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
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps' operations in The Americas are focused in the
countries of Bahamas, Haiti, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, US
Territory Puerto Rico and The Pacific Northwest. Within this
collection of countries there are many different challenges and
opportunities that are all undergoing dramatic transitions that
have the potential to create significant opportunities for
development and change. Mercy Corps is well-placed to play a
meaningful role in supporting forces for positive change in these
countries. Our path to being relevant and having significant impact
will be through the clear identification of high leverage
strategies and related resource mobilization, learning about what
works in the current context and from our significant experience in
the region, recruiting and developing exceptional regional team
members to lead our programs.
The primary role of the America's Regional Program Team (RPT) is
to provide essential headquarters support to Mercy Corps programs
in the region. The Americas RPT is the key point of HQ contact for
field management including Regional Director (RD), Country
Directors, Program Managers and other Expatriate and National
staff. The RPT links the country programs to a range of U.S. and
international-based resources and represents the region to
potential and current funders and other organizations and
institutions in the US. Additionally, the Americas Regional Program
Team provides targeted strategic support and management capacity to
Mercy Corps' growing portfolio of US domestic-managed awards
through regular engagement with key agency stakeholders and
The Senior Program Officer (SPO) supports strategic, impactful,
high-quality programming in the Americas. The SPO works closely
with the Regional Director and is an essential member of the
Regional Management Team. They are the headquarters (HQ) focal
point for regional and country level structures and transitions and
updates and progress on program implementation and impact. They
lead, manage and mentor a team of Program Officers (POs) and/or
Assistant Program Officers (APOs), ensuring quality work, and
instilling a cohesive team dynamic. The SPO supports country teams
in multiple aspects of their programs, and plays a key role in
connecting the field to HQ resources and represents
country/regional interests internally with various HQ teams, as
well as with external stakeholders. They are ultimately responsible
for overall monitoring of grants/programs for compliance with
external (donor) requirements, and adherence to Mercy Corps'
internal policies and procedures. They also direct desk engagement
with US domestic-managed awards administration and management and
the relevant internal stakeholders.
PROGRAM & GRANT ADMINISTRATION
- The SPO is the HQ point of responsibility for overall
monitoring on grants/programs for both external/donor requirements
as well as Mercy Corps' internal policies and requirements.
- Provide ongoing monitoring of the status of programs and
complete regular check-ins on grant requirements (such as
co-financing/match, BVA, data aggregation, etc).
- Support country team's adherence to Mercy Corps' internal
policies and Program Management minimum standards as well as
adherence to Mercy Corps' Complex Programs management
PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM GROWTH
- Lead HQ coordination and prioritization for development of
concept notes and proposals (unless designated otherwise), monitor
the timeline, status of proposal and communicate to the relevant
parties as appropriate.
- Review final draft for coherence and manage submission to the
- May be appointed a different role in the design process and
travel to the field if needed.
- Help supervise review and submission of US domestic-led
proposals as required.
- May be requested to write smaller proposals.
- In the event of a major disaster or emergency in the region,
work directly with Mercy Corps Humanitarian Leadership and Response
unit to coordinate an appropriate and timely response.
PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT
- Coordinate partnership negotiation & development, ensuring
necessary teams are engaged to help further program, country and
regional interests related to Americas regional programming and US
TEAM AND OPERATIONAL MANAGEMENT
- Develop the capacity of the Americas regional program and US
domestic awards team, deepen understanding of their roles and
assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to
improve performance & reach objectives.
- 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.
- Provide support to RD and country teams on matters pertaining
to strategy, planning, budgeting, programming, management and
- Engage in regular and timely communication with finance
directors/managers and operations directors/managers, including
travel to country offices as needed;
- Support country, regional and agency leadership in adhering to
Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures, including rollout of
new initiatives and standards.
- Represent regional interests and programs with external
stakeholders, in concert with the field teams.
STRATEGY, PLANNING & LEARNING
- Support country teams with strategy development and planning
and travel to the field to support facilitation of the process as
- Facilitate learning across country portfolios and regions and
share lessons learned and knowledge of agency resources/tools/best
- Contribute to the development of compelling, coherent
strategies that integrate and align with the regional strategy and
agency strategy (where relevant), and support the agency's impact,
influence and innovation objectives in the Mercy Corps Global
- In coordination with the RD and other senior leaders, lead the
planning and preparation of agendas of regional gatherings.
- Direct the facilitation of new efforts to review existing
policies and structures related to the administration and
management of current and HQ managed awards in collaboration with
key HQ stakeholders, including the Executive Team and department
- Lead the coordination of improvement of systems to support HQ
Managed Awards in collaboration with the Executive Team, department
heads and key stakeholders and in line with PM@MC standards and
- Propose solutions and lead the design of the initial strategic
process to improve administration and management of US
- Conduct quarterly reviews of the HQ- managed awards strategy
and administration processes for presentation to the executive
team, department heads and all stakeholders.
- Direct adaptive management efforts to react to learnings and
make improvements to Mercy Corps' systems to support the
administration of HQ-managed awards.
INTEGRITY, SAFEGUARDING AND ETHICS
- Ensure proper compliance with internal and external ethics and
safeguarding standards and processes and liaise with country
leadership, Regional Director and HQ Ethics and Finance and
Compliance Unit to manage and report on issues related to Ethics
and Fraud as required.
- Participate in the interview process, providing contextual
information on Mercy Corps' programs and realities of the position,
and selection for key positions as identified with the recruiting
- For senior management field positions, participate in Mercy
Corps' LEAP process and support the process as needed.
- Oversee the A/PO with internal communications and ensure
knowledge management systems are up to date and accurate to support
communication with other teams.
- Play a greater and more direct role in internal communication
management during periods of disaster response.
- Oversee the A/PO for management of agency systems and adherence
to HQ-related Program Management minimum standards, etc.
- For new-hires visiting HQ, provide briefings on context,
country strategy and programs prior to their departure as initial
step in the onboarding process.
- As requested, support supervisors with onboarding of new
expatriate team members.
Supervisory Responsibility: Oversee the PO and/or APO.
Reports Directly To: America's Regional Director
Works Directly With: Other HQ Program units and other
departments, including, the Technical Service Unit, Monitoring,
Evaluation and & Learning, Resource Development, Finance,
Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness, Legal, Policy and
Advocacy, People Team, Mercy Corps Counterparts at MC HQ offices in
Europe; MC donors and partners.
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 in relevant field required; MA/MS/MBA or equivalent
- 3 - 5 years of field-based experience in international relief
and development - ideally in the region; demonstrated knowledge of
relevant sectoral and/or operational areas.
- 3 - 5 years of experience managing the development,
implementation, administration and compliance (especially of US
Government-funded grants); general program management experience
- Experience with proposal development including support and
writing with various donors, particularly US Government, private
foundations and corporations.
- Experience with monitoring and evaluation and other learning
- Experience representing the organization and its interests to a
diverse range of local and international government officials,
local civil society organizations, other international
organizations, the media and the public - required.
- Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word,
- Preference given to candidates with prior work experience in
- Proficiency in Spanish. French a plus.
The successful candidate will demonstrate:
The successful candidate demonstrates the skill, professional
maturity and finesse required to manage the desk team to provide
excellent, timely support to the Americas. They are a problem
solver, who is adept in successfully dealing with issues of
complexity and demonstrates the ability to serve as a mentor for
the Program Officer and/or Assistant Program Officer. The SPO is a
skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong
relationships with staff, MC departments, partners and donors. They
will coordinate with their supervisor, the Regional Program
Director, and be skilled at building highly effective working
relationships with Country Directors and their teams. They will
harness the expertise, experience and ideas of Mercy Corps' diverse
program support teams, including members of the TSU, Leadership and
Organizational Effectiveness and Social Innovations teams and
channel them into impactful partnerships with country programs and
the region at large. The SPO will work with country teams to ensure
that we learn from experience, thoroughly research, analyze context
and develop high impact strategies. They will be a skilled writer
and synthesizer of diverse and complex information, helping teams
generate new insights into their work, the needs of their countries
and the region as well as how program impact can be scaled. A
robust sense of humor is greatly appreciated.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in either Portland, Oregon or Washington
D.C. and is expected to travel up to 35% of the time - sometimes on
short notice- to areas with limited access to medical facilities
and amenities. There is the possibility that the SPO may be called
upon to serve as an Acting Country Director for short periods of a
month +/- a couple of weeks pending needs.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and
outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a
visit/STA 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
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
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
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
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
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.