Mercy Corps: Assistant Program Officer, South and East Asia — Temporary (6-month assignment)

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps’ South and East Asia (SEA) region is comprised of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Timor Leste. Programming in these countries focuses on economic and market systems development, resilience, financial inclusion, sustainable energy, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), among others. Common themes include community engagement, inclusive development, gender, and working in partnership with local government, the private sector and civil society actors. The region is committed to using data-driven evidence to articulate country-level impact and contributions towards solving complex global challenges.

Each region has a dedicated support team (the ‘Desk’), and is a component of the larger Regional Program Team (RPT) based in Mercy Corps’ headquarters in Portland, Oregon. The desk is the key point of HQ contact for field management including Regional Director (RD), Country Directors, Program Managers and other Expatriate and National staff. The desk links the country programs to a range of U.S. and international-based resources and represents the region to potential and current funders and other organizations and institutions in the US. This full-time APO position is a key member of the program desk team.

General Position Summary

The Assistant Program Officer (APO) provides administrative support to the Senior Program Officer (SPO), Program Officer (PO), Regional Program Director (RD), and the field teams for the growth and implementation of high-quality and impactful programming in the (REGION).  The APO plays a key role in managing information and data that comes in from the country teams to facilitate use and access of it for other HQ departments and retention of institutional knowledge. The APO effectively supports the SPO/PO to provide the secondary check and support the field (ultimate point of responsibility) in adhering to internal and external policies and regulations and is responsible for administrative duties for the region.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S in International Development or related field highly preferred.
  • Two years of demonstrated experience in providing administrative/coordination support.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively with colleagues from various backgrounds and cultures.
  • Proficiency with MS Office software required (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Prior NGO or international development experience preferred.
  • Preference given to candidates with prior work experience in South or Southeast Asia.
  • Knowledge of relevant technical sectors (emergency relief, economic development, agriculture, water, health, nutrition, or hygiene) preferred.
  • Language proficiency required/preferred.

Success Factors

The Assistant Program Officer must be a detail-oriented multi-tasker who is able to communicate clearly and work under pressure. They must demonstrate patience, flexibility, and taking initiative to solve problems. Vital skills include communication (both written and verbal), as well as building and maintaining effective internal and external relationships. They must demonstrate the ability to understand and follow agency procedures, meet deadlines, and work both independently and as part of a complex distanced-based, multi-cultural team. An exposure to and interest in international development issues is important, and an understanding of the complex challenges faced by program teams operating in overseas environments is critical.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Portland, Oregon and it requires up to 10% travel to the region, sometimes on short notice.


This is an “Intern-Friendly” temporary assignment. Find the full job announcement, learn more about Mercy Corps, and apply here.

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