Job Details

Deputy Director - Mercy Corps Northwest

Mercy Corps, Portland, OR

Job - Non-Profit

Close Date: 10/04/2019

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) is the assumed business name for the 501(C) 3 non-profit, which is the domestic arm of Mercy Corps. The organization was established in 1998 as a program of Mercy Corps, the Portland-based international relief and development agency that assists all low-income populations, including people of color, women, refugees and immigrants, incarcerated and previously incarcerated people in Oregon and Washington. MCNW helps marginalized people increase their economic self-sufficiency, enhancing their resiliency and community integration through self-employment and small business development services. MCNW is a part of Mercy Corps’ Americas portfolio. For more information about Mercy Corps Northwest, visit

General Position Summary

The Deputy Director (DD) is directly responsible for ensuring the quality and impact of the majority of MCNW programming in Oregon and Washington. The DD works closely with the Executive Director (ED) to build upon MCNW core competencies and grow the program strategically responding to the needs of groups and communities. They will also help lead the roll out and development of strategies and processes that reinforce MCNW’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the office, with clients and partners and in communities. The DD supervises the: 1) Washington Manager, 2) Small Business Financing Manager, 3) Education and Women’s Business Center Manager, 4) Data Officer, and the Finance Manager. The DD will work closely with the ED on new business development. Right now, MCNW’s scope is limited to the Pacific Northwest but we expect this to broaden over time likely outside of the Pacific Northwest. The DD represents Mercy Corps at the highest level and is able to develop, articulate and deliver a strategic vision in line with the evolution of the context and scope and MCNW’s strategy.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to the Washington Manager, Small Business Financing Manager, Education and Women’s Business Center Manager, the Data Officer, the Finance Manager, and other team members and stakeholders, translating into concrete and coordinated work plans. Identify ways that the team members and programs will coordinate with one another to optimize the client’s experience.
Contribute to the MCNW strategy development, prioritize and organize actions and resources to achieve objectives.
Provide support to the ED in providing leadership to domestic emergency response efforts if needed.
Ensure that teams are collaborating internally and with external stakeholders effectively, adding value to the program and maintaining strategic focus.
Take action to advance innovative action and programming, and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
Ensure we are modeling and advancing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within our team and across all our programming. Work to help us operationalize this commitment by honoring and implementing our internal agreements and agreed upon actions.

Work closely with the Executive Director and Program Managers to ensure that MCNW’s strategy is understood and guides decision-making.
Provide leadership to ensure coordination, collaboration, communication and harmonization of Mercy Corps programming.
Build consensus around a common vision of what shared success looks like, including development and tracking appropriate indicators.
Provide programmatic oversight to ensure programs are able to meet donor and internal obligations on scope, time and budget, including efficient coordination on common program, operational and funding issues.
Facilitate sharing and learning across different teams to incorporate learning in project design and management with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
Create and maintain systems to ensure technical coherence and promote creative and equitable programming across the program portfolio.
Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, values including diversity equity and inclusion values and targets, quality standards and strategic plan

Work with the ED, Resource Development (RD), the Americas desk and Program Managers to track and review calls for proposals and identify opportunities that match Mercy Corps’ strategic interests.
Complete Go/No Process processes to get approval for all concepts as per approval authority.
Work with ED, RD and the Americas desk to draft and develop letters of inquiry, concept notes and proposals that are aligned with our strategy.
Coordinate with Program Managers and partners (when relevant) on proposal development and design, including gathering information for concepts and proposals and serving as primary drafter/editor of proposals and needs assessments as needed.
Apply the agency’s best practices in proposal development efforts for institutional donors.

Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence and honor agreed upon team agreements.
Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
Ensure that program teams are using Monitoring and Evaluation tools and these are in line with Mercy Corps guidelines and policies.
Ensure that all the programs staff have received trainings in line with their level of responsibility and receive technical support relevant to their programs.
Ensure that MCNW maintains a high degree of risk awareness and impartiality.
Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary.
Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance, reach objectives and achieve their professional objectives as per their performance management plan.
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.

Maintain oversight of overall program budgets ensuring appropriate allocation of resources to meet program objectives.
Ensure adequate technical, analytical and administrative support for programs.
Ensure compliance with donor and Mercy Corps regulations.

Represent Mercy Corps programs at conferences, workshops, meetings and through media and participate in community activities as appropriate.
Work with government structures and representatives, maintain and develop relevant and productive relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.
Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents such as private partners, local NGOs and civil society organizations and academic institutions.
Respect and understand differing cultural differences and nuances and have the ability to navigate between them, recognizing the complexities involved.
Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with partners, donors, governments and other stakeholders.

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our partners and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility

Washington Program Manager, Small Business Financing Manager, Education and Women Business Center Manager, Data Officer, and the Finance Manager.


Reports Directly To: MCNW Executive Director
Works Directly With: MCNW team in Oregon and Washington, Americas team, headquarters departments (RD, finance, program)

Knowledge and Experience

BA/S or equivalent in relevant field required, MA/S preferred;
At least 7-8 years of senior-level leadership and management experience is required. Knowledge of the domestic programming issues in the Pacific Northwest is preferred;
Substantial knowledge of asset building, small business development and/or resilience is required;
Demonstrated experience in program design and fundraising;
Robust experience in developing, operationalizing, and implementing program strategies;
Demonstrated expertise in representation and negotiation on behalf of a non-profit or company is required;
Demonstrated success working effectively and respectfully with governments, private sector, INGO, NGO partners and other stakeholders;
Highly-developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching; strong emotional intelligence and conflict resolution skills critical to the role.
Solid project management skills related to diverse, cross-functional teams;
Experience of solving complex issues collegially, defining a clear way forward, and utilizing best practices in management to ensure shared success;
Outstanding analytical and strategic thinking skills, with a focus on results and impact;
Experience working with underserved communities and low-income individuals; particular emphasis on contexts and/or programs were issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion needed to be incorporated.
Excellent oral and written English skills required, proficiency in a second language is preferred.

Success Factors

The successful candidate is an opinionated, fast thinking, experienced leader. They have a thorough understanding of what is takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. They are an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and evolving program. They are able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging innovation, accountability, diversity, equity and inclusion. They are a confident representative in public settings, able to speak up when needed to defend Mercy Corps’ positions and influence key stakeholders internally and externally. They have excellent information management skills, is a strategic thinker and committed to cultivating the skills and experiences of team members and leaders. They have an outstanding ability to design, implement and manage innovative programs that are in line with MCNW’s strategy.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The Deputy Director position is based in Portland, Oregon with travel primarily to and in Washington and Oregon (up to 25%).

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 and advancing our diversity, equity and inclusion work.

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