Program Officer, Balkans

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

Position description

IFES is conducting innovative, multi-year U.S. Agency for International Development-funded projects in the Balkans and Regional Europe, based in Prague, Czech Republic, to strengthen democratic institutional change and empower groups across all strata of society. IFES supports the continued institutional democratic development and equal engagement opportunities for all citizens through several assistance activities, including professionalizing election administration, promoting inclusivity in the election process, providing civic education opportunities for students and young adults, and empowering traditionally marginalized populations. IFES seeks a Program Officer to assist in managing these portfolios.

The Program Officer is an intermediate 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 Directors and local staff to implement projects, supported by a Regional Director/Senior Program Manager.

• Achieve project requirements within budget, established time frame, standards of quality, and funder satisfaction.

• Assist with review and approval of field expense reports, wire requests, vendor and consultant payments etc.

• Responsible for 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.

• Assist with program design, knowledge of IFES systems, tools for project implementation and monitoring.

• Work with Monitoring and Evaluation team to design/determine program indicators, assist with monitoring to ensure activities are meeting indicators.

• Contribute to knowledge management and thought leadership.

• Troubleshoot project problems, identify and implement creative solutions.

• Monitor pending IFES grant/contract actions and coordinate timely action and response.

• Travel to field office to assist with project activities as needed.

• Participate in proposal development/new initiative process.

• Encourage professional developmental of junior program staff. Evaluate performance of supervisee(s), and provide constructive feedback and proactive management. Provide feedback on project team and project performance.

• Work with HR to source and recruit critical talent, supported by a Regional Director/Senior Program Manager.

• Support the process of designing and implementing sub-awards and monitor progress including reviewing deliverables. 

• Contribute, coordinate and ensure the quality of monthly/quarterly reports.

• Provide input into annual work plans, PMPs, and other programmatic reports.

• Work with Contracts and Grants to ensure timely acquisition and delivery of commodities and services.

• Other duties as assigned.


Provide varied support functions and perform moderately complex job duties requiring knowledge of proposal development, program management, donor interface, and research and development initiatives. Contribute to program planning, development and management. Familiarity with IFES tools, methodology and best practices. Manage work activities with internal and external partners to assure achievement of assigned objectives. Performance and outcomes are subject to management oversight. 

DECISION MAKING/PROBLEM SOLVING: Multi-factor decision-making requiring research and analysis, subject to supervisory guidance. Verify and analyze facts, consult with other departments as needed, then implement solutions based on knowledge of procedures, logic, and sound judgement. Initiate contact with staff in other departments to exchange detailed, substantive information and coordinate activities necessary to achieve work goals.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Participate in project budget planning. Critical review and reporting of project financials in partnership with Finance.

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

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: Supervise intern(s). Participate in planning and implementing work activities with internal and external partners.


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

Experience: Minimum of 4 years of overall work experience in the international development sector, with NGO experience a plus. Experience with budget management and oversight of large single project or multiple small projects. Supervisory experience a plus.

Related Skills or Knowledge:  Experience with program design and project management. Knowledgeable on USAID and non-US based grant and contract proposals, regulations, and procedures. Familiarity with USAID and non-US structure and personnel as well as other international donors. Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Excel required. Strong written and verbal communication skills are required.

Language Skills: English required. Proficiency in Macedonian, Serbo/Croat, or Albanian a plus.

Travel: Travel up to 10% of the time.

Physical Requirements/Work Environment: Standard office work environment. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Application instructions

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