Senior Program Officer - Africa

International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
  • Location
    Arlington, Virginia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 16

Position description

Position Number: 17:035

Job Responsibilities:


The Senior Program Officer is an advanced professional position at IFES providing tactical support to the program division. Specific duties will include development, technical, administrative and financial management support and oversight.


  • Serve as primary interface with Country Director(s) and local staff to implement projects. Achieve project requirements within budget, established timeframe, standards of quality, and donor satisfaction.
  • Prepare budgets, review and approve field expense reports, wire requests, field wire transfer requests, vendor and consultant payments, etc. Responsible for oversight, critical review, and reporting of project financials in partnership with Finance team.
  • Establish, maintain, and develop productive working relationship with field staff, subordinates, consultants at large, and other departments within IFES HQ.
  • Represent program management at offsite venues for the purpose of business development and information dissemination as directed.
  • Contribute to and inform program design, knowledge of tools towards implementation of projects, knowledge management and thought leadership, and collection of resources.
  • Work with Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) team to design and determine indicators, ensure that the field has the tools to monitor progress made towards indicators, periodically check in with field team on data collection and progress toward meeting objectives, and share experience with regional teams.
  • Monitor and evaluate project progress and performance, including reviewing deliverables, and make recommendations where project activities may need to be adjusted based on M&E results.
  • Troubleshoot project problems. Identify and implement creative solutions.
  • Monitor pending IFES grant/contract actions and modifications and coordinate timely action and response.
  • Travel to field office to monitor project activities.
  • Actively participate in business development/proposal development/new initiative processes.
  • Provide professional developmental opportunities for junior program staff. Evaluate performance of supervisee(s), and provide constructive feedback and proactive management. Offer input into performance of Country Directors.
  • Work with Human Resources to source and recruit critical talent.
  • Work with Contracts and Grants to ensure timely acquisition and delivery of services.
  • Support design, review/selection, and implementation subawards, including review of quarterly narrative and financial reports, as well as processing invoices.
  • Ensure the quality of monthly/quarterly reports.
  • Provide input into annual workplans, performance monitoring plans, and other programmatic reports.
  • Develop a sound understanding of IFES technical areas and on the relevant region/country.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Provide varied support functions and perform moderately complex job duties requiring knowledge of business/proposal development, program management, financial management, donor interface, and research and development initiatives. Contribute to program planning, development, and management. Manage work activities with internal and external partners to ensure achievement of assigned objectives project(s). Performance and outcomes are subject to management oversight.


Multi-factor decision-making requiring research and analysis, subject to supervisory guidance. Analyze and interpret issues, propose and implement solutions relying on knowledge of professional standards, principles and sound judgement. Initiate contact with staff in other departments to exchange substantive information and coordinates activities necessary to achieve work goals. Authority to make decisions on issues of program design, delegations to junior staff, and financial oversight for assigned projects.


Lead project budget planning. Critical review and reporting of project financials in partnership with Finance. Work with field team on quarterly and annual projections for donors and internal budgeting. Authority to research, negotiate, and recommend purchases of materials, equipment and logistical arrangements.


Develop and maintain collaborative relationships, which require highly-developed interpersonal skills, involving active listening and problem solving, to assure desired outcomes. Seek opportunities to improve working relationships and work outcomes with internal and external partners.



Bachelor’s degree required. Master’s Degree in international relations, political science, international development preferred.


Minimum of 6 years of overall work experience in the international development sector. Significant experience with budget management and oversight of large single project or multiple small projects, including projections, pipelines, and modifications. Experience managing and providing guidance and supervision to employees. Experience supporting business development efforts. Proposal writing experience preferred.

Related Skills or Knowledge:

Experience with program management, project design, and business development. Demonstrated knowledge and experience with USAID grant and contract proposals, regulations, and procedures. Familiarity with USAID and other international donors and key program personnel. Strong financial management skills. Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Excel required. Strong written and verbal communication skills are required. Knowledge of political contexts in multiple African countries preferred. Field experience desirable.


English required.


Travel up to 10% of time.

Application instructions

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