Director of Operations

15 September 2021

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC works to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

The ICRC seeks applications for its future Director of Operations, a leadership role responsible for overseeing ICRC field operations worldwide, managing regions and delegations, focusing on delivering outcomes for affected populations and on staff security.

The Department of Operations handles the global analysis of key trends. It leads the design, prioritization, budgeting and planning of emergency and multi-year activities and projects including through multi-stakeholder partnerships, ensuring seamless collaboration with the Department of Protection and Essential Services and other relevant departments.

The ideal candidate will have the following:

  •  Significant leadership experience at national, regional or global level in a complex environment and considerable experience of ICRC field leadership.
  • Understanding of the complex dynamics of humanitarian action in contexts of armed conflict and other situations of armed violence in which the ICRC operates. 
  • Strong analytical skills and strategic thinking; well-developed understanding of the political and humanitarian environments/fora in which the ICRC and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement operate and of the opportunities to deliver greater outcomes to affected populations with networks of donors and partners.
  • Strong, proven experience in crisis and staff security management; excellent communication and negotiation skills with a demonstrated track record of expertly representing the ICRC's best interests.
  • Ability to be a catalyst for change throughout the institution, specifically through an outcomes-based approach, multi-year implementation programmes, multi-stakeholder partnerships and digital transformation. 
  • Proven track record of collaborative leadership style; ability to drive and foster transversal collaboration to achieve the strategic objectives in the Institutional Strategy 2019-2024. 
  • Fluency in English and French; fluency in additional relevant languages an advantage. 
  • Advanced university degree.

The Director of Operations is accountable for:

  • Leading on transversal collaboration, alignment and orchestration to achieve Strategic Orientation #2 of the Institutional Strategy 2019-2024 - 'Building relevant and sustainable humanitarian impact with people affected' – under the oversight of the Executive Office of the Director-General.
  • Implementing, delivering, monitoring and reviewing the ICRC's global operational response for and with affected people in complementarity and collaboration with other relevant departments.

    o Leading the conception, prioritization, planning and monitoring of the ICRC emergency and multi-year activities for and with affected people through an outcomes-based approach, ensuring effective multi-disciplinary response.
    o Leading the co-creation of budgeting and implementation of ICRC's activities.
    o Effectively managing the budget for the delivery of outcomes for and with affected people.
    o Ensuring and fostering outcome-oriented partnerships in emergency and protracted situations within the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and with other humanitarian and development actors.

  • Managing global crises, staff security and duty of care responsibilities with the oversight and guidance of the Director-General and in collaboration with the Department of People and Culture. 
  • Strategically analyzing trends related to armed conflicts and other situations of violence and broader geopolitical developments to support the evolution of ICRC field operations and the achievement of institutional objectives.
  • Developing and maintaining a sustained operational dialogue with actors of influence in the field, state and non-state, in collaboration with other relevant departments. 
  • In collaboration with the Department of Mobilization, Movement and Partnerships, supporting the implementation of the Resource Mobilization Strategy, generating the flexible, diversified and sustainable funding required to ensure ICRC's long-term viability, as per its operational ambitions. 
  • Ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations in regions and delegations supporting the ICRC's licence to operate.

To apply:

  • Submit your CV and cover letter to the dedicated mailbox: by 31 October 2021. Applications will be treated confidentially by the Executive Office of the Director-General and our chosen third-party executive search team.
  • Expected start date in the role: April 2022 (allowing for transition period ahead of the official start of the new Directorate on 1 July 2022).
  • The ICRC values diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.