Deputy Director of Business Development, UK and European Donor Focus

International Rescue Committee


International Rescue Committee is among the world’s leading non-profit humanitarian relief and development organizations. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC’s mission is to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. The organization is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster. Through 26 regional offices in cities across the United States, we also help refugees resettle in the US and become self-sufficient. We’re striving to build an organization that is a supportive, kind and inspiring place to work. We encourage bold leadership, innovation, creative partnerships and accountability to those we serve.

The Purpose of the Role

The Deputy Director of Business Development (DDBD) is a key strategic role for the IRC. It will join a global team of business development specialists, helping to drive IRC’s long-term new business development efforts by engaging with global, regional, country, and technical staff throughout the business development cycle and by strengthening both our long term and opportunity specific engagement with US Government donors.

The role will be responsible for driving our business development goals with UK FCDO and a pool of other donors and delivering activities to reach those goals as part of our strategy to increase our longer-term funding from FCDO. This will involve strengthening the organization’s capacity to successfully secure large awards and contracts.

The DDBD will manage a team of specialist BD staff to ensure that pipeline opportunities are identified monitored, planned and that the BD process is effectively undertaken. Working with the BD Director (Specialist Team) the role will coordinate staff resources from within and beyond the BD team.

The role will also work directly on bid leadership, serving as capture lead and proposal manager for complex and multi-country proposals, s/he will also offer technical assistance and manage a core team of 4-5 plus consultants. The team will work on proposals focused on the UK donor and European market and other donors as IRC portfolio evolves at different periods.

The DDBD will provide oversight of bids within their team, ensuring quality control for all large FCDO proposals and serve as an organizational resource for competitive FCDO bids and proposals.

The ideal candidate will have strong people management acumen, a successful track record of leading large-scale and complex new business efforts in international development with particular emphasis on FCDO commercial contracts and will be a strong strategic thinker with excellent representational skills.

Although this role will focus predominantly on FCDO, the successful candidate will oversee a team of staff who will at times work with a range of other donors including USAID, EU, European Government, Multi-laterals, the World Bank, and others.

Key Working Relationships

BD Team and Award Management Unit Colleagues; Country Teams; Technical Units, Peer agencies; Local Partners; FCDO and other donor staff.

Key Accountabilities:

Complex, high value, bid leadership.

  • Lead and support proposal development for -primarily- complex FCDO opportunities (including commercial contracts), including capture strategy, management of proposal teams, strategy development, design with technical staff; partner identification and negotiations; recruiting; writing; production; and after-action reviews.
  • As proposal lead for large and complex bids including multi country and global opportunities, frequently manage and lead substantial project teams of core staff from AMU and other parts of the organization, consultants, partners and other stakeholders
  • Collaborate with IRC’s Pricing Team, ensuring technical coherence with the cost proposal and hold ultimate accountability of the effective submission.
  • Collaborate with Proposal Recruiters to identify and assess candidates for key personnel positions on proposals.

BD oversight, learning and leadership

  • Oversee the proposal development of all funding within the DDBD portfolio, with a focus on FCDO.
  • Lead quality assurance processes for IRC proposal development of FCDO, incorporating oversight of bid reviews and serving as a primary point for reviews prior to submission.
  • Develop comprehensive risk mitigation plans for the most complex proposals at IRC and serve as a key point of escalation on high-risk issues associated with bids that the team works on.
  • Coordinate with wider organizational stakeholders to ensure effective participation of all necessary stakeholders (regions, countries, technical teams and other specialists) in the business development process.
  • Promote a culture of continuous improvement through analysis, after action reviews and by embedding learning that contributes to strengthening IRC’s effectiveness with FCDO related BD.
  • Contribute to and model the use of strong business development processes, tools, templates and information.

Strategy Implementation and Technical Leadership:

  • Serve as a key organizational expert on business development with FCDO, providing advice, guidance and capacity strengthening to others across the organization
  • With BD colleagues lead the implementation and future iteration of strategies to builds IRC’s business development success with FCDO. These strategic approaches will span part of a range of different organizational strategies including BD Strategy, Long Term Funding Strategy and as a contribution to the organization’s FCDO Multi Year Development Strategy (MYDES)
  • In collaboration with colleagues from advocacy, technical, and strategic partnerships teams, support efforts to build IRC’s visibility and engagement with FCDO at global levels.

People Management, Partnerships, and Team Building

  • Cultivates the talent of a team of c. 4 business development professionals, overseeing professional development to strengthen their experience and knowledge base as FCDO donor experts.
  • Build the readiness of IRC team members to pursue new donors which may pose a higher level of risk due to the mechanism, size, or technical complexity.
  • Works in concert with the Director of Business Development and Deputy Director of Business Development of the UK market to allocate proposal assignments equitably and productively.
  • Strengthen collaboration with internal stakeholders including country teams, technical units, and other team members.



Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field, including international relations, political science, public administration, and communications
  • Substantial, focused experience working with US donors and of leading competitive bid processes for multi-year, large development funding. Strong knowledge of FCDO rules and regulations, including with both contracts and cooperative agreement mechanisms.
  • Experience working on a range of FCDO programs, including through payment by results as well as grant mechanisms.
  • Knowledgeable of the Shipley Proposal Development process and other industry standards for proposal development desirable
  • Fluency in English with proficiency in one other language (French, Spanish, German, Arabic, Swahili) highly desirable


  • Successful track record leading large proposal teams on complex subject, multi-year, multi-partner proposals with minimal supervision
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to effectively manage a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues in ‘remote’ and diverse teams, including as team leader for proposals
  • The ability to work productively and accurately while under pressure in a fast-paced, demanding environment
  • At least three years of previous experience in a people management role with supervisory responsibility
  • Experience managing UK programs remotely or at country-level also beneficial
  • Ability to travel internationally (up to 20% of time)

How to apply

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