Country Director, Iraq


Position title: Country Director, Iraq

Position location: Baghdad, Iraq

Reports to: Deputy Director, Program Management and Operations and Middle East

Contract term: 2 years, renewable

Application deadline: 26 January 2023

WUSC is a leading Canadian international development organization that works with and through its southern partners to promote sustainable development. Founded in 1957 and currently working in 22 countries worldwide with an annual budget of approximately $45 million dollars, WUSC’s mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training. Our internationally recognized programs support youth, women and other marginalized populations, focusing on three thematic areas of education, employment and empowerment. Globally, WUSC works with a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty and community leaders that can be leveraged to support our work.

Canadian Leaders in International Consulting Inc. (CLIC), founded in 2007, is a professional services firm that provides high quality technical assistance and strategic advice in governance, institutional development, restoration and capacity building to public, private and not-for-profit sectors. CLIC works extensively in conflict and post conflict environments providing livelihood and stabilization services. In addition, CLIC conducts research, implements monitoring and evaluation and development projects globally with a focus on the broader Middle East and North Africa. Over the past 3 years CLIC has implemented, or is currently implementing, contracts in Iraq with the WB, UNDP, the ILO and several international organizations and bi-lateral funding agencies.

WUSC is seeking to recruit a Country Director based in Baghdad to oversee and manage WUSC programming in Iraq, in partnership with Canadian Leaders in International Consulting (CLIC). The Country Director will be responsible for the effective delivery of programming under the guidance of the project Consortium and Project Steering Committee.


The Country Director oversees the strategic, technical and operational implementation of projects in Iraq, including joint projects with CLIC. The Country Director manages relationships with key stakeholders, including with national and local Governments, project partners, local partners, the private sector and funders.

Reporting to the Project Steering Committee, and the Deputy Director, Program Management and Operations and Middle East from the WUSC HQ, the Country Director will be responsible for the following:

Partner Relations and Communications

  • Establish and maintain effective relationships between key project partners
  • Develop robust relationships with project stakeholders, including relevant governments, private sector, academic institutions, consultants and civil society organizations.
  • Organize and manage governance structures / committees
  • Represent WUSC among stakeholders, ensuring that WUSC projects can provide value to local actors and make a positive impact within the relevant ecosystems.
  • Represent WUSC and CLIC in any joint projects that may be secured in Iraq.

Technical Direction & Project Management

  • Provide technical and managerial direction and guidance to the initiatives, in line with the project’s expected outcomes;
  • Develop key project planning deliverables (i.e. Project Inception Plans, Annual Work Plans) using results-based management approaches and tools;
  • Develop specific strategies for cross-cutting themes (capacity building, gender equality, private sector engagement, environmental sustainability) for the projects;
  • Maintain open and effective communication amongst strategic partners and project team members in Canada and Iraq;
  • Oversee day-to-day coordination and delivery of project activities in conjunction with staff, technical advisors, volunteers and partners;

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Establish and oversee a results monitoring system for the project;
  • Stay apprised of developments in key markets of interest to the project and develop systems for monitoring changes and adaptations in these markets over time;
  • Regularly monitor progress towards results, ensuring appropriate course correction and iterative management;
  • Work with team members to produce regular reports to key stakeholders, including the donor agency;
  • Maintain regular communication with WUSC and CLIC colleagues in Canada and Iraq and with key partners in the region, in Canada and globally (as applicable) to ensure appropriate support;
  • Ensure and facilitate learning and knowledge sharing among the team, with partners and stakeholders, with the donor, and with WUSC and CLIC colleagues in Canada and Iraq.

Human Resources Management

  • Manage the project team in Iraq;
  • Supervise, guide and evaluate the work of project staff and consultants;
  • Oversee human resources management issues such as employment policies and practices, in line with local law;
  • Ensure the full onboarding and orientation of new team members;
  • Work with colleagues and partners to ensure the effective mobilization and orientation of technical advisors / consultants;
  • Maintain a fair, collegial, and supportive atmosphere in the workplace and professional relationships between the team members.

Financial & Office Management

  • Establish and oversee a financial management system for the project;
  • Ensure that the project complies with relevant local taxation, banking controls, and labour laws;
  • In conjunction with the finance team, develop and monitor the project budget and ensure regular reporting to the donor;
  • Recruit, maintain and direct the required administrative and project infrastructure of staff, field offices and equipment as well as making decisions on administrative policy, planning and procedural matters;
  • Facilitate coordination between finance / admin and program staff, ensuring capacity building and support is provided as needed

Risk Management & Security Preparedness

  • Actively assess the risk profile of the initiative; identify specific risks and appropriate mitigation strategies;
  • Ensure the application and relevancy of WUSC security policies, procedures and preparedness to the operational context of the project;
  • Oversee and manage all aspects of security planning, including preparing and executing the overall country security plan, evacuation plan, medevac plan, among others.
  • Ensure timely submission of all security and incident reports to WUSC HQ.

Donor Liaison & Coordination

  • Establish a strong working relationship with the Donor representatives in Iraq, including planning and information sharing;
  • Convene and lead Project Steering Committee meetings at regular intervals;
  • Coordinate regularly with other development actors to ensure harmonization and synergy with similar initiatives, as well as potential program opportunities;
  • Represent the Project in official communication and fora.



  • A university degree in international development, business administration, finance or other relevant area.
  • Specialized training in entrepreneurship support and/or gender would be an advantage.

Experience and Competencies

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively more responsible assignments related to management of development initiatives;
  • Knowledge and experience in entrepreneurship and employment ecosystem support, particularly with a gender lens
  • Knowledge and experience working with training and educational institutions in Iraq, such as vocational training centers and technical universities.
  • Knowledge and experience working with government ministries in Iraq, specifically Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of HIgher Education.
  • Proven experience engaging a variety of stakeholders in development programming, including training and educational institutions, private sector, government organizations, and civil society;
  • Experience working with international development donor agencies;
  • Demonstrated capacity to work in cross-sectoral collaboration;
  • Experience managing technical advisors / consultants considered an asset;
  • Knowledge of Results Based Management (RBM) and gender policies and reporting requirements;
  • Proven technical, financial, administrative and organizational skills;
  • Knowledge of donor financial and narrative reporting procedures and requirements;
  • Proven experience leading and managing a multi-disciplinary team;
  • Diplomatic skills and the knowledge of cross-cultural, interpersonal communication;
  • Proven experience of adaptability to a challenging and constantly changing environment requiring iterative planning on a regular basis;
  • Proven knowledge of and commitment to the concepts of Gender Equality;
  • Experience in capacity building with local partner organizations and a commitment to a participatory partnership approach to development.


  • Fluency in English and Arabic
  • Superior oral and written skills required in English.


WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world. We believe youth have the potential to provide for their families, build strong communities, and create positive social change for future generations. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, employment and empowerment.

WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please. Please note that the recruitment for this position is subject to project funding approval.

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