Country Director

IFES - International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Country Director

IFES – International Foundation for Electoral Systems

Quito, Ecuador

The Country Director (“CD”) serves as IFES’ primary in-country representative and coordinator of programming with local and international actors. The primary focus of the position is providing technical support to stakeholders and ensuring successful completion of project activities. The CD will provide vision and technical leadership for project activities. S/he will be responsible for maintaining pro-active contacts with stakeholders and the international community. The Country Director will direct technical implementation of IFES programs and oversee management of the IFES Ecuador office.

Job Responsibilities:

Technical Direction and Program Implementation

  • Serve as IFES’ senior representative, providing technical support and advice to high-level government and non-governmental stakeholders;
  • Oversee the design, implementation, and evaluation of program strategies and activities in Ecuador;
  • Lead and/or contribute to written technical reports, briefing papers, and IFES thought pieces, both program-specific and non-program specific. Prepare and manage the implementation of the project(s) annual work plans in fulfillment of the project’s strategic objectives and goals, and within the allocated budget;
  • Serve as the primary liaison with USAID in Ecuador;
  • Establish and maintain close working relationships with local government and non-government stakeholders;
  • Establish and maintain working relationships with international NGOs and the donor community to ensure successful implementation of the project activities and avoid duplication of efforts;
  • Represent IFES in global, regional, national and sub-national events and in international meetings, at donor meetings and other fundraising activities, as speaker and/or spokesperson for IFES;
  • Lead the drafting and timely submission of detailed, combined quarterly reports to HQ, and ensure that they meet USAID and IFES reporting requirements;
  • Contribute to program development in South America by identifying additional technical needs and cultivating donor interest to diversify funding sources;
  • Participate in weekly meetings with IFES HQ, providing updates on program activities, progress, and challenges; outreach activities; relevant events in the region; support required from IFES/HQ; and activities planned for the coming period;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Provide general supervision and mentoring of field staff, including performance appraisals, staff development and other management issues;
  • Establish strong working relationships with field staff to facilitate the completion of program tasks in a timely manner and within the allocated budget;
  • Lead the identification, recruitment, and hiring of local and international technical consultants, in coordination with IFES/HQ;
  • Provide oversight and management of technical consultants, including review of all consultant reports and deliverables;
  • Ensure, in conjunction with the IFES HQ team, compliance with IFES, USAID or other donor rules and regulations, particularly with respect to fiscal management, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation.

Position Scope:

  • Serves as primary in-country representative and directs the technical implementation of IFES programming in Ecuador. Oversees the management of the field office in Ecuador. In conjunction with IFES HQ, ensures compliance with IFES, USAID and other donor rules and regulations. Recommends policies, controls and procedures to guide performance.

Decision Making/Problem Solving:

  • Evaluates risk factors with potential to disrupt achievement of strategic goals and sets appropriate course of action in response. Investigates and analyzes current information from various sources and in various formats to inform decision making and the development of protocols and procedures. Leads development and oversees implementation of strategies to track and mitigate risk and its potential impact.

Fiscal Responsibility:

  • Ensures the completion of program tasks in a timely manner and within the allocated budget. Ensures compliance with IFES, USAID or other donor rules and regulations, particularly with regard to fiscal management. Oversees preparation and presentation of financial reports to internal and external partners. Oversee and approve local and international procurement in accordance with IFES policies and USAID rules and regulations. Authority to regularly make purchases and incur expenses, subject to established controls and procedures.


  • Serves as primary in-country representative of IFES with local and international actors. Develops, manages and maintains collaborative working relationship with senior level stakeholders within and outside IFES to ensure timely and successful achievement of project goals and objectives. Represents IFES in global, regional, national and sub-national events and in international meetings, and at donor events and fundraising activities, as a spokesperson for IFES.

Supervision Exercised:

  • Supervises and mentors local and international field staff and provides oversight and management of consultants and field experts. Leads project planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Position Requirements:


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field required. Master’s degree preferred.


  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in democracy and governance assistance and program management. Experience with USAID-funded activities preferred. Familiarity with political, economic and social context in Ecuador. Proven track record with democracy and governance programming, particularly youth engagement and local partnerships; solid experience working with civil society and in designing and implementing civic programs; proven experience supporting civic, social, and political engagement of diverse groups, including specific work with youth groups, persons with disabilities, women, and Indigenous Peoples; technical understanding of local governance and electoral structures. Familiarity with the international donor community and experience as an action-oriented interlocutor with democracy-development actors at all levels. Familiarity with fundamentals of public opinion research including qualitative and quantitative methods. Demonstrated knowledge of USAID regulations and the implementation of USAID-funded project activities preferred. Demonstrated knowledge in proposal and report writing and management of budgets.

Related Skills or Knowledge:

  • Prior experience managing an international office in a challenging environment. Ability and skills to promote and inspire effective collaboration between individuals, organizations and networks, demonstrating strong diplomacy skills and cultural sensitivity. Strong consultative, collaborative and participatory way of working. Strong interpersonal, presentation, and communications skills to meet the diverse technical and managerial requirements of the program and to effectively coordinate with a wide range of stakeholders. Experience living and working overseas. Knowledge of local/regional politics and development preferred.

Language Skills:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English and Spanish required.

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