Director of Protection and Essential Services

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 Protection and Essential Services, a leadership role responsible for providing the core of ICRC's programmatic capabilities and professional expertise.

The Department of Protection and Essential Services provides the Department of Operations with strategic advice and ensures the right resources are in place to enable effective delivery. It leads thematic files, strengthening synergies and promoting transversal approaches to achieve outcomes for affected people. It designs programmes and projects and co-creates the budgeting and implementation of field activities in collaboration with the Department of Operations.

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.
  • Experience in the design, development and implementation of ICRC's programmes, in line with its mandate to provide humanitarian protection and assistance to people affected by conflicts and armed violence.
  • Ability to develop and adapt ICRC's programmes and activities to ever-evolving humanitarian needs in the field, to find new ways of delivering an effective response, and to be an architect of change.
  • Demonstrated thought leadership and strategic thinking; ability to co-lead and drive trans-departmental collaboration to deliver agreed outcomes in the field and achieve the strategic objectives in the Institutional Strategy 2019-2024.
  • Proven track record of collaborative leadership style; experience in leading multi-disciplinary teams, collaborating across programmes and departments, with excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Fluency in English and French; fluency in additional relevant languages an advantage.
  • Advanced university degree.

The Director of Protection and Essential Services is accountable for:

  • Co-leading with the Department of International Law, Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy on transversal collaboration, alignment and orchestration to achieve Strategic Orientation #1 of the Institutional Strategy 2019-2024 - 'Influencing behaviour to prevent violations of IHL and alleviate human suffering' - under the oversight of the Executive Office of the Director-General.
  • Providing the required programmatic capabilities and professional expertise, in collaboration with the Department of Operations, that:

    o o Enable the conception and planning of ICRC programmes for and with affected people.
    o Co-create the budgeting and implementation of ICRC's programmes.
    o Monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of ICRC's programmes, ensuring continuous improvement.
    o Enable the delivery of humanitarian operations in the field through an outcomes-based approach.

  • Ensuring professional staffing and quality expertise required to deliver agreed outcomes in the field, together with the Department of People and Culture.
  • Developing and ensuring the application of programmatic policies, procedures, reflecting best practices and the need to work transversally across programmes and across the organization.
  • In support of ICRC's Protection mandate (e.g. Central Tracing Agency transformation), leading the implementation of thematic priorities.
  • Fostering and leveraging thematic partnerships within and beyond the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement for more significant humanitarian impact in the short and long-term; collaborating with the Department of Mobilization, Movement and Partnerships.

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.