International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is one of the world’s largest international humanitarian non-governmental organizations (INGO), at work in more than 40 countries and more than 25 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. A force for humanity, IRC employees delivers lasting impact by restoring safety, dignity and hope to millions. If you’re a solutions-driven, passionate change-maker, come join us in positively impacting the lives of millions of people world-wide for a better future.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future.
The IRC’s Emergencies & Humanitarian Action Unit (EHAU) is responsible for IRC’s global emergency preparedness and response activities. The mission of the EHAU is to expand and improve IRC’s ability to help affected communities survive in acute emergencies and hard-to-reach contexts by investing in people, systems, and solutions to complex humanitarian challenges. Members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT) are deployed to either support existing country programs in their emergency response, or to initiate a new program. The overall responsibility of the team is to rapidly develop and manage the IRC’s on-site humanitarian response to meet the immediate needs of the affected population. The ERT is also responsible for supporting the transfer of responsibilities and knowledge to the long-term staff to ensure the continuity of IRC programming and operations.
ERT staff (including Emergency Country Directors) are expected to be deployed in the field, either in an emergency or roving capacity, for up to 65% of the time and must be able to deploy to the site of an emergency within 72 hours of notification.
The Emergency Country Director leads deployed Emergency Response Teams and is responsible for the overall leadership and supervisory management of IRC offices and operations involved in emergency response. This includes stewardship of resources, staff safety and security, program quality and accountability, and performance management.
This role is IRC’s principal representative to the government, donors, international organizations, other NGOs, and the media as it pertains to the response. The incumbent will respond effectively to a constantly evolving environment with effective humanitarian programs. They will be directly responsible for coordinating the country team and setting the response’s strategic direction; providing oversight and mentorship for directly supervised ERT staff; leading teams to identify, design and deliver responsive, high-quality programs; ensuring efficient management of public grants and private funds for results, compliance, and focused, timely reporting; and oversight of financial management and compliance systems. The incumbent will also deploy into existing IRC Country Programs to fulfil Country, Program, or Deputy Director functions as required.
When not leading emergency responses, the Emergency Country Director will work on various projects assigned to them, including assessing and building humanitarian response capacity within IRC’s network of high-risk existing country programs.
Success in this position requires an individual with exemplary leadership abilities who deploys strong communication and interpersonal skills effectively. The successful candidate will enjoy developing networks to build partnerships and diversify program resources. The candidate should have experience in sophisticated and insecure operating environments, is attentive to risk management, and has a proven track record in successfully managing emergency programming in a diverse range of locations and contexts.
• Lead and coordinate IRC assessments of emergency needs and development of a response strategy.
• Design, resource (people and funds) and implement emergency response programs that meet the needs of the affected community.
• Identify and lead deployment of initial emergency response team formation under the direction of the Director, Delivery in Emergencies.
• Ensure IRC’s response is implemented in adherence to the IRC’s standards in emergencies and build toward the full achievement of the IRC emergency outcomes.
• Be responsible for IRC’s on-site humanitarian response including management of programs, operations, budgets, fundraising, external representation, and transition planning.
• Oversee quality and consistency of program monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure and enhance program effectiveness and quality.
• Advocate with and/or advise peer agencies, local governments, donors, and other partners to influence responses to promote delivery of high-quality humanitarian services.
• Supervise and ensure compliance with IRC policy, procedures, and practices throughout the ERT and program; contribute to HQ led efforts to refine emergency-specific standard operating procedures and policies.
Leadership and Representation
• Lead a response team by establishing open and professional relations with colleagues, promoting a strong team spirit, oversight, and resources to enable staff to perform successfully.
• Develop strong relationships with government ministries at various levels; UNOCHA; donors including OFDA, USAID, DFID, BPRM, ECHO, UNHCR, UNICEF and other international organizations; international and local NGOs; and networks.
• Develop and maintain a high level of understanding of donor priorities and planned funding streams.
• Implement the EHAU’s resource mobilization strategy to ensure appropriate level of visibility and support for IRC emergency initiatives. This will include giving face-to-face briefings to government, foundation and private donors about the IRC’s emergency response capacity and unmet humanitarian needs around the world.
• Seek out and pursue opportunities to raise the profile of the work of IRC and its partners, as well as the lives and the needs of the people IRC seeks to serve.
• Lead in efforts to improve humanitarian coordination.
• When applicable, play a leadership role in training sessions for IRC Emergency Roster, ERT, as well as capacity sharing efforts for high-risk country programs on IRC emergency program management systems and protocols.
• Model and drive active practice of the principles of the ‘IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct’ throughout the response team.
Safety and Security Management
• Take primary responsibility for overall management of safety and security for all staff and assets involved in the emergency response.
• Oversee the management of all security issues, including appropriate response to emergency situations as they arise.
• Create a culture of safety and security during the response, including rapid establishment, regular updating, and dissemination of security, evacuation, and contingency plans, trainings and briefings that prepare all response staff for security incident prevention and response.
• Maintain close coordination and communication with the Regional Safety and Security Advisor on relevant concerns and evolving issues that could adversely affect IRC staff or operations.
Staff Management, Learning and Development
• Supervise deployed ERT staff and support performance management by communicating clear expectations, providing regular and timely positive and constructive feedback, and providing documented performance reviews.
• Be responsible for the management, coaching and development of staff to build a team of skilled, committed and motivated professionals according to IRC’s Leadership Standards in responses.
• Initiate high-quality meetings with each direct report on a regular and predictable basis.
• Cultivate and maintain a positive, collaborative, safe and protective work environment, while additionally setting an example of ‘One IRC’-way of working within responses and the wider organization.
• Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff.
• Collaborate with ERT HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and on-boarding strategies.
• Ensure regular reviews of labour and salary markets in the area are completed for the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of the IRC’s overall compensation package for country staff, when establishing a new country program.
• Create an inclusive environment where different work styles, personalities and approaches are valued
• Model inclusive behaviours to team members (ensuring all members’ voices are heard, support learning moments when team members or others experience micro-aggression in the workplace); acknowledge own biases and learning on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
Stewardship and Operational Management
• Drive operational excellence to achieve optimal efficiency and cost-effectiveness in all functions and operations of the country program.
• Oversee the development, deployment and utilization of financial and operational policies, procedures, and systems to deliver compliance with IRC and donor requirements.
• Ensure responsiveness and appropriate levels of in-person and remote support to all offices, especially in the areas of HR, finance and supply chain.
• Provide timely and effective oversight of the country program’s financial position.
• Maintain effective and coordinated budget monitoring processes for grant funds and discretionary funds.
• Seek opportunities to introduce efficiencies and eliminate redundancies in existing business processes.
• Model and encourage active practice of the principles of the “IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct” throughout the country program.
• Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication among IRC staff and with partner organizations.
• Maintain open communications with regional management staff, regional technical advisors, and HQ departmental staff.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: Senior Director, Delivery in Emergencies
Position directly supervises: None
Works closely with: ERT colleagues, EHAU SMT, relevant CDs, and regional leadership
Professional Qualifications and Requirements:
• Demonstrated ability to launch emergency responses, including the establishment of new country programs in response to rapid onset emergencies.
• Significant experience leading complex on site emergency response projects and/or programs requiring extensive judgment and interpretation. Diverse geographical professional experience preferred.
• Demonstrated ability to influence peer agencies, local government and community leaders to work effectively towards a common and agreed upon result.
• Proven ability to evaluate and implement best practices and processes affecting multiple technical specialties to achieve rapid, consistent and high-quality outcomes.
• Experience developing, resourcing and leading large budget, complex projects spanning multiple technical specialties.
• Ability to travel up to 65% of the time.
• Excellent verbal and written skills in English and a second language (preferably: French, Spanish, or Arabic).
*ERT staff are based in their home of record and usually do not work at an IRC office. Location requires ability to deploy within 72 hours and connectivity to enable remote work from home base.
How to apply
Deadline: 13 Mar 2024