Senior Program Officer Civic Engagement & Governance Programs

World Learning
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Dec 01

Position description

World Learning (WL) is seeking a dynamic senior program officer to support World Learning’s global portfolio of civic engagement, civil society development, and institutional strengthening projects. The Senior Program Officer will coordinate closely with field teams as well as home office based finance, compliance, HR, and operations units. S/he will provide support to technical and monitoring and evaluation staff to ensure comprehensive support to projects. S/he will ensure that assigned projects and portfolios are effectively backstopped, projects are managed on-time, on-budget and meet World Learning’s standards. S/he will also act as a liaison to partners and external stakeholders and supports new business development in her/his area of expertise. In addition, this position provides oversight and supervision to CEGU Program Associate and reports to the Director of Global Program Management. This position is based in Washington, D.C. 


Program Implementation/Backstopping

  • Monitor project spending against budget and proactively work with field teams to ensure projects are within budget, effectively using resources, and meet cost-share goals;
  • Work with field staff to ensure that project reporting (such as quarterly, semi-annual, or annual reports) and key deliverables are tracked, deadlines are met and final submissions are of high quality;
  • In conjunction with field and home office teams, coordinate field assessments, project start-ups, phase-ins, phase-outs, customer service, communications, reporting, and monitoring and evaluation activities; 
  • Coordinate/provide guidance to project staff on donor rules and regulations and ensure that projects adhere to World Learning’s policies and procedures; 
  • As assigned, act as the main point of contact with clients in matters of negotiation of agreement terms, contractual discussions, compliance and audit issues. Write memoranda of understanding, teaming agreements, contracts, sub-agreements, and approval letters. Negotiate sub-awards and modifications; work with Director of Compliance as needed and seek advice to address challenges and risks; 
  • Identify and process travel and logistics for overseas staff and consultants, including scopes of work, travel arrangements, visas, process payments or advances, and proper orientation for consultants on procedures;
  • Supervise home office Program Associates or Program Officers and other home and/or field based staff as assigned. 

New Program Development 

  • Provide proactive program development support to WL technical units and field offices for assigned geographic areas and sector program areas, including monitoring donor solicitations; 
  • Collaborate with program development and technical team members to conduct background research, liaise with potential local and international partners, provide input on program design, write and edit funding proposals, and/or assist in proposal production; 
  • Participate in organization wide initiatives to document best practices and lessons learned to improve program design and quality;
  • Assist in updating corporate capability statements, past performance reviews, and other information used for external outreach or business development. 


  • Build and maintain relationships with external and internal partners in order to enhance their understanding of WL program standards and strategies, identify opportunities for partnering or collaboration, and identify funding opportunities;
  • Disseminate and promote WL program strategies, standards and tools in portfolio-assigned projects 
  • Represent WL at external meetings and events.

Corporate Responsibilities

  • Provide input for the development implementation of country, regional, and organization strategies; 
  • Contribute to project support, marketing and other unit/divisional activities in ways which tap sector or geographic expertise;
  • Conduct international travel, as required;
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, Political Science, International Development, or other relevant field; master’s degree preferred;
  • Five or more years of international development project backstopping or management experience related to WL’s portfolio;
  • Ability to travel internationally up to 25% of time;
  • Familiarity with U.S. State Department, USAID, or other donor rules and regulations;
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, responsive, detail-oriented.
  • Ability to take initiative and to work independently;
  • Ability to represent employer to partners, funders, and stakeholders;
  • Commitment to inclusive development programming that brings to bear the talents of all people regardless of gender, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • Excellent English language oral and written communication skills;
  • Experience managing budgets.

Desired Qualifications

  • Second language proficiency;
  • Overseas experience in developing countries, long-term, preferred;
  • Prior experience supervising home office or field based staff;
  • Strong understanding of civic engagement and democracy and governance programming.

Application instructions

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