Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an international non-governmental organization (INGO) based in the United States that works in over 100 countries to promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies. CRS welcomes as staff and partners all people regardless of race, ethnicity, creed, or nationality who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
The CRS Laos program was established in 1994 and has worked in the unexploded ordnances, education, disability, and health sectors. The national office is in Vientiane, with programs operating in Savannakhet and Khammouane Provinces. Currently, the primary program sectors in which CRS Laos works are education and disability.
In September 2016, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) signed a five-year agreement, ensuring a second phase of Learning and Engaging All in Primary School (LEAPS II). From 2012 – 2016, LEAPS I served nearly 16,000,000 meals and increased student attendance by 38%. Working closely with the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), LEAPS II will continue to improve literacy of 40,000 school-age children in Lao PDR in 350 schools across seven districts of Savannakhet Province (Atsaphone, Outoumphone, Phalanxaye, Phin, Vilabouly, Sepon, and Nong). LEAPS II activities fall into four main categories: school meals, WASH, literacy, and inclusive education.
As Chief of Party you will provide leadership and overall management of the USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education (MGD-FFE) Senior Management Team for the Learning and Engaging All in Primary School (LEAPS) II project in Savannakhet, Lao PDR, serving the poor and vulnerable. Your leadership, management and technical knowledge will ensure the delivery of high-quality programming and advance the position of CRS as a leading agency in the education field. As a senior leader, you will proactively manage security and mitigate security risks.
- Lead all aspects of the development, implementation and consolidation of the MGD-FFE project, including sharing how the project contributes to the thought leadership of the industry. Serve as the country program’s primary point of contact to USDA, as well as public, private and non-government stakeholders.
- Ensure the project is designed and implemented to meet donor expectations in terms of timely and quality results and budget, including strategies for phase out and sustainability. Ensure coordination between program and operations leads. Ensure the CRS program quality standards are adhered to per Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) policy and procedures.
- Effectively manage senior programming and operations talent. Manage team dynamics and staff well-being. Provide coaching and mentoring. Strategically tailor individual development plans and complete performance assessments for direct reports. Oversee the development of staffing plans and the recruitment process of senior staff.
- Manage and mitigate risk through monitoring national and regional issues that may impact staff and programming. Ensure all staff understand and adhere to CRS staff safety and security policies and plans, and ensure the updating of such plans.
- Promote, uphold and model a commitment to the efficient use of agency and donor resources. Ensure compliance with USG/USDA grants, including financial tracking and oversight of partner budgets, finance, administration and reporting to USDA. Approve program expenditures, budget adjustments, and cost modification requests to donors.
- Oversee the development of communication strategies and materials, complying with donor and CRS’ branding and marketing requirements and procedures.
- Coordinate relationships with consortium partner organizations, including organization of review/planning workshops. Contribute to coordination of the roles and activities of staff from other consortium member organizations in implementation in line with CRS partnership principles.
- Create and maintain proper conditions for learning. Establish a safe environment for sharing of ideas, solutions, and difficulties and the capacity to detect, analyze and respond quickly to deficiencies. Identify performance gaps and training opportunities for CRS and partner staff and ensure the design and delivery of high quality training and technical assistance.
Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:
Education and Experience
- Master’s degree in International Development, International Relations or a relevant technical area. PhD preferred.
- 7 or more years’ relevant management and technical experience.
- 5 year’s experience managing donor funds, including multi country grants. Strong knowledge and experience in budget management.
- Recognized leader in sector as demonstrated by peer reviewed publications, conference presentations etc.
- Demonstrated experience of successful program management, including management of complex, high-value, multi-activity projects, with complicated logistics, including commodity management.
- 5 years of staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment. Experience coaching senior program staff.
- Experience engaging partners and strengthening partnerships. Knowledge of CRS partnership strategy a plus.
- Ability to represent and present at high levels.
- Experience in MS Office package (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Visio, Power BI), Web Conferencing Applications, and information and budget management systems.
- Strong strategic, analytical, systems thinking, organizational, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.
- Strong relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally. Strategic in how you approach each relationship.
- Team leadership abilities with diverse/multi-disciplinary teams. Coaching skills.
- Strong communications and presentation skills; able to develop tailored and persuasive messaging for varied audiences.
- Proactive, resourceful, solutions-oriented and results-oriented.
Required/Desired Foreign Language
- Excellent written and spoken English.
- Lao language skills are a strong plus.
Travel Required: 2-4 weeks per quarter as needed to support remote field operations and/or participate in national-level meetings in the capital
Key Working Relationships:
Supervisory: Deputy Chief of Party, MEAL Manager, Commodities Manager Internal: Country Representative, Head of Operations, LEAPS Admin/Finance Coordinator, HQ Education Advisor, Regional MEAL RTA, DRD PQ, DRD MQ.
External: Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES), Save the Children, University of Oregon, World Food Programme (WFP), World Bank, US Embassy, DFAT via BEQUAL
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):
These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.
- · Trusting Relationships
- · Professional Growth
- · Partnership
- · Accountability
Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
Equal Opportunity Employer