Area Director in North East Syria

Starting dateASAP

Contract duration: 12 months

Country Programme: Syria Response

Base: Kobane, Syria

Line Manager:Country Director – Syria



People in Need delivers assistance in Northern Syria addressing the needs of IDPs and hosting communities in several sectors such as food security, livelihoods, shelter, protection, education and WASH. PIN is well-established organization with several field offices, direct implementation and more than 400 employees. Main office sits in Erbil and provides support services to field teams inside Syria. PIN’s contribution to the Syria humanitarian response is amongst the largest, with an annual turnover of over $35 million across Syria and funding from humanitarian donors including ECHO, OFDA, FFP, SDC and DFID.



Area Director (AD) is part ofSyria Country Management Team (together with Country Director, Head of Programmes, Head of Systems & Operations, Security Advisor and members of HQ Syria desk). The Area Director will be responsible for all program and support teams in North East Syria ensuring relevant, impactful and principled programming in line with PIN’s overall strategy. In close collaboration and with support from the rest of the Country Management team members, the Area Director will play a lead role in ensuring continuous expansion and development of PIN’s programming in the area. The current size of the team is more than 220 staff (107 national staff, 11 expatriates, 100 daily workers) working in three different offices. We are looking for a leader with multi-year experience in managing large teams and multi-sectorial programmes in insecure and challenging environments.

The AD reports to PIN Country Director for Syria Response. He/she has delegated management responsibility for Deputy Area Director – Programmes, M&E Manager, Security Team leader, Logistics and Procurement Manager and Finance Manager. The AD cooperates closely with Head of Programmes, Head of Systems and Operations, Security Adviser, as well as Desk team in HQ.


  • Contribute to development and lead scale up of PIN’s North East Syria Strategy while ensuring it’s based on contextual and needs analysis, integrating all PIN’s programs in collaboration with the respective departments;
  • Provides support and guidance to Deputy Area Director – Programmes who directly manages the senior program team to ensure the implementation of the programmes is in line with sectorial SoPs with particular attention to quality and efficiency;
  • Ensure all operational departments are working in close collaboration with programs to facilitate smooth, efficient and effective implementation in the area;
  • Ensure appropriate administrative, financial and logistical PIN systems/procedures are in place, maintained and adhered to so that all support functions are carried out effectively and efficiently;
  • Ensure financial oversight for overall North East Syria budget, report any concerns or deviations to the Head of Systems and Operations and Head of Programmes and supports program and operations departments to develop plans to mitigate any under or over expenditure at different levels;
  • Support team members professionally, promote capacity building and monitor and support stress management;
  • Ensure clear communication flow between different departments internally and coordination office in Erbil, including regular documented team meetings for planning and reporting purposes;
  • Represents the organization at the regional level including general meetings with donors, consortia in North East Syria, humanitarian actors, local authorities, protocol meetings, and security meetings. Maintain regular working relationships and ensure active cooperation between PIN and UN agencies, clusters, working groups.
  • Ensure overall security and safety of staff in the area and that appropriate security guidelines are developed, communicated, adhered to, and regularly reviewed with the Security Team Lead and Security Advisor;
  • Ensures adequate contingency plans are in place and regularly shared with all the staff. Monitors the political, economic, and social environment in the area, assesses and analyses the risks, monitors and reports the security situation


Education and Experience:

  • At least 5 years of management experience of emergency projects in difficult and challenging environments, with at least 2 years of experience in Field Coordinator/Area Coordinator position and above;
  • Experience in managing humanitarian programs at least in two of the following sectors: Food Security and Livelihoods, Shelter, WASH, Education and Protection.
  • Solid leadership and staff management skills, with a record of managing diverse teams and contributing to the capacity building of national staff
  • Experience working with different donors (USAID, ECHO, EC, DFID, SDC)
  • Previous working experience from Middle East, particularly the Syrian crisis is advantage;

Skills and Personality Requirements:

  • Rigorous and with high attention to detail;
  • Dynamic and results oriented;
  • Ability to organize and plan effectively;
  • Good interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to work under pressure and remain calm despite setbacks, managing and meeting deadlines;
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity and awareness and willingness to travel to remote places in the field, maintaining good relationships with all members of staff;
  • Fluent in English, Arabic would be an added value.


  • This position is an unaccompanied position. The position is based in Kobane and eligible for R&R. Kobane is main overnight duty station for all international staff based in North East Syria. The town is perceived as less conservative, offering opportunities for social life outside the work hours.
  • The curfew is not imposed, international staff can freely move within its administrative boundaries either alone or with a PIN duty driver. Guesthouse building in Kobane has five independent apartments; each of them contains 3 bedrooms and a living room, separate kitchen, bathroom and internet.
  • General security situation outside Kobane is less secure however considered stable, allowing international staff freely move between all our offices without major restrictions according to PIN security recommendations. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all PIN’s offices and guesthouses. There are a number of health services available with medevac mechanism for INGO’s members. There is reasonable access to most of the consumer goods. Travel to field sites will be required.
  • Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and PIN's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.


  • Working environment in a well-established and growing humanitarian organization;
  • Salary and benefits according to PIN salary scale and HR policies;
  • 25 days of paid leave annually;
  • Reimbursement of travel expenses with travel to the country of residence once per every 6 months of completed work;
  • Reimbursement of costs of visas and vaccinations; assistance with visa application procedure;
  • Accommodation in PIN’s guesthouse on PIN’s expenses;
  • Free medical helpdesk and psychological consultation available online; travel health insurance.

How to Apply:

Are you interested in this position? Send us your CV and short cover letter via this link. Please note only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

People in Need staff are expected to perform job duties and responsibilities in accordance with People in Need Code of conduct and key policies (available at: