Disaster Response Director

Who is Water Mission?
Water Mission is a nonprofit Christian engineering organization that designs, builds, and implements safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. Guided by love, excellence, and integrity, we are driven to share clean, safe water and God’s love with all. To date, we have served more than 7 million people in 57 countries. Working at Water Mission is as much a calling as it is a career, and we are searching for people with the courage, passion, and drive to help us change the world. Read more about our Statement of Faith and Christian Mission.

What is the opportunity?
Working under the direction of the Executive Vice President of Programs, the Emergency & Humanitarian Program Director [also known as the Disaster Response Director] will develop and execute Water Mission’s global disaster response strategy while overseeing the expanding team of disaster response staff. The Director will plan and direct global disaster response, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare emergency plans and procedures for natural (e.g., hurricanes, floods, earthquakes) and man-made disasters across the globe. This position will establish the budgets for disaster response projects and will require significant field team leadership and client/donor interaction experience. As the disaster department grows, this position will have responsibilities for the supervision of and hiring of disaster response team members. The ideal candidate will have experience managing disaster response efforts and/or international development efforts for large humanitarian aid organizations both from the headquarters and on the ground. The position is based in Charleston, SC, and will require international travel to remote destinations that have recently experienced or are recovering from a serious disaster. Travel typically occurs multiple times per year for durations of up to 4 weeks at a time. Other travel may also occur for training and partnership collaboration.

A successful Disaster Response Director will:
– Maintain a strong Christian witness to colleagues, donors, volunteers, and the general public.
– Serve as the disaster subject matter expert across all departments in Water Mission, incorporating humanitarian best practices into – external and internal tools and communication materials.
– Provide direction and assistance for deployed disaster response managers, engineers, technicians, volunteers, and other individuals.
– Keep informed of activities or changes that could affect the likelihood of an emergency, as well as those that could affect response efforts and details of plan implementation.
– Prepare plans that outline operating procedures to be used in response to natural or man-made disasters or emergencies, such as hurricanes, war, hostage situations, and in recovery from these events.
– Establish and maintain excellent working relationships with other emergency and humanitarian assistance organizations and personnel.
– Coordinate closely with internal departments to identify, broker, and develop potential partnerships for disaster response program implementation.
– Manage the day-to-day operations of the disaster response department, including the design of an organizational structure adequate for achieving the department’s goals and objectives.
– Develop and implement talent acquisition processes for the growth of the disaster response group/teams.
– Provide approval of all program and project-related expenses and purchase orders.
– Develop and implement annual operating plans and budgets.
– Oversee multiple simultaneous disaster responses.
– Maintain excellent communication with the response investor(s), i.e., in-country staff and in-country partner organizations.
– Ensure that projects are executed according to an agreed-upon scope of work, design, schedule, and budget.
– Review, develop and update Water Mission’s disaster response policies, SOPs, emergency response index, risk assessments, needs assessment tools, and manuals.
– Work with the engineering and innovation, and program development departments to implement and develop new response standards, processes, and research studies.
– Conduct field inspections and site assessments in deployed locations.
– Work with the disaster response team to track and map progress and maintain regular SITREP updates.
– Oversee the development and implementation of training programs for disaster response such as advance first aid and buddy care, personal and team security, readiness, and post-deployment reintegration.
– Prepare and deliver presentations to staff, strategic partners, donors, and volunteers.
– Other duties as assigned.

What is required?
– Personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
– Alignment with Water Mission’s Statement of Faith and core values of Love, Excellence, and Integrity.
– Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management, Construction Management, Humanitarian Assistance, Engineering, or related field. – Graduate degree in a relevant field preferred.
– 10+ years of experience in humanitarian response, including senior disaster response positions in complex, volatile operating environments; 5+ years of staff management and servant leadership experience required.
– Experience leading a diverse team of program, technical and administrative staff as part of an international humanitarian crisis.
– Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills.
– Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills with cross-functional, cross-cultural, and multi-level effectiveness.
– Experience managing budgets and programs of more than 1MM USD.
– English fluency required, Spanish or French fluency preferred.
– Experience designing and managing humanitarian interventions in an international disaster context across the entire disaster management cycle, including emergency response, early recovery and transition, monitoring, and evaluation, disaster risk reduction, and resilience.
– Demonstrated skills and abilities in coordinating relief, transition, or disaster risk reduction activities with the international humanitarian community (e.g., donors, clusters, INGOs, NGOs) and host governments amid international humanitarian crisis situations.
– Experience designing rapid needs assessments and leading teams to assess, design, and manage disaster response and early recovery activities.
– Experience coordinating with disaster and international humanitarian donors as well as establishing and maintaining excellent working relationships with other humanitarian assistance actors, including donors and partners.
– Demonstrated understanding of humanitarian principles (core humanitarian standards, Sphere, etc.).
– Ability to work effectively in an atmosphere of shifting priorities and deadline pressure and cope with stressful situations.
– Excellent analytical skills.
– Exceptional project management skills.
– Well-developed relationship and conflict resolution skills.
– Advanced skills with MS Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook) and familiarity with engineering software such as MS Project, AutoCAD, etc.
– Legal authorization to work in the United States without sponsorship.
– Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally for up to 4 consecutive weeks, 3-4 times a year. These trips will require this person to live and travel within difficult disaster environments for extended periods of time.
– Ability to thrive in environments that require long car rides over difficult terrain, walking long distances in difficult terrain, working, and sleeping in unconditioned environments with limited to no access to electricity.
– Ability and willingness to travel to a disaster response situation with only 48 hours of notice are required.
– Home internet bandwidth strong enough to support video conferencing and other job-related responsibilities.
– Legal authorization to work in the United States without sponsorship.

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