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Contracts Director

Location:Baltimore, MD
Benefits:An excellent benefit package is offered
Employment Type:Full Time
Department:Finance and Administration

Lutheran World Relief (LWR) seeks a Contracts Director. The Contracts Director will serve as the main point of contact and collaborate with LWR’s lawyers to provide cradle-to-grave legal contractual support for U.S. and field-based staff and programs, under the supervision of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.  The ultimate goal is to mitigate legal risk for LWR, in partnership with program and other support services.




  • Serves as point of contact/interface with outside legal counsel (pro-bono and contract).
  • Maintains existing and protects future LWR branding/copyright/trademarks.
  • Serves as a resource with outside legal counsel on enhancements to LWR bylaws and other corporate policies.


  • Facilitates LWR's global registrations as a legal entity, including the preparation of all legal documents needed.


  • Ensures grant and contract management standards (e.g. reporting, procurement, visibility, transfer of assets, audit, etc.) are understood and applied correctly.
  • Tailors and updates templates for various types of subawards/subcontracts.
  • Prepares standardized Powers of Attorney for international needs such as authority to register LWR as a legal entity, banking authorities, local transfer of authority from one Country Director to another, etc.


  • Prepares and/or reviews subawards/subcontracts, grants, subawards, and consultant agreements to ensure compliance with LWR and donor regulations.
  • Maintains central legal files (original paper copy files and e-files).


  • Provides support on all aspects of incoming and outgoing awards/contracts and subawards/subcontracts review and negotiation, drafting agreements, interpreting language, and applying rules and regulations from different donors.
  • Negotiates, drafts, reviews and revises agreements, including master services agreements, statements of work, and subcontractor agreements.
  • Acts as the point of contact for the protection of intellectual property and negotiates non-disclosure agreements.


  • Prepares briefing materials as needed for VP of Finance and Administration to sign legal documents.


  • Serve as LWR's internal point of contact on legal/contractual issues related to LWR and Ground Up Investing, LLC and other related entities.
  • Serve as resource for due diligence matters related to potential investments of Ground Up Investing, LLC.
  • Work with outside legal counsel on contractual issues related to relationships between LWR, Ground Up Investing, LLC, and other entities related to impact investing.


  • Communicates timely and effectively via phone, Skype, and e-mail with Project Managers, Technical and Finance Staff, Field Offices, Subs/Partners, vendors, and other external institutions and organizations.
  • Builds effective and collaborative relationships with internal and external clients over which s/he has no authority.


  • Maintains a comprehensive understanding of USG and major donors' policies and procedures, and keeps abreast of changes in donor policies, rules, and regulations.
  • Serves as Subject Matter Expert (SME) on donor rules and regulations and provides policy guidance to staff.
  • Ensures awards/contracts and subawards/subcontracts are reviewed and executed per LWR policies and donor rules and regulations.


  • Collaborates with headquarters and field staff to assess needs and improvements to be made with review and approval process of legal/contractual documents.
  • Plays a key role in the development and implementation of new systems and "best practices" for cooperative agreements, grants, contracts, and subawards.
  • Collaborates with the F&A Business Operations Manager and the Sr. IT Director on a possible web-based document management system to process legal/contractual documents more efficiently and timely, providing web-based access and e-signature authority to LWR's global workforce.
  • Reviews and/or authors corporate policies related to the protection of LWR, and contributes to the Grants and Contracts template library.


  • Trains staff on the current range of legal/contractual agreement templates and how to use them (e.g., what you "can" change and what you "cannot" change).
  • Provides training on key contractual issues to global staff.


  1. Commitment to LWR's core values and ability to model those values in relationships with colleagues and partners 
  2. Bachelor's Degree in finance, business administration, law or related field required; advanced degree preferred. Paralegal certificate a plus
  3. Minimum seven to ten (7-10) years of experience as a contracts manager, paralegal or legal assistant, or equivalent
  4. Excellent contract drafting and negotiating skills, detail oriented with excellent follow-through
  5. Integrity, professional discretion and ability to handle sensitive/confidential matters
  6. Expert negotiation skills with ability to influence both internal and external clients. Creative thinker, allowing her/him to get to "yes" within legal/contractual confines
  7. Experience building and managing relationships in complex international organizational environments
  8. Proven ability in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with outside agency representatives, government officials, and staff
  9. Strong interpersonal skills. Excellent communication (verbal and written), including in a virtual environment
  10. Strong judgment and analytical skills
  11. Ability to work under pressure, manage workload, prioritize, manage simultaneous tasks, and meet deadlines within and adapt to a changing fast-paced environment
  12. Strong understanding of OMB Circular 2 CFR 200. Working knowledge of the FAR and AIDAR, as well as other USG Agency specific regulations, such as USAID's ADS system
  13. Working knowledge of USG and other donor contract types
  14. Fluency in English is required, with desired advanced professional proficiency in another language, preferably Spanish or French
  15. Willingness to travel domestically and internationally, less than 5% of the time, to countries where LWR works. Travel may be to countries that are experiencing political instability and have poor infrastructure including poor road conditions, limited amenities and poor housing accommodations. In addition, the travel may be to countries where infectious diseases or vector-borne diseases are present. Travel may be required to locales that experience extreme temperatures (either hot or cold) and high altitudes.
  16. International work experience in developing countries a plus

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