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Job Details: Program Director - North Korea

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Program Director - North Korea
Korea, South
This position could be based in South Korea or another location in Asia. The MCC NE Asia office is in Chuncheon, South Korea. Beautiful Chuncheon (population 300,000) is one hour from Seoul by high-speed train and is the capital of Gangwon Province, the only province shared by (and divided between) both North and South Korea. Unlike metropolitan Seoul, Chuncheon has a small city feel, surrounded by lakes and mountains, and has many outdoor activities and festivals. Chuncheon has four distinct seasons – warm and beautiful in spring and fall, cold and snowy in the winter, and hot and humid in the summer. South Korea is well served medically, including two large university hospitals in Chuncheon. Although English is spoken by many, especially the younger generation in larger cities, it is helpful to know some Korean in Chuncheon. Currently, there is no English-speaking school and one English speaking church in the city. Transportation around town is excellent with an extensive bus system and taxi service. MCC also owns a van which is useful for certain purposes (international driver’s license required).

Chuncheon is also home to the Korea Anabaptist Center (KAC), an MCC partner, and the Anabaptist-related Jesus Village and Jesus Heart Churches. MCC shares one floor of an office building with KAC and Jesus Heart Church.

The MCC NE Asia team is based in the city of Chuncheon. At present there are three MCC staff – the MCC Representative, the Office Administrator, and one service worker (North Korea Program Director). There is typically several GSL participants serving in Korea, from both SALT (Serve and Learn Together) and YAMEN! (Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network).
May 25, 2021
Oct 04, 2021
3 - 5 years
All MCC workers are expected to exhibit a commitment to: a personal Christian faith and discipleship; active participation in a Christian church or Christian community; and nonviolent peacemaking. MCC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity. MCC values diversity and invites all qualified candidates to apply.

Qualifications: (necessary skills, experience, and education)
1. Minimum of an undergraduate degree, with at least two years of work experience post-degree, preferably in the area of international development, business administration, organizational development, non-profit administration, or a related field.
2. Working knowledge of Korean language a major asset.
3. Strong interest in and passion for North Korea issues. Experience on the Korean peninsula an asset.
4. Commitment to the vocation of Christian peacemaking and developing biblically-shaped methods of analysis and engagement.
5. Understanding of and commitment to engaging people from a nation perceived by much of the world to be “the enemy” as well as MCC’s value of pursuing mutually transformative relationships.
6. Ability to take initiative and be productive without heavy supervision.
7. Strong skills needed: highly organized; skilled at relationship-building; networking with other organizations and individuals; crossing political and cultural barriers; communicating; project and financial management and reporting; working in a team; resilience with frustrating conditions and changes; ability to find hope in small victories and stories.
8. Experience in negotiating challenging and complex situations.
9. Maturity, patience, flexibility, and sense of humor necessary.
10. Due to limitations in local medical facilities while traveling in North Korea, it is important that the Program Director be in excellent health.

​Invitations to serve with MCC are contingent on the successful outcome of criminal background check(s).
The Program Director will provide both strategic leadership and day-to-day coordination for the North Korea program. MCC NE Asia is a uniquely regional program, responsible for MCC engagement in South Korea and North Korea (also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)) and regional peacebuilding. Current North Korea program involvements include partnerships in agriculture exchange, with pediatric hospitals, and with North American partner organizations. The Director will provide both overall direction in consultation with MCC leadership and coordination of day-to-day relationships and projects with partners in North Korea. Traveling to North Korea 2-3 times annually will be a key part of the process of seeking to maintain excellent programming and expanding MCC engagements in the North. This person will also travel to North America for one month every year to connect with the MCC advocacy and UN offices, and constituents as needed.
Limited contact outside local community; Security issues; Occasional overnights; Local area not supportive to LGTBQ+ persons
Duties: (specific tasks & responsibilities)

1. Provide direction to MCC’s overall program in North Korea in collaboration with the Area Directors for Southeast and Northeast Asia, Representative for NE Asia, and other stakeholders. Develop strategic directions for the North Korea program in line with MCC-wide strategic plans.
Represent MCC’s humanitarian engagement to North Korea counterparts at the DPRK Permanent Mission to the United Nations (UN) and lead delegations into North Korea.
2. Coordinate and manage MCC’s programs in North Korea in close consultation with multiple stakeholders within MCC. This includes: managing day-to-day relationships with North Korea and MCC partners; supporting development and review of partners’ multi-year project plans and activities and annual MOUs; monitoring of North Korea shipments and partner distributions; preparing and maintaining project and financial reports; consulting with partners on development of new visioning and plans; manage evaluation processes; develop learnings and best practices; manage sanctions compliance; work with lawyers and MCC staff to submit license applications.
3. Make 2-3 visits to North Korea annually to visit and deepen relationships with partners, monitor shipments, evaluate progress, and keep abreast of on-the-ground work and realities.
4. Explore possibilities to expand MCC engagements in North Korea, and the development of new partnerships as appropriate.
5. Develop an intimate knowledge of the MCC PMER system (Planning, Monitoring, Evaluating, Reporting) and meet regular reporting deadlines.
6. Become familiar with all history, partnerships, plans, reports, and other information related to MCC’s North Korea work and current projects.
7. Do historical and contextual research and analysis on current social, economic, and political realities, and MCC’s engagements in other countries of similar sensitivity and challenge. Provide regular analysis to Area Directors, Representative for NE Asia , and MCC colleagues as needed.
8. Actively consult and involve key MCC stakeholders and partners in North Korea engagement, including in Food Security & Livelihood, Advocacy, Material Resource Center, Health, and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Provide regular program updates to coordinate and organize multiple stakeholders.
9. Support story-telling, advocacy, peacemaking, and awareness of MCC’s work with key audiences related to North Korea, including close coordination with South Korean colleagues promoting peace on the Korean peninsula. Do presentations on North Korea as organized in South Korea, North America, and elsewhere.
10. Build strong connections to other agencies, NGOs, and Christian organizations engaged in relief, development, and peace work in the North Korea, in order to strengthen MCC’s collaboration and learning.
11. Engage North American experts as needed, identified through the MCC network.
12. In consultation with Area Directors and MCC NEA colleagues, establish strategic direction and relationships, and communications related to North Korea.
13. Build relationships with North Korean partners. A large part of the job is building relationships – getting to know partners and letting them know you, which takes a substantial amount of time. This relationship building is consistent with MCC’s approach, is rewarding, and will assist the person in this position and MCC interact with these groups and persons in fruitful, life-giving ways.
Travel to North Korea: The North Korea Program is the primary connections between MCC and counterparts in North Korea. The Director will plan to travel to the country 2-3 times a year to help monitor MCC material support and carry forward humanitarian engagement. Foreigners should expect limited freedom of movement outside of hotels and restaurants and visits to the diplomatic compound, and travel is always accompanied by a North Korean counterpart. Communication with family or coworkers outside of North Korea is limited. For more than two decades, MCC staff from the U.S. and Canada have visited North Korea two to three times each year to implement and monitor humanitarian assistance. Over these decades MCC has developed significant relationships with North Korean counterparts. No member of any MCC delegation has ever experienced an incident of harm or peril which threatened their safety.

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