MENA Program Officer

Freedom House
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 10

Position description

The Middle East North Africa Program Officer will support the work of Freedom House’s Emergency Assistance Program, namely providing financial assistance to at-risk human rights defenders (HRDs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This position will be based in Washington, D.C., and reports to the Program Director.Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Case Processing:

  • Manage intake, vetting, and processing of emergency cases and guide decision-making regarding small grants to at-risk HRDs and CSOs under threat for their human rights work;
  • Oversee day-to-day management including the tracking of emergency assistance requests, and coordination of grant dispersal and financial reconciliation;
  • Manage extensive correspondence with potential and actual program beneficiaries, referral networks, references, service providers, and Freedom House staff in Washington, NY, and the field.

Monitoring and Reporting:

  • Monitor key developments regarding human rights violations and proactively respond to the needs of frontline activists including daily review of news alerts, press freedom or UN alerts in English, Arabic (required), and French (a plus);
  • Conduct periodic assessment on the operational space for civil society and human rights defenders and provide reports on significant developments;
  • Deliver weekly, monthly and quarterly program reporting on individual cases and country-specific and regional developments in the MENA region.


  • Conduct outreach to multilateral, regional, and local organizations and CSO leaders to develop and expand our referral network;
  • Conduct regular outreach to civil society organizations and activists in Washington and the MENA region in order to identify needs, opportunities for engagement and initiatives to be supported by Freedom House;
  • Develop and maintain up-to-date files of program information and materials including but not limited to information fact sheets and application handouts.


Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in international relations, political science, journalism, human rights, law or a related field required; Master’s degree preferred;
  • Minimum 5-7 years of work experience in the field of civil society, human rights, journalism, or LGBT rights;
  • Strong knowledge of human rights issues and civic space issues and established relationships with civil society and human rights organizations in the MENA region;
  • Superior written and spoken English skills -- strong writing skills and ability to convey complex ideas is required;
  • Ability to demonstrate sound judgment under stressful conditions, guide decision-making on highly sensitive issues, and maintain credibility among varied audiences;
  • Native or near-native fluency in written and spoken Arabic;
  • Strong ability to work independently, prioritize competing demands, and mult itask to meet tight deadlines with minimal supervision;
  • Ability to apply superb attention to detail and consistently produce timely and error-free work;
  • Ability to work flexible hours and be available on weekends as needed;
  • Ability to travel in the Middle East and North Africa;
  • Mastery of MS Office, specifically Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with human rights grant-making and knowledge of grants management databases;
  • Experience addressing fundamental freedoms including of expression, association, and assembly is preferred;
  • Familiarity with digital security issues and tools and ability to assess and address the security issues of threatened civil society actors;
  • Professional capability in written and spoken French.

Application instructions

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