The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.
The IRC’s response in Libya began in September 2016. In the early days of our response we were focused on providing emergency health and reproductive care to people displaced by the conflict in Misrata. Across Libya over 1.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including conflict-affected Libyans as well as migrant and refugees. The IRC’s focus today is on providing health care to those in immediate need, with mobile health units operational in Misrata and Sirte and soon also in Tripoli. The IRC has offices in Tripoli and Misrata, and a sub-office in Sirte. The team comprised 35 national staff, 7 international staff permanently based in Libya and an additional 5 international staff who are based in Tunis with frequent travel to Libya.
With a strong, dynamic and growing team in place and a solid operational and programmatic foundation laid to build on, the Country Director will provide strategic leadership to take the Libya country program to the next level: This will involve establishing a long term vision and leading a consultative, collaborative process to develop a multi-year strategy action plan for the new country program; overseeing expected programmatic and operational growth while carefully analyzing, managing and mitigating risks; building a strong, cohesive and stable team across multiple offices and overcoming challenges inherent with remote management and a complex operating environment.
The IRC Country Director for Libya is responsible for overall leadership and supervisory management of IRC offices and operations in Tunisia and Libya, including stewardship of resources, staff safety and security, program quality and accountability, and performance management. The Country Director is IRC’s principal representative to the Tunisian and Libyan governments, donors, international organizations, and other NGOs. The Country Director is expected to respond effectively to a constantly changing environment for affected populations in Libya, while establishing a clear vision for the country program, bringing the staff team together to deliver high-quality programs and advocacy.
Success in this position requires an individual with demonstrated team leadership abilities; representational (including media relations), communications and risk management skills; and a facility for developing networks to build partnerships and diversify program resources. S/he will be directly responsible for the overall coordination and strategic direction of the country program; providing supervision and coaching for directly supervised senior staff; 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 high-quality, timely reporting; and oversight of financial management systems.
The Country Director will be based in Tunis but with frequent and extensive time in Libya. Reporting to the Regional Director for Europe and North Africa, this position receives support from regional and headquarters staff in the areas of program quality, new business development, advocacy and communications, safety and security management, finance, operations management, and external affairs. The Country Director is additionally expected to actively participate in defining the IRC’s public advocacy positions. The Country Director directly supervises six positions. This position requires extensive in country and occasional regional travel.
This position is limited accompanied and is based in Tunis, with regular travel (up to 50%) to Libya (Misrata, Tripoli, other locations TBD).
Leadership and Representation
- 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
- Develop and carry out strategies that result in strong representation with: Government authorities at various levels; donors; UN and other international organizations; international and local NGOs
- Ensure that the IRC remains a partner of choice for major international donors
- Develop and maintain a high level of understanding of donor priorities and planned funding
- Initiate and sustain strong, mutually beneficial and authentic partnerships with Libyan organizations
- Seek out and pursue opportunities to raise the profile of the work of the IRC in Libya, as well as the lives and the needs of the people the IRC seeks to serve
- Play a leadership role in efforts to improve humanitarian response coordination in Libya
- Lead country program collaboration with colleagues in the IRC’s European and West African regions to deliver regional programming and advocacy
- Maintain an excellent contextual and geopolitical understanding, allowing for the early identification of new developments and trends
Strategic Direction, Program Quality and Growth:
- Lead the development and then the delivery of the new IRC Libya strategy action plan, setting out a vision for the country program up to 2020, to deliver the highest quality programming possible and secure the resources necessary for realization
- Align programming to the IRC’s global mission and strategy, sectoral expertise and technical standards
- Ensure program quality through consistent use throughout the country program of: rigorous assessment, design, and proposal development and review processes; comprehensive monitoring & evaluation, accountability and learning systems; staff development investments; and partner organization capacity strengthening
- Remain current on national and regional issues impacting the country program and partners, and develop responsive strategies to ensure the IRC mission can be carried out appropriately in rapidly changing contexts
- Ensure country program alignment with and involvement in meeting regional objectives
- Identify opportunities for appropriate expansion and growth of programs, supported by the acquisition and investment of human resources
- Ensure timely submission of competitive, responsive and high-quality proposals, and support colleagues in negotiations with donors
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
Staff Performance Management and Development
- 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
- Provide constructive feedback and counsel on appropriate career paths and professional development for IRC staff
- Oversee the management, coaching and development of staff to build a cadre of skilled, committed and motivated personnel
- 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 staff
- Offer leadership support for successful adherence by all staff to IRC’s Global and country level HR Operating Policies and Procedures
Safety and Security Management
- Take primary responsibility for overall management of safety and security for the country program
- Oversee management of all security issues, including appropriate response to emergency situations as they arise
- Create and maintain a culture of safety and security throughout the country program, including trainings and briefings that prepare all country program staff for security incident prevention and response
- Keep security, evacuation and contingency plans current and accessible to country program staff.
- Maintain close coordination and communication with relevant Regional and HQ focal points on safety and security concerns and evolving issues that could adversely affect IRC staff or operations.
- 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
- Postgraduate degree in Political Sciences, Social Sciences or in other relevant field
- At least ten years of progressively responsible relevant work experience, including leadership at the Country Director level of multi-site, multi-sector operations in a complex operating environment
- Experience of building personal networks at a senior level, resulting in securing new opportunities for the organization
- Demonstrated successful leadership and management experience with a multi-disciplinary team, including active mentoring and coaching
- Proven experience delivering appropriate levels oversight of a portfolio consisting of a variety of complex, high-value donor-funded projects
- Extensive representation and fundraising success, including prior experience with European donors
- Proven ability to negotiate and work with partner organizations
- Strong budget and fiscal oversight capacities
- Established capacity to deal with ambiguity in stressful situations
- Ability to work and live in a sometimes insecure environment while maintaining a positive attitude
- Strong security management experience
- English fluency required; strong Arabic language skills required