Free to Run

Iraq Country Director

Job Expired

Job Overview

About Us
Free to Run’s mission is to enable women and girls to safely and boldly engage in outdoor activity in conflict-affected regions. Through a combination of sports programs, life skills development, and community outreach, we help girls and women to reclaim public space and change views about the roles they can (and should) play in a society. Our programs are designed to develop community leaders who can bring people together across cultural, ethnic and religious lines. Free to Run has been operating community-led programs in Iraq for five years, primarily focused on girls and women in IDP and refugee camp settings. The organization is positioned to grow considerably in the next 3-5 years in Iraq and globally.

Position Overview
The Iraq Country Director is an ambitious and passionate individual who is ready to lead Free to Run’s growing presence in Iraq (both in Kurdistan and Federal Iraq), practically and strategically. S/he will have general responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the organization’s work in country – from big picture to the small details. The Country Director is responsible for building the Free to Run network in country, with a specific focus on donor-relations to achieve fundraising goals and grow the organization’s profile. This is an ideal position for someone who is passionate about girls’ and women’s rights, community development, health equity and/or running and sport who possesses skills and experience aligned with the expectations of the position. The Country Director will report directly to the (internationally based) Executive Director.

Core Accountabilities

  1. Develop and Manage an Effective and Informed Iraq Country Strategy (10%)
    • Envision a high-impact Iraq strategy that aligns with Free to Run’s global strategy
    • Develop and track key performance indicators related to strategy
    • Participate in organizational strategic planning, budgeting and performance reporting activities
  2. Oversee Free to Run Programs (20%)
    • Oversee program development and design efforts for Iraq-based programs, with support of Senior Program Officer who will directly manage program cycles, currently designed to be operating in three provinces by 2023
    • Ensure all programs are adequately staffed and resourced, support staff training and development
    • Oversee safe and high-quality program implementation, monitor day-to-day activities of Program staff
    • Ensure all programs are monitored and evaluated using standard instruments, work closely with the Executive Director to improve current data collection tools to provide more accurate and timely information on project indicators for success
    • Lead program learning and analysis activities with staff, contribute to global learning practices
    • Develop and maintain relationships with key local, regional and national stakeholders to ensure smooth operations
    • Ensure program data and learning is shared with other relevant staff for program improvement, external reporting and communications
  3. Grow and Lead a High-Performing Team (30%)
    • Lead recruitment, interviewing, hiring and on-boarding/off-boarding of Iraq Free to Run team
    • Manage Senior Program Officer and Finance and Operations Officer (others as deemed necessary for growth and as resources allow)
    • Ensure the organization and employees comply with all relevant in-country employment laws and best practices
    • Coordinate the bi-annual goal setting and performance review processes for all administrative employees and support a culture of constant feedback and learning through targeted coaching and mentoring organization-wide
    • Support visits from international staff, Board members and volunteers
  4. Oversee Country-level Finances and Operations (20%)
    • Develop and manage organizational country budget and finances as well as program budgets for specific projects
    • Work with bookkeeper to manage administration of expenses, handling of cash and procurement processes, and accounts payable and receivable
    • Prepare timely, high-quality financial and narrative reports
    • Ensure financial compliance with national and local laws, as well as Free to Run’s finance policies
    • Ensure all office operations are functional, with support from Finance and Operations Officer
    • Liaise with Executive Director on a regular basis to ensure financial cohesion
    • Confirm all registrations and permits to operate as an NGO are up to date, secure licenses to operate in new geographies as needed
  5. Build Support for Free to Run in Iraq (20%)
    • Identify, cultivate and follow through on funding opportunities across sectors, including mapping potential funding opportunities, meeting with potential and current partners and developing funding proposals (with support from the Executive Director)
    • Use strong storytelling and persuasion skills to build individual and community support for Free to Run in Iraq amongst key stakeholders
    • Compile and prepare Iraq case studies and stories, provide regular input to Free to Run’s social media channels
    • Communicate regularly with Free to Run’s community partners and coordinating their participation in events
    • Represent Free to Run at influential events and speaking engagements locally, regionally and internationally
    • Write press releases and editorial content for website and earned media opportunities

Location (Duty Station)
The Country Director will be based in Erbil (KRI) with an expectation of travel to other parts of Iraq regularly and international travel on occasion

Working Hours
The Country Director position is a full-time role, estimated at 40 hours per week with generous paid time off

Based on experience. Aligned with market rate in Iraq for NGO management

Education, Experience and Competencies
Below is a look into at what we are looking for as we evaluate applications. Candidates don’t need to have all these experiences and competencies but should be able to display strengths across multiple areas.

Education: a university degree in a relevant field (international development, humanitarian aid, gender/women’s rights, business administration, nonprofit management, etc.) Master’s degree or equivalent certification preferred but not required.

Language: Multi-lingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. English fluency (written and spoken) required. Either Kurdish or Arabic fluency required, both preferred.

• 5+ years of professional experience in relevant field (NGOs, business for social good, activism, community organizing)
• 3+ years of experience in a leadership position with experience managing people
• Experience in managing / designing programs for girls/women and/or IDPs and refugees preferred
• Knowledge of NGO sector in Iraq and/or international donor landscape preferred

Skills and Approach
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including persuasive writing and public speaking
• Strong visioning, strategic planning, implementation ability
• Results oriented and proactive. Ability to organize self and work of others under the pressure of a dynamic and quickly changing environment
• Ability to demonstrate support for innovation and changes needed to improve the organization’s effectiveness; helping others to successfully manage organizational change
• Ability to manage projects and budgets with excellence
• Ability to manage multiple projects at once with clarity and excellence
• Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace to manage documents, spreadsheets, scheduling, etc.
• Demonstrated high-level interpersonal and cross-cultural skills including the ability to build collaborative relationships internally and externally with sensitivity to cultural, ethnic, social and political issues. The Country Director strives to create a safe space for everyone to be and express themselves, prioritizes team members’ needs over their own and understands how their own behavior affects others in a work context.
• Solid understanding of women’s/girls’/human rights in Iraq and the region preferred
• Ability to grow an organization by attracting local and national resources, building alliances and advocating for a diversity of support
• Ability to assimilate and analyze information to identify what is important to achieve goals and provide effective solutions
• Ability to display a sense of calmness and control over difficult or unforeseen situations in self and the team. Ability to cope with your own emotional demands while encouraging teamwork and constructive collaboration.
• Experience in the management of large institutional grants preferred, not required

Free to Run is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We don’t just accept differences — we celebrate, support and thrive on them for the benefit of our team, our programs, and our organizational strength. We are proud to be an affirmative action employer, committed to diversity, equity and inclusion of ALL people in our hiring and employment practices. We encourage applications from people who have non-dominant identities based on race, ethnicity, migration status, ability, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, etc.

More Information

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