The Vice President - MERL is responsible for providing senior leadership, strategic technical direction, and oversight to Making Cents’ Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) portfolio. The Vice President provides leadership regarding implementation of MERL activities and projects, remains current on trends, thinks strategically and creatively, works collaboratively to develop innovative and responsive service delivery, and supports new business efforts by contributing to proposals. The Vice President will supervise, mentor, and grow a team of MERL experts that can effectively provide technical support to new and existing MERL activities. Depending on the incumbent’s expertise, the Vice President may also oversee and develop an additional division (e.g., Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance or Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment). The Vice President will also serve in an advisory capacity to the Executive Team on company strategy and operations as a member of the Senior Advisory Team (SAT).
Success in this role requires strong understanding of and experience in monitoring and evaluation methods, tools, and best practices, ideally with knowledge of USAID systems, strong management and communication skills, and talent for developing and delivering innovative solutions to development challenges. The individual must consistently demonstrate a commitment to quality, strong professional ethics, integrity, and accountability.
Principal Duties include:
- Inspire and champion a culture of innovation, excellence, and collaboration.
- Support implementation of a positive culture and inclusive company environment where all feel that they belong and can thrive.
- Provide input into company strategies and operations plans, especially regarding MERL needs, as an advisor to the Executive Team. As a SAT member, provides regular inputs and leads discrete efforts related to strategic planning, operational optimization, outreach, and knowledge and talent management.
- Liaise with internal stakeholders across programs and support units to share information, identify areas to leverage expertise and learning, and promote innovative program development and management.
- Represent Making Cents at external events and build and maintain relationships with partners to enhance their understanding of Making Cents program standards and strategies.
- Monitor and assess MERL and other assigned divisions’ (as applicable) performance against strategic and annual plans, upholding standards for quality assurance and compliance among MERL staff for all project-level deliverables.
- Oversee management of US-based and overseas MERL and other assigned divisions’ (as applicable) projects and activities.
- Manage and develop MERL and other technical staff and provide mentoring and coaching to direct reports and other staff, as appropriate.
- Engage with specific project teams as needed to support collaboration across functions and to incorporate project-level data effectively into corporate strategy and budget.
- Develop strong partnerships across Making Cents to ensure efficient operations that support effective program implementation.
- Provide strategic direction and subject-matter expertise to Making Cents’ monitoring and evaluation approaches and associated programming, in partnership with other MERL staff.
- Where appropriate to skillset, provide direct services to clients.
- Participate in and contribute technical guidance to appropriate communities of practice, contributing/leading the development and implementation of strategic action plans that support service quality and growth of the MERL and other practice areas.
- Support Making Cents’ knowledge management and learning efforts, to ensure that the company can capture evidence/lessons and then incorporate them into ongoing MERL activity implementation or proposal writing and program design.
- Support new business efforts by scoping, contributing to technical strategy, and providing written inputs.
Required Experience, Certifications and Education:
- Master’s degree (or equivalent) in International Relations, International Development, or a related field.
- At least 12 years of relevant MERL experience with an emphasis on expertise in project monitoring and quantitative evaluation and research methods, including e xperience in designing or conducting program evaluations and developing monitoring and evaluation plans.
- Demonstrated understanding of USAID evaluation standards, best practices, and approaches.
- Experience overseeing and supporting USAID programming.
- At least two years’ supervisory experience.
- Experience working on new business development propoposals.
- Effective writing, communication, and presentation skills.
- Ability to work in the US without employer sponsorship.
Preferred Experience, Certifications and Education:
- Strong ability to initiate, foster, interact, and maintain relationships with contacts and stakeholders in a diverse and multicultural environment, with sensitivity, respect, discretion, tact, and professionalism.
- Fluency in English and a second language, with preference for French or Spanish.
- Overseas work experience.
- Highly skilled in team management and supervision.
- Regular travel, including international travel.
- Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.
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