Country Director - Lebanon
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.
Working in Lebanon since 1993, Mercy Corps partners with the private sector, local communities, civil society, and local government to foster social cohesion and strengthen market systems. At times, Mercy Corps responds to humanitarian and protection needs directly. The team consists of over 110 members working across four offices across the country. Mercy Corps Lebanon is currently funded by AFD, the Government of the Netherlands, Global Affairs Canada, the US Government, and the European Union. As the effect of the multi-dimensional crisis affecting Lebanon for the past two years becomes increasingly dire for the population, Mercy Corps is currently pivoting to bring a greater focus on agriculture and food security. In addition to the current work with micro, medium and small enterprises, the team is also looking at ways to help communities maintain a degree of stability through these challenging times, through support to local governance and access to renewable energy.
General Position Summary
The Country Director (CD) is the most senior management position for Mercy Corps in Lebanon with supervisory and managerial responsibility over all in-country personnel, programs and policies. The CD is responsible for developing the overall strategic direction for programming in cooperation with Mercy Corps’ senior management team and local and international partners. They are also responsible for developing and implementing systems, policies, and procedures for Mercy Corps’ operations in Lebanon. The CD is responsible for financial oversight, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, staff security, human resource management, and representation in the field. The Country Director is a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with staff, partners and donors. They will coordinate with their supervisor and be skilled at building highly effective working relationships with HQ. They will harness the expertise, experience, and ideas of Mercy Corps’ diverse program support teams, including members of the Technical Support Unit, People and Strategy, Research and Learning, and Social Ventures teams and channel them into impactful partnerships with country programs. They will work with the country team to ensure that we learn from experience, thoroughly research, and analyze context and develop high impact strategies that address both the current crises as well longer-term solutions.
· Formulate and plan, in consultation with key stakeholders, a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies which can be clearly communicated to team members, program participants, international partners, governmental counterparts, and donors
· Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed
· Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve goal and objectives.
· Explore, evaluate and present new project funding opportunities that leverage impact and integrate initiatives and activities; support and direct related fundraising activities with both institutional and private donors.
· Evaluate program priorities within the country and participate in regional prioritization.
· Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
· Recruit, manage, motivate, and onboard an informed, skilled and efficient team with an emphasis on excellence and achievement; encourage a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation, incorporating staff development strategies and performance management systems into the team building process.
· Establish leadership and personal credibility with the Mercy Corps team, and implement by example an organizational culture of accountability, responsibility and quality of services.
· Ensure excellent human resource plans are available and consistent with Mercy Corps policies, including position descriptions, personnel orientation and professional development plans, personnel evaluation system, field, personnel policy manual, and personnel grievance procedure system.
· Institute a disciplined culture of performance management and regular feedback between supervisors and their direct reports.
· Oversee program quality and impact by ensuring programs are based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required M&E systems.
· Gather evidence of program impact through robust agency standard procedures for data gathering, reporting, and evaluating program outputs and outcomes
· Lead country team to strive for impact at country and regional level leading to sustained change based on solid systems and incorporation of learnings into programs.
· Fulfill Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards based on the organization-wide guide;
· Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ Gender Policy, Do No Harm principles, and program participant accountability standards, including efficient Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism and safeguarding mechanisms across all programs.
· 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 his/her own strengths and development needs.
· Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, national government, foundations, the private sector, etc.
· Maintain productive relationships with the international community inclusive of the United Nations, International NGOs, Think Tanks, Research Institutes and Foreign Governments.
· Anticipate needs, understand donor pool and contribute to shaping donor’s views on humanitarian and development strategies.
· Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media
· Coordinate overall country budget; manage budget within approved spending levels and establish an annual cash flow plan to ensure a steady and adequate supply of funds for program activities.
· Build and maintain operational structures that ensure proper segregation of duties between finance, administration and logistics and fully support field programs.
· Build and maintain an environment of collaboration among program, finance, operations and human resource team members resulting in optimal support for program activities.
· Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
· 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, policies and procedures, and the implementation of appropriate risk mitigation measures to reduce Mercy Corps exposure to potential risk.
· Manage security and safety of the entire country team and Mercy Corps assets according to best practices, Mercy Corps operating standards and field realities.
· Liaise with the Regional Director and the Global Security Advisor on crucial events, high risk periods, incident reporting or 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.
· Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging program communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
All team members working in Lebanon.
Reports Directly To: Regional Director
Works Directly With: HQ-based Program Operations, Finance, HR and Technical Support Unit
· MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, and international development preferred.
· 10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs
· Prior experience in developing country level strategy with annual implementation plans and resource managing towards the strategy.
· Excellent representation and writing skills, experience fundraising with major donors (BHA/USAID, FCDO, EU).
· Great management skills and prior experience in building, managing and leading a team of professionals.
· History of working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO and NGO partners in complex environments.
· Previous work experience in the Middle East and demonstrated ability to work comfortably, and sensitively, in the environment required.
· Proven skills in financial management.
· English proficiency required; Arabic language skills preferred.
The successful Lebanon CD will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team. 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. 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. The ability to facilitate dialogue among a diverse group of individuals with various skill sets and working styles is essential.
The position is based in Beirut, Lebanon and is an accompanied position.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting, or on a visit/ Short Term Assignment (STA) to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ 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
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.
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.
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.