Policy & Advocacy Senior Advisor - COVID-19

Policy & Advocacy Washington, District of Columbia Anywhere, United States


 This position is funded for 6 to 8 months. 

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.


The Program / Department / Team

Mercy Corps works to influence the policy, priorities, practices, and debates that affect the people we serve in fragile contexts and complex humanitarian crises. Our most compelling influence relies on substantive research and articulating a humanitarian position, where we have expertise and a credible voice, combined with targeted and sustained engagement with policymakers, donors, peer organizations and other leaders.


The Position

The Senior Advisor will serve in full time capacity, advancing Mercy Corps efforts to influence the U.S. government and broader global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senior Advisor will expand the scope of Mercy Corps’ influence work and relationships related to governance, conflict, climate change, and migration and their interaction with the pandemic response, global health, and the second-order impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. The Senior Advisor will author thought pieces, including in partnership with Mercy Corps field representatives, technical experts, researchers, and advocates.  They will also represent Mercy Corps in various fora related to the pandemic and its secondary impacts on development, humanitarian and related efforts.


Essential Responsibilities

        Author strategic communications, including op-eds and policy briefs, with distinct arguments and perspectives on the second-order impacts of COVID-19 in fragile states.

        Leverage Mercy Corps’ field programming, research and evidence, and technical expertise to educate and inform policymakers, donors, practitioners, and more general audiences about the secondary impacts of COVID-19 and effective solutions to addressing them.

        Cultivate partnerships with related actors, including NGOs, think tanks, and academics, to produce action-oriented recommendations to policymakers, donors and other stakeholders.

        Represent Mercy Corps at high-level fora related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its second-order impacts.

        Work closely with Mercy Corps’ Policy and Advocacy team on advocacy workstreams linked to the COVID-19 response.


Supervisory Responsibility




Reports Directly To: Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy

Works Directly With: Vice President – Policy and Research, Policy and Advocacy Team, Research and Learning Team, Technical Support Unit, Media Relations, Programs - COVID-19 Emergency Response


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.


Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

        Advanced degree in international development, international affairs, public policy or related field. PhD preferred.

        Demonstrated portfolio of publications in a range of venues preferred, including short form op-eds and longer form publications.

        Excellent research and communication skills.

        Senior international field experience, serving in development, humanitarian, diplomatic and or other experience (food security, conflict, governance, refugees and marginalized populations, gender, etc…)

        Expertise working with policymakers, donors, practitioners, researchers, and partners

        Superior writing and editing skills.

        Demonstrated sensitivity, skill, and experience in working diplomatically and effectively within diverse cultural settings.



Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Washington, DC or remote locations and does not require travel. 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.



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.