Director of Programs – Monrovia, Liberia

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  • Post Date: June 19, 2021
  • Applications 0
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Job Overview



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.

The Program / Department / Team

Mercy Corps Liberia began operations in 2002 in response to the humanitarian crisis brought about by the two Liberian civil wars which took place from 1989-1997 and 1999–2003.  Since then, Mercy Corps’ interventions have evolved based on the context and needs of the Liberian people. With funding from the European Commission, French Development Agency, Swedish Embassy, Irish Aid, and US Department of Agriculture, among others, Mercy Corps Liberia has implemented a range of programs focused on renewable energy, food security, agricultural livelihoods, financial inclusion, nutrition, water and sanitation, infrastructure, and youth economic empowerment. Mercy Corps Liberia works closely with the Government of Liberia (especially the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Health, Labor and Education), the private sector, civil society, international and local NGOs to implement its programs from three offices/sub-offices (Monrovia, Buchanan, River Cess). Mercy Corps is one of the foremost development actors in Liberia implementing strategic and systems driven programming in youth employment and entrepreneurship, market systems development and good governance.

The Position

Mercy Corps seeks a dynamic, action-oriented leader to manage our portfolio of programs. The Director of Programs (DOP) supervises international and national program leads (Team Leader/Program Managers), currently in the sectors of youth employment/market systems development (MSD), youth and sports, education, good governance and civil society development. We are searching for an entrepreneurial, multi-faceted leader with excellent program management skills, dedication to building capacity of teams, understanding of systems-level approaches to improving program implementation and an underlying commitment to the communities we serve. The successful candidate will be committed to find synergies between different programs, advancing new business development and building a healthy team culture that promotes responsibility, collaboration and growth.

General Position Summary

The DOP is directly responsible for all programming in Liberia. The DOP ensures that systems, people and resources adequately enables programs to be implemented on-time, on-scope and on-budget, with close coordination between field teams/Monrovia and support departments. The DOP will build a culture of entrepreneurialism, dedication to program quality and commitment to consistent improvement in our program teams. The DOP will contribute to the country strategy and ensure that our strategy and program portfolio are consistently informed by evidence and lessons learned from our programs. The DOP will manage new business development opportunities to operationalize our country strategy. The DOP will advance an accountability framework, assuring adherence to relevant policies and compliance and teams adhere to the highest standards of ethics. The DOP will ensure that donor partners are regularly informed through formal and informal reporting and meetings.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Contribute to the development of the country strategy, particularly on engaging field teams and ensuring that strategy is built from the ground up;
  • Represent a compelling vision and strategy to stakeholders, in coordination with the Country Director (CD), including donors, government, peer organizations and other external parties;
  • Follow analysis of the Liberia socio-political and economic context, ensuring that this analysis is recognized and incorporated in programming;
  • Develop sector or position specific strategies, such as a vision for MSD programming in Liberia or a Governance-specific strategy;
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.

LEADERSHIP OF PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION: Efficiency, Quality and Accountability

  • Provide leadership to increase coordination, collaboration, communication and harmonization across programs and supporting departments, with an eye to improving the efficiency of Mercy Corps’ programming;
  • Build and maintain the leadership of program management to collaborate with program support departments to complete programs on-time, on-scope, on-budget;
  • Ensure coordination across programs to enhance impact on the communities we serve, ensure cross-program learning and collaboration, as well as technical coherence;
  • Serve as overall budget holder for all programming; manage and support budget holders for individual projects and awards and ensure project expenditure is in line with work plans and commitments to donors;
  • In coordination with the Country MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning) Manager, ensure that robust MEL, knowledge management and performance and quality assurance systems are in place, adhered to and used as decision-making tools to inform adaptive management, while also capturing and documenting best practices and lessons learned across programs;
  • Collaborate with the Country MEL Manager to support roll-out and buy-in of the MEL, Communications and CARM strategies, and quality tools for measuring outputs and outcomes;
  • Work with their direct reports to coordinate the production of timely and quality donors’ reports on all in-country programs in close coordination with the Regional Program Team (RPT/desk). This includes reviewing, editing, and other contributions to reports and backstopping for Program Managers/Team Leader during their absence;
  • Oversee all field offices through the Program Managers and Heads of Offices;
  • Conduct frequent field visits to all project sites for monitoring, quality control and program staff mentoring and coaching and report to the SMT to ensure adaptive management.


  • Lead and coordinate proposal development in line with the country strategy and recognize opportunities for innovative actions, with support from Technical Support Units (TSU), New Initiatives, RPT and field staff;
  • Lead or support the development of solicited and unsolicited proposals and concept notes;
  • Enhance donor relations, with a particular emphasis on helping to diversify the agency’s funding base in the country.


  • Develop the technical capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with coaching, performance management, mentorship and career development of program team staff and direct reports;
  • Ensure appropriate staffing within the program implementation team;
  • Manage program implementation team, define expectations, provide leadership and technical support as needed, and evaluate direct reports regularly;
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews;
  • Ensure the recruitment, training, and promotion of staff as appropriate and ensure availability of appropriate professional development opportunities for staff;
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and actively engage in decision-making processes.


  • Represent Mercy Corps and network with government authorities, donors, partners and other stakeholders to promote Mercy Corps objectives and build relationships to facilitate success of our projects;
  • Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local NGOs and civil society organizations and academic institutions;
  • Feed into influence objectives to advance programmatic goals, including through efforts to promote advocacy/policy change as relevant;
  • Liaise with regional and global technical support units to identify strategies for strengthening programs and to promote Mercy Corps’ thought leadership in Liberia and across the region.

Supervisory Responsibility

Program leads (Team Leaders/Program Managers), Grants coordination lead


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Other members of the Senior Management Team (Operations Manager, HR Manager, Finance Director, Country MEL Manager), Communications Officer, CARM Officer, Ethics and Safeguarding lead

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development, international relations, business management or other relevant field;
  • 5-7 years of field experience in international relief and development programs of similar scale, including demonstrable success in managing (large, complex, transitional) development programs;
  • Experience in working on youth employment/MSD, Gender or Governance programming highly preferred;
  • Strong strategic thinker with demonstrated capacity to translate concepts into action, with proven ability to be accountable for all components of the program;
  • Demonstrated experience leading diverse teams toward a common vision and a proven track record in staff mentoring and capacity building and stakeholder engagement;
  • Competent in building networks, strong problem-solving skills, and ability to influence with effective listening, persuasion, negotiation and other techniques;
  • Demonstrated ability to implement programs with rigorous deliverables with a wide range of donors, including USG, European grants is required;
  • Prior experience leading new business development with a wide range of donors;
  • Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing;
  • Prior work experience in Liberia or Africa is highly desirable.

Success Factors

The successful candidate is a collaborative, fast thinking, experienced leader. S/he has a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. S/he is an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. S/he is able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging innovation and accountability. S/he is a confident representative in public settings, able to influence key stakeholders internally and externally to further and expand Mercy Corps goals. S/he is able to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment and prioritize team-building and capacity-building of national staff. S/he has excellent information management skills, is a strategic thinker.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The DOP is based in Monrovia. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff have good access to services, medical, electricity, and water, etc. International schools are available. This position requires up to 40% of travel to field offices in secure environments. This position is not eligible for hardship.

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.

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 environment.

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. 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.

Job Detail
  • Offerd Salary$50,000+
  • Career LevelExecutive
  • Experience4 Years
  • GenderBoth
  • QualificationMaster’s Degree
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