Operations Director - Yemen

Operations & Logistics Sana'a, Yemen Aden, Yemen



      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 seeks to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression around the world and has worked in the Middle East since the 1980s. In response to acute and increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen, Mercy Corps opened its office in Yemen in 2010. More than 22 million people are need and reliance on humanitarian assistance continues to grow. The main thrust of the work of Mercy Corps along with its national and international partners for the foreseeable future will be primarily focused on meeting urgent humanitarian needs across the country while building resilience and social cohesion elements in its programming strategy. Strategies to enhance the resilience of communities to the harsh environmental and social conditions in the country cut across the portfolio.


Yemen is in the midst a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country. Mercy Corps Yemen country program is moving to a new structure that is cost efficient and has clear lines of accountability.



General Position Summary


The  Director of Operations is a critical member of the country's senior management team with supervisory and managerial responsibility. Reporting to the Country Director, the Director of Operations will be primarily responsible for enabling excellence in all operations functions of all offices in Yemen including administration, procurement, logistics, assets, fleet, and warehousing. She/he will in addition line manage a series of Heads of Office or Operations Coordinators, responsible for the coordination of field operational hub offices out of Sana’a, Taiz and Aden. The  Director of Operations serves as a full member of the Senior Management Team during the time of performance.


S/he will be required to strengthen the operational performance and efficiency of the organization by continuing to develop the capacity of operations staff, setting policy, and further developing robust and accountable systems. S/he will also ensure that managerial processes, resources, and the necessary infrastructure are all in place to ensure cost efficient and effective functioning for the country program. In undertaking these functions, the  Director of Operations will be required to travel extensively across field offices and sites.





Essential Job Responsibilities




  •         Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.


  •         Ensure Continuation of the strategic direction for operations teams in pursuit of quality, accountability and excellence.
  •         Serve on the country program’s Senior Management Team and contribute fully to strategic decision making during the time of assignment.




  •         Assist the Deputy Country Director and program staff in managing consortia and partnerships, through the establishment and maintenance of robust, effective operating systems.




  • Provide operations support to all programs with special focus to Complex Programs 
  •         Ensure integration of operations systems and processes in all Mercy Corps Yemen offices.


  •         Ensure internal and donor procedures, policies and guidelines are followed.


  •         Establish and maintain pipeline of supplies, overseeing the logistical aspects of the operation; oversee NFI, commodity storage and movements as needed.


  •         Ensure unified and cost effective fleet management, including tracking of maintenance, fuel usage and vehicle scheduling.


  •         Oversee set-up and development of Mercy Corps offices including drafting and reviewing contracts for office and housing space, leasehold improvements, IT.



  •         Oversee database and file management for administration, procurement, contracting and logistics documents.


  •         Oversee facility management, including housing and office leases; ensure that security standards are maintained at all premises.


  •         Ensure that Mercy Corps contracts and business transactions/relationships are transparent and in compliance with Yemen law and Mercy Corps/donor policies.




  •         Lead and develop program support teams in the main office and all field offices.


  •         Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
  •         Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  •         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.
  •         Take ultimate responsibility of performance of program support functions during the time of performance.






  •         Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations.


  •         Draft and review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.




  •         Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.


  •         Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.




  •         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 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


Directly Supervising: Head of Offices, Operations Coordinators, Operations and Admin Officers and IT&T4D Manager


Indirectly Supervising: Field based Operations Staff




Reports Directly To: Country Director


Works Directly With: HQ Regional Finance Officers, HQ Global Procurement and Logistics (GPL), Internal Auditors, Deputy Country Director, Finance Director and Programs Managers/Directors.


Knowledge and Experience


  •         Bachelor degree or equivalent in related field. Masters preferred.


  •         A minimum of 7 years' experience setting up and managing administration, procurement, logistics, and human resource systems with NGOs or a business with supervisory responsibilities.


  •         Demonstrated understanding of supporting complex operations in challenging environments.


  •         Demonstrated attention to detail, following procedures, meeting deadlines and working and problem-solving independently and cooperatively. 
  •         Knowledge of Mercy Corps systems and procedures (esp. procurement systems) desirable; knowledge of USAID and other donor regulations helpful.
  •         Excellent negotiation and representation skills.


  •         Effective verbal and written communication, organizational, prioritization and Microsoft Office applications.
  •         Excellent oral and written English skills required.


  •         Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.


Success Factors


The successful Director of Operations will be good at problem solving and have the ability to work out methods to deliver successful programs while demonstrating excellent stewardship of donor funds and compliance with Mercy Corps and donor regulations. An impeccable professional standard and procurement ethics and the willingness and ability to enforce compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures is essential. S/he will maintain strong cooperative relationships with other departments and interact effectively with all personnel both in a managerial as well as training capacity, while demonstrating the ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment and be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps field offices and project sites. The most 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


This unaccompanied position is based in Sana’a, Yemen, with travel to other offices, as security allows.



When traveling around the country, strict adherence to Mercy Corps security policies and procedures will be required as will respect for local cultural norms and traditions. The position will require travel to the field sites in Mercy Corps Yemen’s operational areas including travel to some locations that may be insecure or austere. Frequent travel to project sites in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden or other areas will be required, if security allows. Security conditions in the country are variable, with a range of violence and insecurity, requiring close monitoring and vigilance. Conflict and corruption have also badly damaged the country’s infrastructure. Candidates must be able to work in an environment with energy, transportation and communication challenges.


Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit 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.


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.



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.