Director: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (Technical Support Unit)
Location: Washington DC, London, Nairobi, and other locations with Mercy Corps offices Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular Salary Level: The starting salary for this position will be $91,000 for US-based hires. 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 alleviates poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities in over 40 countries around the world. Our Program Department supports locally-led work that delivers measurable impact. Mercy Corps' Technical Support Unit (TSU) is a key part of the Program Department. Mercy Corps' TSU houses subject matter experts whose mission is to help our global teams apply the most effective solutions to the world's toughest challenges, while building our global reputation and resources to do so. By advancing technical excellence the Unit plays a key role in driving Mercy Corps' impact, innovation and influence around the world. Current TSU teams are: Current TSU teams are: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion; Food Security and Nutrition; Resilience; Economic and Market Development; Financial Inclusion; Agriculture Systems; Governance and Partnerships; Peace and Conflict; Young People & Protection; Environment, Energy and Climate; and New Initiatives. The TSU helps set agency-wide strategy and develops strategic approach documents and other technical briefs for their practice area to inform the entire organization's work. In addition, it offers technical expertise to offices worldwide - supporting country strategy development and assessments, and engaging throughout the program life cycle from project design and proposal development to quality implementation and evaluations. As technical experts in their field, TSU Team members are well versed in global practices and abreast of sector specific trends. They also represent Mercy Corps with donors and other strategic partners, and inform and influence both internal approaches and global understanding on how to move the needle on some of the most intractable humanitarian and development challenges of our time, especially in fragile settings. This agenda requires the team to know about progress and results across programs and paint a picture of the best that Mercy Corps has to offer based on thematic learning from across our regions. This drives innovation inside the agency, grows the portfolio, and fosters learning internally and with external stakeholders so that we can make a bigger difference in the lives of people we work with. Each TSU subject matter team usually consists of a Director and Senior Advisors/Advisors. Most teams are grouped together for management and collaboration purposes, with 2 - 3 teams reporting to a TSU Senior Director, who is charged with creating a unifying vision and strategy for their teams and the larger Technical Support Unit. Senior Directors report to the Vice President of Technical Leadership who sets overall strategy for the TSU. The Unit is housed in Mercy Corps's program department. General Position Summary The TSU Directors are leaders and experts who bring both the technical and functional skills required to manage a best-in-class technical support team, while promoting a balanced approach to team, agency and personal commitments. The Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Director leads Mercy Corps' GESI technical approaches and strategy and supervises a technical team including both direct reports and matrix team members. The GESI Director contributes to agency-wide initiatives, guides agency strategy, and is responsible, in collaboration with others, for shaping and delivering results to achieve that strategy. The GESI Director leads their team to deliver on high quality program design and implementation, including through transferring knowledge and building skills in ways that strengthen program team capacity to deliver program and practice excellence. The Director also ensures the team is guiding agency best practice on measurement in their field, and is committed to knowing and facilitating understanding of agency results. Building on this knowledge and expertise, they are strong influencers both inside and outside Mercy Corps with the ability to effectively communicate Mercy Corp's overall vision, and GESI technical strengths and results. In addition to direct oversight of technical staff, the GESI Director is a member of the TSU Leadership team composed of all Directors and Senior Directors. As such, they will be charged with regularly engaging their TSU counterparts and helping to shape and deliver on larger TSU priorities. They will seek out opportunities to promote cross TSU team coherence, on the theory that the complex problems Mercy Corps seeks to address are, by definition, multi sectoral in nature and require shared solutions across sectors and systems. TSU Directors will also collaborate closely with many other parts of the Agency, especially the Humanitarian Leadership and Support, Program and Quality, and Policy and Research teams as well as field offices. Essential Job Responsibilities STRATEGY AND VISION Sets a distinctive GESI strategic vision in close coordination with program teams and other agency departments and ensures that it is continuously updated to reflect industry trends, learning over time and emerging capacities. In particular helping Mercy Corps strengthen social inclusion without our strategies. Influences Mercy Corps global Vision 2030 strategy, as well as country and regional strategies, based on technical expertise, practical experience and understanding of Mercy Corps comparative advantages, with an eye towards both impact and growth. Identifies internal and external GESI trends among peers and donors with the potential to inform or affect TSU work and assure team readiness to adapt to changing conditions and expectations. Builds and maintains external partnerships and serve as key external communicators for Mercy Corps in a wide range of public fora. Ensure maximum impact of the combined TSU, engaging in regular Directors' and Leadership meetings to maximize collaboration and cross team coherence, annual planning and quarterly reviews of TSU levels of effort across its priority work elements. Play a leadership role in collaborating with the Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative and bridging the operational-programmatic nexus. PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT Explore and maximize new lines of revenue for multi-country or regional approaches that align with the agency's strategic direction. Produce strong, influential analysis and derive new insights from assessments and industry learning, incorporating them into new program designs and implementation. Develop strategy and approaches to facilitate multi team/multi country shared learning on what is working in order to standardize best practice, develop comparative advantages for new program development and advance strategic partnerships. Guide team plans for strengthening the capacity of program teams to perform high quality GESI analyses and assessments, and to incorporate those findings into program design and implementation through multi sector approaches. Work with country leaders to consistently ensure budgets and staffing plans are gender-sensitive and reflective of gender and social inclusion commitments taken at agency, regional, and country levels. Ensure teams are set up to succeed with evolving donor requirements around gender and inclusion. Expand and manage a roster of qualified gender and social inclusion specialists for on-call support to our program development and quality needs. Lead and nurture relevant communities of practice. Mentor regional, country, and project-level gender and social inclusion specialists. Manage gender equality and social inclusion grants focused on institutional capacity building and learning TEAM MANAGEMENT Fully embrace Mercy Corps' culture and values and actively work to achieve its goals relating to Gender, Diversity and Inclusion. Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence on their own team and embrace their role and responsibilities in advancing the shared goals of the larger TSU, to forge its reputation as a cohesive, strategic and responsive world class technical unit. As a member of the Leadership group, engage with other Directors regularly on team plans and budget issues, work collectively to advance coherence across the Unit, and ensure communications flow to team staff in a timely manner. Manage teams and financial resources to ensure they are working in line with Agency's Impact, Innovation and Influence objectives and TSU strategic priorities. Ensure accountability of team members for delivering on their individual workplans as well as adhering to TSU wide processes (trip reports/SOWs, direct costing, expense reports, tracker, etc). Conduct regular performance reviews, adhering to Agency personnel policies and practice. Help team members identify and take advantage of opportunities, training, information and other resources to ensure professional growth and provide advice and encouragement to help them reach their full potential; Empower teams to advance leadership in their fields and encourage/support professional growth MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND IMPACT MEASURING Develop and refine theories of change and related indicators; work with field teams both in their development and to test them Work with Program and Quality team to ensure GESI indicators continue to be relevant and accessible to programs, tools are created to effectively measure GESI indicators and strengthen team capacity. Lead and support activities to understand and document the impact of our technical interventions, including analysis of outcome and impact data to inform technical briefs, corporate capacity statements, future program development. Representation, thought leadership and partnership development Identify and develop strategic funding partnerships for new or expanded programs, in concert with others. Identify strategic grant opportunities to grow the TSU teams in ways that serve a broader TSU and Agency agenda. Guide GESl team research and learning agenda, identifying opportunities to explore key practical research questions that can inform programming and advance global practice. Advance thought leadership, develop learning agenda and related knowledge management plan that is coordinated with the larger agency knowledge management strategy and other TSU plans. Facilitate roll out in concert with other knowledge management leads across TSU and agency. Advance external influence through work with other agency leads, including Policy and Research, Program and Quality, Marketing and Communications teams to raise Mercy Corps global profile. Strengthen Mercy Corps' GESI profile and representation through expert interaction with internal stakeholders, partner agencies, donors and other networks and groups. Speak at key events, highlight Mercy Corp's evidence base. Spearhead technical partnership initiatives, including with local partners, academic partners, think tanks, local networks, private sector actors or others to enhance impact and influence. Actively engage in internal relationship building, providing project and unit updates with other departments. Accountability to Beneficiaries 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 The position has supervisory responsibility over Senior Advisors and Advisors. Accountability Reports Directly To: Senior Director, Technical Support Unit Works Directly With: Regional GESI Advisors, PAQ GESI Advisor, Young People and Protection Director and team, Other TSU Directors and their staff, other HQ and field teams. Minimum Qualifications and Transferable Skills MS/M.Sc. or equivalent or above in a relevant technical field is required. 7+ years experience in international development and GESI that includes: Demonstrated experience in at least one of the following: Social behavior change and/or human centered design approaches Women's economic empowerment and inclusion, including financial inclusion, market systems development, or labor. Gender and social inclusion in climate change and resilience building Gender, peace and security Experience managing projects, with ability to translate theory into practical applications. Proposal design and program development expertise. Experience building strong working relationships with government and private sector donors, peer agencies, corporations and/or foundations. Experience producing policy and donor relevant research or other briefs 1 to 3 years of management and supervisory experience that includes: Effective coaching, development, and management of individual staff and teams. Proven leadership, self-motivation, and interpersonal skills. Working on matrixed teams and in non-hierarchical settings. Working with teams of diverse backgrounds. Exceptionally strong verbal and written communications skills and organizational skills are required. Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites, including traveling to insecure environments, is required. Familiarity with major donors such as USAID, DFID, the EC, AfD, GAC, SIDA and relevant foundations and corporations. Fluency in English is required; working proficiency in French or Spanish is strongly preferred. Success Factors The successful director must be a self-starter who demonstrates leadership in communications, partnership development, and team management. Multi-tasking with proven ability to manage competing priorities, follow procedures, and meet deadlines is required. The director manages their team to have an impact on revenue, program quality, overall strategy and thought leadership. The director leads and nurtures individual team member development and works effectively with different work styles. The position must communicate and work with a variety of external groups including private sector partners, peer agencies, academic institutions, and donors. The director is flexible and creative in planning and problem solving, and has a proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative and be accountable for results. The director has the vision and drive to lead initiatives in the agency that are more than program development, that demonstrate understanding for the larger picture while remaining focused on and able to handle the details. The individual must have a high proficiency for working in a variety of cultural, political and religious environments and must be able to travel and work successfully in austere environments and maintain poise in stressful situations. Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions This position is located in one of Mercy Corps' headquarter offices. The position requires travel at least 30% time to programs where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed. Team members must be ready to travel to programs on short notice in response to any emergency or crisis. When traveling, the team member must be able to work in remote settings and over weekends and/or evenings as required by the schedule. 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.