeing donor programs of similar size and technical scope.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain relationships with host governments, donors, other donor-funded projects and stakeholders, local organizations, and partners.
- Extensive experience managing programs in Guatemala or similar contexts required.
- Effective personnel management, coordination, and decision-making skills, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program.
- Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques.
- Proven skills in program design and proposal development.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; English and Spanish fluency required.
- Guatemalan national preferred
The successful Country Representative will combine exceptional management skills and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. They will have excellent business development skills and will have an outstanding ability to implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. They will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. Successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Country Representative will be based in Guatemala City. All MC Guatemala employees are expected to work a 5-day work week with occasional need to work extended hours and on weekends/holidays. This position requires frequent travel to the Coban office and up to 40% time for travel by air and land (pending COVID-19 in-country protocols) to project sites in sometimes-insecure environments.
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.
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.