Country Director, Ethiopia (International position) Vacancy in Ethiopia

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Jesuit Refugee Service
Closing date: 31 Oct 2021

Organisational Context

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is ministry of the Society of Jesus, incorporated as an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The organisation was founded in November 1980 and now has a presence in over 50 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office (IO) in Rome. The style of JRS service is human and spiritual, working in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term well-being of refugees and displaced people while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs.

The main services provided are in the field of education, emergency assistance, and psychosocial support and livelihood activities. Currently, more than 800,000 individuals are direct beneficiaries of JRS projects.

Operational Context/ Role

Under the supervision of the Regional Director, the Country Director is responsible for all JRS activities in the country. The Country Director will guarantee the efficient and effective management of the JRS Country Office while respecting and implementing JRS processes and guidelines. S/He will provide the strategic vision and leadership for the country programmes and will be responsible for ensuring the design and delivery of quality programmes, donor and government relations, fundraising and budget management, security and operations management, and developing a motivated and professional team. The Country Director will work in close collaboration with the International Office (IO) departments.

Key Responsibilities

In collaboration with the Regional Director:



  • Establish and remains faithful to a shared vision for the organization’s activities in in the country.
  • Ensure staff motivation through mutual respect, transparent communication, professional development opportunities and inclusion in project planning and promoting a positive working environment.
  • Ensure appropriate levels of communication with staff at all levels.
  • Ensure that staff can properly represent the organization by equipping them with knowledge about JRS’ vision, mission and the region’s strategic plan.


  • Develop partnerships with other NGOs, UN agencies and host governments, etc. for better coordination at programmatic level.
  • Cultivate positive and collaborative relations with third parties such as bilateral and multilateral donors, the Catholic Church and other main stakeholders to ensure the financial stability of the Country Office.
  • Ensure positive perceptions of JRS’ presence in the country.

Strategic planning

  • Lead the development and update/amendment of country 3-year plans in full accordance with Humanitarian Guidelines in the country, JRS Strategic Framework and Programmatic policies and procedures.
  • Monitoring of projects through regular visits to field.
  • Ensure the strategic vision and direction of the country program is aligned with JRS’ Global strategy and secure the resources necessary for realization.
  • Ensure strategic collaboration with all stakeholders including beneficiaries, other NGOs and donors.
  • Maintain strategic supervision on needs of people served, opening/closing and scaling up/down projects accordingly.

Staff management

  • Oversee the management, coaching and development of national and international staff to build a team of skilled, committed and motivated staff.
  • Coach, train, supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and constructive performance feedback.
  • Ensure that human resources needs are fully identified, assessed, described and communicated.
  • When required, recruit key positions with the assistance of the Country HR Officer and the HR Department of the International Office.
  • Ensure HR guidelines and policies are up to date and implemented
  • 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 all staff.
  • Ensure that Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan and Security Guidelines are regularly updated and implemented in all field locations.
  • Ensure that HR issues are tackled and taken in serious consideration.

Financial Supervision

  • Propose a yearly budget to Regional Director and ensure a timely monitoring of resources and expenses according to related control mechanisms.
  • Ensure high-quality, efficient and transparent planning, utilization and reporting of financial tools made available for JRS country programs.
  • Provide support for yearly accounting audits.
  • Ensure procurement policy is in place and followed.

Raising funds sourced in-country

  • Seek and exploit funding opportunities at country level to expand project operations.
  • In coordination with the Regional Director, the Director of Programmes and Innovation and Director of Communications and Development in the International Office, engage in fundraising activities for projects in country.

Advocating for people served and Communication

  • Ensure appropriate degree of information-sharing at all levels.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with all JRS partners and humanitarian actors, and particularly with the Catholic Church and the Jesuit provinces.
  • Ensure public awareness of JRS’ contributions to their communities.
  • Advocate for people served with international organizations, national/local authorities.

Project-Related activities

The JRS Country Director is responsible for

  • Coordinating all the country programmes and providing strategic direction.
  • Leading the Country Office team and ensuring responsive and high-quality performance of staff.
  • In close collaboration with the Country team, frequently traveling to the Projects to evaluate and assess the programmes

Qualifications and Experience

  • An advanced, accredited university degree in Management, Political Sciences, Law, International Development or another related discipline. An undergraduate degree with strong relevant field experience will be considered in lieu of an advanced degree.
  • Minimum of seven (7) years’ experience of increasing responsibilities in human service organizations, ideally in humanitarian or development organizations with a strong human rights, and/or faith, background. Experience in project development and management, work with refugees, and/or advocacy with forcibly displaced people is a particular advantage.
  • Minimum 4 years’ experience in leadership roles. Employment or collaboration with the Catholic Church (parish, diocesan or bishops’ conference level) in a leadership role is an additional asset.
  • Demonstrated evidence of leadership in a professional setting/humanitarian response with the ability to think strategically, motivate others, create new projects, solve problems and be part of a multi-cultural and multi-faith team.
  • Proven performance in organizational management, budget development and management, and general office coordination.
  • Demonstrated ability to fundraise.
  • Demonstrated evidence of an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • A proven ability to capture impact and learning from operations and feed it into new programmes.
  • Knowledge of and/or familiarity with key concepts and current trends in forced migration and challenges faced by forcibly displaced people.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to listen, effectively communicate, negotiate and work creatively with stakeholders of varying backgrounds: beneficiaries, government representatives, church leaders and refugee groups among them.
  • Advanced computer proficiencies in MS Office packages.


Excellent proficiency in written and verbal English; a professional working knowledge of French and/or Spanish is an advantage.

Ethics and Core Values

  • Good understanding of and compatibility with the values of JRS.
  • Commitment to JRS’s mission, vision and values; the ability to convey with enthusiasm JRS’s role in accompanying and serving forcibly displaced people and to advocate for their right to protection and a life in dignity.
  • High integrity, honesty and confidentiality; ability to deal tactfully and discreetly with people, situations and information.
  • Acceptance of diversity and inclusion as a core value.


The position requires regular travel to JRS locations in the country.

How to apply:

Application information

All applicants are requested to follow this LINK and submit the following documents:

1) Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English, including three (3) professional references with contact information, phone and email address.

2) A cover letter describing the candidate’s desire and motivation to work for JRS and how her/his qualifications and experience are a good fit for this position

3) Copy of academic qualifications.


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