New Initiatives Senior Officer: Climate and Environment in Asia

Mercy Corps

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

London, UK 🇬🇧


Location: Mercy Corps HQ location, Washington DC or London, UK 

Position Status Full-time, Regular 

Salary Level: US: HQ5: Minimum Starting Salary: $64,000 Commensurate on experience, based on local benchmark for candidates outside of the United States.

About Mercy Corps 

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Program / Department Summary  

Climate resilience is a key priority for Mercy Corps in both its regional and global strategies. Through our programs, we seek to reduce vulnerability to climate related shocks or conflict, while helping communities adapt to climate change, diversify sources of energy, value ecosystems and limit environmental degradation. While many of our country’s programs include varying aspects of climate resilience, we believe that there are significant opportunities to expand this work as part of a regional approach.  

The Position

The New Initiatives Senior Officer-Climate and Environment (NICE) will be a member of the Asia regional management team and coordinate closely with the Environment TSU team. The New Initiatives Senior Officer will focus on helping country teams grow their portfolio of climate programming. This will involve leading or supporting the development of country climate action plans, developing concept notes and proposals, identifying appropriate technical and other local partners, as well as participating in donor research and engagement. This position will also work with country teams to help position them strategically for funding opportunities that would grow country climate portfolios. 
In addition, the New Initiatives Senior Officer will work closely with the existing Asia regional New Initiatives Specialist and the Regional Program Team (RPT, or desk) to track the pipeline of potential new business opportunities for the region, and support country teams in prioritizing and preparing for them. 

Essential Job Responsibilities  


  • Design/write/review proposals and concept notes for funding from US and European institutional donors, as well as private corporations, foundations and other philanthropic entities.  
  • Work with programs, country/regional teams, and technical support units on prepositioning and development of climate action plans and related business development strategies.  
  • Work with TSU teams to integrate climate risk considerations and strategies (along with broader agency goals such as resilience) into the design of proposed programs. 
  • Support the development of competitive proposals for opportunities that require resources and capacity beyond what is available at the country level following Mercy Corps’ best practices in proposal development, team management, and the appropriate sectoral area. 


  • Work closely with field leaders to influence their engagement and support of program pre-positioning, development and implementation. 
  • Support targeted assessments that will help create funding opportunities or increase the competitiveness of Mercy Corps in future bids. 
  • Facilitate strategic planning and capacity building sessions with country programs. 
  • Identify and nurture strategic partnerships with other relevant organizations, universities and research institutions that result in stronger and more impactful program development efforts. 
  • Coordinate between country teams, TSU, and other HQ teams as needed. 


  • Keep up to date on relevant donor strategies being developed or applied by significant governmental, academic, and non-profit groups. 
  • Cultivate and nurture donor relationships that positively impact Mercy Corps ability to grow its climate programming,  
  • Lead and support efforts to influence donor planning and help Mercy Corps access funding, including the presentation of concepts and ideas. 


  • Contribute to and maintain regional Business Development Tracker to learn and improve on proposal success rates, trends for donor funding, and lessons learned from the proposal process to better support the teams in prepositioning for future calls. 
  • Support country teams and specific climate programs in the Asia region to develop climate-focused research agendas to inform assessments and programmatic evaluations to inform future business development strategies, influence donors, and build Mercy Corps’ reputation.  
  • Support new and ongoing programs with best practice advice and assistance on assessment, implementation, research, and evaluation needs. 
  • Contribute to agency-wide climate initiatives such as the climate research and learning agenda.  

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

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 field projects. 


Reports directly to: Regional New Initiatives Specialist (Isla Fraser) 

Coordinates regularly with: Environment TSU Director (Eliot Levine)

Works directly with: Regional Director, Deputy Regional Director, Country Directors, DoPs and country level BD Teams, PMs, RPT, Sr. Technical Advisor Environment/Ag/Livelihoods TSU, PaQ, and Policy and Advocacy, Research and Learning and Communications.  

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

Mercy Corps believes the following knowledge and experience will be helpful in ensuring the success of the NICE specialist. These should be seen by candidates as a guide, but also be taken as flexible. Mercy Corps recognizes many skills are transferable across disciplines, sectors and types of work and is open to considering candidates with a range of relevant experiences, educational backgrounds, knowledge and skill sets.  

  • Bachelor’s degree and 4+ years of experience, or equivalent in a field related to climate change and/or natural resource management preferred.   
  • Broad understanding of, and at least four years of experience with, a range of climate-resilience related technical areas including natural resource management, climate finance, disaster risk reduction, climate-smart livelihoods, ecosystem-based adaptation, community-based adaptation.  
  • Demonstrated experience in program design and proposal development. Experience with assessments/research preferred. 
  • Proven ability to work productively with a wide variety of stakeholders to run participatory planning processes, meet tight deadlines, and produce quality proposals in sparse working environments. 
  • Familiarity with donors supporting climate action in the Asia region, and the relevant national and international stakeholders. 
  • Demonstrated ability to identify, manage and grow impactful partnerships and networks.  
  • Strong negotiation skills and experience developing multiple-partnership arrangements for proposal development. 
  • Willingness and ability to travel frequently to Mercy Corps project sites and field locations, including traveling to insecure environments, is required. 
  • Exceptional written and interpersonal communication skills an absolute must. 
  • Fluency in English is required. 

Success Factors 

This position requires exceptional writing skills and the ability to multitask, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under tight deadlines within complex global team environments. It also requires an ability to see connections, work across a range of technical areas related to climate change, and lead cross-team efforts in developing ambitious strategies and programs.  

The successful candidate will have a love of writing, strong interpersonal skills, and a healthy competitive spirit. S/he must have a strong ability to develop new business strategies through analysis, donor engagement, and concept development. Importantly, the individual must demonstrate an ability to work across teams and institutions, building effective internal and external partnerships.  

Living Conditions

This position will be located in any MC HQ location. The position requires travel at least 30% time to the field where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed. When in the field the team member must able to work in remote settings, over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule, and in settings with limited infrastructure, food options, and living conditions. 

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues. 

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment. 

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.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times.

As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. Any offers of employment or continued employment are dependent on the successful completion of the screens which include, but are not limited to our Background Check and Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme processes,

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees

Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status.

This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities.

For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment.  Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations.  Failure to comply may impact your employment.  Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.