Senior Advisor Safety and Security Operations


Job Title:

Senior Advisor for Safety and Security Operations

Reports to:

Director of Safety and Security

Internal Title:

Sr. Advisor


Safety and Security Risk Management

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.

Job Summary

This is a strategic position responsible for overseeing operational and tactical implementation of security management and is part of CRS’ global Safety and Security Unit. The Senior Advisor will oversee capacity building in security management, ensure quality control in both security practices and training and advise the organization during critical incidents and crises to enable CRS programming even in the most volatile circumstances. Together with the Director of Safety and Security, the Senior Advisor will create, promote and solidify an enabling, holistic approach to security management in line with CRS’ dual commitment to its staff/partners and the people we seek to serve.

Roles and Key Responsibilities

  1. Provides leadership and direction to CRS in all areas of security capacity building including: preparedness, training, orientation, learning and technical assistance;
  2. In close collaboration with Regional Directors and Director of Safety and Security, monitors security hotspots around the world. S/he provides support and advice on staff security decisions, in particular situations where re-location, evacuation, or changes in post status may be called for;
  3. Works together with Director of Safety and Security as sparring partners innovating, transforming and inspiring management of safety and security within the organization;
  4. Provides direct technical assistance including security assessments and coaching to country programs/regions, including rapid deployment during humanitarian disaster response, as requested;
  5. Certifies quality control of country and regional security management, including but not limited to conducting security audits;
  6. Prepares regular reports for Overseas Operations leadership and the Executive Leadership Team. Remains up to date on studies and evaluations outside of CRS that might inform CRS understanding of security threats to be faced or effective policies and practices that might enhance staff safety and security.
  7. Keeps track of the security incident reporting system, which is maintained by the Security Analyst, that informs global, regional and country program security plans and investments;
  8. In times of crisis or critical incidents, supports Director of Safety and Security and Overseas Operations leadership in fulfilling their roles in the context of global incident management;
  9. Maintains an active network of external contacts that can be called upon in case of a security-related emergency;
  10. Ensures that CRS’ incident management plans at country, regional and global level are living documents, organizing, delivering and supporting with incident management exercises and simulations to practice incident response on a regular basis. Also takes lessons learned from past simulations and situations and monitors implementation;
  11. Holds emergency phone for security and medical emergencies and critical incidents on rotational basis.

Basic Qualifications (BQs)

  1. Master’s Degree in a field relevant to CRS’s field operations.
  2. Degree in security management a plus.

Education and Experience

  1. Minimum ten years of experience in direct global responsibility for security management;
  2. Five or more years international humanitarian or development experience, including at least two years’ work in a developing country;
  3. Experience in working for faith-based organization a plus.

Required Languages

  1. Exceptional English writing skills;
  2. Fluency in French or Arabic preferred; Spanish or Portuguese a plus.


Must be willing and able to travel up to 30-40 %.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

  1. In depth knowledge of safety and security risk management requirements as they relate to international humanitarian assistance agencies including standards for physical security and communications;
  2. Excellent understanding of “acceptance” methodologies and procedures.
  3. Demonstrated ability to work in diverse and cross-cultural teams to achieve common objectives;
  4. Collaborative and team-oriented;
  5. Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication and negotiation skills;
  6. Demonstrates excellent judgement;
  7. Capacity to influence without necessarily having line management authority;
  8. In depth knowledge and understanding of physical security a plus.

Agency-wide Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship

Supervisory Responsibilities:  None

Work Conditions/Environment Conditions

  1. Availability 24/7 to provide support for major security emergencies as requested;
  2. Normal conditions for an office environment. Requires overseas travel to difficult and challenging regions/countries.

What we offer

CRS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, life insurance, vision, generous retirement savings plan and the opportunity to work in a collaborative, mission-driven culture that is committed to improving the lives of the poor throughout the world.

***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

EOE/M/F/D/V – CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.