Security director

  • Posted on 15 January 2019

Job Description

Chemonics seeks a security director for the Iraq Regional Program (IRP). IRP is a United States Agency for International Development Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI) program implemented by Chemonics International Inc. in Iraq. IRP aims to restore civil authority by earning the trust and confidence of disaffected populations by promoting an inclusive and stable Iraq and surrounding region. Specifically, IRP will assist persecuted, conflict-affected marginalized populations in the region and support overall efforts aimed at preventing the return of violent extremist groups. IRP will implement activities to create or preserve stabilization and recovery efforts to set the stage for a more profound longer-term stability in Iraq and the region, developing specific objectives that will be regularly reviewed and updated. Based in Erbil with frequent country-wide travel, the security director will lead the IRP security team to ensure the safety and security of all IRP staff, including expatriates and locals. The base location and area of operations (AO) can change based on the program direction, including potential operations outside of Iraq. The security director will lead efforts to analyze security risks, identify threats, and design and manage mitigation measures to enable program implementation throughout the AO. The chief of party supervises and provides day-to-day oversight to the security director. The home office security management unity (SMU) offers technical support and backstopping. The security director reports to the chief of party, supervises the expatriate security manager, and oversees the Iraq Security Team (IST). This is a long-term position based in Erbil, Iraq with significant anticipated in-country and regional travel. We are looking for individuals who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of people around the world.

Responsibilities include:

  • Serve as the principal security analyst and adviser to chief of party and the IRP senior management team (SMT)
  • Assist in the recruitment of IST employees and performance management oversight; supervise the IRP security manager, who in turn supervises other local security staff
  • Establish, develop, and leverage a strong network of high-level professional relationships in the AO, both from the international community (e.g., the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, U.S. Consulate in Erbil, regional security officers, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, USAID, implementing partners), and within senior Iraqi civil and military circles (e.g., national law enforcement, military, civil authorities, community leaders, local and international NGOs)
  • Prepare and deliver written and oral briefings to chief of party, SMT, and other Chemonics stakeholders on the security situation in the AO, keeping the SMT abreast of security and geopolitical developments and their potential impact on the program(s), based on the latest information (note: many products may also be made available to U.S. government collaborators)
  • Continuously conduct and update security threat and risk assessments of activities across the AO to inform risk mitigation strategies/recommendations and for project entry into new locations and with new partners; deliver these assessments as both reports and/or verbal briefings to provide consolidated and coherent information to Chemonics and its stakeholders
  • Participate in the Chemonics Iraq strategic planning process, including discussions on safe, feasible, and innovative ways to implement technical assistance; develop a comprehensive security plan that includes the refinement of project communications, emergency plans, and information plans in Iraq; play a leading role in the design and implementation of contingency, emergency, and business continuity planning that is responsive to major situations necessitating the mass relocation of project staff; co-lead the in-country incident management team to respond to crises/incidents in close coordination with the home-office crisis management team
  • Assure quality and continuous improvement of routine security functions, including journey management, personnel safety and security, facilities and asset security, local networking, liaison and reporting
  • Act as the main communicator with home office security and IRP staff during an incident, and ensure timely and relevant communications are sent during and after an emergency situation; serve as the main point of contact for reporting incidents and lead the response to any incidents that may have an impact on Chemonics staff or operations
  • Develop and manage the delivery of a robust training program to instruct Chemonics staff on security concepts and skills; this includes periodic briefings, specialized training as required, and periodic drills at each project office and residential location
  • Manage IRP’s security subcontractors, including conducting regular inspections and audits, ensuring compliance with the full-spectrum security program as defined in the subcontract statement of work; providing guidance and instructions for remedial actions, providing oversight to ensure effective and efficient use of resources, and coordinating/consulting on security improvements and problem-solving


  • Minimum of 7 years of military, security, or law enforcement experience, with senior-level exposure to strategic planning, project and budget management, employee mentoring, and leadership
  • 5 years of relevant experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, or similar high-threat operating context preferred
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field of study; additional years of experience may be accepted in lieu of a degree, and preference will be given to candidates with a high level of demonstrated professional knowledge and extensive work experience
  • Demonstrated ability to generate and leverage network connections in high-threat countries to promote an accurate understanding of risk, strengthen knowledge of country context, and bolster project planning abilities
  • Proven negotiation and advocacy skills in the establishment and use of networks to achieve desired results and positive change
  • Knowledge of industry-wide safety and security best practices and a willingness to develop an in-depth knowledge of Chemonics’ security policies and procedures
  • Proven effectiveness in implementing operations platforms for civilian operations in conflict zones, including successful crisis management experience and management of private security providers
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to establish and maintain positive working relations in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with respect to local diversities and gender balance
  • Demonstrated experience with team-level strategic planning, project and budget management, employee mentoring and leadership, technical contract supervision, and project oversight
  • Comprehensive oral and written skills and a proven ability to provide clear, precise instruction and briefings to a variety of internal and external audiences
  • Ability to use computer applications such as Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access for information management and internal/external communication
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential; working knowledge of Arabic and/or Kurdish preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership, versatility, and integrity

Application instructions:

Please send an email with your CV and cover letter attached and “Security Director” in the subject line to no later than Monday, January 21, 2019. No telephone inquiries, please. Finalists will be contacted.

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About the Organization

Owned entirely by employees, Chemonics is an ISO-9001 certified international development company. For more than 40 years, we have partnered with local and international organizations to promote social and economic change around the world.

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