Senior Specialist, Humanitarian Program Portfolio

Country: United States of America
Organization: Save the Children - US
Closing date: 2 Jul 2021


The Senior Specialist, Humanitarian Program Portfolio (HPP) at Save the Children US (SCUS) within the Department of Humanitarian Response will serve as the primary focal point for engagement with assigned country responses and awards. You will manage the full life cycle of awards funded by institutional donors (BHA, BPRM, UNHCR and WFP). You will be instrumental in supporting Country Offices, ensuring donor compliance and successful implementation, and will be accountable for meeting new raise targets and metrics. You will liaise with relevant stakeholders, particularly in finance and compliance, problem-solve to instill overall health of awards, and escalate issues as needed. In coordination with management, you will represent SCUS at internal and external meetings for information sharing and discussions around response related initiatives, challenges and support, and provide strategic and operational inputs and analysis.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)

Leadership on Set of Prioritized Responses and Key Institutional Account (20%)

  • Serve as SCUS lead on select prioritized responses, participating in response calls, and acting as point person on the response, working closely with Humanitarian Program Portfolio management and the Senior Director, Humanitarian Portfolio; responsibilities on prioritized responses include:
    • Represent SCUS on response update calls;
    • Review response strategy and coordinate feedback aligned to SCUS priorities;
    • Ensure proper coordination on CEF and appeal allocations;
    • Lead cross-functional coordination for high-risk awards or high priority responses, as needed
  • Serve as the operational focal point for an area of expertise, such as one of DHR’s key institutional donors, program areas, or other initiatives; responsibilities as the focal point may include:
    • Develop tools and systems for training Country Offices (COs);
    • Lead on quarterly reviews for the assigned institutional donor or focus area;
    • Support the Director, Humanitarian Partnerships in developing donor strategies;
    • Identify trends, best practices and challenges with this donor or focus area;
    • Propose solutions and ways forward to advance engagement with donor or focus area at the operational and strategic levels.
  • Play a key role in continuous unit improvement efforts, taking the lead on specific improvements as identified/requested.

Management of Country Specific Awards (60%)

  • Lead on engagement with Country Offices (COs), other SC members, and relevant partners and sub-grantees to ensure high quality, timely and compliant program implementation, in line with donor regulations and SCUS award management procedures;
  • Monitor risk, work with CO leadership to agree on risk mitigation strategies; develop plans to address these risks and escalate issues as appropriate;
  • Oversee donor communications, requests, amendments, etc. to ensure they are communicated effectively and oversee completion of resulting actions; coordinate response to donor queries as needed;
  • Problem-solve award implementation with the country teams to instill overall health of awards, escalating issues to supervisor as needed;
  • Oversee the submission of high quality and timely narrative donor reports generated by CO, providing thorough reviews and circulating for additional input as necessary; ensure on-time submission of reports to donor and share any feedback with COs and Technical Assistants, in line with Save the Children Standard Operating Procedures;
  • Collaborate with DHR Finance and Compliance unit for training on donor compliance, LOE budgeting guidelines, key reporting deadlines and respond to internal SCUS reporting requests (KPIs, overspend, budget projections);

  • Travel to Save the Children country offices to conduct award reviews as part of the responsibilities described above, provide operations support and build CO capacity on SCUS systems and donor requirements;

  • Develop sub-award agreements to Save the Children Member countries or partners, as needed;

  • Monitor donor compliance responsibilities for assigned portfolio, including working with the Humanitarian Finance and Compliance Unit to monitor award implementation, supporting reporting and procurements to ensure compliance with donor requirements, and providing needed compliance support to country offices;

  • Provide leadership to project start-ups for awards in portfolio, including planning and facilitating startup calls/meetings with CO, and reviewing project timeline, deliverables, and donor requirements in detail;

  • Ensure completion of program-specific components of the award closeout process, including the submission of narrative reports and disposition requests, in support of the Humanitarian Finance and Compliance Unit's closeout responsibilities;

  • Support the department to maintain knowledge management systems for portfolio of awards (ensuring documents are posted on SC’s award management system, AMS, as required under donor/SCUS regulations and processes, maintaining shared departmental libraries, documenting lessons learned, etc.).

New Business Development (20%)

  • Lead prepositioning and planning with COs in portfolio, proactively engaging them to reach out to in-country donors and identify opportunities. Lead the go-no-go process from the SCUS side. Secure all needed approvals prior to submission;
  • Manage the process of developing and submitting high quality and compliant concept notes and proposals that are aligned with SC’s response strategy and donor priorities, in line with Department Standard Operating Procedures. Provide feedback as needed. Support country-specific proposal development as needed;
  • Work closely with country office, the DHR Finance and Compliance unit and technical teams to coordinate proposal timelines and roles and responsibilities;
  • Support the department to maintain knowledge management systems around resource development (ensuring documents are posted on AMS as applicable, maintaining proposal libraries, documenting lessons learned, etc.).

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor Degree or equivalent experience, plus at least five (5) years of relevant experience
  • Demonstrated experience with international humanitarian (emergency) response at field and/or home office-level.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience working with USG and UN agencies as donors and partners.
  • Demonstrated success working across the full cycle of project/award management, including strong experience in program design and proposal development.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate successfully with individuals and teams at all levels to deliver results; ability to manage by influence internally and to work in a matrixed structure.
  • Proven ability to think and act strategically, including the ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to multi-task and able to make independent decisions.
  • Willingness and ability to travel both domestically and internationally up to 20% of time, as required, to support high priority humanitarian responses, strategic initiatives and project implementation.
  • Professional proficiency in MS Office suite and ability to learn and communicate with SharePoint systems.
  • Professional proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering and maintaining and environment of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Professional proficiency in speaking and writing in a second, relevant language (French or Spanish) strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with and raising funds from OFDA/FFP/BHA, BPRM, WFP and UNHCR strongly preferred
  • Experience implementing high value, high risk USG and UN projects strongly preferred
  • Experience leading portfolio review and analysis processes to ensure oversight and management of risk for awards in portfolio

Why you should join the Save the Children Team…

Save the Children US offers outstanding benefits that include health, dental, vision and life insurances, pet insurance, short-term and long-term disability coverage, an Employee Assistance Program, 403(b), generous vacation, personal sick leave, family leave, parental/adoption leave, commuter benefits, dress for your day, and much more.

Click here to learn more about how Save the Children US will invest in YOU!

About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

*Our work for children and their families requires that we commit—at every opportunity—to work together to identify and dismantle persistent systemic and structural racism, inequality, and any other forms of discrimination in this country and beyond. As an anti-racist organization, Save the Children will not tolerate discrimination in any form—in our employment practices, amongst our staff, in our leadership or toward the people we serve. We stand in solidarity with allpeople to fight for equal rights, justice, inclusion, and belonging.*

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom we are in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation.

Save the Children is committed to minimizing safety and security risks for our valued employees, ensuring all are given training, support and information to reduce their risk exposure while maximizing the impact of our programs for children and families. Our shared duty, both agency and individual, is to seek and maintain safe working conditions for all.

How to apply:

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