Country Director 

Summary Description

The Country Director (CD) works with the Director of the Africa Bureau and Regional Director to establish government and diplomatic relations and represents Mercy Ships in all issues relating to the execution and implementation of the Country Engagement Plan. Responsible for the coordination of all programmatic and support activities in a specific country throughout the country engagement period. The CD plays a key role in external representation, external and internal stakeholder alignment, and team leadership. The CD plays a strategic role in programmatic planning and should have an overview of all Mercy Ship related activity within their assigned country.

The Country Director manages the Country Engagement Team (CET) and provides support and oversight for other visiting teams such as the Advance Team, Medical Capacity Building (MCB) Team and Monitoring and Evaluation team (MELD). The CD also assists the Africa Bureau and Executive Team in organizing and preparing for diplomatic visits.

Note: Where an Accord de Siège is active, a Country Director can be assigned and where only a Protocole d’accord is active, a Designated Country Director is assigned, and the responsibilities are limited to the length and scope of the Protocole d’Accord.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities (include but not limited to)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.

Leadership & Programs Management

  • Leads the Country Engagement (CE) Team to develop diplomatic working relationships with the host nation.
  • Collaborates with the Monitoring and Evaluation Department (MELD) to lead the Assessment phase of the CE period, provides a full report and participates in the CEPT group regarding assigned Country.
  • Manage the Advance phase of the CE period, ensuring all objectives are met to prepare for the arrival of a Mercy Ships hospital ship.
  • Support and oversee the monitoring, evaluation and any projects that take place outside of the Ship Field Service in collaboration with MCB and MELD departments.
  • Oversee the presentation of the operational framework for a specific host nation, which entails an outline of the different surgical and MCB project plans, including the Patient Selection Strategy, in collaboration with and after final approval of the Vice President International Programs and the Senior Program Design Director.
  • Ensure all in-country requirements are met, including registration, reporting, insurance, work permits, contracts, etc., liaising as necessary with government departments and other official bodies.
  • Maintain an overview of the country's context, with a view to the strategic developments of new projects. Collaborate with the Senior Programs Director and Regional Director.
  • Monitor and report any changes in the host nation environment which could jeopardize the success of the field service projects and programs (e.g., political instability).
  • Identify, hire, and manage in-country support staff as part of the CET, to oversee projects and support Mercy Ship activities where needed.


  • Develop and maintain a transparent, honest, and supportive communication structure with colleagues, to ensure they are kept informed of support related activities and requirements.
  • Liaise with and maintain effective communication with ship-based, ISC and Africa Bureau departments to establish and monito