Deputy Ukraine Response Director (DURD)

Programs Lviv, Ukraine



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’ Ukraine crisis response seeks to meet the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Ukrainians and other conflict-affected people where they are: displaced inside Ukraine, refugees in Poland, Romania and Moldova, or trapped behind frontlines. We aim to reach 500,000 vulnerable people with multi-purpose cash assistance, in-kind humanitarian support, and protection services across four countries. Almost all of our impact will be delivered in partnership: with Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian and Moldovan civil society organizations through a granting program that matches humanitarian action with capacity strengthening, and with peer international NGOs through a consortium in Ukraine.


General Position Summary

The Deputy Ukraine Response Director (DURD) leads and manages a team delivering a suite of essential program capabilities. These include security and humanitarian analysis; policy and advocacy; ethics, safeguarding and risk management; and internal and external communications. S/he serves as a member of the Response Senior Management Team (RSMT), which offers oversight and accountability for Mercy Corps programs and operations across the entire response. In addition, the DURD serves as Acting Ukraine Response Director (URD) where and when appropriate, acts as a representative for the response in selected networks, meetings and fora as agreed with the URD, and as a media spokesperson as agreed with the URD and other stakeholders.


Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision
  • Work with the URD and organizational stakeholders to develop and oversee policies and advocacy positions on important humanitarian issues relevant to the Ukraine response.
  • Work with the URD, RSMT colleagues and organizational stakeholders to develop, oversee and implement a comprehensive Risk Management strategy and mechanism for the response.
  • Work with the URD, RSMT colleagues and organizational stakeholders to develop and oversee a robust safeguarding strategy for the response.
  • Work with the URD and organizational colleagues to craft a pro-active internal and external communications strategy for the response.
  • Work with the URD, Security & Humanitarian Access Lead, and Crisis Analytics team to develop and implement a strategy for effective and insightful crisis and humanitarian analysis.
  • Lead the RSMT in ensuring compliance to the above policies and strategies, and in ensuring that they are adaptive and evolve according to circumstance and needs.
  • Lead the Ukraine Response team and organizational stakeholders in developing a multi-annual response strategy aligned with Mercy Corps’ Vision 2030.
  • Ensure fit within regional and global strategies for above
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed, working particularly with the Director of Programs and Director for Program Accountability & Quality.



Team Management
  • Hire, orient and supervise new team members as necessary.
  • Set clear expectations for team member performance, and work to ensure team members improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence, and cultivate resilience and well-being under challenging situations.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Serve as Acting URD in the absence of the URD.


Finance & Compliance Management
  • Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.


Influence & Representation
  • Represent the Ukraine Response in selected humanitarian networks, meetings and other fora, as agreed with the URD
  • Represent the Ukraine Response to selected donors, as agreed with the URD, Director of Programs and organizational stakeholders
  • Represent the Ukraine Response in media and advocacy work, as agreed with the URD and organizational stakeholders.



  • Work with the Security & Humanitarian Access Lead to ensure the Ukraine response has best practice protocols and a high performing humanitarian analysis and access capability, able to inform decision making.
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Contribute to creating a secure environment for team members.


Supervisory Responsibility

The Response Director will manage the Security & Humanitarian Access Lead, the Senior Advisor for Ethics and Risk, the Safeguarding Advisor, the Policy and Advocacy Officer, and the Communications Officer.



Reports Directly To: Ukraine Response Director

Works Directly With: Director of Programs, Director of Operations, Director of People, Director of Finance & Compliance, and the Ukraine Cash Consortium Director, plus relevant departments at HQ including Media and Communications, Policy and Advocacy, Crisis Analytics, and Ethics and Compliance


Knowledge and Experience

  • 8+ years of field experience in international relief and development required, including demonstrable success in humanitarian programming in active conflict zones, transitional environments and working in insecure emergency situations
  • Experience with crafting and representing humanitarian policy and advocacy messages
  • Knowledge of humanitarian principles, IHL and humanitarian access and negotiation
  • Experience as a media spokesperson on humanitarian issues
  • Effective communication skills: able to work in person and remotely with geographically dispersed and culturally distinct teams
  • Experience in crafting analytical product and/or managing an analysis function
  • BA/BS or equivalent in the relevant field; MA/S preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Russian or Ukrainian is desirable.



Functional competencies

  • Understands strategy development
  • Can develop and manage budgets
  • Demonstrable experience of risk management and approaches to identifying and mitigating multiple risks
  • Can effectively communicate with donors and policymakers
  • Can identify and mobilize HQ technical and functional support
  • Effectively manages teams/people and applies relevant Mercy Corps’ procedures and approaches
  • Supports team members through capacity building
  • Can ensure team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies
  • Is comfortable using social media platforms and speaking publicly
  • Has knowledge of humanitarian principles and negotiation



Success Factors

The successful Ukraine Deputy Response Director will be able to manage a diverse range of key program capabilities and develop and oversee coherent strategies and policies. S/he will be a committed team player, able to network internally and externally in the aim of optimizing program impact and influence. The UDRD will be comfortable acting as a senior representative for the response and for Mercy Corps to a range of policy makers and shapers. 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 position is based in the Central and Eastern Europe region, with a priority being given to Ukraine. Accommodations are being defined and access to services – medical, electricity, water, etc is in place – but may change depending on the situation. This position requires travel to surrounding countries, as security permits. Given the emergency context, this position requires exceptional work schedules, including evenings and weekends.


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 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.