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 long term impact.
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 innovative and transformative 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, no matter how complex the environment, Mercy Corps is committed to bold, 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.
Mercy Corps fields approximately 5,500 staff in over 40 countries around the world. Many, if not most of these countries exhibit extraordinary security environments with all trend analysis indicating that these security conditions will persist. At Mercy Corps, our security strategies are based on a risk management approach. We primarily strive for security strategies in which mitigation measures are primarily founded upon community acceptance. We recognize every context is different and when and where necessary, we will integrate protection and deterrent measures towards security. We will adapt to meet the specific requirements of each operating environment; and in some cases, this may require a blended approach which integrates elements of deterrence and protection to ensure we are operating safely. Our goal is to be the leading NGO responding to complex crises and to do this we must be best in class for adaptive risk management and sound security policies and practices.
The Regional Security Advisor (RSA) will cover the Asia region and MC programs in Europe (Ukraine, Poland and Moldova). The overall responsibility is to reduce the risk exposure of Mercy Corps’ staff and programs by training and empowering our field offices to better assess and respond to safety and security threats. This position will be 70% dedicated to supporting the region by reducing the risk exposure of Mercy Corps’ staff and programs through supporting field teams to better assess and respond to threats and planning around incident management. This includes both naturally occurring disasters and man-made hazards. Mercy Corps’ Asia portfolio includes Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste. The region is historically prone to natural disasters including: tsunamis, earthquakes, flooding, volcano eruptions, monsoons and typhoons. Many of our South East Asia country programs, past and present, were initiated through a response to a natural disaster. This region also covers Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Tajikistan.
Globally the RSA advances best practices through security management training, technical advice and support for improved assessment, analysis and planning. When not supporting Asia country programs, the RSA will be available to support Mercy Corps programs globally, in collaboration with the Senior Director of Global Security.
It is expected that the RSA is a partner to the Regional Directors of Asia and Europe in carrying the burden of risk management through team building and training, careful planning of growth and expansion, program design, incident management, regional analysis and other activities. It is expected the RSA will travel extensively with long field trips in each location and develop a deep understanding of the context and Mercy Corps teams. Depending on need, the RSA may supervise part-time security staff or support regional and country management with strategy, budgeting and forecasting amongst other activities. The RSA does not hold the authority to suspend operations, impose procedures or evacuate staff. The RSA does not manage country Security Focal Points but they have accountability in terms the quality and standards.
- The implementation of all security management plans lies within each country and the Country Director or Representative is responsible for this.
- The RSA co-owns the responsibility for their implementation and is essential to the technical support and quality control of this process and is responsible for both operational and management-level support to each country team.
- They will also conduct security audits and other checks to ensure the diligence of implementation and appropriateness in planning.
- The RSA will advise on staffing, budgeting and other strategies.
- They will support new program initiatives with the design phase and technical documentation.
- The RSA will ground truth local risk assessments and contingency planning – ensuring these are ready to be operationalized.
- The RSA is required to support incident management of all critical incidents and crisis situations. His/her support may be, from time to time, required to support the global portfolio.
TRAINING AND ORIENTATION
- The RSA will work with the offices to ensure that all new staff hired at a regional, national or expatriate level, as well as official visitors to the region, receive a consistent and thorough security orientation upon hire/arrival in the region.
- This is the responsibility of Security Focal Points and in-country planning, but the RSA will offer technical support, coaching, quality control and checks to ensure this critical task is done.
- Additional effort will be made to ensure that those deployed in extreme safety or security risk areas receive enhanced training on personal security, first aid and the specific threats in those areas.
- During routine field visits, the RSA will also provide on-site training aimed at the special needs of staff, from guards and drivers to field managers and program staff.
- The RSA may request from the Director of Global Security to access the global security budget to support with external consultants and other targeted and tactical support.
- They will direct one on one or strategic workshops may be done with regional management at a higher level and in a way that security and risk management is carried forward with effectiveness in program or operational works.
- They are expected to support Mercy Corps at the global level and in other regions requiring additional support in the remaining 20% of their time.
- The RSA provides quality control and technical support to promote and support efforts by field offices to meet minimum security standards through effective planning and budgeting for security.
- The RSA will support the development and maintenance of current security plans in a consistent format (using Mercy Corps format) through the provision of planning workshops, training, and the provision of feedback on plans.
- Additional support may be required to other countries as assigned. Additional support to global initiatives, tools and procedures is required outside the 70% of this position.
- Responsibility for monitoring the security environment in each country falls to the respective Country Directors and their in-country security focal points.
- The RSA will ensure that field offices have access to good security information sources. While the RSA is expected to remain conversant in the particular security challenges of each country, it is not the RSA’s responsibility to track and report security developments in each country.
- The RSA should ensure that a system of incident reporting and after-incident review is in place reflecting Mercy Corps global policy and protocol.
- It is the RSA responsibility to report critical incidents to the Director of Global Security and RD.
- The RSA should be readily available at all times to the RD, the Country Directors and field staff to advise on security developments.
- The RSA can call upon additional expertise where needed in addition to field visits. They will be expected to be available during times of critical incidents and will be a part of any Crisis Management team.
- Crisis/Incident management is an essential part of this position.
- The RSA will support field and regional teams with HQ and field-level coordination in the NGO community; seek opportunities for formal and informal cooperation; develop a network of support with peers in the humanitarian community.
- Because the RSA does not have the authority to close programs, manage operations or evacuate staff, the effectiveness of the position will rely heavily on the individual’s ability to develop strong positive working relationships with the Country Directors, Security Focal Points, field staff, the RD and the global security team to advocate change as needed through compelling presentation of risks, costs and benefits of enhanced security on program impact and effectiveness.
- Any other duties which are not listed but are essential to the safety and security for Mercy Corps staff, property/material, and reputation as directed by the Senior Director of Global Security.
Reports Directly To: Sr. Director Global Security
Works Directly With: Regional Director and Regional Management Team, Country Directors and Country SMTs, Security Focal Points (SFPs), other Regional Security Advisors and the Global Security Team.
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 Qualifications & Transferable Skills
- Undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree in a relevant field
- A minimum of 10 years’ experience in complex and insecure settings, preferably within a conflict environment
- Alternatively, extensive experience in the security or management field that reflects 5+ years in team management and working at the senior leadership level is required.
- Proven written and analytical skills (sample may be requested).
- Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills including influencing, negotiation and mentoring.
- Willingness to work and travel frequently in often difficult and insecure environments.
- Proven experience remotely managing staff in a matrix management environment.
- Competency in Internet and Microsoft Office systems including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and other database/mapping systems.
- Fluency in English and Spanish is required.
- Formal training qualifications (HEAT, K&R, Personal Security, First Aid etc) is an asset.
- Availability to respond to security alerts outside of business hours.
The successful Regional Security Advisor will have strong communication and diplomacy skills. The Regional Security Advisor must focus on understanding the conditions and concerns of the various Mercy Corps field offices and respond to them in a way that meets local needs, while enhancing the safety and security environment. They will not protect Mercy Corps staff per se but will strive to empower our Country Directors and staff to better protect themselves. It is imperative that the Regional Security Advisor has a clear understanding of, and willingness to work within the culture and mandate of humanitarian response. Much of this position is being present and available in the South East Asia Region and globally as needed. Access and willingness to travel is a factor to success.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based within ready access to the region as the Regional Security Advisor will be dedicated to supporting this region 60% of their time. This support may be remote at times but will also require frequent travel to the field site. If relocation is necessary, Mercy Corps will consider providing and expatriate staff package as long as the home of record location has ready access to an international airport. Significant travel is expected with this position at 50% of the time to remote and insecure environments with living conditions that may be quite basic and may include accommodations in guest houses or group living.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the