Country Director - Liberia

Programs Monrovia, Liberia


Description

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 Liberia began operations in 2002 in response to the humanitarian crisis brought about by the two Liberian civil wars that ended in 2003.  Mercy Corps’ interventions have evolved based on the context and needs of the Liberian people. With funding from the European Commission, French Development Agency, Irish Aid, the Embassy of Sweden and US Department of Agriculture, among others, Mercy Corps Liberia focuses on Food Security, Peace and Good Governance and Economic Opportunity. Mercy Corps Liberia works closely with the Government of Liberia (especially the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Health, Labor and Education), the private sector, civil society, international and local NGOs to implement its programs from three offices/sub-offices (Monrovia, Buchanan, and Rivercess). Mercy Corps is one of the foremost development actors in Liberia implementing strategic and systems driven programming in youth employment and entrepreneurship, market systems development and good governance.


The Position


The Mercy Corps Liberia Country Director is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for developing and managing overall country portfolio, resulting in lasting improvement in the lives of communities in Liberia. The CD will continue to oversee the delivery of high-impact, multi-sector programming that is accountable to both program participants and donors, while prioritizing strategies for thoughtful implementation and positioning, external influence and partnership building. Placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships, the CD will position Mercy Corps to drive forward strategic programming in DRC, connecting programs into a cohesive country portfolio, guided by a long-term Country strategy that aligns to the regional and Agency’s global vision.S/He is also responsible for developing and implementing systems, policies and procedures for Mercy Corps’ operations in Liberia. As Mercy Corps’ senior manager in Liberia, the Country Director is also responsible for financial oversight, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, staff security, human resource management and representation in the field. The CD develops sustainable, multi- sector programming and is accountable to beneficiaries and donors, placing a high value on innovative solutions and potential new partnerships to development issues and creative partnerships in tough environments.

Essential Responsibilities 

STRATEGY & VISION

  • Refine and articulate a clear and compelling vision of Mercy Corps’ strategy in Liberia, and contribute to the regional strategic vision, drawing on Mercy Corps’ key agency distinctives and experience in Liberia and the region to inspire team members, donors, government stakeholders and partners to support the country objectives and develop impactful and relevant programming within our partner communities.
  • Promote and foster a culture of cross-department/team collaboration, shared ownership of the Liberia strategy, ethics and accountability across the mission.  
  • Build strategic partnerships and relationships to achieve the vision outlined in the country and regional strategy.
  • Set direction for the country team by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve the objectives outlined in the country strategy. 
  • Lead country strategy development and annual country planning using a collaborative process.
  • Leverage headquarters and regional technical support teams to support program design and delivery in line with Mercy Corps’ best practices.
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcome. Remain current with development thinking, including resilience approaches, systems thinking, nexus approaches, social impact, value for money, etc.
  • Lead engagement with authorities/local stakeholders, donors, partners, and communities to design and secure resources for high-impact programs that are aligned to community priorities.
  • Support program and operations team members to pivot and adapt programming to be responsive to contextual changes, such as environmental and climate change impacts, conflict, or emerging opportunities to deepen impact.  

LEADERSHIP & CULTURE
  • Commit to preserving an organizational culture of trust, transparency, diversity, equity, and inclusion across the team and global organization.
  • Uphold a culture of integrity through ethical decision-making, safeguarding and compliance with the Code of Conduct. 
  • Lead by role modeling self-awareness to foster an environment of mutual respect, diversity and inclusion so that all team members are included, supported and can thrive.
  • Create a culture of collaboration and accountability for highly effective communication systems and relationships to ensure every voice matters.

TEAM MANAGEMENT
  • Recruit, manage, motivate, and onboard an informed, skilled and efficient leadership team with an emphasis on high quality impact, collaboration, ownership, inclusion and achievement.
  • Encourage a team culture of growth, learning, creativity and innovation by incorporating a culture of continuous feedback, development and performance management.
  • Establish credibility within the team by demonstrating personal accountability, flexibility, resilience and dedication to quality programming by creating positive relationships and having composure in complex situations.
  • Ensure people-focused human resource systems are in place and consistent with Mercy Corps’ global policies, including position descriptions, team member onboarding, performance management, professional development plans and reporting mechanisms.
  • 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. 
PROGRAM IMPACT, MONITORING AND EVALUATION AND LEARNING
  • Oversee program quality and impact by ensuring programming is based on sound design principles and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required program quality and MEL systems.
  • Identify and promote opportunities for deep dive research on Mercy Corps' Liberia programs to deepen program learning and thought leadership. 
  • Lead country team to strive for quality and impact at program and country level leading to sustained change based on solid systems and incorporation of learnings/adaptations into programs.
  • Ensure program teams promote and adhere to Mercy Corps Program Management Minimum Standards, Gender, Do-no Harm, and accountability to program participants standards, including effective Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism and safeguarding mechanisms across all programs.
  • Ensure that Mercy Corps programs proactively collaborate with local stakeholders, and actively engage in coordination mechanisms at the local and national levels. 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS & COMPLIANCE
  • Provide strategic oversight to the overall country budget and portfolio; ensure budget holders manage their respective program/department budgets 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, operations, HR and programs, and enable the timely, compliant and effective delivery of programming and support functions. 
  • Foster and drive an environment of collaboration among program, finance, operations and human resource team members resulting in optimal support for implementing our work across all teams.  
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using systems effectively 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.

INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
  • Lead Mercy Corps’ outreach and engagement with local/national government, key donors, partners, civil society actors, and private sector representing Liberia in order to influence development and funding priorities, drawing on Mercy Corps’ key distinctives, research and policy & advocacy initiatives to shape the agenda and align with community needs and opportunities.
  • Build partnerships with leading organizations, private sector, government, foundations, community representatives, and other critical partners to enhance collective impact, voice, and shape relevant policy agendas.
  • Proactively participate and engage in coordination fora at the national level, including the INGO Forum, influencing advocacy efforts and elevating field priorities for action at the highest level. 
  • Set up systems to stay abreast of contextual changes, anticipate needs, and contribute to shaping donors’ views on humanitarian and development priorities in ways that are responsive to changes in the context.
SECURITY
  • Manage security and safety of the entire country team and Mercy Corps’ assets according to best practices, MC operating standards and field realities.
  • Ensure the safety and security of staff members through regular review and adaptation of security protocols and procedures including the country security plan. Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
  • Liaise with the country Security Director and Regional/Global teams on crucial events, high risk periods, incident reporting or security policy changes.

Supervisory Responsibility: Director of Programs, Program Performance and Quality Manager, Finance Manager, Operations Manager, HR and Admin Manager, and Senior Ethics Officer.


Reports Directly To: Africa Regional Director

Works Directly With: HQ-based Program, Operations, Finance, Regional Program Team, Compliance, Fundraising and Technical Support Unit

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 

  • BA/S or equivalent in the relevant field required; MA/S preferred.
  • 7-10 years of field experience in international relief and development programs
  • 5 years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
  • Demonstrated success managing and bringing together a multi-cultural team with team members in multiple offices.
  • Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
  • Proven leadership skills that promote collaboration, communication, and shared decision-making processes important.  
  • Successful and proven representation, negotiation, communication and organization skills.
  • Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with host country government,private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders in complex environments.
  • Proven skills in financial and grants management, including experience managing grants from USAID, EU, SIDA, AFD and other strategic donors.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment toobtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diverse team in a sensitive environment.

Success Factors 


The successful Liberia CD will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team. S/he 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.


Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions


The Country Director is based in Monrovia. This location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are several International schools in Liberia. Staff will have access to basic essential services – medical, electricity, water etc. This position requires travel by road to field offices in safe environments.


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.