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Position Summary:

MSI is hiring for a Technical Manager/Technical Director that will additionally act as the COP for GISR project. They will provide support to the project and works closely with the ME/TS office in the Middle East Bureau of USAID. An MSI senior project manager with substantial technical expertise and a junior project manager are part of the team. Activities include overseeing all work and contributing technically where useful. Major buys-ins or activities that are large enough may have their own technical director and project support team as does the Iraq GBV activity, but the COP will direct most activities occurring under the project.

The role of COP on GISR is not full time; the commitment varies according to the number and types of activities and can range from 25% to close to full time. Because the GISR COP position is not full time, this role is being combined with a Home Office technical staff role with a focus on the Middle East. Technical staff serve various functions within MSI depending upon their specific skill set and technical expertise, providing technical backstopping and guidance for project implementation, preparing proposals, marketing, and strengthening MSI as an industry leader.  Technical staff backstop both field implementation and analytic projects and engage heavily in proposal preparation. Technical staff are responsible for ensuring that the solutions we present to our clients are representative of MSI’s approaches for producing quality products and reflect client responsiveness.

This position falls within the Peace and Stability practice area but is cross cutting with the Democracy, Governance and Rights (DRG) practices.  MSI is seeking an individual with strong Middle East and North Africa experience as well as experience in some combination of the following: peacebuilding, stabilization, countering violent extremism, conflict mitigation and prevention, and DRG. The description below is intended to summarize the range of responsibilities that the GISR COP as well as MSI Home Office technical staff may have.  Whether some responsibilities have greater or lesser emphasis will be determined in consultation with the COP’s supervisor.   The COP will report to the Peace and Stability Practice Area Lead.


**Please note: U.S. work authorization is required for this position**


Project Summary:                                                              

Governance Integration for Stabilization and Resilience in the Middle East and North Africa (GISR MENA) is managed by USAID’s Office of Technical Services in the Middle East Bureau – is a $95 million multi-faceted single-award field support mechanism (issued under the General Services Administration’s One Acquisitions Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) IDIQ) available to USAID’s Middle East Bureau and its Operating Units to buy-in for activities for a five-year period. The Bureau uses this vehicle to support analytical work and knowledge management. GISR is one year into its five-year period, having started mid-August 2018.

Task Order Objective : The primary objective of GISR is to sustainably strengthen local, national, and regional systems to adapt to shocks and stressors in the MENA region. Specifically, GISR positions MENA OUs to provide rapid responses to unexpected shocks in governance programming in the region; applies learning and adaptive management expertise to governance programs that are experiencing unexpected political shocks; and tests pilot programming through integrated and scalable activities that support Mission development objectives. GISR is used by Bureau OUs for analytical work, field implementation and capacity development of staff, implementing partners and host country institutions.

Primary Technical Areas:

  • learning and knowledge management focusing on research, studies, and assessments with the aim of enabling adaptive management, promoting skill and knowledge enhancement, and supporting learning across programs;
  • effective governance response to shocks and stressors by supporting policy and institutional reforms, improving systems to strengthen transparency and accountability, enhancing coordination between government entities or government and non-government actors, and developing capacity among host country partners;
  • community resilience by encouraging collective action among citizens and supporting social cohesion, community organizational capacity, and strong collaborative relationships between citizens and local government; and 4) essential services by supporting capacity development, improved planning, and citizen engagement in decision-making.  GISR can also be used to improve small-scale infrastructure.

Current Activities:

  • $7+ million activity focused on gender-based violence among minorities who suffered from the ISIS incursion in northern Iraq.
  • design a knowledge management system for the Bureau’s Technical Services office. Implementation of that system, including a regional conference in early winter 2020, will start in August/September 2019.
  • conduct political economy analyses on Yemen and undertake a gender analysis and assessment as well as separate CDCS development support for the USAID/Jordan mission.
  • Work on a new CVE program guide will start in September. Other buy ins are expected in September 2019.


The GISR Chief of Party (COP) is key personnel on the GISR task order contract and as such is the individual bearing primary responsibility for technical aspects of contract performance, as well as procurement, personnel, reporting, and other management-related requirements of the contract. Specifically, the COP shall:

  • Respond to buy-in requests and provide central management and oversight of Task Orders under this award, working collaboratively and often with USAID central and field project managers, technical officers, USAID Contracting Officers, and meet and consult regularly with the USAID COR who is based in Washington DC.
  • Select, provide technical and administrative direction and guidance to, and place and support all

technical experts carrying out technical requirements.

  • Ensure quality and control methods in a consistent and transparent manner for all contracted tasks and functions.
  • Lead marketing of the GISR mechanism to interested missions and offices, in accordance with procedures agreed to with the GISR COR.
  • Coordinate closely with the senior and junior project managers.

Responsibilities of Technical Staff in Business Development:

  • Identify and track potential business development pursuits to position and prepare MSI for anticipated bid solicitations.
  • Serve as lead technical writer on project bid solicitations within the Peace and Stability practice area and ensure effective coordination with MSI’s Business Development Unit during the proposal preparation process.
  • Conduct field-based reconnaissance, recruitment and research in support of proposal preparation, as needed.
  • Provide technical expertise and oversight in the design, development, drafting and review of project proposals.
  • Provide mentorship, management and oversight to mid-level technical staff in designated proposal development tasks and assignments.

Responsibilities of Technical Staff in the Home Office:

  • As a member of one or multiple Project Team/s, the staff person provides technical expertise and oversight from the home office on all technical issues impacting project design, development and implementation, in consultation and coordination with the Chief of Party (COP).
  • Provide substantial technical input on the financial and operational requirements of the project, including the design and management of the budget as it relates to technical implementation, burn rates, contract/grant reviews, risk management, and corporate level issues that may arise in the project, in consultation with the Project Team and Operations leadership
  • Contributes to and oversees client reporting requirements.
  • Conduct regular field visits to projects to provide technical expertise, as needed, attend high profile events, meet with project staff and local partners, and establish direct relations with key donors including USAID and others, as part of overall technical management and oversight.
  • Extract lessons learned, best practices and tools during project implementation and facilitate transfer of information to MSI staff through its knowledge management system and other internal information-sharing mechanisms.
  • Provide mentorship and professional development opportunities to mid-level staff in accordance with corporate mentorship initiatives.

Responsibilities of Technical Staff in Thought Leadership and Professional Development:

  • Participate in industry conferences, expert panels, committees, and events to develop contacts and foster professional relationships that will raise MSI’s profile in Peace & Stability and across the international development community.
  • Prepare publications (books, articles, papers, or tools) and/or facilitate events that highlight your technical expertise and/or country/regional knowledge that will position MSI as a thought leader on issues relevant to the peace and stability practice area.


For the MSI Technical Staff role:

  • 10-15 years of relevant experience with at least 4 years in international development
  • Minimum of Master’s degree in, with a PhD preferred.
  • Demonstrated success in winning new work, including the ability to lead technical writing for strategic company bids within key peace and stability technical areas such as countering violent extremism and stabilization;
  • Substantial experience with USAID.
  • Proficient French and/or Arabic desired.
  • Experience working and living in conflict-affected environments strongly preferred.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative, respectful manner with diverse teams of technical and operations colleagues;
  • Ability to travel when required; and
  • As this is a home office-based position, there is an expectation of regular attendance at the company’s headquarters in Arlington, Va.


For the GISR COP role:

  • The GISR COP shall command a strong working knowledge of the concepts and effective approaches related to stabilization, conflict management, local governance, CVE and community resilience in developing countries.
  • The COP must be able to demonstrate that past assignments reflect strong writing and oral presentation skills.
  • In addition, s/he must be knowledgeable about the overall technical, administrative and logistical responsibility for the effective, efficient, and timely implementation of all activities undertaken by MSI. S/he must have demonstrated experience with managing projects of a similar size and scope, especially in the MENA context.
  • Oral and written English language skills must be commensurate with a U.S. professional environment..
  • S/he shall have at least a master’s degree in public administration, political science, conflict resolution, government or other areas that relate to stabilization and local governance in international development.
  • S/he shall also have a minimum of eight years of experience working with sector assessment, strategic planning, project management, institutional capacity development programs, program design, monitoring and evaluation, preferably in countries affected by crisis or conflict.
  • The COP must have strong strategic planning, management, and technical leadership skills and demonstrated experience in project management, program assessment and program design across sectors, institutional capacity building, human resources, performance improvement, institutional development, adult learning methodologies, monitoring, and evaluation in a developing country setting.
  • It is desirable that the COP have a solid grasp of the physical and psychological challenges inherent in working in conflict countries and  work experience in such countries.


Only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

MSI is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer

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