Country Director - 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 has been present in Myanmar since 2008, focusing its interventions on inclusive economic development, social cohesion, local governance and climate change.  In 2019, the programs have contributed to (1) managing conflict, (2) responsive governance and (3) inclusive and green growth in the following ways:  (1) More than 200 local authority and civil society leaders, representing 1.5 million people, from 12 Townships across 3 States/Regions, were able to fairly, effectively, and sustainably resolve conflict, address community grievances, and prevent violence due to enhanced mediation and negotiation skills. (2) Responsive governance: Village level development planning processes in 7 Townships in Ayerwaddy Region, reaching 540,000 people, were more inclusive, transparent, and decentralized, and local authorities are more responsive to community development needs. Mercy Corps delivered 1,141 community-identified and managed infrastructure projects as a result of increased and more transparent community consultations, promotion of participatory approaches by government staff and improved coordination between government departments. (3) Inclusive economic growth: More than 10,000 farmers and 800 entrepreneurs gained access to new services, such as private sector-led training, and technology, such as plastic ground covering, through a more inclusive, efficient rice and vegetable market system. 120 Mercy Corps-supported entrepreneurs, largely women and youth, sold 1,000+ energy-efficient cook stoves that reduce emissions and firewood usage by more than 50%.

With funding from a wide variety of bi-lateral, multi – lateral and private donors, Mercy Corps has been able to work together with communities in Myanmar to respond to community needs as well as policy gaps bringing benefit to more than 87,500 households in 10 States and Regions in 2019 alone.

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 Program, Finance and Compliance Manager, Senior Human Resources Officer, Operations Manager) with an annual total budget of ca. 7 USD million.   S/he has also responsibility of oversight and implementation of all security protocols. Myanmar’s context is changeable and highly contested in some parts of the country.  The CD is responsible for ensuring continued portfolio development in a liquid funding context with all major development, peace and humanitarian 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 foot-print 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 port-folio. Mercy Corps places high value on innovative solutions to development and humanitarian issue and creative partnerships in tough environments.  S/he is able to provide empowering leadership and must be interesting in creating ownership of national staff.  It is critical that s/he is able to operate in sensitive contexts where team members respect each other and place a high value on being able to work together.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • 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


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics and fully support field programs.


  • Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media
  • Represent Mercy Corps with the Myanmar INGO Forum
  • Build out Mercy Corps Myanmar’s relationship with the Myanmar Government in Nay Pyi Taw
  • Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local governments, foundations, the private sector, etc.
  • Participate in INGO led 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 crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and security policy changes.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

Director of Programs, Finance and Compliance Manager, Senior Human Resources Officer, Operations Manager


  • Reports Directly To: Regional Program Director
  • Works Directly With: All relevant TSUs, including Markets and Agriculture, Governance, Youth and Gender, Policy

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 their 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.

They 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.  

They 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. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are several International schools in Yangon. Staff have access to all relevant services – medical, electricity, water, etc.). This position requires 10 % of time of travel by plan/car to field offices. Travel in Rakhine, N Shan and Kachin States could be restricted.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/short term assignment 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.