Country Director

IRC - The International Rescue Committee

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Job Description

The International Rescue Committee has been working in Pakistan for over 40 years. Our programs span the range from humanitarian relief, recovery to longer term development, focusing on education, health, livelihoods, protection, climate change adaptation, resilience, governance, water and sanitation. We work with the government, Pakistani civil society, international partners and private business to support Afghan refugees and Pakistanis affected by major disasters. to save lives, strengthen institutions and promote social cohesion. We are active in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan. Our support comes from the U.S. government, UN, UK government, European Commission, and private trusts and foundations.

Pakistan is one of IRC’s largest and most challenging programs. We are seeking an experienced professional with a hands-on senior management record in both humanitarian and development programming. S/he must be able to motivate and lead a diverse and committed team and provide pro-active representation and advocacy within the humanitarian community, with funding partners, to government, and to international policy-makers. S/he must also demonstrate sound financial and operational management skills and have solid experience of leading and managing in highly complex operating environments. In return, IRC promises a prominent role in one of the most testing and rewarding environments for humanitarian assistance globally, and an opportunity to contribute to delivering real improvements for refugees and disaster-affected people in Pakistan.

Job Overview/Summary

The Country Director will provide the strategic vision and leadership for the country program. S/he is responsible for ensuring the design and delivery of quality programs, donor and government relations, fundraising and budget management, security and operations management, and developing a motivated and professional team. Reporting to the Regional Vice President Asia, the Country Director will work closely with, and receive support from regional and headquarters program technical units, safety and security services, regional finance and operations staff.

Success in this position requires an individual with exemplary, demonstrated leadership abilities who deploys strong communications and interpersonal skills effectively, both internally and externally. The successful candidate will enjoy contextual analytical skills with an ability to translate the impact of geopolitical events to our day-to-day operation. S/he will focus on growing the portfolio of the country program to maximize scale, reach and impact by building a strong network of partnerships and diversifying program resources. S/he will be directly responsible for the overall coordination and strategic direction of the country program; providing oversight and coaching for directly supervised senior managers; leading country program 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.

Major Responsibilities

1. Leadership and Representation

• Develop a vision and carry out strategies that result in contextualized and high-quality programs that meet the identified needs of clients.

• Lead the country program by maintaining open and professional relations with colleagues, promoting a strong team spirit and providing guidance, oversight and resources to enable staff to perform successfully.

• Initiate and sustain strong, mutually beneficial and authentic partnerships with local organizations.

• Ensure that IRC remains a partner of choice for major international (institutional and non-institutional) donors.

• 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.

• Play a leadership role in efforts to improve humanitarian coordination in Pakistan.

• Ensure IRC is appropriately represented and is an active and strong member of the relevant in-country humanitarian and development coordination forums and platforms.

• Establish and sustain strong working relationship and support from the government authorities towards IRC’s operations, including timely renewal of registration and obtaining necessary permissions for uninterrupted delivery of programs, services and operations.

• Establish strong communication and working relationship with key internal stakeholders at regional and HQ level to support country program operations and delivery.

• Appropriately represent IRC to external local, regional and global audience including media and press in consultation with the RVP.

2. Strategic Direction, Program Quality and Growth

• Ensure the strategic vision and direction of the country program is aligned with IRC’s Strategy 100.

• Grow the portfolio of the country program to reach increasing number of clients at scale with impactful programs.

• Ensure the strategy action plan is of quality, implemented and guides decision making.

• Ensure high program quality is consistent throughout the country program.

• Actively seek out and pursue opportunities to expand humanitarian and resilience programming in Pakistan, in terms of populations and areas served.

• Actively pursue and promote IRC’s GEDI agenda through innovative approaches and initiatives in line with global ambitions and commitments to foster an inclusive organizational culture and environment.

3. Safety, Security and Access Management

• Take primary responsibility for overall management of safety and security for the country program, including appropriate response to emergency situations as they arise.

• Maintain a culture of safety and security throughout the country program.

• Keep security, evacuation and contingency plans current and accessible to country program staff.

• Maintain close coordination and communication with the Regional Safety and Security Director on safety, security and access concerns and evolving issues that could adversely affect IRC staff or operations.

• Ensure access to vulnerable clients and geographies for timely and quality service delivery.

4. Staff Management, Learning and Development

• Ensure the SMT delivers the leadership, management structures, staffing skills and approaches, and operational systems required to ensure a coherent ‘one IRC’ approach to achieve country, regional and global objectives.

• Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely performance feedback, and leading documented semi-annual performance reviews.

• Oversee the management, coaching and development of national staff to build a team of skilled, committed and motivated staff.

• As part of succession and talent identification process, identify, train and develop capability and capacity of staff to successfully transition to senior roles within the country and create opportunities for more senior roles in the organization

• Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices.

5. 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 Pakistan country program’s financial position.

• Maintain effective and coordinated budget monitoring processes for grant funds and discretionary funds.

6. Communications

• Model and encourage active practice of the principles of the “IRC Way – Global Standards for Professional Conduct” throughout the Pakistan 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 communication with regional management staff and technical advisors, and HQ departmental staff.

7. Advocacy

• Actively contribute to global, regional and national advocacy efforts to highlight and promote sustainable solutions for the clients we serve.

• Identify potential advocacy opportunities and initiate contextualized efforts to protect the rights of the clients and promote their needs for high quality and impactful services and support.

• Ensure IRC has a strong voice and contribution in national, regional and global policy and advocacy efforts aimed at improving the lives and livelihoods of the clients we serve in Pakistan.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to: Regional Vice President - Asia

Position directly Supervises: A senior management team responsible for programs, operations, finance, HR, and security

Key Internal Contacts:

 Country Program: All staff

 Region: Asia Regional Team

 HQ: Crisis Response and Recovery Department (CRRD), Ethics & Compliance, Operations and Strategy, Finance, Global Philanthropy & Partnerships, Technical Excellence and General Counsel

Key External Contacts:

 Partner organizations

 Host country government officials

 Public and private donor agencies

 International and national NGOs

 UN agencies

 Foreign governments.

Job Requirements

Education and Work Experience:

• A university degree in a relevant field and/or 12 years of progressively responsible international work experience, including leadership at the Country Director level of multi-site, multi-sectoral operations in a complex operating environment.

• Experience working in highly complex and volatile operating environments..

• Experience of managing and leading large scale emergency response, relief, recovery, and development programs.

Demonstrated Technical Skills:

• Superior communications skills, verbal and written, English. Urdu is a definite advantage.

• Experience of managing security in a complex and rapidly changing security context.

• Proven ability to negotiate and work with partner organizations.

• Proven ability and experience to work with multiple host government stakeholders.

• Strong budget and fiscal oversight capacities.

• Extensive representation and fundraising success, including prior experience with European, US and international donors.

• Established capacity to handle stressful situations in a healthy, constructive manner.

• Ability to respond to multiple priorities in a timely manner, producing high-quality outcomes.

• Prior work experience in Pakistan and a keen understanding of political complexities of the country and the Asia region.

Demonstrated Managerial/Leadership Competencies:

• Demonstrated successful leadership and management experience with a multi-disciplinary teams in cross-cultural settings, including active mentoring and coaching.

• Demonstrated experience of creating diverse and inclusive team climates

• Effective in developing high-potential staff to achieve career growth and maximum contribution.

• Proven experience in managing high quality programming that meet the needs of clients.

• Proven experience delivering appropriate levels of oversight of a portfolio consisting of a variety of complex, high-value donor-funded projects.

• Experience building personal networks at a senior level, resulting in securing new opportunities for the organization.

• Opportunity-awareness. A successful innovative approach to unpredictable programming, operational, and funding contexts.

• Ability to dispassionately represent program context, constraints, and successes to media, government, and other senior audiences.

Languages Required/Preferred:

• Professional fluency in written and spoken English.

• Urdu language skills a definite advantage.

Computer/Other Tech Requirements:

• Proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite, especially Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

• Working knowledge of file sharing protocols such as Dropbox, SharePoint, etc., an advantage.

Ability to Travel: approximately 25% within and outside the region for workshops, meetings, representation and conferences.

Working Environment: The overall security situation in Pakistan is relatively calm, especially in Islamabad. The Pakistani government is stable, and civil unrest is largely peaceful. However, Pakistan’s generosity in hosting refugees from Afghanistan, and other neighboring countries have created huge strains on the country’s economy and infrastructure.

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols and other supportive benefits and allowances.

Attention Returning National Candidates: IRC strives to attract, motivate and retain qualified national staff in our programs. We strongly encourage national or returning national candidates to apply for this position. If you are a national of the country in which this position is based and are currently located outside of your home country and possess over two years of international work experience, the IRC has introduced an attractive remuneration package. The package includes competitive compensation, return flight to post, shipping allowance, temporary housing and a relocation allowance. Certain restrictions may apply.

Professional Standards : The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Equality, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others.

IRC is offering this post as limited accompanied for the successful candidate and accompanying dependents including: vacation leave, home leave, housing, water, electricity, internet connectivity, and other generous benefits. Modern amenities (health care, etc.) are readily available.

IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.



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