Senior Program Officer, National Security Language Initiative for Youth, Administration & Placement

American Council
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Nov 05

Position description

NSLI-Y is a critical component of a multi-agency federal initiative to increase U.S. citizens’ capacity to engage foreign governments and peoples through the critical language of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. NSLI-Y is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and American Councils acts as the prime grantee collaborating with other partner organizations. NSLI-Y provides merit-based scholarships for eligible U.S. high schools students to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. To learn more about the program, please visit the NSLI for Youth website at


Based in Washington, DC, the Senior Program Officer position supports the implementation and daily operations of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program. Responsibilities focus on program administration and student support management.  The NSLI-Y Senior Program Officer will report to the NSLI-Y Program Manager for Placement and Senior Program Manager for Administration. This position splits time between the NSLI-Y Administration and Placement Departments.  


Position Responsibilities

  • Supports NSLI-Y Program Managers in daily administration and implementation of the NSLI-Y overseas summer and academic year programs;
  • Provides pre- and on-program support for participants, partners, and Resident Director staff as needed, including responding to medical issues or emergencies outside of business hours, and working across international time zones; 
  • Manages and resolves on-program support cases, including ensuring compliance with program policies and reporting requirements;
  • Develops, designs, and organizes training sessions, events, and materials for partners, staff, teachers, and students;
  • Advises participants and families on a variety of language learning, cultural, adjustment and logistical issues in preparation for and during the program; 
  • Supports student or grantee selection activities as needed; 
  • Supports sponsor relationship through communication, coordination, and reporting with U.S. Department of State;  
  • Contributes to program development and management in coordination with NSLI-Y Program Managers; 
  • Supports recruitment, hiring, and training of program staff, including supervision of interns or other staff; 
  • Travel occasionally domestically and internationally to conduct site visits, provide student support, and/or assist with student travel; and 
  • Additional duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Education, Area Studies, language or a related field; Master’s degree strongly preferred;
  • Demonstrated progressive professional experience in advising on or familiarity with a wide range of issues common to study abroad/the exchange experience;
  • Demonstrated skills facilitating positive interpersonal relationships and conflict resolution among students;
  • Experience working with high school students and building relationships with diverse audiences and stakeholders;
  • Excellent English written and oral communication skills;
  • Ability to effectively and professionally communicate across cultures, audiences, and time zones;
  • Demonstrated record of problem-solving skills, good judgment, and discretion; 
  • Willingness to work in an on-call capacity outside of normal business hours as needed;
  • Demonstrated skills in general financial accountability;
  • Familiarity with U.S. government grant requirements preferred; 
  • Preference for study, work, or extensive travel experience in NSLI-Y host countries; and 
  • Minimum of 5+ years working in international education or related field;

Application instructions

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