Program Director

  • Posted on 3 June 2019

Job Description

Position: Program Director

Location: Tehran, Iran – Field travel expected

Duration: 12 months

Reports to: Country Director

Position Summary:

Reporting to and supervised by the Iran Country Director, the Program Director oversees the coordination and administration of all aspects related to ongoing program activities in Iran, including but not limited to program planning, progress monitoring, budgeting, reporting, strategic adjustment and risk management. Additionally, the Program Director will work closely with the CD for the strategic development and management of RI’s projects and improving the capacity and volume of programs. The Program Director will also be responsible for coordinating and managing unexpected events and program needs as they arise, in close collaboration with the CD and other support teams. This position will require an exceptional flexibility in job function to serve the needs of a complex program portfolio in a highly challenging implementation environment.

Position Responsibilities and Duties:


  • Provide overall guidance and direction to the program on achieving agreed targets and strategic objectives;
  • Develop and implement long-term goals and objectives to achieve the successful outcome of the program portfolio;
  • Develop new programmatic initiatives to support the strategic direction of the organization;
  • Develop an annual program budget in line with the country strategy, interfacing closely with all other key departments including finance, HR, operations and security;
  • Contribute to and lead program development efforts by identifying opportunities and working with the country and regional Program Development Team to respond to those opportunities;
  • Participate in the development of funding proposals for the program to ensure the continuous delivery of services;
  • Identify and evaluate risks and possible threats associated with program activities and take appropriate mitigation measures, in close collaboration with the CD, support departments and the regional Program Team;

Program Oversight and Monitoring

  • Be responsible for the successful, timely and quality implementation of all RI projects and programs in Iran; Ensure activities are on track and define and implement action plans for areas of improvement;
  • Ensure close monitoring and documentation of program implementation against indicators and objectives;
  • Oversee budget spending of programs and adopt early measures to address potential diversion from planned spending;
  • In collaboration with finance and grant management colleagues, oversee all program funds according to established accounting policies and procedures, as per RI regulations and donor compliance;
  • Monitor, supervise and approve budgets in terms of expenses, projections, under and over spends, BVA analysis, timely allocations, fully expensing projects as per programme documents and logframes, as per RI policy and Program management framework.
  • Work closely with the Grants Manager to ensure donor compliance of RI programs;
  • Work closely with the Grants Manager and support departments for preparation and submission of technical and program reports as per grant agreements; ensure regular monthly program progress reporting to the regional Program Team;
  • Ensure contingency plans are in place and up to date;
  • Develop and maintain systems for program operations, in accordance with RI policies and procedures;
  • Provide hands on guidance and direction to program staff on all issues related to program implementation

Human Resource Management

  • Oversee program-related staffing, ensure a balanced and efficient set up;
  • In collaboration with HR, ensure adherence to and enforcement of HR policies including punctuality, productivity and principles of a professional work environment within the program team with high consistency;
  • Directly line manage all Program Managers, or similar roles in charge of specific projects, providing guidance and direction on work planning, priority setting, task management, performance, growth and learning, etc.;
  • Provide capacity building and day to day coaching on program management to program staff;

Coordination and external representation

  • Attend meetings with organizations and stakeholders as required and assigned by the CD;
  • Participate in sector coordination groups, clusters, etc. and identify areas for coordination and collaboration;
  • Keep close relationship with RI donors in country and ensure regular program exchange and sharing of context and program related analysis; Ensure effective advocacy to respond to identified humanitarian needs;
  • Maintain effective communication and updating on program activities with CD and other department heads and RI’s regional team;
  • Perform other duties as needed and assigned by the CD

Qualifications & requirements

This position demands a dynamic individual with a demonstrated ability to achieve results in a demanding and fast paced environment.

  • University Degree (Master’s level preferred) in International Development, Humanitarian Program Coordination, or related discipline;
  • Minimum of five years professional experience in leading development and humanitarian programs in complex humanitarian crisis settings; Experience working in Iran strongly preferred;
  • Experience in working with key humanitarian donors, i.e. ECHO, DEVCO, SIDA, DANIDA, GFFO, and UN agencies;
  • Previous experience in managing programs that include Education, Livelihoods, Protection, WASH, and Health.
  • Good analytical and detail oriented problem-solving skills; Ability to think critically and creatively;
  • Demonstrated ability to create / maintain effective working relations with host country govt. personnel, stakeholders, partners, international donor agencies and colleagues;
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, public speaking, and strategic planning skills
  • Excellent written and spoken English; ability to draft high quality proposals as well as reports and analysis;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including patience, diplomacy, willingness to listen and respect for colleagues;
  • Must be capable of working both individually and as part of a team;
  • Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, stressful environment.
  • Must be flexible, willing to perform other duties and work irregular hours.
  • Demonstrated ability to work and manage across multi-functional units
  • Organized and able to independently manage multiple projects under strict deadlines
  • Cultural awareness and ability to work well in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Ability to think critically and creatively;
  • Must be capable of working both individually and as part of a team;

Relief International’s Values:

We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence. We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities.

We value:


Transparency and accountability

Agility and innovation



For more information on our work and living in Iran please visit:

About the Organization

About RI

Relief International is a leading nonprofit organization working in 18 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.

Relief International includes the four corporate members of the RI Alliance: RI-US, RI-UK, MRCA/RIFrance and RI-Europe. Under our alliance agreement, we operate as a single, shared management structure.

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