The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a congressionally funded, private, nonprofit grant making organization that works to support freedom around the world, seeks a Program Officer for Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey for the Middle East North Africa (MENA) team’s regional portfolio. This position is based in Washington, D.C.
The Program Officer will work with the regional director and program staff to manage the Endowment’s grants program for Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey, including monitoring and assessment of projects.
- Provide strategic and programmatic guidance to NED grantees in the Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey regional portfolio, including assisting them with program development and design, offering creative solutions to political and technical challenges, providing administrative advice, and facilitating contact with like-minded organizations throughout the region.
- Work closely and flexibly with a diverse range of activists in media, human rights, rule of law, conflict resolution, civic education and other areas.
- Monitor political developments in Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey region to inform NED strategies and programming, including reading various US- and regional-based publications, meeting with regional political analysts and other partners, keeping abreast of the changing political environment, and actively coordinating with other MENA team members on their country portfolios.
- Oversee the implementation of NED-approved projects, including analysis of quarterly reports, providing feedback on implemented activities, maintaining continuous communication over the grant cycle, and conducting regular field visits.
- Evaluate the effectiveness and the institutional growth of NED grantees and the Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey regional grants portfolio, and recommend renewed and new funding.
- Build and maintain relationships with like-minded organizations, including other donors, NED partners and regional organizations.
- Travel to the region to monitor existing grantees, identify new funding opportunities for NED, and gain an on‑the-ground perspective on the political situation. The visits include on-site meetings with all or most NED grantees, meetings with core institutes, potential civil society partners, other donors active in the country, and political analysts and opinion-makers.
- Think creatively about how to improve team effectiveness, including suggestions for new team processes, improving grantee-reporting guidelines, communicating with other teams at NED, etc.
- Liaise with other NED teams; participate in various working groups, and other efforts to improve NED’s overall functioning and effectiveness.
- Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, Political Science, International Development or a related discipline; Master’s degree preferred.
- At least 5 years of experience in democracy-related projects and programs from the civil society perspective; significant experience in nonprofit work.
- Minimum of 2 years living or working in Afghanistan, Iran and/or Turkey or other MENA countries.
- In-depth understanding of political issues and trends in Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey and the MENA region generally;
- Full professional fluency in English and Farsi languages are essential. Turkish is preferred;
- Authorized to work in the United States.
- Excellent interpersonal skills in multi-ethnic, multi-national environment;
- Solid analytical skills;
- Ability to maintain professionalism under pressure;
- High degree of organization and initiative;
- Demonstrated ability to work as a team player, including coordination and facilitation skills.
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Candidates must include a cover letter, resume, completed NED employment application, salary history with requirements, and contact information for three professional references. Please send to [email protected], with Job #1772 – Program Officer for Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, MENA - YOUR NAME in the subject line. The NED is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For more information, please visit our website at www.ned.org. Please, no phone call inquiries. www.ned.org/NED-Full-Employment-Application.pdf