Head of Mission – Syria At INTERSOS

INTERSOS is an independent humanitarian organization that assists the victims of natural disasters, armed conflicts and exclusion. Its activities are based on the principles of solidarity, justice, human dignity, equality of rights and opportunities, respect for diversity and coexistence, paying special attention to the most vulnerable people.

Terms of reference

Job Title: Head of Mission

Code: SR-53-1965

Duty station: Damascus

Starting date: 1/12/2021

Contract duration: 12 months of which 4 months of initial probation contract

Reporting to: Regional Director for Middle East

Supervision of: Programmes Coordinator, Country Finance Coordinator, Medical coordinator, Protection Coordinator, Logistics Manager, HR Manager (5 expatriate staff and approximately 30 national employees)

Type of duty station: Non-family duty station

General context of the project

INTERSOS is a non-profit humanitarian aid organization that works to bring assistance to people in danger, victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts.

INTERSOS has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) in May 2019 to operate in Syria. INTERSOS has a consolidated presence in the region (Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan) with a multi sector program focused on the humanitarian assistance of Syrian refugees located in urban and rural areas.

INTERSOS is now scaling-up operations in Syria mainly focusing in protection, education and primary health sectors with the objective to strengthen related basic services to vulnerable people in different areas of the country.

INTERSOS implemented in 2020 a set of interventions in different sectors, such us: Protection (Child Protection, Community-based Protection, Case management, structured and unstructured Psycho-Social Support, awareness raising on protection principles, risk education), Health (Covid-19 prevention and response encompassing tailored capacity Building for health personnel and general staff on Infection Prevention and Control, Triage and MHPSS, PPEs distribution, Risk Communication and Community engagement (RCCE) following a highly participatory approach with vulnerable communities), Non Food Items distributions (Winterization campaigns to cope with harsh weather conditions in hard-to-reach areas). INTERSOS has established its main office in Damascus and opened an office in Hama. In terms of geographic coverage, INTERSOS operated in Rural Damascus and Hama Governorates, and set foundations for new operations in southern Idleb.

INTERSOS main donors in country are the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), Stichting Vluchteling (SV), Syria Humanitarian Fund (SHF).

Negotiation with different international and national agencies are ongoing to enlarge the program. The Regional Office and other HQ departments are supporting the Syrian mission also making available experts coming from the region in order to have the technical part properly addressed. The HoM will work in strong coordination with the Regional Office team and the technical units (Protection and Health) in HQ.

General purpose of the position

The general purpose of the position is to represent INTERSOS in Syria and act in accordance with specific directions from and supervision of the Regional Office.

Main responsibilities and tasks

  • Establish and maintain collaborative relations with Local Authorities and Institutions, Donors, International Agencies, NGOs, partners and other stakeholders;
  • Follow up, guarantee and monitor government recognition procedures for the organization in compliance with the host country formalities;
  • Provides INTERSOS Headquarters with timely and relevant information on documents that may create legal commitments vis-à-vis third parties;
  • Define, in coordination with the country team and the Regional Office, country priorities based on context and needs analyses;
  • Monitor donor intervention strategies in the country and design accordingly the fundraising and development strategy of the mission;
  • Design, promote and elaborate new interventions;
  • Define strategic priorities for the development and set up of the mission structure;
  • Continuously assess, analyse and evaluate new areas of intervention in Syria especially in the North Western Regions;
  • Supervise and validate country level development of project proposals for submission to donors;
  • Define the general planning and scheduling of activities to be carried out in the country;
  • Define organizational aspects, coordination, interchange and integration sessions, and communication/information flows in the mission;
  • Oversee, check and evaluate key variables concerning project planning and implementation (in relation to formats, INTERSOS and donor constraints and policies; the quality of management processes; the quality of human, technical and instrumental resources; the effectiveness and quality of results and efficiency);
  • Verify and ensure at mission level compliance with deadlines and timely and appropriate submission of all documentation required by donors including interim and final financial and narrative reports;
  • Conduct regularly missions to the field in order to ensure proper activities supervision and coordination with stakeholders and with the authorities;
  • Ensure and validation the definition of the mission financial plan, ensuring self-sufficiency and consistency of expenses, and assume responsibility for the mission funds management, including bank accounts;
  • Prevent and if needed identify, analyse and manage institutional risks, ensuring timely communication with the Regional Office;
  • Ensure safety and security management at mission level, including risks analysis, elaboration of security rules, briefing of team members at all levels, monitoring of compliance, security incidents management and communication to HQ;
  • Ensure all departments of the mission are implementing activities in line and in full compliance with INTERSOS Organization Management and Control Model and policies, donors’ rules and applicable legal requirements;
  • Ensure all team members and contracted persons and entities abide by INTERSOS ethical policies (against fraud and corruption, on PSEA and child Protection) and related procedures;
  • Manage, support, build the capacities of all direct reports, and evaluate their performance;
  • Ensure the SMT manage their teams guarantying support, capacity building and well-being, in line with INTERSOS policies and legal requirements;
  • Provide INTERSOS Headquarters with duly catalogued photographic and filmed materials on activities carried out in the country of assignment and any other useful documentation for external communications, in accordance with procedures defined.

Required profile and experience


Advanced university degree. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Professional Experience

  • At least 2 years of professional work experience as Head of Mission or 5 in other management/ coordination positions in humanitarian/development contexts;
  • Knowledge of the regional coordination mechanism;
  • Previous experience in Middle East region is an asset;
  • Proven experience in management of EU (mainly ECHO), UN, and US funds, AICS if possible;
  • Remote control experience is an asset as well as risk management knowledge.

Professional Requirements

  • Strong and proven understanding of the humanitarian operating context, the humanitarian system, donors and their high demanding, security and financial management in humanitarian context;
  • Strong knowledge of donor’s procedures notably UN agencies (UNHCR, OCHA, UNICEF, WFP, UNFPA), AICS, ECHO, BHA;
  • Very strong skills in computer (excel) and admin/finance procedures;
  • Highly able to keep confidentiality;
  • Able to work independently and under stress;
  • Organization skills, delegative and empowerment approach of the supervised team, but capacity to be hands-on and pay attention to details;
  • Demonstrated leadership and interpersonal skills;
  • Readiness to commit and adhere to the values, mission and vision of INTERSOS.


  • English compulsory;
  • Arabic is an advantage.

Personal Requirements

  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills with analytic approach;
  • Excellent communication and negotiations skills, both oral and written;
  • Demonstrated ability to establish effective working relations with staff, beneficiaries and other stakeholders;
  • Ability to work in a complex environment within multi-ethnic and multicultural teams.

How to apply

Interested candidates are invited to apply following the link below:


Please note that our application process is made of 3 quick stepsregister (including your name, email, password, citizenship and Skype address), sign-up and apply attaching your CV and motivation letter in PDF format. Through the platform, candidates will be able to track their applications’ history with INTERSOS.

In case you encounter severe difficulties applying through the platform, you can send an email attaching your CV and motivation letter (both in PDF version) via email to recruitment@intersos.org, with subject line: “**Platform issue**  SR-53-1965  Head of Mission – Syria”.

Please also mention the name, position and contact details of at least two references, including the line manager during your last job. Family members are to be excluded.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for the first interview.

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