Head of Mission – Iraq

INTERSOS is an independent humanitarian organization that assists the victims of natural disasters, armed conflicts and exclusion. Its activities are based on the principles of solidarity, justice, human dignity, equality of rights and opportunities, respect for diversity and coexistence, paying special attention to the most vulnerable people.

Terms of reference

Job Title: Head of Mission

Code: 29-3148

Duty station: Erbil, with frequent visits to other field locations in Federal Iraq

Starting date: 01/07/2023

Contract duration: 12 months (3 months as probation period)

Reporting to: Middle East Regional Director

Supervision of: All members of SMT (Senior Management Team)

Dependents: Accompanied duty station

General context of the project

INTERSOS has been present in Iraq since 2003 and currently operates across Ninewa, Salah Al Din (SAD), Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah Governorates. INTERSOS thematic sectors of intervention are Protection, Education and Health. The INTERSOS coordination office is in Erbil with bases located in Tikrit, Mosul, Telafar and Sulaymaniyah and programming presence in other areas of Ninewa, SAD and the Kurdistan region. As of 2021, INTERSOS has over 340 national staff, 18 expat staff and over 200 volunteers working in Iraq. By applying an integrated programmatic approach, INTERSOS provides essential lifesaving services to women, men, girls and boys in IDP, refugee and host communities in its areas of intervention.

In the Protection sector, INTERSOS is one of the main actors in Iraq, providing a comprehensive package of protection services spanning both in-camp and out-of-camp locations. The services include protection monitoring (flagging urgent protection concerns and trends to UNHCR and the protection cluster, including beneficiary profiling and direct referral to specialized services), MHPSS, case management (for GBV, Child Protection and PwSN), and legal assistance, counselling and court representation. Current health programming includes supporting the provision of free and integrated primary health care (PHC), ensuring availability of essential medicines, implementing a pilot project to strengthen non-communicable disease diagnosis and treatment in primary health clinics, and facilitating outreach health services through community health volunteers (CHVs). In Education, INTERSOS has supported access to formal and non-formal education for Syrian refugees and Iraqi IDPs in camp and urban settings, particularly in Kurdistan.

The current context in Iraq provides an exciting opportunity for its programming to transition from what has largely been traditional humanitarian interventions (during and after the conflict with ISIS in significant parts of the country) to longer-term durable solutions, stabilization and development interventions.

General purpose of the position

The Head of Mission represents officially the Organization in the country of assignment and is responsible for the planning, management and implementation of the country program on the basis of the global and regional strategies and indications.

Main responsibilities and tasks

The Head of Mission represents the Organization and is responsible for the planning, management and implementation of the country program on the basis of defined strategies and indications.

The HoM manages and coordinates the operations and human resources in the country and is responsible to:

  • Representation and external coordination
  • Establish and maintain collaborative relations with Local Authorities and Institutions, Donors, International Agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders
  • Follow up, guarantee and monitor government recognition procedures for the organization in compliance with the host country formalities
  • Provides INTERSOS Headquarters with timely and relevant information on documents that may create legal commitments vis-à-vis third parties


  • Define, in coordination with the country team and the Regional Office, country priorities based on context and needs analyses
  • Monitor donor intervention strategies in the country and design accordingly the fundraising and development strategy of the mission
  • Design, promote and elaborate new interventions
  • Define strategic priorities for the development and set up of the mission structure
  • Control of program implementation
  • Supervise and validate country level development of project proposals for submission to donors
  • Define the general planning and scheduling of activities to be carried out in the country
  • Define organizational aspects, coordination and communication/information flows in the mission
  • Oversee, check and evaluate key variables concerning project planning and implementation (in relation to formats, INTERSOS and donor constraints and policies; the quality of management processes; the quality of human, technical and instrumental resources; the effectiveness and quality of results and efficiency);
  • Verify and ensure at mission level compliance with deadlines and timely and appropriate submission of all documentation required by donors including interim and final financial and narrative reports;

Information and Reporting

  • Continuously assess, analyze and evaluate the impact of the country operations, also through periodic visits to the areas of intervention


  • Define the mission financial plan, ensuring self-sufficiency and consistency of expenses, and assume responsibility for the mission funds management, including bank accounts

Risk Management

  • Prevent and if needed identify, analyse and manage institutional risks, ensuring timely communication with the Regional Office
  • Being accountable for and ensure safety and security management at mission level, including risks analysis, elaboration of security rules, briefing of team members at all levels, monitoring of compliance, security incidents management and communication to HQ


  • Ensure all departments of the mission are implementing activities in line and in full compliance with INTERSOS Organization Management and Control Model and policies, donors’ rules and applicable legal requirements
  • Ensure all team members and contracted persons and entities abide by INTERSOS ethical policies (against fraud and corruption, on PSEA and child Protection) and related procedures;

Human Resources

  • Manage, support, build the capacities of all direct reports, and evaluate their performance
  • Ensure the SMT manages the teams guarantying support, capacity building and well-being, in line with INTERSOS policies and legal requirements
  • Provide INTERSOS Headquarters with photographic and filmed materials on activities carried out in the country of assignment and any other useful documentation for external communications, in accordance with procedures defined

Required profile and experience


Advanced university degree (preferably International Relations, Political Science, Economics). A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree

Professional Experience

  • At least two years of professional work experience as Head of Mission or five in other management/ coordination positions in humanitarian/development contexts
  • Knowledge of the humanitarian coordination mechanism
  • Previous experience in Middle East region is an asset
  • Proven experience in management of EU (mainly ECHO), UN (mainly UNHCR), and AICS if possible
  • Experience in security and risk management
  • Previous experience in development contexts is considered an asset

Professional Requirements

  • Strong and proven understanding of the humanitarian operating context, the humanitarian system, donors and their high demanding, security and financial management in humanitarian context
  • Strong knowledge of donor’s procedures notably UN agencies (UNHCR), AICS, ECHO
  • Very strong skills in computer (excel) and admin/finance procedures
  • Highly able to keep confidentiality
  • Able to work independently and under stress
  • Organization skills, delegative and empowerment approach of the supervised team, but capacity to be hands-on and pay attention to details
  • Demonstrated leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Readiness to commit and adhere to the values, mission and vision of INTERSOS


Fluent knowledge of English (speaking and writing), knowledge of Italian is an advantage

Personal Requirements

  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills with analytic approach
  • Excellent communication and negotiations skills, both oral and written
  • Demonstrated ability to establish effective working relations with staff, beneficiaries and other stakeholders
  • Ability to work in a complex environment within multi-ethnic and multicultural teams
  • Leadership skills

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to apply following the link below: https://www.intersos.org/posizioni-aperte/missioni/#intersosorg-vacancies/vacancy-details/6368d915ec9e95002139680b/

Please note that our application process is made of 3 quick stepsregister (including your name, email, password and citizenship), sign-up and apply by attaching your CV in PDF format. Through the platform, candidates will be able to track their applications’ history with INTERSOS.

Please also mention the name, position and contact details of at least three references: two line managers and one HR referent. Family members are to be excluded.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for the first interview.

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