Deputy Humanitarian Director

United States
Type of contract:

Deputy Humanitarian Director

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Job Title: Deputy Humanitarian Director

Location: London or Washington D.C. with frequent travel (50%) to locations globally, potentially including remote and insecure locations

Reports to: Global Humanitarian Director

About Rl: Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in 16 countries to relieve poverty, ensure well-being and advance dignity. We specialize in fragile settings, responding to natural disasters, humanitarian crises and chronic poverty.

Relief International combines humanitarian and development approaches to provide immediate services while laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Our signature approach — which we call the RI Way—emphasizes local participation, an integration of services, strategic partnerships and a focus on civic skills. In this way, we empower communities to find, design and implement the solutions that work best for them.


As a key member of the Global Support Office (GSO) the Deputy Humanitarian Director (DHD) will support the Global Humanitarian Director (GHD) in delivering on the humanitarian ambition and strategy for Relief International (RI), and will act as a key organisational focal point for humanitarian preparedness and response efforts, including networking and representation as delegated by the GHD. The DHD will also support the GHD in the ongoing development and improvement of Rl’s global strategy and resources and be responsible for many aspects of systems strengthening and capacity building in the organization. As requested by and in conjunction with the GHD, the DHD will be responsible for providing day-to-day operational backstopping support and advice to Relief International country offices and humanitarian responses globally. The DHD will regularly deploy to the field to lead, support or advise on emergency response program design, development and mobilization efforts. He / she also provides ongoing remote and in-person technical support for longer term crises and humanitarian programming.


  • Under the leadership of the GHD, play a substantial supporting role in refining RI humanitarian strategy and approach to emergency response
  • Regularly deploy to RI field offices to lead or support in emergency preparedness and response programming efforts (c. 50%)
  • Support the GHD in refining criteria, protocols and mechanisms for emergency response, and rolling these out in the organization
  • Develop or update written, standardized protocols and procedures (SOPs) for Emergency Response field operations, in conjunction with other departments in Rl
  • Train RI field staff to evaluate crisis situations and initiate emergency responses, remotely and through running in-country workshops and simulations
  • Support countries in developing and reviewing emergency preparedness plans, criteria, checklists, etc.
  • Provide technical assistance and support when appropriate or requested to Program Development and Program Management teams. The role may also involve drafting and reviewing grant I project proposals
  • Support country offices or take the lead in developing preliminary response plans and strategies and situation reports for new or emerging crises
  • Conduct post-response diagnostics (After Action Review) and lessons learned exercises, leading to revised operating procedures
  • Develop an active network, train and mentor emergency focal points in RI country offices.
  • Liaise with humanitarian partners I actors I donors and maintain and strengthen key external contacts to promote Rl’s interests
  • With the support of the International Programs Officer, maintain and update the humanitarian resources on shared drives, Intranet and website
  • Provide support to countries for special topics I initiatives, e.g. training and capacity building of partners
  • Provide support to Global Humanitarian Director for special initiatives and ad-hoc requests, such as analysis, writing, preparation for presentations, communications project inputs etc.
  • Work with internal communications and field teams, to support them in profiling the organization’s humanitarian work
  • Perform duties of “Deputy” for START Network, including representation, and being a member of the START FUND decision making committee


  • Serve as Emergency Response Team Leader as and when needed I delegated or support the CD as team leader
  • Recruit and manage staff and volunteers
  • Ensure field-HQ coordination and liaison across all departments
  • Design and / or conduct rapid needs assessments
  • Lead or contribute to preparation of concept papers and proposals, in close collaboration with program development team and technical staff
  • Serve as principal donor liaison for emergency funding
  • Facilitate establishment of strategic emergency response partnerships and agreements
  • Facilitate relations with national and local authorities, including securing registrations, licenses, authorizations, banking, etc.
  • Represent RI at appropriate coordination meetings, including cluster meetings.
  • Coordinate initial program mobilization, as needed, and facilitate and ensure smooth handover of response programs to response or program management team
  • Participate significantly in the recruitment of new emergency response staff


  • This position demands a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding and fast paced environment.
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field of study, or Bachelors degree with equivalent experience.
  • 3-5 years experience of working within a senior management role within a complex country program in an emergency response (disaster or conflict) or fragile state. Previous experience in first phase emergency response is essential
  • Experience of international level representation with key stakeholders, and co-ordination with other NGOs/UN
  • Experience of managing multi-donor (including UN, ECHO, DFID and OFDA / USAID), multi-sector programs in a first phase response
  • Experience of developing and negotiating successful partnerships and funding agreements with institutional donors
  • Strong communication and report writing skills and experience (assessment reports, concept notes, proposals, situation reports, guidance notes)
  • Budget and financial management experience of program budgets
  • Experience of training, capacity building and mentoring
  • Previous background and/or experience in at least two of the following relevant technical sectors is preferred: health and nutrition services; water, sanitation and hygiene; shelter; food security and livelihood; education; protection. Prior experience in cash transfer programming in humanitarian and fragile contexts preferred
  • Ability to show initiative, multi-task and provide a consistently high quality output / deliverables
  • Flexible, positive and pro-active attitude essential
  • Demonstrated project cycle management skills, inclusive of work plan/ timeline/ deliverables/ budget tracking and course correction
  • Experience of managing and working with local partners desired
  • Excellent English language skills; Preferred second global language
  • Ability to travel on short notice to fragile settings, for around 50% of time
  • Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy
  • Commitment to the aims and principles of Relief International. In particular, a good understanding of the humanitarian mandate and principles.
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Relief International

Relief International support communities in their response to crisis. Their goal is to achieve a compassionate collaboration that creates lasting solutions.

They work hand-in-hand with courageous, committed partners in communities around the world. They include:
People living in underserved, remote or dangerous places
Refugees, internally displaced persons, and those afflicted by natural or man-made disasters such as war and conflict
Women and girls, especially those in need of primary education and health services
Small-scale entrepreneurs, farmers and rural dwellers in need of training and well-developed links to markets

All Relief International jobs