Offre d'emploi

Director of Operations

Mise en ligne : 13 mars 2023
Clôture : 2 avril 2023
Localisation : Marseille

Objet de la mission

SOS MEDITERRANEE is a civil European rescue association founded in 2015. Facing the humanitarian tragedy and the lack of adequate rescue capacity in the Mediterranean on the deadliest migratory route in the world, a group of European citizens created a maritime and humanitarian association in order to rescue the persons in distress at sea, to protect and assist them, as well as to testify about the realities and many faces of migration.

Today, SOS MEDITERRANEE is a network composed of four entities (Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland) sharing the same mandate. Search and Rescue (SAR) operations have been carried out since February 2016 in the Central Mediterranean off the Libyan coasts with the chartered vessels Aquarius (until end of 2018) and Ocean Viking (since 2019). Operations are currently run in partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for the management of post-rescue assistance to survivors onboard. In nearly six years of operations, the teams onboard have been able to rescue and assist more than 37.000 persons. The operations cost around 9 M€ per year and are financed more than 90% by private donations.

SOS MEDITERRANEE is recruiting asap a Director for its Department of Operations


The Director of Operations is responsible for the development, the management and implementation of SOS MEDITERRANEE’s humanitarian Search and Rescue mission. Coordinating the Operations department’s team onshore, he/she is the overall responsible for the human resources, logistics, security, finance, communications and advocacy of the SAR mission in the Mediterranean. He/she coordinates the activities related to the needs assessment and to the development of SOS MEDITERRANEE’s humanitarian/maritime operational framework and partnerships. He/she takes initiative and manages the response, observation, adaptation, monitoring and evaluation of the SAR project at sea. He/she contributes to the development of SOS MEDITERRANEE’s strategic and organisational development.

Humanitarian SAR project management :

  • Participates in initiating, preparing, leading and deciding on the development of a short-, mid- and long-term strategy for SOS MEDITERRANEE’s humanitarian SAR project.
  • Elaborates, implements, monitors and adapts operational decisions to the operational constraints.
  • Manages the shore operational team mostly based in Marseille : with the support of Deputy Directors of Operations, recruit, supervise, follow-up, organise and coordinate the team.
  • With the support of Deputy Director of Operations, manages the pool of onboard SAR coordinators.
  • Guarantees regular involvement of ship and shore team members into institutional context and risk analysis, regular dialogue and information-sharing on operational hypothesis and strategies, to maintain a strong cohesion and efficiency.
  • Has specific attention on teams’ and crews’ well-being and mobilise all necessary support, including external, to fulfil duty of care.
  • Is responsible for security management of the operation (including operational, reputational & legal risk analysis, planning response capacity) and initiates critical incident response if/when these occur.
  • Supervises the preparation of the operations budget, proceed to the necessary arbitrage prior to endorsement by the European network.
  • Participates in the institutional representation of SOS MEDITERRANEE, in particular for operational SAR, strategic and security matters, towards maritime authorities, political stakeholders, other SAR and humanitarian NGOs, academics, local authorities, etc. with the involvement of the Executive Directors and other managers of the European network.
  • Provides the media with interviews on the operations at sea, as one of the spokespersons of SOS MEDITERRANEE
  • Supervises and manages the relationships with the operational partner on board the Ocean Viking (IFRC).
  • Sets up, supervises and manages the monitoring and analysis of SOS MEDITERRANEE’s context of operations (geopolitical, maritime etc.).

Specific duties linked to chartering a ship :

  • Supervises the charter negotiation and implementation of the charter contract.
  • Executes the legal and overall responsibilities as contracting charterer.
  • Supervises the overall collaboration with the ship-owner

Relations with the SOS MEDITERRANEE international network :

  • Reports to on a regular basis, and maintains close cooperation with SOS MEDITERRANEE’s European Executive Committee and its member entities.
  • Participates in national/international coordination meetings within SOS MEDITERRANEE’s network.
  • Represents the Operations department in SOS MEDITERRANEE strategic and governance working groups and Sub-committees.

Profil recherché


  • Ten years’ work experience in the management of complex humanitarian projects, preferably in emergency situation – including both field and headquarters experiences.
  • Demonstrated skills in crisis management.
  • Demonstrated skills in the management of security in unstable / armed conflict contexts.
  • Committed to the vision, mission and values of SOS MEDITERRANEE.
  • Committed to principled humanitarian action
  • Proven management skills.
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Sound teamwork experience
  • Ability to work in an international structure with a strong civil mobilization and many volunteers.
  • Readiness to take decisions and responsibilities.
  • Good communication skills and reporting ability.
  • Familiarity with MS Office and skilled in the use of ICT.
  • Master Degree in Political Sciences, International Relations or other related field is an advantage.
  • Knowledge and understanding of ship management structures and practices, charter parties and related issues are an advantage.
  • Knowledge of maritime & international law and/or migration issues and/or context of the Mediterranean are an advantage.

Spoken Languages:

  • Fluent in English and French, both verbally and in writing.
  • Knowledge of Italian and/or German is an advantage.


Terms of contract:

Permanent and full-time contract

  • Starting as soon as possible
  • Based in Marseille
  • Regular Europe-wide travel, mainly to Italy
  • Evenings and week-end work
  • Week-end and holidays on-call duties.

Annual gross salary : 57 000 – 62 000 depending on experience

Salary advantages : Restaurant card, French health complementary insurance.

Comment postuler ?

Only applications through ORIENTATION DURABLE, link below

Please send your application (CV and cover letter) in English

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