Country Director, Turkey

Location Name: 
Istanbul, Turkey
Closing Date: 
Open until filled

Organization Overview

Founded in 2004, Building Markets is an award-winning non-profit that creates jobs and generates economic growth in crisis-affected and frontier markets. We do this by providing a set of mutually reinforcing services, including verification, training, and matchmaking, that connect local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to supply chains and investment. Through its approach, the organization has built a network of more than 25,000 SMEs, assisted them in winning over $1.3 billion in contracts, and helped to create over 70,000 jobs in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia and Timor-Leste.

Building Markets is headquartered in New York City and currently maintains offices in Jordan, Myanmar and Turkey. Revenues are derived from a range of governmental, philanthropic and private sector sources. The organization is poised for further growth: solidifying its niche in leveraging the private sector to support economic growth and development, while renewing and exploring ways to grow its business model, including diversification of funding and fee-for-service opportunities.

Job Summary
The role of Country Director (CD) is an exciting opportunity for a results-driven leader to guide a dynamic and talented team of staff and partners who are changing the way buyers and investors do business with local entrepreneurs in Turkey. The CD will lead the overall coordination and delivery of project services on behalf of Building Markets under a grant that expands the organization’s existing track record supporting Syrian-owned and local SMEs. The CD is responsible and accountable for exceeding program targets, and for the smooth and efficient running of all aspects of the country office, including, but not limited to, overall program strategy, quality implementation, finance, HR and logistics, as well as compliance with organizational, local, and donor rules and regulations. The CD is expected to successfully oversee a demanding workload that involves external representation while ensuring the smooth day-to-day activities of the program. The CD will have a successful track record of managing large projects in challenging environments along with demonstrated skills building and maintaining productive external and internal relationships.

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Management and Leadership:

  • Ensure in-country team exceeds its program targets;
  • Lead country office and program at country level, including leading execution of all project strategic planning, corresponding work plans, setting team objectives, and managing monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning frameworks;
  • Drive forward Building Markets programmatic strategy and operations in Turkey;
  • Identify challenges in project implementation and direct needs assessments, evaluations, and monitoring visits;
  • Identify development opportunities and, with program and organization leadership, pursue such opportunities in accordance with Building Markets’ approach.

Program Management and Delivery:


  • Master Building Markets’ model and methodologies ensuring the highest level of project quality, impact, and accountability;
  • Oversee and coordinate the Turkey program portfolio including the timely execution of all deliverables;
  • Drive forward all aspects of the project management cycle (needs assessments, proposal development, implementation, monitoring, reporting, and evaluating);
  • Approve all sub-grantee work plans and establish regular communication channels to ensure problems are identified early, so that corrective measures can be implemented in a timely manner;
  • In collaboration with the Project Director (PD), ensure results, case studies, and success stories are documented and communicated regularly.
  • Cultivate key networks and opportunities for program teams to accelerate their program objectives and impact (e.g. matchmaking and advocacy);
  • Prepare monthly management reports and submit to PD.



With guidance from operational directors at HQ and working with the Director, Finance and Administration in Turkey:

  • Develop and implement protocol for engagement with Building Markets’ contractors – including implementation of Building Markets’ policies and contracts and assessment of deliverables, and related to sub-grantees;
  • Ensure team is following data management guidelines;
  • Ensure Building Markets meets all contractual obligations and achieves high quality donor reports that are submitted on time;
  • Attend regular meetings with HQ and assure proper workflow, communications and maintenance of information.

Representation and Fundraising:

  • Develop a representation strategy for Building Markets at the local and national level with government, business associations, corporations, UN agencies, NGOs, and donors;
  • Communicate effectively to ensure relationships are developed and maintained that promote program success;
  • Liaise with senior managers of other relevant organizations to identify common challenges, solutions to operational concerns, and opportunities for partnerships;
  • Cultivate fundraising leads under the supervision of the PD and CEO;
  • Delegate representation appropriately, based on activity streams.

Human Resource and Team Management:

  • Foster and sustain a work environment of mutual respect in which team members thrive and are motivated to achieve excellence;
  • Promote accountability, provide clear direction, and regularly communicate expectations;
  • Provide constructive feedback via annual performance reviews to and with staff under incumbent’s remit;
  • As part of the performance review process, schedule quarterly meetings to review individual work plans with staff under incumbent’s remit;
  • Mentor field staff on work and management skills needed (planning, prioritization, organizational, financial management, representation, HR management);
  • With the Director, Finance and Administration Turkey, and subject to HQ approval, recruit and select new team members.

Finance and Logistics:

  • Be accountable for in-country operational budget, economy, and reporting from country office.
  • With the Director, Finance and Administration, Turkey:
    • Ensure Building Markets’ programs remain cost-effective, efficient, and comply with all organizational and donor standards of management and accountability;
    • Ensure local adherence to Building Markets and donor policies.
    • Supervise preparation of monthly reports;
    • As part of budget management, provide financial approvals as per the matrix of delegated authority;
    • Provide analysis to HQ as requested;
    • Optimize funds and resources allocated to the implementation of the programs.

Security Management:

  • Responsible for safety and security of all Turkey staff, based on organization’s security plan and policies.


Reporting Lines
Primary: Program Director
Secondary: Global Head of Programs

Experience, Knowledge and Skills

  • Master’s Degree in Business Management, International Development, or related sector;
  • Demonstrated senior management experience providing oversight in supervisory roles, with significant experience working on large private sector or development projects;
  • Demonstrated experience achieving high impact targets in a fast-paced environment;
  • Experience implementing U.S. Government grants / familiarity with grant compliance requirements;
  • Demonstrated experience managing teams effectively, with strong interpersonal skills and excellent judgement;
  • Demonstrated commitment to the highest professional ethics;
  • Demonstrated commitment to timely delivery of high-quality, impactful work products;
  • Strong desire and ability to work collaboratively with others;
  • Ability to constructively receive and provide critical feedback.
  • Fluency in English, including excellent written, verbal communication and presentation skills;
  • Fluency Turkish and/or Arabic desirable;
  • Understanding of the Turkish operating environment, as it relates to the work of national and international NGOs, desirable.

Location, Employment Status and Compensation
The position is located at Building Markets’ Turkey Country office in Istanbul, Turkey, with travel within Turkey, the wider region, and to HQ.

The position is open to valid Turkish work permit holders. The position may be staffed on a one-year, renewable, term.



  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience.
  • Annual leave.
  • Professional development support.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

To Apply
Please send your cover letter, outlining how your experience and skills match with the key duties and responsibilities of this role, and CV to The subject line of your application email should read: Country Director, Turkey.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted, and may be interviewed. The position is being advertised until filled.