Program Director – Refugee Livelihoods Initiative, Turkey

Center for International Private Enterprise
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 27

Position description

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) strengthens democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform. CIPE is one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy. Since 1983, CIPE has worked with business leaders, policymakers, and journalists to build the civic institutions vital to a democratic society. CIPE’s key program areas include anti-corruption, advocacy, business associations, corporate governance, democratic governance, access to information, the informal sector and property rights, and women and youth.


CIPE seeks an experienced program manager to establish a CIPE office in Turkey and serve as CIPE’s full-time, in-country Program Director. This position is based in Turkey.

In close coordination with the CIPE program team in Washington DC, he or she will manage the implementation of CIPE’s program to develop mutually beneficial and sustainable livelihoods solutions for Syrian and other refugees and host communities in Turkey. The Program Director will manage partnerships with local civil society organizations and develop new partnerships and relationships with project stakeholders. He or she will work with CIPE’s DC-based program team and Consortium partners to design technical assistance to project beneficiaries, coordinate the involvement of contracted experts, ensure that deliverables are met, and apply robust monitoring and evaluation processes.

The position will entail frequent domestic (within Turkey) and international travel. The Program Director will be based in Istanbul, but will be expected to regularly visit other regions of Turkey to meet with project partners, participants, and other stakeholders, and to participate in project events. Regular consultative visits to Washington, DC will also be expected.

Reports To: Senior Program Officer, Middle East and North Africa



  • Manage the local implementation of a project in Turkey having the following objectives:
    • To lay the foundation for sustainable access to livelihood-focused food business development services among affected Turkish host communities and Syrian refugees in urban areas.
    • To improve livelihoods based in the human and institutional food-based market ecosystem for planning, launching, or improving food-based enterprises.
  • The following are specific responsibilities associated with each of the main project components:
    • Establish entrepreneur incubation centers in Istanbul and Gaziantep in coordination with local implementing partners. This will involve a mapping and discovery process to find suitable locales and facilities, overseeing the establishment of co-working spaces with test kitchens and other shared facilities, development of specialized training content, establishing a suite of entrepreneur support services, and facilitating a business plan competition. This will also include planning for the long-term sustainability of the Centers.
    • Create workforce development component to be run out of each Food Enterprise Center which provides vocational training, job placement services, and follow-on support to beneficiary-participants.
    • Develop a series of “Gastrodiplomacy” cross-cultural exchange events centered on the medium of food.
    • Facilitate the development of a cookbook that celebrates the successes of program participants through recipes and storytelling, and generates revenue for sustainable programming.
  • Execution of responsibilities will require close engagement and coordination with other members of the project Consortium, Advisory Council of subject matter experts, contracted consultants, and CIPE’s Washington-based staff.
  • Establish a CIPE office in Istanbul in close coordination with CIPE Washington, including registration, identification of space, negotiation of rent, utilities and equipment, and other related responsibilities. Organize main systems and processes for the CIPE office, including electronic and hard-copy filing systems. Ensure quality and efficiency of office procedures and outputs.
  • Monitor program activities and regularly contact and visit CIPE partners and program participants in Turkey to assess progress and challenges. Give daily guidance to CIPE partners and program participants on project issues, keeping the DC-based Program Officer informed of developments and conferring regularly. Conduct project evaluation activities and provide input on weekly updates and quarterly and other reports.
  • In coordination with DC-based staff, oversee sub-awards to local partner organizations.
  • Participate in all aspects of administrative coordination between Washington and Turkey based CIPE operations. This will include but is not limited to providing logistical support to all CIPE staff, Consortium partners, and consultants visiting the country.
  • Cultivate opportunities for positive publicity for the program; coordinate public outreach, awareness-raising, and media engagement as appropriate.
  • Represent CIPE at relevant events in Turkey and develop network of key stakeholders.
  • Establish and maintain constructive relationship with the donor’s Turkey-based staff.
  • Regularly analyze the geopolitical environment for programming implications, identifying both opportunities and constraints.
  • Work with the DC-based program team on related concept/proposal development and reprogramming as needed.
  • This position will involve the recruitment and supervision of one Istanbul-based Project Coordinator.
  • Ensure compliance with CIPE and donor guidelines, policies, and procedures in managing program.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree in International Relations/Development, Economic Development, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Experience in Turkey, Syria, and/or neighboring countries of the Levant strongly preferred; knowledge of regional political and economic dynamics.
  • At least five years professional experience in international development program management.
  • Strong project monitoring and management skills, including budget tracking, report writing, and interaction with diverse local partners.
  • Experience with topics consistent with CIPE’s mission, including civil society strengthening, democratic governance, and economic development. Experience working with refugee and other displaced populations strongly preferred.
  • Experience in the food or hospitality industries preferred (food service, manufacturing, or retail, or related field).
  • Skilled at relationship building and network development with organizations and individuals.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English required. Fluency in written and spoken Arabic and/or Turkish strongly preferred.
  • Attention to detail and ability to work under pressure and handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment.
  • Effective representation, change management, and leadership skills.
  • Ability to work in a team environment.
  • Ability to work independently with minimum supervision.
  • Computer proficiency (MS Office).
  • Must be willing to travel for extended and multiple periods.
  • All candidates must be eligible to work in Turkey.

Application instructions

To apply for this opportunity, please send a resume or CV, cover letter, one writing sample, and salary history to [email protected], subject line:   “MENAPD-[Your Last Name]”. Applications will be accepted and interviews will be conducted on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls.

There is a two-page limit on writing samples. Submissions demonstrating writer’s ability to synthesize information are preferred. Applications submitted without a writing sample will not be considered.

CIPE offers a salary competitive with other international non-governmental organizations and an excellent benefits package. 

CIPE is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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