Chief Technology Officer/Senior Director
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.
Digital technology is transforming the world of international relief and development - the contexts in which we operate, and how we achieve our mission. At Mercy Corps we seek to apply technology to innovating and scaling our impact around some of the world’s most complex challenges. The Mercy Corps’ Technology for Development (T4D) team collaborates with Mercy Corps teams and external partners to unlock new possibilities and improve more lives through the power of technology. We think beyond today’s context, exploring how we can use current and emerging technology to shrink the global digital divide and help people in vulnerable communities adapt to and overcome evolving challenges. Our mission and purpose are to drive sustainable program impact through responsible application of existing and emerging digital technologies. Ultimately, we drive Mercy Corps to maximize the use of digital technologies for greater scale, efficiency and impact.
The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is Mercy Corps most senior program technology leader and is responsible for guiding organizational vision and strategy around the application of digital technology to Mercy Corps’ ambitious mission. The CTO works closely with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) who is responsible for all internal facing enterprise applications of technology. The CTO leads a team of experienced technologists and humanitarians charged with supporting the broader organization to apply technology to accelerate and amplify the scale, speed and sustainability of program impact.
- The CTO is a skilled partnership builder internally, with senior leaders and technical experts building and executing on a shared vision for how technology can amplify impact throughout our work. They will steer required organizational adaptations to be fit for purpose in a digital world. This will include partnering with relevant teams to drive a clear internal communication, knowledge management and learning agenda around technology at Mercy Corps.
- The CTO is a skilled partnership builder externally, particularly with the private sector, institutional donors and foundations. They will be very comfortable discussing highly technical and complex scenarios and will initiate, develop and steward partnership agreements with private sector technology companies, in order to establish formal partnerships in pursuit of shared value, funding, services, expertise and/or product. They will connect Mercy Corps teams with resources to deliver on program technology outcomes. The CTO will influence relevance, access and affordability of technology solutions through thought-leadership and partnerships, often drawing on a broad network of technology organizations and experts.
- The CTO will drive the ethical considerations and decisions in the use of technology and data, applying the principles of Do No Digital Harm and ensuring Mercy Corps maintains a principled position that protects all program participants. This is a highly entrepreneurial role that progresses the use of digital technology across Mercy Corps’ programs.
- The CTO will be a skilled team leader, motivating a diverse team of technologists to be creative collaborators across the organization. They will be a talent developer and talent scout, helping to attract and retain great technology experts into the organization.
- The CTO will drive Mercy Corps’ influence and thought leadership agenda around technology in the sector.
The CTO must be able to envision a digitally supercharged version of Mercy Corps and be able to translate this vision into practical actions and then lead the organizational changes required to build energy and momentum around this vision. This vision must encompass the application of existing technology models and solutions, and also the potential of new and emergent technologies and innovative approaches and solutions. The CTO must have a demonstrated track record of leading technological and organizational innovation - we need to both improve the way we do things, and imagine better ways of solving old problems. The successful CTO must be a self-starter who demonstrates exceptional ability in leading organizational initiatives and understanding of Mercy Corps’ highest-level strategic plans and objectives. The CTO must exhibit an expert ability to interact with Executive Team members, Board Members, high-level private sector professionals, and high-profile donors to present complex issues, build strong relationships, and establish a highly respected professional reputation. In addition, the position must reach across departments within the agency, and to networks and associations outside it, to build critical partnerships to further thought leadership, program innovation, and ensure Mercy Corps’ relevance and impact on the industry. The position must demonstrate deep experience managing and empowering teams, mentoring talent, and fostering future leaders within the agency. The CTO works closely with the Chief People and Strategy Officer to develop team and agency strategies. The individual must have high proficiency for working in varied cultural, political, and religious environments, and must be able to travel and work successfully in austere environments and maintain poise in stressful situations.
Accountability to Program Participants: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our projects.
Supervisory Responsibility: Leads a team of 10+ team members and consultants
Reports Directly To: Chief People and Strategy Officer
Works Directly With: Senior leadership, field staff, IT staff, Information Systems Director, partner organizations, Technical Support Unit.
Knowledge and Experience
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, or relevant field preferred
- Experience as a senior technology leader at an international organization, leading diverse technology teams with global delivery models and geographically dispersed employees highly desirable
- 15+ years’ experience in technology and related business; increasing levels of responsibilities preferred
- Demonstrated track record of building powerful external partnerships and fundraising/sales
- Experienced in managing multi-million-dollar performance dependent agreements.
- Experience and comfort with extensive international travel, often in austere conditions
- INGO or not-for-profit experience preferred, but not required
- Experience in leading organizational change initiatives, particularly digital technology transformations, especially with implementing enterprise-wide solutions.
- Experience in the development and management of service, capital and operating budgets.
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Living and Environmental Conditions
The position will be based in one of Mercy Corps’ key global offices with the opportunity for international travel estimated at 30-50%.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit or assignment to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.