Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative, Executive Director At RefugePoint

The Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative (RSRI) is a multi-stakeholder collaboration co-led by the Women’s Refugee Commission and RefugePoint that promotes opportunities for refugees around the world to become self-reliant and achieve a better quality of life, while simultaneously advocating for the full enjoyment of their rights.

The RSRI aims to improve standards of practice for refugee assistance, transitioning more quickly from emergency relief to sustainable development – that is, helping refugees who desire self-reliance to achieve it. As a milestone towards this broader paradigm change, the RSRI aims to collectively reach five million refugees with self-reliance programming in five years. In the process, the RSRI aims to identify the most conducive environments and the most effective models and measurements to aid global expansion of self-reliance opportunities.

RSRI members include non-governmental organizations, multilateral organizations, funders, government agencies, private sector actors, research institutions, and civil society. The RSRI serves as the global community’s refugee self-reliance learning and knowledge hub.

RefugePoint serves as hosting agency for the RSRI and this position will be housed at RefugePoint.

Position Overview:

The Executive Director will collaboratively build and execute the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative’s (RSRI) overall strategic plan, fundraising, budgeting, partnerships, and day-to-day operations.

The RSRI aims to serve its growing community through quality learning and convening events, knowledge management, capacity building and advocacy focused on supporting refugee self-reliance. The ideal candidate is someone with the ability to undertake organizational vision-setting, drive outreach to build new partnerships, strengthen existing partner relations, set and meet fundraising targets, and build a global team to deliver on the workplan.

Primary Responsibilities:

Strategy/Vision Setting

  • Design and complete the strategic planning process to meet the RSRI’s highest-level goals.
  • Develop and refine the RSRI’s strategy in collaboration with the Steering Committee, RSRI staff and global partners; Seek and build broad involvement with strategic direction for both ongoing and forward-looking global operations.
  • Convene thought leaders from a wide variety of disciplines to advance thinking on self-reliance approaches, measurement and policy for refugees and other displaced communities.

Coordination and Partnership

  • Work closely with the Steering Committee and Chair, informing, assessing, and addressing issues that affect the Initiative.
  • Work collaboratively with RSRI staff and partners to ensure that the work of the RSRI is complementary and well-coordinated.
  • Build and strengthen relationships with current and new prospective partners, establishing relationships with funders, government entities, and humanitarian and development community leaders.

Fundraising and Donor Relations

  • Develop and implement an actionable plan and meet annual fundraising goals, in partnership with the Steering Committee, to secure financial support from foundations, corporations, individuals, and government funding sources.
  • Oversee donor relations and reporting requirements.
  • Use external presence and relationships to garner new funding opportunities.


  • Oversee the daily operations of the RSRI, providing executive direction of all program areas, with an emphasis on strategy, compliance, quality assurance, and operational efficiency.
  • Build and lead an effective team dedicated to fulfilling the Initiative’s mission through highly successful program implementation, partner engagement, and fundraising.
  • Manage RSRI staff while striving to build a culturally diverse staff whose skills, cultures and spoken languages reflect the refugee community it serves.
  • Oversee the work of RSRI consultants, academic advisors, and data analyst(s).
  • Create workplans for the attainment of RSRI strategic goals and objectives, working alongside the Steering Committee.
  • Ensure effective systems to track progress, and regularly evaluate program components so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the Steering Committee, members, partners and funders.
  • Provide financial management of the RSRI, prepare annual budget, determine and approve expenditures, in consultation with the hosting agency’s finance unit.


  • Represent the Initiative priorities and program results with an emphasis on the successes of the collaborative model that highlight member/partner success toward refugee self-reliance achievement.
  • Represent the RSRI in strategic discussions to influence policy and agenda setting for refugee self-reliance.
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications and oversee all external communication materials including, website, marketing materials, newsletters and social media content.

Reporting lines:

Strategic supervision: The RSRI Steering Committee will approve the RSRI’s annual strategy and workplan. The RSRI ED will report on progress towards the workplan and strategic goals to the Steering Committee. The Chair of the Steering Committee will serve as the focal point on operational and programmatic matters.

Administrative supervision: Within the hosting agency, the RSRI ED will report to RefugePoint’s Chief Executive Officer.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

The RSRI is a collaborative effort, and its success is dependent on the commitment of current and new partners to the goal of promoting refugee self-reliance. The Executive Director’s role will be not only to promote the RSRI goals but also to catalyze RSRI members to use their power, platforms and programs to ensure all refugees are given an opportunity to achieve self-reliance. This role is well-suited to a passionate, entrepreneurial, collaborative and adaptable leader with a positive attitude. Refugee and global south civil society leaders are strongly encouraged to apply.

Specific requirements include:

  • At least 10 years of senior management experience.
  • Proven track record of network and partnership building including a wide variety of civil society actors, governments and multilateral organizations.
  • Experience leading and fundraising for growing programs and project models.
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to effectively coach staff, manage and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, fundraise and administer a program budget.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Relevant experience in refugee response and/or the wider humanitarian sector is required, with experience in refugee self-reliance programming preferred.
  • Proficiency in English required and an additional UN language preferred.

The Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative is hosted by RefugePoint, Inc, which is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all persons in all aspects of employment without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, disability, ancestry, or any other factor unrelated to job performance.

Additionally, RefugePoint is aware that the pursuit of our vision, mission, and values is strengthened by integrating anti-racist principles in all that we do. Therefore, we are committed to being an anti-racist organization, and realize that doing so involves making a sustained commitment. Candidates from historically underrepresented group(s) are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply at

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