Area Manager

Danish Refugee Council, Thessaloniki, Greece

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
18th December, 2019

Job Description


The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunity for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions. We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfillment of the wish to return home.

The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956 and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and present in forty countries, the Danish Refugee Council is a non-profit-making, politically independent, non-governmental and non-denominational relief organization.

Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced. All our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.


DRC has been operating in Greece since November 2015, supporting the relevant Greek authorities through an integrated programming within reception facilities and access to rights for asylum seekers and refugees. DRC initially established its operation on Lesbos island while since March 2016 expanded its presence in the mainland of Greece, in response to the changing context and the build-up of refugee population in the country. DRC has its Country Office in Athens, while operational capacity is established through Sub-Offices in Attica (Athens), North Greece (Thessaloniki), Central Greece (Larissa) and Lesvos (Mytilene).


  • The Area Manager is responsible for the overall management, implementation and programme development of DRC’s operations and represents externally DRC in the assigned area of responsibility. S/he will be responsible for all support functions (administration, HR, Finance, Supply Chain) as well as for the implementation of DRC’s multisector integrated programme in line with DRC’s strategy in Greece, in close coordination with the Country Office and by receiving technical assistance by the relevant technical experts in the above areas of work.
  • The position requires a high degree of responsibility, flexibility and understanding of complex organizational charts including horizontal liaising among different senior managers and particularly the Athens based Heads of Departments. S/he reports to the Country Director.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Act as the main DRC representative in the area and regularly communicate DRC strategy and advocacy messages to all relevant forums/meetings with the objective to strengthen DRC’s position in the area;
  • Develop, implement and regularly revise a DRC engagement strategy and acceptance in the area;
  • Identify and build relationships with authorities and other relevant actors in the area


  • Leadership, coordination and integration of DRC activities in the area in line with DRC’s Strategic Programme Document (SPD);
  • Direct line management in compliance with the DRC procedures and the Greek Labour Law of the staff based in the designated region, including recruitment, coaching, performance management, appraisal processes, capacity building and ensuring interdepartmental co-ordination;
  • Liaise and closely coordinate with the Senior Management Team (SMT) based in Athens to promote strong links between Country Office and Thessaloniki Sub-Office staff and to ensure Technical Line Management is active and functioning;
  • Ensure that existing programming and operational guidelines are being applied and followed by all teams in the area of responsibility;
  • Ensure a rights-based approach to all DRC programming in his/her area of responsibility;
  • Encourage a positive, innovative and mutually supportive team spirit amongst the team both locally but also with the Country Office team;
  • Lead DRC’s change management initiatives and promote a culture of accountability within all team members.

Programme Development

  • Lead the process of adapting DRC strategy to the local context and circumstances in close coordination with the Head of Programmes and in line with the broader strategic priorities for DRC in Greece;
  • Actively contribute to the development of DRC programme in the respective area of responsibility and provide input to the development of project proposals;
  • Regularly analyse and communicate updates to the Senior Management Team (SMT) and other relevant staff of the Country Office on the local context and humanitarian situation.

Safety and Security

  • Monitor developments on security situation in the area of responsibility;
  • Ensure staff safety measures are in place and implemented with the support of the Safety Advisor;
  • Ensure immediate communication with all relevant colleagues both locally and in Athens for any security related incident and ensure Safety Incident Reports are submitted.

Operational systems and support functions

  • Provide budget monitoring and financial control in compliance with DRC policies and donor requirements;
  • Ensure compliance with Supply Chain procedures;
  • Ensure implementation of the newly established ERP, locally;
  • Identify procedural gaps in DRC’s systems and ensure existing ones are implemented locally.


  • Comply with internal reporting requirements, contribute to, and provide quality assurance of external reports related to the area of responsibility.
  • Accountability
  • Guided by the DRC Programme Handbook, continuously monitor and suggest relevant accountability initiatives in the field as well as strengthening the effort to document the impact of DRC activities in the area;
  • Implement locally the DRC Greece Accountability Framework under the overall management of the Country Director and the technical guidance of the Accountability Officer.


  • University degree in international relations, management, human rights, social science or related field;
  • Minimum 3 to 5 years’ professional work experience within humanitarian/development work (1-2 years in management positions);
  • Good understanding of displacement issues of refugees and related international standards/frameworks;
  • Solid management skills and ability to manage large team;
  • Solid project management experience;
  • Extensive experience in representation and networking;
  • Excellent analytical and strategic skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to establish effective working relations with local staff and other stakeholders;
  • Excellent negotiation, advocacy and communication skills;
  • Professional fluency in written and spoken English and Greek;
  • Knowledge of displacement issues and local context in Greece and/or Europe is a strong asset.
  • Ability to live and work in a demanding working environment.

Required Skills & Qualities

Core Competencies of DRC:

  • Striving for excellence
  • Collaboration
  • Taking the lead
  • Communication
  • Demonstrating Integrity
  • Ability to work in a multinational and multicultural environment
  • Proactivity, with a sound commitment to teamwork and with a spirit of genuine collaboration
  • Excellent communication skills, as well as patience and politeness, are required
  • Multi-tasking and Organizational skills is a must
  • Adaptable and Flexible
  • Proven analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Exemplary sense of ethics in the workplace
  • Team-oriented & good sense of humor


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