Senior Program Officer: Central and West Africa

National Democratic Institute, Washington, United States
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Job Summary

Job Description

Job Function: Washington DC
Department: Central & West Africa
Location: Washington, DC

Senior Program Officer: Central and West Africa

The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) seeks a Senior Program Officer to join its Central and West Africa (CEWA) team and contribute to the planning, designing and implementation of programs related to strengthening civil society, enhancing democratic governance, enhancing women's and other marginalized groups' political participation, and strengthening political parties. This full-time position is based in the Washington, DC office.


  • Drafts, or oversees drafting, final editing and submission of board memos, proposals, work plans, quarterly and other reports with minimal substance guidance; edits work of Program and Senior Program Assistants and Program Officers
  • Develops program concepts and leads strategic discussions; supports proposal process and timeline for proposal submissions; develops program objectives, results and indicators, as well as program strategy
  • Leads work plan discussions and supports processes for work plan drafting and submission
  • Contributes to overall strategy and vision; handles all aspects of program management; anticipates and plans for programmatic needs and takes action accordingly; provides guidance to staff in this area; oversees programmatic progress and measures program performance, timing and results; conducts assessments
  • Serves as POC; engages funding agencies for new funds and extensions; initiates and maintains relations with high-level political partners; cultivates successful relationships with funders
  • Represents NDI at local conferences and meetings with NGO community, funders and donors and members of the foreign policy community to assist with NDI's public outreach
  • Lends support to Program Manager by providing effective management of multiple grants with multiple programs and reconciliations; oversees appropriate application of allowable costs; ensures that they stay within budget limits; anticipates and successfully addresses costs and overages, and implements solutions to budget variances; guides other staff regarding structures and mechanisms
  • Travels to the region to plan and lead political assessments, assess new opportunities, participate in and evaluate current projects, and negotiate with key program contacts, political leaders, donors and others
  • Provides support for local and regional program conferences, workshops and meetings; organizes major cross-functional workshops; organizes delegations abroad
  • Shortlists international trainers, volunteers and field representatives; participates in some recruitment activities, develops a network and suggests utilization
  • Ensures appropriate implementation of field office policies and handbook; interprets policies in field office; supervises Program Officer; identifies development opportunities for Program and Senior Program Assistants and Program Officers
  • Maintains collaborative relationships with international democratic development organizations, civic organizations and NDI's network of volunteer trainers and experts; acts as back-up to team members not present

  • Bachelor's degree preferably in International Relations or related subject; Additional years of relevant work experience may be substituted for educational requirement

  • A minimum of six (6) years relevant work experience in international development, community organizing, political campaigns, organizational development, legislative affairs

  • Experience in program design

  • Demonstrated knowledge and/or competency in one or more areas of NDI's functional programs and the assigned region's political environment and people
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively interact with all levels of staff, US and foreign government personnel, members of donor organizations, funders, and policy makers
  • Excellent oral communications skills to effectively present information, respond to questions
  • Exceptional writing skills, clear and persuasive with little to no editing
  • Experience working on the Sub-Saharan African region preferred
  • Proficiency in English and French required
  • Strong negotiating and managerial skills; able to introduce new concepts
  • Capacity to work both independently and as a member of a team
  • Smooth multi-tasking among four or more responsibilities
  • Ability to lead, inspire and motivate staff where mentoring results are clearly beneficial
  • Ability to analyze political work, to think innovatively and introduce new concepts
  • Working knowledge of PC-based word processing and spreadsheet applications
  • Experience with Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Google Drive, G+, etc.) strongly desired
  • Seasoned budget and accounting skills
  • Ability and willingness to travel up to 25% regional locations based on budget and organizational needs to regional locations, which are often remote and difficult to reachComments:

This is a union position to be represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2.

Candidates must be legally eligible to work in the U.S. NDI does not provide sponsorship.

NDI welcomes and supports a diverse, inclusive work environment. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment and NDI employees. NDI makes employment decisions based on organizational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, personal appearance, military status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation, educational status, unemployment status, place of residence or business, source of income, or reproductive health decision making. Additionally, harassment or discrimination based on these characteristics will not be tolerated at NDI. To perform the essential functions of this position, reasonable accommodations are available to qualified individuals with disabilities and qualified individuals who have limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or medical related condition.