Subaward & Grant Compliance Officer – FINANCE & COMPLIANCE SUPPORT UNIT

Finance & Compliance Portland, Oregon Washington, District of Columbia Anywhere, United States


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.

Program / Department Summary

The Finance and Compliance Support Unit (FCSU) provides support to Mercy Corps’ field operations in the areas of finance training, finance systems and processes, compliance with internal policies and procedures, and compliance with donor regulations.  Our mission is to increase the level of knowledge and the availability of tools and resources to promote the highest possible standards of financial accountability, transparency, efficiency and donor compliance.

General Position Summary

The Subaward and Grant Compliance Officer (SGCO) will provide support in the areas of donor regulations compliance, and in particular subaward compliance, to Mercy Corps’ field and HQ operations, including financial, program and administrative staff, to increase the level of knowledge and promote compliance with subaward policies and donor regulations. Each SGCO provides this support to their assigned countries/regions and in addition has responsibility for assigned subaward focus areas and related projects.  The SGCO serves as primary support for the subaward administration and compliance function, with an emphasis on drafting compliant subaward agreements and modifications. Grant Compliance responsibilities include direct compliance support to field and HQ teams for assigned countries/regions, including enhanced compliance support for proposals and awards that are higher value/have complicating factors and staying current on donor regulations. The SGCO will also participate in matrixed teams, share and build the capacity of others, and help integrate their technical areas with others. Subaward focus for this position is Subawards in Navigator.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Subaward Support (for Assigned Countries/Regions):

  • In coordination with field and HQ staff, draft subaward agreements and modifications based on agreed procedures. Ensure subaward agreements include all relevant prime award clauses and flow down all relevant prime donor regulations.  Review and confirm any proposed special award conditions with the Country Offices prior to agreement finalization.  Ensure that any new terms and conditions incorporated by modification into Mercy Corps’ prime awards are flowed down by modification into subawards. Assist with negotiating subaward agreements and modifications, as needed.
  • Maintain a transparent in-take system for requests to draft new subaward agreements and modifications to existing agreements.
  • Ensure the completion of the Pre-award Assessment of Financial Responsibility and other required pre-award due diligence checks for subawards in accordance with established procedures.  Monitor compliance with Mercy Corps’ ineligibility and compliance checking procedures (IC&C) for subawards and subrecipients.
  • Advise Country Programs on the appropriate usage of different subaward types.
  • As assigned, lead the development of program-specific subaward manuals in close coordination with the applicable program team.
  • Provide guidance to country programs, International Finance (IF) and Regional Program Team (RPT) on the appropriate use of subawards versus contracts or consulting agreements.  Advise the New Initiatives team or other proposal developers on the usage and implications of various partnering mechanisms in support of proposal development.
  • Provide periodic trainings, via webinar or in-person, on subaward requirements and procedures.
  • Oversee quarterly review process for ensuring required audits of subawards are completed. Responsible for reviewing audit reports and drafting Notifications of Management Decision regarding audit findings, in coordination with Country Programs.
  • Assist Country Programs with drafting Notices of Corrective Action, Disallowance Notifications and subaward suspension and termination notices, as needed.
  • Support subaward disallowance determinations, as assigned.
  • Manage subaward close-out process for US and some international subrecipients.
  • Manage FFATA reporting process and ensure the timely and accurate submission of all required FFATA reports.  Develop and maintain written guidance related to FFATA and develop any tools or templates necessary for data collection, reporting or compliance.
  • Travel to field offices to lead or assist with the set up or design of subaward management systems for small grants programs.
  • Proving training on the subaward process to Program Management team for new high value/high profile awards that will have subawards.
  • As assigned, assist with or lead audit responses related to subaward issues in coordination with the FCSU, Legal and International Finance teams. 


Subaward Navigator Support:


  • Manage the process for setting up new US and International subawards in Mercy Corps’ financial system (Serenic Navigator). Supervise the work to collect the necessary documentation and regularly update the terms and conditions, milestones and financial reporting for the US and International subawards in the Portland Navigator company.
  • Develop user guides and training materials for Mercy Corps financial software as they relate to subaward administration.
  • Support development/updates for standardized Subaward Navigator reports.
  • Responsible for training field focal points on the set-up and maintenance of subawards in local Navigator companies.
  • Manage a quality control process for all subawards in Navigator to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the master subaward data, including terms and conditions, milestones and certifications. 

Grant Compliance:

  • For assigned regions/countries, act as the primary “FCSU Compliance Help Desk” function.  This function entails serving as a resource for and providing counsel to the International Finance team, Program team and country offices, in reviewing grant agreements and other compliance-related documents. Be available to answer and/or research compliance related questions from applicable International Finance, the Program Department and country office teams. Escalate issues as needed to Director of Grant Compliance.
  • For assigned regions/countries, provide risk-based enhanced compliance support for higher value or higher effort awards from proposal to close-out, including leading the negotiation of award terms, leading the resolution of compliance issues with donor and guidance on tracking compliance requirements.
  • Assist with delivering finance training conferences and/or programs as assigned, including assistance with USG rules and regulations trainings, periodic webinars, regional finance conferences and the Worldwide Finance Conference.
  • As assigned, assist with or lead compliance related special projects, such as the researching of new donor requirements, supporting donor inquiries or responses, or developing compliance systems.



  • As coordinated with International Finance and the field, and as time allows, visit country offices to provide specialized subaward or grant compliance support.


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.

Supervisory Responsibility

Finance Liaison when providing support to FCSU



Reports Directly To: Director of Grant Compliance

Works Directly With: Country office personnel, including Country Finance Managers, Country Directors and Program Managers; International Finance; Regional Program Team; Internal Audit; Global Procurement & Logistics; and Accounting.


Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

        This position requires a BA/S or equivalent in finance or a relevant field. 

        Four to six years of progressive grant management experience in a medium to large international organization, including responsibility for subaward administration, is required. 

        An advanced knowledge of the rules and regulations governing the management of US Government grants (particularly USAID, Dept. of State and USDA) and other donor-funded grants is required.  

        Demonstrated experience and understanding of financial management and reporting standards for  the international humanitarian donors.

        Effective verbal and written communication, analytical, organizational and prioritization skills as well as presentation skills are necessary. 

        Employment overseas and experience working for an NGO with high levels of USAID funding is preferred. 

        Fluency in English is required; fluency in a foreign language (such as Arabic, French, Spanish) preferred.

Success Factors

SGCO will demonstrate significant experience with subaward management and the regulations of MCG’s major donors. Proven ability to successfully communicate concepts, procedures and objectives and initiate and maintain positive and productive relationships with country office staff, program staff and donor agencies is necessary.  The ability to read, understand and interpret detailed award terms and conditions as well as maintain a detailed knowledge of the regulations will be a critical success factor.  A high level of attention to detail in all aspects of his/her work is a necessity.  The SGCO must be able to conduct themselves with a high degree of integrity and objectivity while also working towards an overall objective of positively promoting compliance. Through significant experience with MCG’s major donors, the SGCO will be able to advise and coach other Mercy Corps staff on how to respond to and/or negotiate with donors on regulations issues. SGCO must demonstrate the drive and initiative to contribute to internal team efforts.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

Some travel (up to approximately 20%) may be required to field locations, including program locations that may include insecure or harsh environments. 

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.