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Country Director - Balkans

Country Director - Balkans

at Rustic Pathways

The Position 

Country Directors are responsible for ensuring success of all aspects of operations in country including high quality programming, safety compliance, risk management, staffing and training, financial management, community relations, emergency response, local regulatory compliance, and liaising between RP headquarters & your country of operations. You create, develop, implement, and maintain all programs in your country for our student travel, gap year, and group travel divisions. This entails being available to respond to staff and students issues 24 hours a day throughout the duration of all programs.  Country Directors embody and implement the Rustic Pathways’ mission, vision, and values. You oversee a team of staff and are responsible for creating a productive and positive work environment among your country’s team. You have the opportunity and great responsibility to engage with amazing communities and change the lives of youth and staff across the globe.


  • Maintain the integrity of the overall program operation in line with Rustic Pathways' mission, vision, and values
  • Ensure all students have safe, positive, and transformative experiences in your country
  • Oversee all program development, implementation, and management.
  • Deliver programs that meet Rustic Pathways student learning goals
  • Implement and maintain all safety protocols and procedures from the Vice President of Global Safety & Risk Management
  • Implement community service projects inline with company expectations
  • Develop relationship(s) with destination management companies and / or tour operator partners to ensure local compliance.  
  • Manage staff hiring, training, development, and evaluation
  • Manage country finances including timely delivery of comprehensive program and managerial budgets, expense reporting, and budget analysis
  • Ensure a successful working relationship with local partners and local authorities
  • Uphold and enforce company policies and procedures
  • Ensure adequate follow-up to complaints and proper case management
  • Respond professionally and appropriately to emergencies and incidents that arise in country be they medical, mental health, behavioral, logistical, natural disaster etc. 
  • Contribute to other company goals and initiatives and other duties to be discussed with the Vice President - Program Operations.  This may include oversight support for other countries in Rustic Pathways’ portfolio over time.  

You will report to the Vice President - Program Operations who will evaluate your performance according to the following metrics:

  • Outcome Metrics (75%)
    • Timely compliance with directives from all global-level members of the Program Operations Management Team
    • Demonstrated situational and cultural adaptability evidenced by successful management of diverse, challenging, and quickly evolving situations
    • Program quality as measured by Net Promoter Scores & Student and Community Feedback
    • Overall financial management
  • Team-Work Metrics (25%)
    • Motivational leader, coachable learner
    • Communicate with equal effectiveness across departments as across cultures
    • You are a net positive contributor to team morale 
    • Embody the Mission, Vision, and Values of Rustic Pathways

Job Qualifications

  • Years of Experience: 3+ years of leadership experience in high school education, experiential education and/or travel management.
  • Education: Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, Non-Profit Management, or other related field, or a combination of education and business experience
  • Required Experience: 
    • Travel, leadership, and/or education with high school students.
    • Professional working proficiency in English and additional language(s) preferred including Bosnian and/or Croatian
    • CPR & First Aid Certification / Wilderness First Responder certification preferred
    • Significant experience living, working, studying, and / or traveling in Balkans region preferred

Knowledge, Skill, and Abilities 

  • ​Travel, learning, education, and/or business background preferred
  • Personal experience in student travel (as student or leader) preferred
  • Passion for international travel
  • Appreciation for diversity in cultures and experiences
  • Understands the value of experiential education and travel for high school students
  • Adaptable and flexible personality
  • Eager to learn from colleagues
  • Enjoys open collaboration and teamwork
  • Interested in a fast-paced, rapidly developing role with opportunity for growth and ownership

Work and Environmental conditions: 

  • This position is primarily based in a remote setting. The work pace for this position is at a continual fast pace where work is required for more than 4 hours at a time. Low supervision from managers and social interaction required frequently. This position is often traveling 25% - 50% of the time and will require the majority of the year working in the country of operation.
  • This position requires such physical abilities as sitting for computer and phone work, lifting 20-50 lbs occasionally, standing, kneeling, climbing, and walking in an outdoor setting and visiting program sites.
  • The environment in which the job is performed outside a normal office space may include exposure to extreme temperature, noise, heights, or other hazards. All remains the same for any additional requirements for training, protective clothing, or monitoring.


Time will be spent between working in the Balkans region on successful delivery and development of programming as well as time spent in a remote work environment.  


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