IRC Seeking a Senior Partnership Advisor based in New York, NY

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works to aid in the development of societies in which people have the opportunity to realize their full potential and are supported by institutions and processes of power that are just, transparent, accountable, inclusive, and which promote and protect rights.


The IRC is looking to become a partner of choice for state, civil society and market actors in the Global South that are aligned with its vision and mission. IRC recognizes that the aid architectures sets up agencies in the Global North to be the primary decision-makers and IRC is committed to challenging and overcoming this current reality, and in so doing to transforming the way it works. Following a process of internal reflection and external consultation, the IRC seeks to appoint a Senior Partnership Advisor to lead and coordinate our efforts to be a better partner to agencies in the Global South.



The Senior Partnership Advisor (SPA) will be responsible for leading change management processes across the IRC on issues related to how IRC partners with actors in the Global South. These issues may span a range of practices, including, but not limited to strategic planning, program design, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, partner contract management, human resource management, etc.


The SPA will be housed within the Governance & Rights technical unit of the International Programs Department, reporting to the director of that unit, and will work closely with all the heads of technical units, regional units, as well as heads of operational support units and departments, to provide leadership and mainstreaming support on initiatives to improve practices around partnership across disciplines, sectors, countries and regions. This is a new position and an opportunity to shape the future direction of a major emergency and post-conflict development agency in its interactions with a broad range of actors from the Global South. The position does not directly supervise other staff and is expected to work with a broad range of other teams to stimulate and support change processes. In addition, the SPA will interface with an external advisory group and the broader humanitarian community to ensure that proposed changes and developments are in line with industry best practices.



The overall focus of the SPA is to develop, lead and work to achieve buy-in to an organizational strategy to transform the way the IRC partners with agencies in the Global South.


Leadership and management:

  • Systematically analyze IRC processes and practices with a view to highlighting opportunities to improving how IRC partners with agencies from the Global South, and/or contradictions between current practice and IRC’s vision around partnership;
  • Identify key areas for improvement in these processes and practices;
  • Develop change management plans with relevant heads of units and departments, and their designated focal points, to implement proposed improvements;
  • Cultivate shared ownership of, and buy-in to, these change management plans;
  • Convene a cross-departmental task force to support this work;
  • Monitor and report on progress against identified change management plans.


Representation and public information:

  • Liaise with an external advisory group and a broad range of internal stakeholders to ground-truth proposed changes to core business practices;
  • Work with IRC’s External Relations department to develop relevant communications materials about the IRC’s approach to partnerships;
  • Represent the IRC at conferences, workshops and other relevant fora on issues related to partnerships with the Global South.


Policies, strategies and tools:

  • Support the work of the Governance & Rights unit, the wider Program unit and Regional units to improve accountability practices towards partner organizations, sub-grantees and the wider beneficiary / client community;
  • Develop and/or review program tools as they relate to partnership practices;
  • Write briefing notes for IRC staff to summarize key concepts or industry best practices;
  • Provide trainings and guidance to IRC Technical Advisors and the Deputy Regional Directors of Programs to ensure that the support they provide to IRC field staff is aligned with these efforts to improve partnership practices at the IRC.


Research and learning:

  • Cultivate learning opportunities for IRC and partner staff, including exchange visits, conferences and workshops, online and offline training courses, etc.
  • Support the IRC’s Technical Units and Research, Evaluation and Learning Unit to develop qualitative and quantitative research opportunities around substantive work delivered by key partnerships;
  • Explore opportunities with the IRC’s Technical Units and Research, Evaluation and Learning Unit to develop improved measures and appropriate data collection methods to track the quality of IRC’s partnership relations.



  • A proven track record in managing organizational change, preferably in the humanitarian and/or development sector;
  • At least 7 years in senior management experience in the humanitarian and/or development sector, in multiple country contexts;
  • Solid practical experience managing North-South and/or South/South partnerships in development, preferably from the perspective of a Southern actor/agency. Experience of public-private partnerships and/or a breadth of government, civil society and market-related partnerships an advantage;
  • Excellent English verbal and written communication skills;
  • Masters degree preferred;
  • French and/or Arabic speaker preferred;
  • Must be willing and able to travel up to 40% of the time over the first 12 months and up to 30% thereafter.


Please apply at

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