Director of Implementation and Scaling

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Job Posting

Director of Implementation and Scaling

Job Category: Other

New York


Background/IRC Summary:  

The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities that support them, as well as with those who remain within their homes and communities. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.

The Airbel Center designs, tests, and drives large-scale adoption of innovations for people affected by crisis. We focus on projects that have the potential for reaching the most people with the most effective breakthrough products, services, and systems.  To accomplish this, Airbel applies best practices from human-centered design, behavioral science, and strategy in our work. Combining these capabilities with IRC’s extensive global operating reach and deep social science expertise in our research team, we know it is possible to design and scale breakthrough humanitarian programs that could enable the sector to have a greater impact on millions of people most affected by conflict and disasters.

Job Overview:

Since our launch 18 months ago, we have raised $20 million new funding for innovation, developed a portfolio of 20 promising early and mid-stage projects, and have a robust network and pipeline of new projects and funders. For the next stage in our development, we are looking for someone who can help lead the implementation and scaling of our solutions.

The Director of Implementation and Scaling will oversee the work of a growing number of programs as they are piloted, tested, and scaled. To be successful, we are looking for three main qualities:

First, based on your deep experience, you will have outstanding judgement about how to implement programs so that each of our pilots are delivered with speed, quality, and rigor. You will be adept at iteratively and systematically adapting programs and pivoting them based on feedback, and bringing an agile, data-driven approach to program implementation. You will be good at weighing trade-offs; have good intuition about timescales and resources required across a wide range of projects; have the technical skills to weigh evidence and contextual information in the design and adaptation of programs; be credible at engaging with field colleagues, and excellent at collaborating with colleagues and external partners. 

Second, you will have insight into how to scale promising ideas outside IRC, whether through adoption by governments, the private sector, or other non-profits. You will have a restless desire to think about sector-wide adoption of solutions and the experience to guide teams in actively planning their pathway to scale. You will have a keen sense of what planning, partnerships, and processes need to be developed from the outset of implementation to ensure that we can scale effectively and quickly.

Third, you will have experience of ensuring effective finance, grants and HR functions so that the team is operating efficiently, and investing effectively in the growth and development of our teams.


Major Responsibilities:

Manage implementation of Airbel programs, ensuring their speed, quality, and rigor (50%)

  • Partner with national and regional IRC leadership to develop, launch, and manage projects at various stages of the innovation lifecycle from ideation, prototyping, piloting, conducting impact evaluations and large-scale program rollout
  • Maximize the potential of our projects in implementation, providing sound technical input, supporting iteration and pivoting of each program as new insights emerge
  • Manage 1-2 Regional Innovation Directors who are themselves overseeing a number of in-country implementations of innovation projects
  • Work with local project leads to set up effective measurement, learning, and feedback cycles that enable adaptive program development as projects evolve
  • Lead the recruitment and growth of project leadership, specialized technical talent, and core implementation staff
  • Manage the project launch process for new projects, actively developing our execution capabilities and local talent to do high-quality execution of complex multidisciplinary projects 

Provide insight into how to scale promising solutions, and actively plan the path to scale (25%)

  • Use your knowledge of scaling solutions to develop strategies that include testing, replication, and building advocacy momentum to push for sector-wide adoption
  • Develop and manage global strategic partnerships with researchers, other implementers, and funders critical to high quality implementation, testing, and eventual uptake of our solutions
  • Support Airbel and IRC leadership on proposal development, ensuring that projects are well resourced to deliver on their strategic objectives

Manage HQ operations team (25%)

  • Work with the team to synthesize work plans, timelines, budgets, and reporting across multiple projects globally into one global view of our work
  • Support further development of Airbel innovation capabilities and methods
  • Oversee the work of the Senior Grants and Operations Coordinator           

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to:  Chief Innovation Officer 
Position directly supervises:  Senior Grants and Operations Coordinator, Innovation; Airbel project leads; Regional Innovation Director(s) in Airbel hubs around the world

Indirect Reporting to:  N/A
Other Internal and/or external contacts:


●      IRC CEO and Leadership Board

●      Regional and Country Program Leadership

●      Senior Director of Research, Evaluation, and Learning


Job Requirements:

Minimum Requirements

  • Master’s degree, or equivalent work experience
  • At least 10 years of related work experience, with demonstrated leadership ability in an innovation or research organization
  • Strong track record and experience with scaling new solutions within and across contexts
  • Flexible work attitude, proactive and demonstrated creativity: the ability to work productively in a team environment and the ability to problem solve creatively with minimal guidance
  • Fluency in English, both verbal and written is required 

Preferred Requirements

  • Experience in humanitarian settings or development contexts
  • Experience with mobile and financial technology development, human-centered design, and a variety of research methods 

Working Environment:

  • Standard office work environment
  • Up to 25% travel to IRC country program locations may be required

Application Instructions

Please apply on our site.