Mexico is a country of origin, transit, and asylum. Some areas, including many regions along the northern border, have been devastated by insecurity and levels of violence akin to conflict zones, with migrants often the target of violence. At the same time, other regions of the country show promise as welcoming communities that can successfully promote the integration of newcomers. IRC’s growing and diverse portfolio of work in Mexico is at the heart of the organization’s efforts to play a distinctive and impactful role in providing strategic cross-border programming where access to asylum and humanitarian assistance needs intersect.
More broadly across Latin America, IRC’s newest region, and in collaboration with IRC’s programs based in the US, the IRC aims to bring positive impact across the arc of crisis, integrating humanitarian and refugee protection solutions to achieve the best outcomes for forcibly displaced populations. The IRC’s Latin America region is IRC’s newest and has the ambition of substantially increasing its portfolio, including in migration and asylum, across the three country programs which cover seven countries (Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico).
The Deputy Director will be based in Mexico and will oversee activities implemented by IRC in connection with a growing portfolio of cross border migration and asylum programming at Mexico’s northern and southern borders, as well as participate in discussions relating to asylum and migration issues and programming across IRC’s Latin America region.
Scope of work
The Deputy Director is a subject matter expert in forced migration who will oversee IRC’s cross-border programming at the northern and southern Mexico borders, while also working in close collaboration with other IRC LatAm country offices, US-based programs and technical units. The Deputy Director will manage a small but complex and growing cross-border portfolio of programs based in Mexico that span migration and humanitarian assistance. S/he will forge and maintain strategic partnerships with civil society and government actors working across the arc of crisis to establish strong coordination, quality implementation, and strategic vision for the cross-border asylum and migration portfolio.
The Deputy Director will also lead on planning and advising on project activities, potential areas of programming, or major policy changes as they relate to asylum and migration in the Latin America region. The role will also involve high-level representation with key policy making stakeholders and donors.
• Regularly review the organization’s cross-border and cross-departmental framework, which brings together programs and experts from IRC’s two departments: Resettlement, Asylum and Integration (RAI) and Crisis, Response, Recovery and Development (CRRD). Maximize strategic impact of cross-departmental activities by effectively utilizing the organization’s broad range of expertise.
• Ensure the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all cross-border program activities are in accordance with IRC standards and meet the goals and objectives of the target communities, in collaboration with technical advisors and M&E units. Establish streamlined governance and coordination and a clear vision for achieving results.
• Oversee the Signpost project at the northern Mexico border and throughout Mexico, working closely with the global Signpost team, protection/rule of law technical advisors, and asylum and immigration unit.
• Provide technical advice, as well as coordination if needed, on access to asylum activities across various programs.
• Prepare, in coordination with key program staff, strategic work-plans with clear objectives and achievement benchmarks, long-term and short-term priorities, implementation plans, financial projections and tools for evaluation; high quality donor reports.
• Manage relations with project partners, including government ministries, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations.
• Ensure strong collaborative partner relationships - based on principles of mutual trust and respect, mutual accountability, reciprocity, inclusion and transparency.
• Overall responsibility for ensuring that technical assistance needs are identified and addressed.
• Support project staff by creating and maintaining a work environment that promotes teamwork, trust, mutual respect, and empowers staff to take responsibility.
• Manage external relations by representing the project and the organization in the public and ensuring the distribution of information about program achievements and lesson learned.
• Supervise Signpost Manager; other positions as required.
• Provide technical input into program proposals in the Latin America region beyond Mexico as they relate to asylum and migration to ensure a consistent organizational approach that centers both refugee rights and humanitarian protection in program design.
• In close coordination with the Policy & Advocacy Unit, regional leadership, country programs, and technical units, advise on regional advocacy engagement on asylum and migration issues in Latin America and the US.
• Graduate or post-graduate degree in migration and refugee studies, law, international relations, or other related field, or comparable work experience.
• Minimum of eight years’ experience in leading migrant/ refugee assistance programs; experience working at the intersection of the migrant/ refugee rights and humanitarian aid sectors.
• Demonstrated expertise with the Mexican asylum system and the right to asylum in Mexico.
• Experiencing providing direct assistance to asylum seekers in refugee status determinations highly desirable.
• Expertise in refugee protection and migration issues across the migratory route, including the complex cross-border dynamics from northern Central America to the US.
• Demonstrated expertise in managing a complex program portfolio spanning migration and humanitarian assistance across multiple sectors in a variety of program contexts (country of origin, country of transit, destination) and beneficiary populations (IDP, refugee, asylum seeker, migrant), and in partnership with a diverse array of project partners (government, UN and community-based partner organizations).
• Demonstrated ability to ensure appropriate monitoring and evaluation of a complex program portfolio.
• Ability to lead large, multi-cultural teams delivering complex refugee protection and humanitarian assistance involving a wide array of project partners.
• Strong strategic planning, monitoring, management, supervision, and budgeting skills.
• Excellent communication skills, both interpersonal and written.
• Demonstrated understanding of UNHCR and other donor frameworks.
• Advocacy experience highly desirable.
• Fluency in Spanish and English is required; strong MS Office skills, including Word and Excel.
• Willingness to travel within Mexico and the region on a regular basis.
Professional conduct standards: IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles described in IRC Way-Standards for Professional Conduct. These are integrity, equality, service, and accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and implements policies on protecting the beneficiary from exploitation and abuse, safeguarding the child, harassment in the workplace, tax integrity and anti-retaliation.
Gender Equality: IRC is committed to reducing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce, including parental leave, gender-sensitive safety protocols, and other benefits and support subsidies.
Equal Employer Opportunity: IRC is an equal opportunity employer. The IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit regardless of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic.