Consultancy: Legal and Compliance Adviser

Search for Common Ground
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 08

Position description

Search for Common Ground’s 2018-2028 Strategic Plan reaffirmed our commitment to pursuing enduring change in the way societies address conflict, away from adversarial approaches towards collaborative solutions. We also prioritized which of these conflicts we want to focus on transforming over the coming decade. After wide consultations with Searchers as well as thought leaders, policy makers, donors, partners, analysts and other leaders, we determined to move past country-based planning and to define the boundaries of our engagement by the borders of the conflicts we tackle, and to focus on addressing the world’s most consequential conflicts. We also agreed that we would transition out of 10 countries where we currently implement programs. This means that in some countries where we work today as an international NGO, we will seek to transition our engagement model. 

Search is seeking a qualified Legal & Compliance Adviser to assist with this process. While the country offices, with the support of the regional teams, will be the drivers of the transition process, the Legal & Compliance Adviser will assess their transition proposals for feasibility and provide guidance on the risks, legal and otherwise, posed to both the proposed future entity (where applicable) and to Search Global. The Adviser will provide informed recommendations and considerations for each of these proposals to the country office, regional team and headquarters in order to facilitate a smooth, sustainable transition process. The goal is a future state where both Search Global and independent entities are organizationally equipped to transform the conflicts of today and tomorrow.

The Adviser will report to the Senior Vice President of Programming and work closely with country office and regional staff in each of the 10 transitioning offices.

Key Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • Assess transition proposals from Search country offices for overall viability as well as risk to both Search Global and the proposed transitioning entity, especially in terms of:
  1. Potential legal issues;
  2. Compliance with USG and host country statutory processes and requirements;
  3. Compliance with donor regulations;
  4. Governance structure, including on establishing local entities;
  5. Transition budgets;
  6. Financial sustainability;
  7. Timing of transition, considering the status of current grants, active proposals, and pipeline;
  8. Branding of the proposed entity;
  9. Relationship between the two organizations (including possible association or collaboration);
  10. Support (capacity development, financial, advisory) requested of Search Global and/or Search Regional Offices; and,
  11. Proposed leadership.
  • Based on this review, provide recommendations to Search Global and transitioning Search country offices on how best to implement the transition proposals.
  • Lead the process for defining the future relationship between Search Global and the transitioning entities, including obtaining input and buy-in from all major stakeholders.
  • Provide advice during the transition process, including:
  1. Monitoring transition progress;
  2. Regular meetings with the Senior Vice President for Programming and the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator;
  3. Identifying any compliance issues, especially those related to ongoing programming;
  4. Identifying issues for resolution or escalating risk/issue to SVP; and,
  5. Updating Regional Office on transition on a periodic basis (monthly).

As job descriptions cannot be exhaustive, the position holder may be required to undertake other duties that are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.



  • A post-graduate or equivalent qualification/degree in Compliance, Law, International Relations, International Development, or any other relevant discipline;


  • At least 5-7 years of prior work experience planning, managing, and/or implementing NGO transitions, especially around legal and compliance issues and especially in the regional and international context;
  • Demonstrated experiences and skills in facilitating stakeholder/working group consultations;
  • Relevant regional and international experience will be an added advantage.

Skills and Competencies


  • Native or fluent written and oral proficiency in the English language.

Desirable Skills

  • Proven ability to work with and manage a diverse group of multicultural stakeholders;
  • Demonstrable strong organizational and coordination skills;
  • Written and oral French language proficiency;
  • Creative and thorough approach to work; and,
  • Excellent writing skills.

Application instructions

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