Area Director for Northeast Syria

Closing date:

Starting date: November 2021 or based on agreement

Contract duration: 12 months with possible extension

Country Program: Syrian Response

Base: Derik and potential travel around North East Syria

Line Manager: Country Director, Syria

Women are strongly encouraged to apply

About the mission:

PIN has been working in Northern Syria since 2012, providing support to conflict-affected communities and IDPs. PIN’s contribution to the overall Syria humanitarian response is amongst the largest, with an annual turnover of over $50 million with 40% in NES. The major donors in NES are the EC, USAID/BHA and SDC.

General position summary:

The Area Director (AD) is part of Syria Country Management Team (together with Country Director, Head of Programmes, Head of Systems & Operations, Security Advisor and members of HQ Syria desk). The AD will be responsible for all program and support teams in NE Syria ensuring relevant, impactful and principled programming in line with PIN’s country strategy. Currently PIN has around 300 staff (200 national staff, 11 expatriates, 100 daily workers) working in four different offices. We are looking for a leader with multi-year experience in managing large teams and multi-sectorial programmes in insecure and challenging environments that can provide leadership to move the programme forward expanding into new geographical areas, building local partnerships and moving into early recovery/stabilisation programming specifically in education, shelter and livelihoods.

The AD reports to PIN Country Director for Syria Response. They have delegated management responsibility for Area Programmes and Systems Directors – Programmes, M&E Manager, Security Team leader, Logistics and Procurement Manager and Finance Manager. The AD cooperates closely with Head of Programmes, Head of Systems and Operations, Security Adviser, as well as Desk team in HQ.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to the development and scale up of NE Syria Strategy and programme ensuring it is appropriate and needs-based, ensuring cooperation across sectors and local teams.
  • Provides support and guidance to Area Programmes Director to ensure the implementation of the programmes is in line with sectorial SoPs with particular attention to quality and efficiency.
  • Ensure appropriate administrative, financial and logistical PIN systems/procedures are in place, maintained and adhered to so that all support functions are carried out effectively and efficiently.
  • Ensure all operational departments are working in close collaboration with programs to facilitate smooth, efficient and effective implementation.
  • Ensure financial oversight for overall NE Syria budget, report any concerns or deviations to the Head of Systems and Operations and Head of Programmes and support program and operations departments to develop plans to mitigate under or over expenditure.
  • Provide overall support to team members ensuring professional development and improved wellbeing.
  • Ensure clear communication flow between different departments internally and the coordination office in Erbil, including regular documented team meetings for planning and reporting purposes.
  • Represents the organization at the regional level including meetings with donors, consortia in North East Syria, humanitarian actors, local authorities, protocol and security meetings. Maintain regular working relationships and ensure active cooperation between PIN and UN agencies, clusters, working groups.
  • Ensure overall security and safety of staff in the area and that appropriate security guidelines are developed, communicated, adhered to, and regularly reviewed with the Security Team Lead and Security Advisor.
  • Ensures adequate contingency plans are in place and regularly shared with all the staff. Monitors the political, economic, and social environment in the area, assesses and analyses the risks, monitors and reports the security situation.
  • Line Manage 6 direct reports: Programmes Director, Systems Director, MEAL Manager, SNFI Working Group Coordinator, LEARN Shelter Specialist and Security Manager.

Suitable candidates for this position should possess:

  • At least 5 years’ experience with a humanitarian and/or development organization in senior management.
  • Strong leadership and staff management skills, with experience in managing (directly and remotely) large, diverse and multidisciplinary teams.
  • Good understanding of the humanitarian environment (NGOs, NGO Forums, UN, main donors)
  • Strong security management skills and experience in challenging and volatile security environments
  • Good organizational, planning, diplomatic and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills, including fluent spoken and written English.
  • Previous experience with managing large teams and budgets.
  • Previous working experience from Middle East, particularly the Syrian crisis is advantage.
  • Desirable: A working knowledge of Arabic

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

  • This position is unaccompanied. It is based in the main base in Derik, close to the Iraq Border. The office in Derik was opened in December 2019 and has a small contingent of international staff providing links to national staff in the other offices in NE Syria. The town is perceived as less conservative, offering opportunities for social life. Location may change as the security situation in NE Syria is fluid.
  • Derik is a small town with a few restaurants. There are a number of NGOs with their international staff based in Derik. Outside Derik, Hasakeh Governorate is considered one of the more stable areas in Syria. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all PIN’s offices and guesthouses. There are a number of health services available with medevac mechanism for INGO’s members. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods.
  • In the Raqqa and Menbij field bases living conditions are more basic with less opportunities and places to socialize. A new GH/Office has recently opened in Kobane which is more comfortable and offers more opportunities to socialise

People in Need offers:

  • Salary of 3 600 – 3 800 EUR (already including subsistence allowance of 1 200 EUR)
  • Opportunities for learning, trainings and capacity development.
  • 25 days of paid leave annually
  • Reimbursement of travel expenses with travel to the country of residence once per every 6 months of completed work, plus R&R benefits according to PIN’s policy.
  • Reimbursement of costs of visas and vaccinations; assistance with visa application procedure.
  • Free medical helpdesk and psychological consultation available on line.
  • Travel health insurance
  • Housing in PIN guesthouse covered by PIN

How to apply

Are you interested in this position? Great. Send us your CV and short cover letter via this application form.

Please note only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Interviews will be conducted on rolling basis and the vacancy will be closed when filled.

People in Need staff are expected to perform job duties and responsibilities in accordance with People in Need Code of conduct and key policies (available at:

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