Country Director – Syria

negotiable / YEAR Expires in 6 hours


Danish Refugee Council is a leading protection agency pursuing our mandate to protect and promote durable solutions to displacement-affected populations based on humanitarian principles. The Syria Country Office is part of the Middle East Region, which also comprises Türkiye, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has been operating in Syria since 2008, with the response to the Iraqi refugee influx. DRC’s operational capacity expanded at the onset of the Syria crisis focusing on the most vulnerable and at-risk conflict-affected populations. DRC focuses on increasing safe access to lifesaving and life-sustaining assistance for conflict-affected populations as well as improved physical and psychosocial wellbeing through access to basic needs and protection services. This is achieved through the implementation of emergency response programs, such as the provision of core relief items, multipurpose cash assistance (MPCA), shelter assistance, WASH, protection, livelihoods, and education, as well as implementation of programming to strengthen resilience and self-reliance of communities.

About the job

The Country Director plays a strong leadership role in DRC’s comprehensive and solutions-based approach to displacement through a high level of strategic leadership, innovation and effective advocacy. He/she is ultimately accountable in country for all aspects of DRC’s work, leading the consolidation and at the same time development of the programme, continuing the process of developing solid impact measurement mechanisms, strengthening accountability initiatives and ensuring that the financial management and organizational setup is adapted to the operational context. The Country Director sets direction, leads, maintains team morale, safety and welfare, and manages resources. He/she delegates specific duties as necessary, while maintaining oversight and accountability.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Represent the programme to authorities, donors, partners, and in various co-ordination fora;
  • Strengthen DRC’s position nationally and regionally
  • Ensure that DRC maintains excellent and productive relations with all key stakeholders, especially beneficiaries, local authorities, the humanitarian community and donors

Direct managerial oversight and support

  • Conduct overall management of the country operation and provide direct line management to senior staff members. This includes coaching, ensuring co-ordination between managers, recruiting and development of staff
  • Ensure that the senior management team is effective, mutually supporting and sufficiently involved in decision making
  • Conduct frequent travel to the field offices for direct operational support and representation;
  • Ensure compliance with internal and external reporting requirements

Fundraising and Advocacy

  • Be responsible for all donor engagement and fundraising efforts to ensure solid growth of the country portfolio in size and reputation
  • Lead on implementation of DRC’s advocacy strategy and lead on advocacy efforts at all relevant coordination fora


  • Provide overall accountability for security, including development of and ensuring adherence to security procedures, monitoring of the security situation, analysing and provision of recommendations
  • Be accountable for ensuring that DRC country programme is delivered in a safe and secure manner

Support Services

  • Be responsible for the financial health of the organization, working with the Head of Support Services to ensure that requisite systems are implemented to provide overall budget monitoring and financial management, ensuring compliance with minimum DRC and donor requirements
  • Manage the resources allocated effectively and transparently by respecting and meeting all legal requirements in country
  • Ensure coaching and counselling advice to staff when necessary and lead initiatives to develop staff capacity

Programme development

  • Be responsible for ensuring an enabling environment for development and implementation of a robust programme strategy that is within DRC’s overall regional and global strategic frameworks

Accountability and Quality

  • Ensure that DRC standard regulations and operational procedures (Code of Conduct, DRC Management handbooks, CHS standards, etc) are followed
  • Utilize the Program Cycle Management tool to ensure sound, quality, accountable programming


About you

To be successful in this role we expect you to have minimum eight years’ management experience in emergency/development contexts as country director/senior manager of a humanitarian or development organization or similar, moreover, we also expect the following:

  • (5) years of relevant senior management experience at an international development organization
  • (2-3) years of experience as a Country Director (preferred)
  • Experience representing a large and leading organization to donors, external partners and authorities;
  • Experience with networking, advocacy and coordination;
  • Experience in managing staff in insecure/stressful locations;
  • Experience with conflict related displacement issues;
  • Experience of managing budgets and multiple donor contracts;
  • Experience in donor contact, fundraising and networking;
  • Experience working in the Middle East region and Syria (preferred);
  • Proven leadership skills and a competence in people management;
  • Proven communicator with all types of stakeholders; and
  • Proven commitment to accountable practices and knowledge of quality assurance systems.


In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:

Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.

Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.

Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.

Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.

Demonstrating integrity: Upholding and promoting the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct in relation to DRC’s values and Code of Conduct, including safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.


We offer

Contract length: (24) months

Start date: August 1st, 2024

Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Expatriates or Nationals. This position will be placed at Management (D) band.

Non-Family Duty Station

Application process

All applicants must upload a cover letter and an updated CV (no longer than four pages) in English. Applications sent by email will not be considered.

Closing date for applications: June 13th, 2024

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. DRC reserves the right of conducting tests and interviews before the closing date, and can close the advertisement earlier in case of finding a suitable candidate

For further information about the Danish Refugee Council, please consult our website

Damascus, Syria