Director – Gender, Diversity and Inclusion – Portland,Or, Washington, Dc, Edinburgh, London, The Hague

  • Anywhere
Organization: Mercy Corps
Closing date: 22 Sep 2023

Location: This position is open to Mercy Corps US or Europe office locations – Portland, Or, Washington, DC, Edinburgh, London, The Hague

Valid unrestricted work authorization in the country in which you will be based (United States and Europe) is required at the time of application for this position.

Position Status: Full-time, Exempt, Regular

Salary :
US : The salary range for this role is $90,000 – $114,000 commensurate on experience.

UK : salary range for this role £63,840 – £75,810.
Netherlands : € 75,040 – € 89,110. Or, based on local benchmarking.

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.

The Department Program
The Strategy Realization Unit (SRU) ensures that Mercy Corps has the strategies and vision that will enable it to be a world-class, cutting edge, humanitarian organization, creating transformational change in the world. The Strategy Realization Unit’s goal is to drive forward the agency’s strategic future, providing a unifying vision while also enabling teams to be adaptive. The underlying intention is to create clarity and focus to enhance decision-making.

The SRU also drives the successful implementation of critical initiatives that enable the organization to successfully realize the Mercy Corps Vision and Pathway to Possibility.

The Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) priority is a multi-year participatory, inclusive process that endeavors to facilitate living and breathing our Mercy Corps culture and values by ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace, our teams, and organizational culture. The GDI priority is an integral part of our Safe, Diverse, and Inclusive (SDI) commitment in our strategy, Pathway to Possibility (P2P). Mercy Corps’ GDI work is a transformational priority for Mercy Corps, calling on our leaders and global teams to fundamentally challenge and evolve the way that we operate, change who is represented on our teams and driving decision-making, and genuinely embody, prioritize, and hold ourselves accountable to our organizational values.

The Position
The GDI Director will lead Mercy Corps’ GDI priority and GDI team through a facilitative approach that meaningfully engages team members at all levels of the agency. They will be responsible for working closely with Mercy Corps’ global leaders and team members to cultivate shared ownership of this critical organizational change efforts, and ensure the governance and accountability structures put in place are being used effectively, and that collectively we are reaching agreed upon milestones.

The GDI Director will serve as the main point of contact for supporting our global teams in reaching our GDI milestones in a manner that maintains a cohesive and consistent approach across multiple organizational work streams while leveraging internal stakeholders and local contexts. Leading the GDI priority also includes managing a GDI team, resource mobilization and stewardship, building on quick wins and putting into place a framework for long term behavior change, and coordinating closely with the People Team, regional teams, and other SDI commitment workstreams (safeguarding, community accountability, locally led commitment leads, and inclusive programing). This position will also devote significant time to internal communications, including cultivating a global community of practice. They will contribute to broader industry learning by sharing our experience and leadership with other INGOs and external influencers.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Support the Vice President for Organizational Inclusion in defining and leading the Safe, Diverse, and Inclusive (SDI) commitment and global approach and plan for GDI, including establishing quarterly and annual goals.
  • Partner, consult, and define with leaders across the agency on how to advance GDI and drive meaningful engagement throughout the agency.
  • Deepen the partnership with People Team, Regional Teams, and SDI commitment counterparts to effectively operationalize our GDI commitments.

Ensure that all Mercy Corps departments have clear commitments and plans to advance GDI in line with the SDI commitment and P2P change processes.

Support the Global People Team on refining commitments to global leadership diversity that support both our SDI and GDI commitments, and essential reform processes to ensure inclusive management practices and team member experience globally.


  • Consistently strives to exceed expectations; demonstrates flexibility, resilience and the ability to maintain positive relationships and composure, even under difficult circumstances.
  • Maintains high ethical standards and treats people with respect and dignity.
  • Demonstrates an awareness of his/her personal strengths and development needs, modeling Mercy Corps core leadership behaviors.
  • Builds a culture of feedback and learning.


  • Contribute to regular dialogue and accountability with the leadership team and across the agency to review progress and course correct, if necessary.
  • Ensure data and insights to identify, understand and articulate the key inputs and metrics that tell the story of the GDI strategy and its progress.
  • Build in appropriate feedback loops to see if we are meeting key milestones and if the impact planned is being felt across the agency. Provide sufficiently detailed reports, guidance and recommendations to the Board of Directors, Executive Leadership Team, Leadership Team, and senior team members on GDI related to all aspects of Mercy Corps’ operations.


  • Leads the implementation of the GDI priority and key areas of focus, ensuring effective coordination with global, regional, and country leadership, and teams implementing complementary activities across the organization.
  • Manage, support, and provide coaching feedback to GDI team members, and create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence on their own team and embrace their role and responsibilities in advancing shared goals.
  • Develop and execute an internal GDI communications strategy and plan to ensure team members are aware and engaged in GDI efforts, in partnership with the Internal Communications team and the SRU.
  • Role model inclusive leadership, creating an environment where diverse viewpoints are welcomed and actively engaged.
  • Play a key role in coordinating and delivering direct technical support to teams from GDI team as appropriate.
  • Continue support for ongoing working groups, regional initiatives, communities of interest that enhance understanding along with agency wide platforms.


  • Contribute to regular dialogue and accountability with the leadership team and across the agency to review progress and course correct, if necessary.
  • Ensure data and insights to identify, understand and articulate the key inputs and metrics that tell the story of the GDI strategy and its progress.
  • Build in appropriate feedback loops to see if we are meeting key milestones and if the impact planned is being felt across the agency.


  • Represent the VP for Organizational Inclusion and Mercy Corps as requested at key internal stakeholder and leadership meetings.
  • Communicate effectively to leadership to ensure overall informed and able to actively engage.
  • Liaise with and maintain productive relationships with all stakeholders, including the Leadership Team, regional and country teams, other global headquarters functions, and donors.
  • Leverage the GDI priority to increase Mercy Corps’ external visibility and grow Mercy Corps’ reputation as a leader in this space by identifying opportunities to share the process and results in the broader relief and development industry through presentations, DEI working groups, etc.
  • Seek opportunities to leverage the learnings from this priority with other organizational agency efforts.

Supervisory Responsibility
Supervises GDI Specialist, GDI Advisor.

Reports Directly To: VP for Organizational Inclusion.
Works Directly With: Strategy Realization Unit, People Team, Internal Communications, Technical Support Unit, Regional Teams, SDI Commitment Leads.

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 Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • 5-7 years of progressive experience working in organizational change, diversity and inclusion effort, with demonstrated experience in global organization.
  • BA or BS required with a focus on organizational change, HR / People & Culture, social inclusion, or other related field.
  • Previous experience designing and leading similar agency-wide diversity initiatives that may include elements of diversity, gender equity, race and ethnicity, and creating and supporting inclusive work spaces.
  • Proven ability to lead cross-functional teams and provide strategic direct and management support.
  • High level of emotional intelligence and empathy able to guide senior leaders, team and individuals through complex issues GDI leaving them feeling able to engage in meaningful change.
  • Demonstrated leadership capability, including ability to motivate and mentor others within the team and ability to work independently with minimal guidance.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and collaboration skills to effectively communicate with technical, internal, and external audiences globally leveraging variety of communication channels.
  • Successful track record of interaction with senior professionals to drive organizational change outcomes, resolve issues and build consensus.
  • Proven program and project management experience including thought leadership, development and execution of highly visible programs and projects.

Success Factors
As GDI Director, the ability to organize and manage complex, agency-wide issues and stakeholders is essential. A successful GDI Director is able to coordinate all stakeholders and stakeholder groups with the skills to rally around a common set of goals and objectives. A successful candidate will be an inclusive leader, strong facilitator, and coach who can provide support to diverse team members and global teams. The GDI Director is technically savvy and brings industry best and promising practices to set the tone for Mercy Corps to continue in its GDI learning journey. The Director is highly visible, ensuring clear, frequent, and engaging communication to promote broad engagement and participation in the priority, as well as communicating around the process and outcomes.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is open to Mercy Corps US or Europe office locations – Portland, Or, Washington, DC, Edinburgh, London, The Hague, and requires up to 25-30% travel.

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

Apply here


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