Country Director, Iraq

Closing date:

Are you ready to pursue an exciting opportunitywith a progressive humanitarian organisation in a senior management role? Would you thrive working in one of the world’s most challenging humanitarian operations, Iraq?

Who are we?

Danish Refugee Council is a leading protection agency pursuing our mandate to protect and promote durable solutions to displacement-affected populations based on humanitarian principles. In the Middle East, DRC applies a regional approach with operational presence in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey & Yemen.

Present in Iraq since 2003, DRC currently has a country office in Erbil, area offices in the north (Tel Afar, Mosul, Duhok, and Erbil), in the South (Baquba, Diyala, Anbar and Baghdad) and Central (Tikrit and Beji) with a mine action programme in Basra. Our focus is on meeting lifesaving and immediate needs of conflict affected populations, through provision of integrated and principled humanitarian assistance, services and advocacy, while at the same time undertaking programming that aims to improve the quality of life and supports transitional solutions for people who find themselves in a protracted displacement situation. This approach involves working with IDPs, returnees and host communities in order to strengthen cohesion and resilience in the following thematic areas: Protection, Economic Recovery, Shelter, WASH, Camp Management & Camp Coordination, Emergency Response and Humanitarian Disarmament & Peacebuilding. The Iraq programme presently employs 492 national staff, 25 international staff and 365 service providers with a porfolio of USD 39 million in 2021 in line with new, emerging needs associated with a transition from emergency response through early recovery to development.

About the job

The Country Director plays a strong leadership role in DRC’s comprehensive and solutions-based approach to displacement through a high level of strategic leadership, innovation and effective advocacy. Ultimately accountable in country for all aspects of DRC’s work, leading the consolidation and at the same time development of the programme, continuing the process of developing solid impact measurement mechanisms, strengthening accountability initiatives and ensuring that the financial management and organizational setup is adapted to the operational context. The Country Director sets direction, leads, maintains team morale, safety and welfare, and manages resources, delegating specific duties as necessary, while maintaining oversight and accountability.

Your main duties and responsibilities will be:


  • Represent the programme to authorities, donors, partners, and in various co-ordination fora;
  • Strengthen DRC’s position nationally and regionally;
  • Ensure that DRC maintains excellent and productive relations with all key stakeholders, especially beneficiaries, local authorities, the humanitarian community and donors.

Direct managerial oversight and support

  • Ensure that the senior management team members have clear and realistic performance based management goals;
  • Overall management of the operation and direct manager for senior staff members.
  • Organise regular meetings with the senior management team and all staff for the purpose of exchanging information, coordination and learning.
  • Ensure that the senior management team is effective, mutually supporting and sufficiently involved in decision making.
  • Frequent travel to the field offices for direct operational support and representation;
  • Ensure compliance with internal and external reporting requirements including procurement.

Fundraising and Advocacy

  • Lead the process of applying for funding and broadening the funding basis in a challenging funding environment;
  • Together with the Head of Programme, lead the team in writing concept papers, project proposals and budgets in line with the approved country strategy;
  • Lead on advocacy for all DRC key messages.


  • Accountable for ensuring that the programme is delivered in a safe and secure manner;
  • Provide overall accountability for security, including development of and ensuring adherence to security procedures, monitoring of the security situation, analysing and provision of recommendations.

Support Services

  • Together with the Head of Support Services, provide overall budget monitoring, financial management and expenses control including compliance with minimum DRC and donor requirements and ensuring that necessary systems are in place.
  • Manage the resources allocated effectively and transparently by respecting and meeting all legal requirements in country
  • Oversee finance and administrative services in the Programmes
  • Provide leadership support to staff and promote best practices in human resources management.
  • Ensure coaching and counselling advice to staff when necessary and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity.

Programme development

  • Together with the Head of Programme, lead the development and update of the programme strategy, within DRC’s overall regional and global strategic frameworks;

Accountability and Quality

  • Ensure that DRC standard regulations and operational procedures (Code of Conduct, DRC Management handbooks, CHS standards, etc) are followed.
  • Guided by the Programme Handbook, continuously monitor and develop relevant accountability initiatives in the field as well as strengthening the effort to document the impact of activities and our presence.

About you

To be successful in this role we expect you to have minimum ten years’ management experience in emergency/development contexts as country director/senior manager of a humanitarian or development organization or similar, moreover, we also expect the following:

  • Experience as a people manager;
  • Experience representing a large and leading organization to donors, external partners and authorities;
  • Experience with networking, advocacy and coordination;
  • Experience in managing staff in insecure/stressful locations;
  • Experience with conflict related displacement issues;
  • Experience of managing budgets and multiple donor contracts;
  • Experience in donor contact, fundraising and networking;
  • Experience working in the Middle East / Iraq (preferred);
  • Proven leadership skills and a competence in people management;
  • Proven communicator with all types of stakeholders; and
  • Proven commitment to accountable practices and knowledge of quality assurance systems.

In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:

Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.

Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.

Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.

Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.

Demonstrating integrity: Upholding and promoting the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in relation to DRC’s values and Code of Conduct, including safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

We offer

Contract length: 24 months

Start date: May 2022

Erbil is a family duty station

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates or for Danish Refugee´s Council National Staff salary scale; please refer to under Vacancies. This position will be placed at D band for Expatriates.
For questions regarding this vacancy please contact Regional Director Applications sent by email will not be considered.

How to apply

All applicants must upload a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages) in English via our online systemApplications sent by email will not be considered.

Closing date for applications: 20 March 2022

The screening process for this position is on rolling basis, so early submission of applications is encouraged. DRC remains a right to close the vacancy once a suitable candidate is identified.

For further information about the Danish Refugee Council, please consult our website

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