Senior Program Officer

The Global Knowledge Initiative
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 24

Position description

The Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI) is an international development organization that specializes in facilitating collaborative innovation through the application of systems-thinking, human centered design, and futures foresight. We believe it is not a failure of intellect, nor a lack of resources, that keeps us from solving complex, global development challenges. Rather, the failure lies in how we connect committed individuals and their resources—technologies, expertise, financing—to fill these gaps. Our mission is to help organizations bridge those gaps and maximize their impact. 

We work to solve complex challenges at the forefront of the global development conversation and our clients include the World Bank, USAID, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. GKI’s current portfolio includes a diverse range of initiatives focused on food systems, marine waste, national health systems, economic development, and climate change.

What we offer

Because of the nature of our work, GKI offers a dynamic workplace where no two projects, and no two days, are the same. New hires will have the opportunity to contribute to projects across diverse portfolios and develop skills at the frontier of the global development conversation, including systems-thinking, futures foresight, and facilitation. GKI offers a competitive salary, paid leave and health benefits,

Examples of responsibilities as a GKI SPO

  • Build problem-solving partnerships and networks internationally through GKI’s Programs
  • Support efforts to strengthen organizational / national enabling environments through science, technology, and innovation (STI) research and analysis (in domains ranging from education, to agriculture, to STI policy)
  • Maintain responsibility for a large and varied portfolio of projects
  • Grow GKI’s scope and impact in terms of the number, effectiveness, and influence of innovation programs and problem-solving networks active globally, with a particular emphasis on Africa
  • Plan and supervise program activities and ensure the timely production of high-quality deliverables
  • Work with the executive team to develop goals and strategic plans for the organization, including business development and resource mobilization strategies
  • Scout for and develop new initiatives, with a focus on concept development, dissemination, and execution of new opportunities to expand GKI’s reach and global impact
  • Identify potential partners and sponsors, and engage in relationship cultivation efforts globally, particularly with bilateral and multilateral aid agencies and foundations
  • Cultivate prospective donors and clients and successfully build new business relationships and opportunities
  • Manage program relationships with relevant donors, strategic partners, and other stakeholders
  • Design facilitation processes that move individuals, groups and networks to develop and implement solutions
  • Serve as the public face of GKI at conferences and events
  • Travel up to 25% of the time, primarily internationally


  • Substantial experience in international development, global health, public policy, international affairs, or another related field
  • Experience developing internal capacity of individuals through knowledge management and mentorship
  • Excellent group facilitation and/or training skills
  • Demonstrated experience in stakeholder management
  • Experience working with a diverse range of funders including government and foundations
  • Exceptional analytic, writing, presentation, and editing skills, demonstrated through a list of past publications/presentations/design briefs/web postings/videos/or other examples
  • A proven business development expertise demonstrated by successful proposal development to solicit corporate, foundation, and/or donor support
  • Strong project management skills with proven experience overseeing project budgets and manages project teams
  • Superb communication skills and great instincts about how to synthesize and tell a captivating story, build a deep rapport with diverse stakeholders, and provide honest feedback
  • Creative ideas for developing and implementing high-impact innovation and development programs
  • A demonstrated ability to work across disciplines/sectors, and to facilitate multi-disciplinary teams

Other characteristics we look for

  • Experience in a nonprofit, university, or social enterprise a plus
  • Existing relationships within the global development sector, including with individuals at various bilaterals, multilaterals, foundations, etc.
  • Spanish or French working proficiency (advanced speaker/writer)
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in systems thinking, innovation systems and fundamentals, and/or human centered design
  • Demonstrated commitment to GKI’s mission and theory of change
  • Experience with Salesforce or other business development software

Application instructions

Requested documents: Email resume, cover letter, and 3 professional references. Please specify which position you are applying for in the email’s subject heading.

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