Country Director South Sudan at Jesuit Refugee Service

Head of Programs at Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)


Organizational Context

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is ministry of the Society of Jesus, incorporated as an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. The organisation was founded in November 1980 and now has a presence in over 57 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office (IO) in Rome. The style of JRS service is human and spiritual, working in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term well-being of refugees and displaced people while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs

The main services provided are in the field of education, emergency assistance, mental health and psychosocial support, livelihood and pastoral support. Currently, more than 999,518 individuals are direct beneficiaries of JRS projects worldwide

Operational Context/ Role:

South Sudan continues to face deteriorating humanitarian conditions despite its more than 11 years of independence. In addition to the massive human suffering, displacement and protection concerns, the past several years have seen reoccurring natural disasters, ongoing displacement, and massive youth unemployment

The Jesuit Refugee Service has been working in South Sudan since 1997 and serves both refugees (Maban – Upper Nile State) and internally displaced populations (Yambio – Western Equatoria State). JRS South Sudan provides services such as: education and livelihood, mental health and psychosocial support, emergency assistance, and pastoral accompaniment

Under the supervision of the Regional Director, the Country Director (CD) is responsible for all JRS activities in the country. The incumbent will manage a team of professionals, including but not limited to, the Country Officers (Finance, HR, Programmes, Supply Chain Management) who along with the CD make up the Country Management Team (CMT), and the Project Directors

The Country Director will guarantee the efficient and effective management of the JRS Country Office while respecting and implementing JRS processes and guidelines. S/He will provide the strategic vision and leadership for the country programmes and will be responsible for ensuring the design and delivery of quality programmes, donor and government relations, fundraising and budget management, safety, security, and operations management, compliance and risk management, and developing a motivated and professional team

As a member of the Regional Leadership Team, he/she will contribute to strategic development and delivery of international programming, in both humanitarian and development contexts, in line with JRS’ mandate, strategy, and theory of change

The Country Director will work in close collaboration and interface with the Regional Office (RO) and the International Office (IO) departments as well as contribute greatly to the development of the JRS Eastern Africa Leadership Team (ELT)

Priority Focus:

  • Strong Leadership
  • Strategic planning in line with JRS Strategic Framework
  • Staff well-being and management in line with JRS Staff Care policy
  • Financial and Compliance management in line with JRS policies and procedures
  • In-country resource mobilization and allocation
  • All in-country activities, personnel, and the Country Management Team (CMT)
  • Delivering programmes and advocacy in line with the country’s strategy, operational plans, budgets, and JRS affiliate’s requirements that result in significant impact for refugees and displaced persons

Key Responsibilities

In collaboration with the Regional Director:



  • Establishes and remains faithful to a shared vision for the organization’s activities
  • Cultivates positive working relationships and environments
  • Ensures staff motivation through mutual respect, professional development opportunities, and inclusion in project planning
  • Ensures appropriate levels of communication with staff at all levels
  • Ensures that staff can properly represent the organization by equipping them with knowledge about JRS’ vision, mission, and the region’s strategic plan
  • Creates an environment of continuous learning, where staff are encouraged and supported to grow and develop and are willing to be held accountable for their commitments


  • Cultivates positive working relationships and develops partnerships with other NGOs, UNHCR and other UN agencies and host governments, etc. for better coordination at the programmatic level
  • Cultivates positive and collaborative relations with bilateral and multilateral donors, the Catholic Church, and other main stakeholders to ensure the financial stability of the Country’s Office
  • Ensures positive perceptions of JRS’ presence in South Sudan
  • Development of partnerships and collaborations with external actors, including National NGOs, the private sector, and academic institutions

Strategic planning:

In full accordance with the Humanitarian Guidelines of the country, JRS’s Strategic Framework, and Programmatic policies and procedures

  • Leads in the development and execution of the country’s strategy
  • Ensures the strategic vision and direction of the country program are aligned with JRS’ Global and Regional strategies and secure the resources necessary for the realization
  • Ensures effective strategic collaboration with all stakeholders including beneficiaries, other NGOs, and donors at national and sub-national levels to ensure mutual learning and influencing for greater impact of programme investments
  • Maintains strategic supervision of needs of people served, opening/closing and scaling up/down projects accordingly

Staff management:

  • Oversee the management, coaching, and development of national and international staff to build a team of skilled, committed, and motivated staff
    Coach, train, supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and constructive performance feedback
  • Ensures that human resources needs are fully identified, assessed, described, and communicated
    When required, recruits key positions with the assistance of the Country HR Officer and the HR Department of the International Office
  • Ensures HR guidelines and policies are implemented
  • Ensures that staff have adequate rest, and relaxation and that well-being is addressed
  • Promote and monitor staff care and well-being. Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified staff care needs of both national and international staff
  • Ensures that Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan and Security Guidelines are regularly updated and implemented in all field locations
  • Ensures that HR issues are tackled and taken into serious consideration
  • Ensures 2 Child Safeguarding Officers and 2 PSEAH focal points are in place at all times
  • Maintains the safeguarding policy and systems at the Country level

Financial Supervision:

  • Proposes a yearly budget to the Regional Director and ensures timely monitoring of resources and expenses according to related control mechanisms
  • Ensures high-quality, efficient, and transparent planning, utilization, and reporting of financial tools made available for JRS programs
  • Provides support for yearly accounting audits, quarterly revisions, and yearly accounting audits
  • Ensures procurement policy is in place and followed
  • Actively monitor and report on business risk profiles, ensuring alignment with Finance and Logistics policies, processes, and procedures

Raising funds sourced in-country:

  • Seeks and exploits funding opportunities at the country level to expand project operations
  • In coordination with the Regional Director and the Director of Programmes and Innovation and Director of Communications and Development in the International Office, engage in fundraising activities for projects in the country

Advocating for people served and Communication:

  • Ensures appropriate degree of information-sharing at all levels
  • Maintains positive working relationships with all JRS partners and humanitarian actors, particularly with the Catholic Church and the Jesuit provinces
  • Ensures public awareness of JRS’ contributions to their communities. Ensure country-level advocacy with international organizations, national/local authorities, donors, and all other stakeholders
  • Develop and share learning on the implementation of the CRRF for the country program and the wider organization/sector

Project-Related activities:

The JRS Country Director is responsible for:

  • Coordinating all the Programmes and providing strategic direction
  • Leading the Country Office team and ensuring responsive and high-quality performance of staff
  • In close collaboration with the Country team, frequently traveling to the Projects to evaluate and assess the programmes
  • Liaise with JRS’ bordering COs programmes to optimize cross-border collaboration
  • Lead teams in ensuring programmes are designed and able to deliver in Hard to Reach areas
  • Oversee the development of appropriate new strategies that will ensure new routes to impact at scale, including the incorporation of technology, media, and institution building


  • An advanced, accredited university degree in Management, Political Sciences, Law, International Development, or another related discipline. An undergraduate degree with strong relevant field experience will be considered in lieu of an advanced degree
  • Minimum of seven (7) years’ experience of increasing responsibilities in human service organizations, ideally in humanitarian or development organizations with a strong human rights and/or faith background
  • Experience in project development and management, work with refugees, and/or advocacy with forcibly displaced people is a particular advantage
  • Minimum 4 years’ experience in leadership roles. Employment or collaboration with the Catholic Church (parish, diocesan, or bishops’ conference level) in a leadership role is an additional asset
  • Demonstrated evidence of leadership in a professional setting/humanitarian response with the ability to think strategically, motivate others, create new projects, solve problems and be part of a multi-cultural and multi-faith team
  • Proven performance in organizational management, budget development and management, and general office coordination
  • Demonstrated ability to fundraise
  • Demonstrated evidence of an entrepreneurial spirit
  • A proven ability to capture impact and learning from operations and feed it into new programmes
  • Knowledge of and/or familiarity with key concepts and current trends in forced migration and challenges faced by forcibly displaced people
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to listen, effectively communicate, negotiate and work creatively with stakeholders of varying backgrounds: beneficiaries, government representatives, church leaders and refugee groups among them
  • Proven results in improving the working context of an organisation or the wider sector through deliberate influencing strategies
  • Experience of representing an organisation or humanitarian context with the press and/or media as well as incorporating the use of new and traditional media in delivering impact
  • Demonstrate flexibility, resilience and ability to maintain positive relationships and composure.


Excellent proficiency in written and verbal English; a professional working knowledge of a language spoken in the region is desirable

Required Skills and Competencies:

  • Very good pastoral sense and listening abilities and communication/inter-personal skills
  • Excellent communication and presentation capacities, able to persuasively articulate JRS’ message and impact to external audiences
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multi-cultural, international, high-energy professional environment
  • Demonstrated experience and commitment to working with marginalized communities
  • Strong analytical, strategic-thinking and planning capabilities
  • Ability to innovate in a changing environment, promote creativity and innovation within the organization
  • Ability to work under pressure, independently and with only remote supervision
  • Decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Experience in Handling insecure environments
  • Influencing
  • Understanding of and commitment to humanitarian relief work and international humanitarian standards
  • Advanced computer proficiencies in MS Office packages
  • Familiarity with the Jesuit network is an asset
  • Willingness to work and travel to refugee settings in challenging environments
  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for self and team, takes responsibility for own personal development and encourages team to do the same
  • Strong track record in building high-performance teams and future successors/leaders
  • Experience of leading change in an organisation which has led to considerable results for the organisation and its stakeholders
  • Experience of building personal networks at a senior level, resulting in securing new opportunities for the organisation

Required Core Values:

  • Good understanding of and compatibility with the values of JRS
  • Commitment to JRS’ mission, vision and values; the ability to convey with enthusiasm JRS’s role in accompanying and serving forcibly displaced people and to advocate for their right to protection and a life in dignity
  • Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving results together with children and role modelling JRS values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved
  • Creates a managerial environment in-country to lead, enable and maintain the JRS culture
  • High integrity, honesty and confidentiality; ability to deal tactfully and discreetly with people, situations and information
  • Always acts in the best interests of refugees
  • Acceptance of diversity and inclusion as a core value
  • Empowering and building trust


The position requires regular travel to JRS locations

How to apply

All applicants are requested to submit the following documents through the JRS Careers web page by clicking this link no later than 11 April 2023:

  1. A cover letter describing the candidate’s desire and motivation to work for JRS and how her/his qualifications and experience are a good fit for this position
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English, including three (3) professional references with contact information, phone, and email address.

Consideration of candidates and interviews will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Thank you for your interest in joining JRS


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