February 15, 2021

Country Manager Federal Iraq

  • Position::Country Manager
  • Location::Mosul, Iraq
  • Application Deadline:8th Of March 2021
  • Duration::Full time for 12 months (with possibility of extension)
  • Starting date::As soon as possible

The Country Manager Iraq manages the overall implementation of the Country Programme (country-specific projects and delegated country components under regional programmes) and team/office in Mosul-Iraq.
The Country Manager carries end responsibility for the targets set forth in the national annual plans. (S)he represents SPARK legally towards the Federal Iraq authorities as to the SPARK national legal representative.

The Country Manager will report to the Regional Programme Director.

We are looking for a Country Manager who is also able to bring in proven affiliation and experience with private sector cooperation, SME advisory services and jobs creation. Prior experience with EU project management will be considered a strong asset. Capacity to operate in an Arabic speaking environment is a requirement.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities

The responsibilities and tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Is responsible for the timely implementation, coordination and quality oversight of all SPARK projects and programmes in Iraq (excluding Kurdistan Region of Iraq), as per agreement with donors and partner organizations.
  • Serve as the legal representative for SPARK vis-a-vis federal Government authorities in Bagdad and Mosul and ensure that all administrative requirements are fulfilled as per local laws and regulations
  • Is responsible for the team management and serve as a people manager for all SPARK staff in Mosul office.
  • Ensure Monitoring and Evaluation and Reporting of all programmes executed for the Iraq projects as agreed with donors.
  • Establish and maintain strategic relationships with relevant stakeholders and cooperation partners working in Iraq, especially education partners, local universities and governmental institution.
  • Lead on implementation of SME support activities under the main project to be implemented in Federal Iraq, including capacity building on implementing partners and strengthening local staff capacities
  • Ensure smooth progress of organizational, security and logistical matters linked to the projects;
  • Ensure budget adherence and project documentation related to the Country Programme according to internal procedures and donor requirements.
  • Provide input on Iraq for Regional and global level reporting
  • Supervise and assist national staff in developing personal work plans and achieving individual targets. Promote on the job learning.
  • Ensure a Security Plan for the Office is in place.
  • Promote SPARK values.
  • Work in compliance with SPARK policies and procedures.
  • Other tasks when required.

Requirements and Skills

  • Advanced academic degree in relevant discipline for international development, preferably related to (higher) education or entrepreneurship and business development issues.
  • Minimum 8 years’ experience with large multi-donor programme implementation and team management
  • Proven experience with SME development, jobs creation and private sector cooperation
  • Good understanding of the political environment and operational space in Iraq
  • Experience in managing teams with members of diverse backgrounds.
  • Experience with higher education
  • Extensive network in Mosul and Bagdad with authorities, stakeholders, universities and the private sector
  • Native or bilingual proficiency in Arabic
  • Full professional proficiency in English

SPARK Offers

  • A challenging and exciting position in an international environment;
  • Remuneration based on experience and full-time contract (40h/per week)
  • A dynamic working environment and a great team

How to apply?

If you have any questions regarding SPARK or the position, please visit our website

Please apply through SPARK’s online application platform at

The deadline for application is 08th March 2021. Reference: Country Manager Iraq

All applications will be assessed on a rolling basis; interviews can therefore take place before the application deadline. However, due to the large volume of applications we receive, we cannot respond to every applicant individually. There may be a delay between the deadline and the moment we contact selected applicants.

If you have not received a reply we regret to inform that we have continued with other candidates.



SPARK offers access to higher (vocational) education and supports entrepreneurship

development in fragile and conflict-affected states so that young, ambitious people can

lead their societies into stability and prosperity. Over the last 24 years, SPARK has built a

strong record of accomplishment in over 25 states in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

In doing so, SPARK contributes to laying a foundation to rebuild conflict-affected regions, once

the conflict is over. For example, SPARK is the largest university- and higher vocational

scholarship provider for Syrian refugees and one of the largest providers of coaching, training

and access to finance for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMES) in the MENA region.

By collaborating with local organisations, SPARK builds local capacity to enable the sustainability

of its programmes. SPARK is a dynamic and growing, international not-for-profit development

organisation with 100+ staff members, in more than 12 offices.

We believe that sustainable, economic growth is essential for the alleviation of poverty.

By offering private-sector development services to young people in conflict-affected regions,

we believe that the potential for further conflict is significantly reduced.


In terms of business development in fragile states, we are a full-service organisation.

We offer a range of options that enable local partner organisations to provide existing SME’s and new

entrepreneurs with all the tools they need to flourish. In the past decade, SPARK has set up

around ten Business Support Centres in the EU and Africa. Business plan competitions are also

often organised, and winners of these competitions receive business skills training.

Another of the tools we offer is value chain development and access to finance. Finally, we work closely

with various governments in fragile states to improve conditions for entrepreneurs and job