Temporary Program Officer: Ukraine -- Mercy Corps

Temporary Program Officer - Ukraine

Programs Anywhere, United States  Washington, District of Columbia  Portland, Oregon



About Mercy Corps

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 implements a variety of programming throughout Asia in response to the diverse humanitarian and long-term development needs of the region. Our portfolio in the Asia region includes ongoing or future programming in the countries of Afghanistan, Georgia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. Mercy Corps is committed to delivering high quality, high impact programming that reaches communities or individuals in need, wherever they are. 

The Position (General Position Summary)

The conflict in Ukraine has resulted in over 3 million people fleeing the country, and many millions more displaced within Ukraine. There are many more who are unable to safely leave their homes. The circumstances and populations are constantly evolving with the conflict. Mercy Corps has reopened its registration and presence in Ukraine, as well as offices to support people in neighboring Poland and Romania. This includes partnership models, cash, information as protection and other emergency response activities in a very fluid environment.

The Program Officer (PO) supports strategic, impactful, high-quality programming in the Asia region, particularly for Ukraine. This temporary role will be for a period of approximately 6 months, with the possibility of converting to a permanent position.

The PO supports Country Directors in aspects of their country program and grant administration, plays a key role in connecting the field to HQ resources, and represents the country/regional interests internally with various HQ teams as well as with external stakeholders.  S/he works with the Senior Program Officer (SPO), Deputy Regional Director (DRD) and Regional Director (RD) to provide the secondary check and supports the field (ultimate point of responsibility) in adhering to internal and external policies and regulations.

Essential Responsibilities


  • Serve as HQ point of responsibility for overall monitoring on grants/programs for both external/donor requirements as well as Mercy Corps’ internal policies and requirements.
  • Provide ongoing monitoring of the status of programs and complete regular check-ins on grant requirements (such as co-financing/match, BVA, data aggregation, etc.).  
  • Support country team’s adherence to Mercy Corps internal policies, Program Management minimum standards and, where appropriate, Complex Programs management standards. 


  • Lead HQ coordination for proposals (as assigned). Throughout the proposal process, monitor the timeline, status of proposal and communicate to the relevant parties as appropriate.
  • With guidance from the SPO, coordinate partnership negotiation and development, ensuring the necessary teams are engaged, to help further program, country and regional interests.
  • The PO reviews draft proposals for coherence and donor requirements, and manages submission to the donor.
  • S/he may be appointed to a different role in the design process, including taking on lead writing responsibilities, and travel to the field if needed. 


  • With guidance from the SPO, represent regional interests and programs with external stakeholders, in concert with the field teams.
  • In coordination with the APO, support internal communications and ensure knowledge management systems are up to date and accurate to support communication with other teams.
  • In coordination with the APO, ensure management of agency systems and adherence to HQ-related Program Management minimum standards, etc.


  • Mobilize support services and risk management resources to enable country and regional leadership teams to execute their respective strategic priorities.
  • Support measurement and analysis of regional performance to inform strategic decision making, including key finance, operations and human resources indicators.
  • Ensure that effective systems are in place in all country offices for the adequate management of human resources, financial and operational field support functions.
  • Provide dedicated support to country teams in the event of an emergency or start up of a complex program that requires additional resources, assigned by SPO.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Senior Program Officer, Asia region 

Works Directly With: Country Leadership teams, other HQ Program units and other departments, including Resource Development, Finance, People team, Legal, Policy and Advocacy, Mercy Corps Counterparts at MC HQ offices in Europe; MC donors and partners.

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

  • BA/S in relevant field required; MA/MS/MBA or equivalent preferred.
  • 2-3 years of field-based experience in international relief and development – ideally in the region; demonstrated knowledge of relevant sectoral and/or operational areas.
  • 2-3  years of experience managing the development, implementation, administration and compliance (especially of US Government-funded grants); general program management experience required.
  • Experience with proposal development including support and writing with various donors, particularly US Government, private foundations and corporations.
  • Experience with monitoring and evaluation and other learning efforts.
  • Experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local and international government officials, local civil society organizations, other international organizations, the media and the public – required. 
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Proficiency in Ukrainian, Polish, and/or Romanian is highly desirable.

Success Factors

The successful candidate demonstrates the skill, professional maturity and finesse required to manage the desk team to provide excellent, timely support to the Asia Region. S/he is a problem solver, who is adept in successfully dealing with issues of complexity. The temporary PO is a skilled communicator, able to develop and utilize strong relationships with staff, partners and donors. S/he will coordinate with his/her supervisor, and be skilled at building highly effective working relationships with Country Directors and their teams.  S/he will harness the expertise, experience and ideas of Mercy Corps’ diverse program support teams, including members of the TSU, Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness and Social Innovations teams and channel them into impactful partnerships with country programs and the region at large.  The PO will work with country teams to ensure that we learn from experience, thoroughly research, analyze context and develop high impact strategies.  S/he will be a skilled writer and synthesizer of diverse and complex information, helping teams generate new insights into their work, the needs of their countries and the region as well as how program impact can be scaled. A robust sense of humor is greatly appreciated.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Portland (or remote) and it requires up to 30% travel to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited.  Housing for this role is in individual housing and staff will have access to good medical services and the living situation is of a high standard. 

Ongoing Learning

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 Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

 As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.

Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.

Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees

Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status. This policy is necessary to ensure not only the safety of our workforce, but the ongoing functionality of the organization.

This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities.

For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment.  Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations.  Failure to comply may impact your employment.  Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.