Senior Global Advisor - Gender

International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
  • Location
    Arlington, Virginia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Mar 03

Position description

About International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES): Together we build democracies that deliver for all. Our independent expertise strengthens electoral institutions/systems and builds local capacity to deliver sustainable solutions. As the global leader in democracy promotion, we advance good governance and democratic rights by providing technical assistance; empowering the underrepresented to participate in the political process; and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle. We believe that trusted electoral institutions deliver credible elections, effective governing institutions are accountable to the people they serve, all people safely participate in civic and political life on an equal basis and technology, information and data positively serve elections and democracy. Since 1987, IFES has worked in over 145 countries – from developing to mature democracies.


The Senior Gender Advisor will lead gender equality and women’s empowerment programming and technical leadership at IFES, including (but not limited) to women’s empowerment and gender equality in political processes, violence against women in elections and politics (including online violence against women), women’s electoral leadership, gender and political finance, and male allies initiatives, in accordance with IFES’ approach: 

A society is able to reach its full potential in a world in which people of all genders are fully engaged as equal partners in their families, workplaces and communities. Based on international human rights standards and best practices, IFES promotes political participation, justice and equal rights around the world. IFES reflects these values in its programming and workplace culture.

The Senior Gender Advisor will be expected to supervise/and or mentor gender-focused staff and provide strategic vision and leadership for IFES in: outreach and partnerships; technical advancement and innovation; technical assistance quality assurance; business development and program design.

Job Responsibilities:  Outreach and partnerships: Establish and maintain working relationships with external stakeholders, including multi-lateral organizations, donors, the private sector, academia, policymakers, CSOs and international NGOs, foundations, and the legal and scholarly communities. Actively maintain relationships with USAID, the Department of State, and other donor and policy contacts, as relevant to the gender portfolio. Represent IFES as the lead external contact on the subject. Maintain and enhance academic and institutional connections and partnerships. 

Technical advancement and innovation: Work with colleagues across the organization to identify and conduct innovative research and tool development to ensure IFES programming maintains a competitive edge in our community of practice. Develop new tools and resources for programming on gender topics. Conduct trainings for IFES staff on international best practices, emerging trends, IFES tools and good practices in the gender sphere. Lead and/or participate in rigorous assessments related to gender and political participation, violence against women in elections, and other relevant topic areas

Technical assistance quality assuranceConduct direct technical assistance in country programs and provide advice on and oversee of the work of technical consultants. In consultation with regional experts, provide ongoing advice and recommendations for program activities and conduct program reviews, as necessary. 

Business development and program design: Provide advice and recommendations to business development strategy discussions and execution. Maintain understanding of competitor approaches and donor priorities related to gender and democracy. Contribute to and review IFES’ program design efforts, including proposals, concept notes and options papers, and lead the development of topic-specific proposals, in consultation with regional experts.


EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in a related field is required. Master’s degree is preferred. 

EXPERIENCE: At least 10 years’ relevant experience in international development or related field. At least 8 years of progressive professional experience in the work of gender equality and women’s empowerment across different regional settings. 

RELATED SKILLS & KNOWLEDGE: The successful candidate will be a passionate, driven, and talented multi-tasker who relishes working with a variety of stakeholders to achieve common objectives. Competitive candidates will have demonstrated experience in gender equality and women’s empowerment programming, in particular in the democracy and governance sphere and in complex or high-risk environments. Experience in researching, analyzing and/or implementing strategies to include LGBTI people in political life is a plus. Candidates should be familiar with the international donor community and should have experience with a range of stakeholders, from civil society advocates and reformers to policymakers and donors. Knowledge and experience with USAID grant and non-US grants and contract proposals, regulations, and procedures is preferred. Experience mentoring and managing teams is also preferred. 

LANGUAGE SKILLS: English required. Proficiency in French, Spanish, or Arabic language is a plus. 

TRAVEL: Travel is required up to 30 percent of time.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS/WORK ENVIRONMENT: Standard office work environment with some field travel. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

“All qualified applicants/employees will receive consideration for employment/promotions and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic. 

IFES takes affirmative action with respect to the employment and promotion of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. IFES will also take affirmative action on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Application instructions

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