Job Description 
 The Mercy Corps Colombia Country Director is an innovative and visionary leader responsible for resourcefully managing all programming in Colombia, resulting in lasting improvement in the lives of Colombia’s 45 million inhabitants. S/He has held senior roles in formulating strategic direction within an international development context. The CD has supervisory responsibility for the country team and a program portfolio of approximately $12M divided among 11 donor grants of varying sizes from $40,000 to $5,000,000. Key sectors for MC Colombia are land conflict mediation, sustainable resource development, youth and child soldiers, and humanitarian assistance to displaced persons from the conflict, disasters and land mines. The CD is responsible for strategic programming, donor liaison, finance/operations/security and team building. The CD develops sustainable, multi-sector programming and is accountable to beneficiaries and donors, placing a high value on innovative solutions to development issues and creative partnerships in tough environments.

Mercy Corps has been active in the Latin America/Caribbean region for 25 years and currently has country offices in Guatemala, Colombia and Haiti. We have been present in Colombia since 2005, focusing interventions on IDPs, land mine victims, land conflict mediation, sustainable resource management, child soldiers, youth and emergency response. We have worked together with communities and local partners in Colombia, bringing benefit to more than one-half million beneficiaries. Our strategic goal is to strengthen the capacity of civil society to address the causes and consequence of the Colombian conflict: the lack of access to land and natural resources, justice, social services and the predominance of poverty. Working mostly in close partnership with local NGOs, CBOs, and civil society networks to build their capacity, our current programming supports more than 70 staff, including four expatriate staff, and focuses on responding to natural disasters, working with marginalize populations, strengthening civil society capacity, economic development, and land mediation.

Strategy and Vision

  • Explore, evaluate and present innovative funding opportunities, leveraging impact and integrating activities with other NGOs, particularly focused on humanitarian assistance (conflict, land mine & disaster victims), sustainable resource development and conflict mediation.
  • Lead the annual country planning process and provide timely quarterly reporting and strategic updates.
  • Anticipate needs, understand donor pool and secure sufficient resources in a timely manner.

Personal Leadership

  • Consistently demonstrates flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
  • Maintains high ethical standards and treats people with respect and dignity.
  • Has high emotional intelligence and is awareness of his/her own strengths and development needs.
  • Seeks to understand and address underlying causes of a problem rather than focusing on the symptom.
  • Makes informed, transparent decisions in a timely manner and takes follow-up actions.


  • Represent Mercy Corps programs with national and international media, and participate in community activities as appropriate.
  • Communicate a clear vision of present and future program goals and strategies to team members and stakeholders that translates into concrete programs and work plans.
  • Maintain productive relationships with internal and external constituents.
  • Represent Mercy Corps to high level Colombia government representatives, bi-lateral, multi-lateral and corporate donors (particularly USAID and EC) and US Government institutions.

Team Management

  • Recruit, manage and motivate a skilled, efficient team; incorporate staff development strategies and performance management systems into the team-building process, encouraging a culture of learning and innovation.
  • Supervise and lead a diverse team of direct and indirect reports in field offices, fostering a respectful and effective team environment.  
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Lead country level team in response to proposal design strategy and development.

Operations Management

  • Apply Mercy Corps’ Design M&E principles and framework to programs and ensure the country’s overall strategy includes effective, timely reporting systems for all donors.
  • Ensure effective, transparent use of resources in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies/procedures.
  • Supervise the Country Finance Manager position; oversight responsibility for all financial integrity of the country programs and budgets;
  • Oversee budget management of sub-grantees/sub-contractors, if applicable.
  • Build and maintain operational systems that ensure proper administrative support for programs, as well as segregation of duties between finance and operations.


  • Develop and maintain systems that ensure the safety and security of the team in all aspects of its work.
  • Liaise with Mercy Corps HQ on crucial events, high-risk periods, incident reporting and security policy changes.

Organizational Learning: 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.

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


REPORTS DIRECTLY TO:  Regional Program Director Latin America/Caribbean
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH:  HQ desk officers in PDX and Edinburgh for the region, the HQ Regional Finance officer, and various other HQ specialized technical support personnel, such as logistics, IT, and other technical sectors.


  • BA/S is area related to international development is required and MA/S is preferred.
  • 7-10 years field experience in international relief and development programs in positions of increasing responsibility, and having demonstrable success in managing multi-sectoral and multi-donor development programs.
  • Senior-level leadership, capacity building and field management experience.
  • Proven skills in financial and grants management; prior experience with USAID and EC grant management.
  • Experience with food aid, rural poverty reduction and working with marginalized communities is desired.
  • Previous work experience in Colombia or Latin America, and in insecure environments.
  • Successful and proven negotiation, communication and organization skills.
  • Fluency in English; high level proficiency in Spanish is required.

The successful Colombia CD will skillfully represent programmatic priorities of the agency to donors and regional partners while providing effective leadership to the Mercy Corps program team. S/he will have high emotional intelligence, constructive mentoring skills, and proven experience with capacity building.  S/he will be committed to long-term program sustainability & the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.

The CD is based in Bogotá, the capital, which is a large and fairly modern city with good access to public services such as well as excellent medical care.  Bogotá is considered an accompanied/family post. Housing is provided as individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. All MC Colombia employees are expected to work a 5-day work week with occasional need to work extended hours and on weekends/holidays.  There are excellent International schools in Bogotá. This position requires up to 40% time for travel by air transportation to project sites in sometimes insecure environments. Mercy Corps Colombia is a member of UNDSS and expects staff to follow security protocols to minimize security risk in the field.   Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.

Job Location
Bogota, OTH CO
Position Type

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