Programs Goma, Congo (the Democratic Republic of)


Location: Goma, DRC

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians working together on the front lines of today’s biggest crises to create a future of possibility, where everyone can prosper. In more than 40+ countries around the world, over 5,400+ team members work side by side with people living through poverty, disaster, violent conflict, and the acute impacts of climate change. We’re committed to creating global change through local impact — 84% of our team members are from the countries where they work. 
We bring a comprehensive approach to every challenge, addressing problems from multiple angles. And we go beyond emergency aid, partnering with local governments, forward-thinking corporations, social entrepreneurs, and people living in fragile communities to develop bold solutions that make lasting change possible.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since 2007, with a staff of over 400 people and a portfolio of almost 50M annually in programming. The overall vision for Mercy Corps’ work in DRC is that Individuals, households and communities - particularly the most marginalized and at-risk - increase their resilience to shocks and crises, develop their income and assets, and sustainably access improved services. Mercy Corps' national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu, lturi and Kasai. Mercy Corps DRC's key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to 1) lmprove water service delivery and ensure equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services in urban and rural areas; 2) lmprove food security and nutrition and strengthen climate-resilient food systems; 3) Promote inclusive and sustainable economic opportunities to sustain and increase assets and income; 4) Support peaceful and more secure communities and build strong and inclusive institutions. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo. 


Mercy Corps DRC's portfolio is one of the largest and most complex across the agency. Mercy Corps is recognized as a leader in humanitarian and development programming in Eastern Congo, with large-scale impact in communities. We champion and lead innovative solutions in a complex operating environment and are well positioned to influence stakeholders (donors, peer organizations, private sector and government) to implement solutions that will have a lasting impact and bring about real change at the community level.

General Position Summary

The Mercy Corps DRC Country Director (CD) is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully developing and managing all programming and operations in DRC to deliver impact, harness innovative solutions and influence lasting and systemic change. Building on a strong foundation of programming that reached more than 1.5 million Congolese in 2023 alone, 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 Agency’s Global Pathway to Possibility. The CD will develop systems and processes to promote and uphold the Agency’s Organizational Commitments to being locally-led; climate-smart; safe, diverse and inclusive; evidence-driven; and innovative & creative. The Country Director has full supervisory responsibility for the country portfolio and is responsible for building a cohesive team that works together to deliver high-impact programming across the country.

Essential Responsibilities 

  • Formulate, plan and communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to team members and stakeholders that translates into concrete programs and work plans.
  • Lead the country strategy process and annual implementation plan development and implementation. 
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources io achieve program and
agency objectives. 
  • Explore, evaluate and present new country and project funding opportunities that leverage
impact and integrate initiatives and activities, support and direct related fundraising activities
with both institutional and private donors. 
  • 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. 
  • Partner with the regional team and other country programs in the Great Lakes region to elevate
Mercy Corps' expertise and profile within the broader subregion, leading to strategic regional
programming that works across borders and delivers impact across the subregion. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development. 
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach
  • 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 Program Management (PM@MC) 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 and adhere to PM@MC policies.
  • Ensure program and PAQ departments 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 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.


  • Lead Mercy Corps' outreach and engagement with local/national government, key donors, partners, civil society actors, and private sector representing DRC 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 and Humanitarian Country Team (and others), 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.
  • 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 Regional Director and Africa Regional Security Advisor on crucial events, high risk periods, incident reporting or security policy changes.


Supervisory Responsibility

Director of Programs, Finance Director, Operations Director, HR Director.


Reports Directly To: Deputy Regional Director, East & Southern Africa Region
Works Directly With: Regional Program Team, HQ operations, finance, recruitment, media, policy and advocacy staff

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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  • 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. 
  • Capacity to respond to emergency and disaster response as appropriate. 
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in emergency response preferred. 
  • 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. 
  • Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with USG, FCDO, EU and other institutional donor grant management. 
  • Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills. 
  • Excellent oral and written French and English skills required; proficiency in Kiswahili is a plus. 
  • Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment. 
  • Previous work experience in Central Africa and in insecure environments preferred.

Success Factors

The successful DRC CD will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team. The CD will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills and proven experience with team 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 CD is based in Goma in the main MC DRC field office, however the accompanied position allows
the CD to live in Gisenyi, Rwanda with family members. Gisenyi, Rwanda is an accompanied and
secure location. Housing is in individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house in Rwanda. There are international schools in Rwanda. Staff have full access to medical facilities, electricity, water, internet and standard amenities in Gisenyi, Rwanda. The security situation in Goma and the surrounding areas has been deteriorating in recent months, and there is widespread violence and insecurity, as well as significant population displacement. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. lnternet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There's reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.


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 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.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.  Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.