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Malteser International

Director of Programmes and Operations

About Malteser International

Malteser International (MI) is an international humanitarian aid organisation. It is the relief agency of the Catholic Sovereign Order of Malta and fulfils its mission to “serve the poor and the sick”. 

Since 1956, their core task has been to improve the health and well-being of suffering and displaced people worldwide. They provide emergency relief in the immediate aftermath of acute disasters and work towards rehabilitating and reconstructing afflicted communities. Thus, they work on the frontlines to provide immediate and long-term relief to those who need it most.

Malteser International’s vision is to aspire to a world where all individuals – particularly those in need and displaced – live a life of health and dignity.

Their approach is to intervene and provide medical and mental health support, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), food, protection, and shelter where possible. The organisation takes a holistic approach to health in their programming, including protecting nature. In addition, Malteser International works with local resources and engages local partners and the Order of Malta’s global network to respond rapidly and effectively in even the most remote locations. 

People are at the centre of Malteser International’s assistance. They are also committed to contributing to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and in doing so, they extend their support to all individuals in need regardless of gender, political belief, origin, or faith. 

About the Role

The Director of Programmes and Operations  (DPO) will lead Malteser International’s core work, providing strategic analysis and guidance on programme implementation and delivery. This position manages and oversees a programme portfolio of USD 130 million annually across five continents. This includes delivering on strategic and operational plans, identifying and addressing issues, guiding team members in course correction, and suggesting innovative and creative pathways for new approaches and flexible problem-solving. The DPO will also oversee portfolio start-up and implementation, ensuring compliance with donor regulations and optimising allocation in coordination with other Directors and Team leads. Additionally, the DPO will manage the entire life cycle of programmes and funds for one assigned response, focusing on donor compliance and capacity-building in MI country offices through on-site reviews and support.

In addition to portfolio management, the DPO will lead, supervise, and develop a team of programme staff, facilitating orientation, work plans, and performance evaluations. They will be a key part of delivering MI’s 2025 strategy implementation and fostering a collaborative knowledge-sharing environment. The role requires an entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, strong analytical, organisational, communication, and management skills and proficiency in spoken and written German and English. It also involves up to 20% travel for high-priority humanitarian responses and project implementation. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Portfolio Management and Oversight 

  • Ensure effective management of awards within the assigned regional portfolios (five continents),
  • Play a central role in leading a change process across the whole global programme structure while growing the capacity of MI, including expanding operations,
  • Provide input to the strategic and operational plans for these awards,
  • Identify issues and support team members to develop plans for course correction and escalation when necessary,
  • Oversee the start-up and implementation of the portfolio of awards within the assigned region,
  • Leading operations team in HQ supporting Country Office management of awards as well as compliance and communication with donors,
  • Oversee the optimal and efficient allocation of portfolio assignments in coordination with the other Directors and Team leads,
  • Lead the development of MI portfolio review tools,
  • Lead on the entire life cycle of programmes/funds for one assigned response, ensuring adherence to donor rules and regulations and supporting Country Offices to meet key deliverables,
  • Travel to MI country offices to conduct reviews, provide operations support, and build country office capacity based on donor requirements.

Management Support 

  • As DPO, you will lead, supervise and develop a team of programme staff in HQ and regions,
  • Oversee orientation development of individual and team work plans and performance evaluations
  • Train, develop, coach, lead, and supervise staff, clearly communicating organisation, division and department priorities – supporting MI values,
  • Serve as a backstop and support for team members in the implementation of the portfolio,
  • In close collaboration with the Secretary-General and Executive Team, deliver on the implementation of “MI 2025” strategies,
  • Foster a collegial environment that promotes knowledge sharing and respectful engagement and models collaboration.

Skills and Experience

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience, plus at least seven years of relevant experience in programme management,
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience working with and raising funds from German and international donors, 
  • High level of identification with the mission and vision of MI as a catholic Christian faith-based organisation,
  • Proven success working across the complete cycle of project/award management and implementation,
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a team, with interest and ability to recruit, support, retain and develop staff,
  • Demonstrated ability to think and act strategically and independently,
  • Entrepreneurial spirit with the ability to identify innovative and creative new pathways and solutions,
  • Ability to manage by influence internally and to work in a federated structure,
  • Proven analytical, organisation, communication and management skills,
  • Attention to detail, ability to multi-task and ability to make independent decisions,
  • Ability to lead portfolio review and analysis processes to ensure oversight and management of risk for awards in the portfolio,
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with individuals and teams at all levels, both internally and externally,
  • Demonstrated field-level experience in chronic or acute humanitarian crises would be an asset,
  • Proficiency in spoken and written German and English 
  • Ability to travel 20% of the time to support high-priority humanitarian responses, strategic initiatives, and project implementation.

Benefits of working at MI:

  • A responsible and exciting job in a committed, international working environment,
  • Fast pace, extensive decision-making power, innovation, and highly dynamic and motivated teams,
  • Part of a network of several Order of Malta professional and voluntary organisations across the world, including a diplomatic network and representation at the UN,
  • Flexible working hours and mobile working by arrangement, as well as the compatibility of work and family life,
  • Opportunity of work missions to visit programmes and projects in the field,
  • Access to Coaching as well as professional and personal development opportunities, also through our Malteser Academy,
  • An unlimited employment contract with performance-related remuneration. It includes Christmas and vacation pay, child allowance, a company pension plan, and other social benefits.