Fraud and Corruption Investigator – Ethics & Compliance

Location Washington, DC; Portland, OR; Remote US

Position Status One-year term

Starting Salary $76,000 DOE

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.

Ethics and Compliance Department

The Ethics and Compliance team supports and monitors ethical, contractual and legal compliance across Mercy Corps’ various affiliates and global operations. This team interacts with and supports all functional areas of Mercy Corps, including executive and senior management, programs, social ventures, policy & advocacy, resource development, finance, and the people team, as well as the various functional areas that report into these departments. Within the Ethics and Compliance Department, the Intake and Investigations team is responsible for the intake and investigation of all reports of ethics violations including fraud, corruption, Global Human Resources complaints, and safeguarding reports. The Intake and Investigations team is responsible for managing all phases of the investigative process from intake to case closure.

Position Overview

Under the direction of the Director, Fraud and Corruption Investigations, the Fraud and Corruption Investigator will play a lead role from receipt of an allegation to the submission of the final investigation report. The Investigator is responsible for conducting investigations into allegations of violations of Mercy Corps’ Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption policies. It is the role of the Investigator to ensure that Mercy Corps takes all reports of misconduct seriously and investigates allegations of fraud and corruption thoroughly and impartially consistent with sector-wide best practices and donor expectations. The Investigator will plan, conduct and prepare reports for assigned fraud and corruption investigations. They may be supported by Integrity Focal Points, who are field-based team members trained to support but not lead investigations. Investigations will be conducted remotely; working in a variety of diverse cultural contexts and time zones.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy and Vision

  • Manage investigations by setting clear direction and strategy; anticipate challenges and risks and identify strategies for mitigation
  • Deliver quality results even under difficult or changing c
  • Ensure that lessons learned are captured from fraud and corruption investigations for the agency to consider when revising policies, procedures, and training
  • Understands ethics related compliance requirements and what it takes to ensure a culture that takes ethical issues and obligations seriously
  • Leads and enables activities that enhance Mercy Corps’ reputation for analytical rigor and innovation

Investigation Support

  • Effectively plan and execute impartial, thorough, timely and confidential investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption
  • Ensure investigations are conducted in a manner that considers the safety and security of all involved, including risk assessments and mitigation
  • Develop and draft timely investigation plans that identify risks
  • Conduct whistleblower, witness, and subject interviews
  • Identify, collect, and review documentary evidence needed for investigations
  • Analyze control system weaknesses and identify corrective measures
  • Prepare comprehensive investigation reports, which may be subject to third-party (donor) review, on a timely basis
  • Maintain organized, confidential, and thorough investigation files
  • Coordinate with Integrity Focal Points to support investigations efforts when possible
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality within the agency and with third parties

Team Support

  • Lead remote investigations, manage co-investigators, and coordinate with country leadership in diverse time zones as needed
  • Sustain a collaborative work environment of mutual respect, where team members strive for the most ethical and effective as possible.
  • Help build trust and confidence in Mercy Corps’ reporting, investigation and follow up systems and foster a climate where team members feel confident and comfortable reporting issues;

Influence and Representation

  • Maintain productive relationships with all stakeholders, including country teams, other headquarters functions, donors, and regulators.
  • Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Director, Fraud and Corruption Investigations

Works Directly With: Senior Ethics Specialist, Ethics and Assurance Managers, Integrity Focal Points, country-level senior management teams

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 and Transferable Skills

  • At least 5 years of experience as a trained and practiced investigator is required;
  • Proven investigative skills and demonstrated ability to act as a lead investigator, including the interviewing of subjects of complaints and witnesses, the collection of potential evidence, and other related investigative procedures;
  • Demonstrated ability to produce detailed investigation reports;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and interest in ethics, fraud, and corruption, and a sensitivity to cultural diversity and gender issues;
  • Solid understanding of a wide-range of ethics violations, including fraud and corruption;
  • Experience working in humanitarian aid or development, either living overseas or spending a significant amount of time in foreign countries is preferred;
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills;
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, effective organizational and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to navigate difficult circumstances with a calm demeanor and in a methodical, analytical manager;
  • Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws;
  • Additional experience as an ethics officer, attorney, or similar position is preferred;
  • English fluency (written & verbally) required.

Success Factors

The successful Investigator will have knowledge of the INGO environment; deep knowledge of best practices in conducting fraud and corruption investigations; a proven ability to analyze complex situations with varying cultures, languages and education levels; the ability to objectively document and prioritize findings and to develop workable recommendations for improvement. This person will have an utmost understanding of and appreciation for the confidential nature of this work.

Living Conditions/ Success Factors

The position is based in either Portland, Oregon, Washington, DC, or remote in the U.S., and it may require up to 25% travel to countries which may be listed as failed or failing states. Travel for investigations is occasionally urgent, resulting in travel departure within days of notice.

Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

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.

How to apply

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