Published 19 days ago

Emergency Response Program Lead - Global Emergency Response Team - US, UK, NL

Hybrid, Work must be performed in or near Portland, OR


Job Type:Full Time
Job Type:Temporary
Start Date:August 1, 2024
End Date:August 1, 2025
Application Deadline:July 11, 2024
Education:4-Year Degree Required
Experience Level:Director
Salary:USD $76,000 - $91,200 / year


Location: US, UK, NL, open to other Mercy Corps locations. 

Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular (Temporary: 1 year assignment) 

Salary Level:

  • US Starting Salary for this role will be USD $76,000 to $91,200 commensurate on experience.
  • Based on local benchmark for candidates outside of the United States.

Valid unrestricted work authorization in the country in which you will be based is required at the time of application for this position.   

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 a long-term impact. 

The Team  

Mercy Corps works to achieve real and lasting impact in the world’s toughest humanitarian emergencies. We save lives and help people live with dignity in crises of all kinds. At the same time, we create the conditions to pivot to recovery quickly and effectively. We work wherever local capacity is overwhelmed, connecting people to the opportunities they need to strengthen their community in recovery. Whether it is a sudden shock or a slowly emerging crisis, whether the threat is natural or man-made, Mercy Corps is committed to rapid, needs-driven assistance. Mercy Corps supports a response that is market-driven and leverages the capacities of both traditional and non-traditional aid partners—and ultimately gives people the ability to make their own decisions and secure their own lives and livelihoods.  

The Global Emergency Response Team (ERT) provides the agency with timely and effective leadership to prepare for, respond to, and learn from humanitarian emergencies, develops sharp, well-timed and influential humanitarian analysis to inform program design and implementation, and supports agency leadership and regional and country teams with safety and security expertise.    

The Position  

The Emergency Response Program Lead is a member of the Global Emergency Response Team (ERT) and is responsible for the leadership of Mercy Corps programs in a specific emergency response and supervision of a response program team. This includes program quality and accountability, and performance management – all aspects of a rapid, high quality program implementation in a response. The Emergency Response Program Lead is an experienced emergency responder and senior leader who can effectively navigate within the humanitarian system and acts as Mercy Corps’ representative to the coordination systems, donors, partners, and communities. This is a deployable role, and the team members will have multiple assignments throughout the year in support of or to lead on emergency program responses.  The role may also support assignments related to preparedness efforts.  

The incumbent will respond effectively to an evolving environment with impactful and high-quality humanitarian programs. They will be directly responsible for supervising program team members; leading teams to identify, design, fundraise for and deliver high-quality programs and working with the support structures to implement those programs; ensuring efficient management of funds and timely reporting on program outcomes and budgets. The Emergency Response Team Lead may also deploy to support an existing Mercy Corps country team starting-up an emergency response and report into the country leadership structure. When not on assignment for an emergency program response, the Response Program Lead will work on various projects, including emergency procedures, tools, and systems and providing technical advisory support to existing high-risk country programs, preparedness and start-up emergency programs, including in assessment phase.   

Essential Responsibilities  


  • Develop, lead and implement response strategies for new/emerging crises, in collaboration with country leadership and teams.  
  • Set direction by prioritizing and organizing actions & resources to achieve objectives and contribute to response wide strategy development. 
  • Develop and organize activities to secure resources for programs and enable stakeholders to provide support.
  • Provide leadership on the overall vision and response strategy for both new and existing responses.  


  • Oversee program start-up and ongoing program management and administration of teams across various field locations.
  • Ensure program participants are effectively targeted according to established vulnerability criteria.
  • Develop and oversee program implementation strategies, including partnership frameworks, participants targeting, distribution process as well as WASH, Psychosocial and capacity building of partners as needed.
  • Ensure program implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts.
  • Proactively manage the response program team members and provide an example of inclusive leadership to the whole response.
  • Hire and supervise team program team members, communicating clear expectations, providing regular and timely positive and constructive feedback, and providing documented performance reviews.
  • Establish and sustain a positive, collaborate work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and cultivate resilience and well-being under challenging situations.
  • Contribute to team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • When applicable, support training sessions for program team members as well as capacity strengthening efforts for high-risk country programs on emergency program management systems and protocols.


  • Oversee program quality and effectiveness by ensuring programs are based on assessment of emergency needs, sound design principles, robust technical quality and utilize Mercy Corps and donor required M&E systems.
  • Oversee budget management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors, if applicable.
  • Ensure technical quality of response programming through collaboration with, and drawing on support from, Mercy Corps' Technical Support Unit, where needed. Fulfill Mercy Corps’ Program Management and MEL Minimum Standards based on organization-wide guidance.
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Mercy Corps’ policies, including our Ethics Policies and associated guidance. 
  • Ensure all interventions adhere to Sphere standards, Do No Harm principles and program participant accountability standards.


  • Identify, build, and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments, and other stakeholders during an emergency response.
  • While on assignment, actively engage in humanitarian coordination systems and ensure Mercy Corps is well represented and engaged in relevant programmatic and operational coordination bodies.  
  • Ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience, and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.
  • Maintain high ethical standards and treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Exhibit an awareness of their own strengths and development needs.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies.
  • Contribute to creating a secure environment for team members.


  • Working closely with the Finance Manager/Director, establish and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
  • Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations related to emergency programming.
  • Draft and/or review scope of work to hire and manage any technical consultants, including review for technical efficacy and contract budget.


  • Ensure good people practices in our emergency responses. 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.
  • Ensure Mercy Corps’ ethics policies and associated guidance is followed, and that related systems, approaches and understanding is in place at the outset into every response. 
  • Collaborate with the People Manger/Director to support the on-boarding of senior team members, ensuring they are set up for success and familiar with agency systems, procedures, and protocols.
  • Support Mercy Corps global and regional initiatives for human resources, including safeguarding and diversity, and talent development.


  • Actively learns about safeguarding and integrates it into their work, including safeguarding risks and mitigations related to their area of work.
  • Practices the values of Mercy Corps including respecting the dignity and well-being of participants and fellow team members.
  • Encourages openness and communication in their team; encourages team members to submit reports if they have any concerns using reporting mechanisms e.g., Integrity Hotline and other options.

Supervisory Responsibility 

When deployed, the Emergency Response Program Lead will manage the Response Program team members.    


Reports Directly To:   VP of Global Emergency Response Team; dual line to hiring manager in-country or at the region while on assignment.  

Works Directly With: Global Emergency Response Team and wider Program Department, regional and country leadership, relevant HQ departments and technical teams.   

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 


  • 5+ years of field experience in international relief and development programs, including demonstrable success in managing development programs in transitional environments.
  • 5+ years of senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
  • Existing Program Management Certification a plus.
  • Excellent oral and written English skills required; proficiency in Arabic/French/Spanish is a plus.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint). 


  • Understands Sphere Standards and ensures they are met.
  • Can conduct rapid needs assessments, in line with Mercy Corps’ approach and industry’s best practice.
  • More than 50% of Mercy Corps’ responses are cash/voucher-based (CVA) programming so it is recommended that any Emergency Program Manager possesses the following competencies: Understands theoretical and applied knowledge about CVA
  • Can develop SOPs in line with Mercy Corps’ Minimum Standards (on CVA and Goods Distribution)
  • Can identify and initiate setup of payment mechanisms
  • Knowledge and experience with implementing other emergency response work on WASH, NFI/shelter, and protection mainstreaming.   


  • Possess project management skills and applies PM@MC minimum standards for all phases of the project cycle. 
  • Can oversee and implement participatory assessment processes
  • Can oversee program budgets, project cash flow and expenditures.
  • Understands donor regulations and compliance (USAID, ECHO, DFID, UN, etc.)
  • Effectively manages teams/people and apply relevant Mercy Corps’ procedures and approaches.
  • Supports team members through capacity building.
  • Possesses basic understanding of procurement and logistics.
  • Can ensure feedback from crisis-affected people and other stakeholders is incorporated in program design, implementation, and learning.
  • Can ensure team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.


  • Recognizes opportunities for innovative action and creates an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • Drives impact by building high performing teams.
  • Broadens influence by role modelling, strong collaboration skills with other teams and leveraging networks. 

Success Factors  

The successful Emergency Response Program Lead will skillfully leads high impact and high-quality Mercy Corps’ programs that align with our organizational Pathway to Possibility, our Humanitarian Response Approach and regional priorities.  

The Response Program Lead will combine exceptional management skills and experience in running emergency programs. Prioritizing, problem solving, ability to seize opportunities, attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The Response Program Lead will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability and thrive in an evolving and changing environment while taking care of self and others. 

Location: US, UK, NL, open to other Mercy Corps locations. 

Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular (Temporary: 1 year assignment) 

Salary Level:

  • US Starting Salary for this role will be USD $76,000 to $91,200 commensurate on experience.
  • Based on local…


Work must be performed in or near Portland, OR
45 SW Ankeny Street, Portland, OR 97204, United States

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