World Vision International

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Senior Director, Humanitarian Operations

Job Description

*For World Vision internal applicants only.

*Position location to be determined by home country of successful applicant within a jurisdiction (country or US State) where WVI is registered to operate.

World Vision’s Role in the Humanitarian Sector:

We recognize that the role of relief has changed over the past two decades. We are living in a world increasingly troubled by wars as opposing parties vie for power and resources. Civilians are increasingly caught up in conflict; displaced, abused and maimed and where terror is the norm. International aid workers are seen as viable targets of combatants and terrorists. In addition, the frequency, number and scale of natural disasters have also multiplied over the same period. To this effect, we seek out ways to engage ourselves in higher levels of understanding around humanitarian issues including: protection, humanitarian independence, humanitarian law, humanitarian practice and codes of conduct, civil/military relations, humanitarian policy, human rights, human violation, humanitarian accountability, exploitation and displacement.

It is in this context that we respond to God’s call for justice and assistance to the poor, vulnerable and dispossessed. As a Christian humanitarian organization, we are committed to take action in a manner, which ensures human dignity while providing assistance on an impartial basis in response to human need.

Thus we function and practice our respective skills and roles in a humanitarian emergency anywhere in the world, where the organization deems necessary to intervene.

The jobholder will serve in the Disaster Management Senior Leadership Team and will assess, adopt and implement WV’s engagement with a range of contemporary humanitarian principles and codes.

World Vision’s role in Disaster Management:

As the humanitarian sector has developed and become increasingly more sophisticated, it has moved from the provision of assistance in emergency response to include early warning, preparedness, pre-positioning, disaster mitigation and transition management. Today the whole set of engagements falls under the "humanitarian" umbrella. WV’s mission statement clearly makes these activities central to our work and the organization will continue to engage in each one of these specific phases of disaster management activity.

So as not to lose sight of this, it may be necessary to define humanitarianism around the macro external forces, while defining emergency response and disaster mitigation around an actual event.

To this effect, the Director, Humanitarian Operations will lead WV’s engagement in disaster management, promoting quality WV emergency response engagement. This includes: assessment of needs; liaison/networking with disaster affected populations and other major stakeholders; development of strategy and designing of programmes; sourcing and allocating resources to programme needs; monitoring the implementation of the response; training and capacity building of staff. This encompasses appropriate structures, standards, staffing and resources available for emergency preparedness and mitigation, emergency response and post emergency rehabilitation and transitions.


  • To lead the Preparedness and Response elements of the Partnership’s Disaster Management Strategy, specifically planning, management, co-ordination and resource mobilization for WV emergency relief activities, to achieve a Whole of Partnership approach to preparedness and response.

  • To keep WV engaged with a range of contemporary humanitarian principles or issues such as IHL, conventions, codes of conduct, vulnerable populations, situational & humanitarian analysis, and conflict issues.

  • To manage, support and guide GRRT and HOST teams, GSCN leadership, Response Managers and Regional and SO HEA Directors.

  • To lead, when relevant, a Global Response (large-scale emergency response), or to backstop Global response leadership including membership of the HEA Executive Support Team, Partnership Executive Team and/or Pre-Crisis Review Team when requested

  • To ensure WV adopts, disseminates and puts into practice the humanitarian principles that WV espouses.

  • To ensure integration of Disaster Management with other Global Programmes and Global Field Operations. This includes working with the widest possible cross-section of the WV Partnership to ensure maximum engagement and effectiveness under the Whole of Partnership approach.


  • Develop and implement strategies that proactively position GC Disaster Management to prepare for and resource the various dimensions of disaster management as implemented by WVI globally.

  • Strengthen and maintain the operational response capacity and capabilities of WVI, orchestrated by Disaster Management to implement high quality and impactful disaster responses, especially where those responses require global mobilization of WVI’s disaster management capacity globally.

  • Engage leadership across the WVI global partnership to access and leverage disaster management capacity and expertise in the context of the “whole of Partnership” operating model.

  • Work with WV regional and national office entities to strengthen and expand their capacity and capabilities for effective disaster management with particular focus (but not exclusively) on conflict affected and urban contexts.

  • As a member of the GC Disaster Management senior management team, contribute to the strategic directions and effective functioning of Disaster Management.



  • Masters-level degree in International Studies or similar with focus on humanitarian action.

  • Tertiary qualifications in business management preferred but not essential.

  • Minimum of 10 years operational and management experience in the humanitarian sector.

  • Strong empirical knowledge of the humanitarian sector including humanitarian industry entities and systems, charters, laws, and standards.

  • Highly developed English language skills essential, and preferably in addition, working level skills in French, Spanish or Arabic.


  • Strong management skills.

  • Excellent team and people management skills.

  • Relevant and transferable skills from the corporate / commercial sector, but not essential.

Work Environment:

  • The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 40% of the time. This percentage will vary in response to the prevalence and scale of humanitarian disasters and events.