Program Manager: Asia-Pacific
The Asia-Pacific's democracy landscape is diverse and dynamic. Political transitions and economic shifts are testing the resilience of the region's more established democracies and pushing more fragile republics towards regression. Democratic political institutions are finding it more challenging to address rapid social change and corresponding citizen needs, counter polarization, and manage political conflict. New technologies and social media are enabling inclusive participation and greater transparency as well as empowering disinformation. Authoritarianism has increasingly sought ways to degrade democratic culture by suppressing activism and independent thought, restricting political development and undermining democratic norms. Through these changing dynamics and for over three decades, NDI has worked in partnership with women activists, youth leaders, civil society groups, political networks, parliaments and government bodies across the Asia-Pacific region to address these challenges.
To support these efforts, NDI is seeking candidates for a Program Manager position to plan, design, implement, and manage programs across the Asia-Pacific region. NDI's Asia-Pacific team consists of a number of sub-teams working on various portfolios (South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific Islands). For this role, the Asia-Pacific team is seeking a full-time generalist at the Program Manager level with the interest and ability to work across any of these portfolios. The Program Manager would need to pivot from one portfolio or set of assigned tasks to another on an as needed basis and will be directly managed by Asia-Pacific team leadership to address pressing team-wide needs.
At any one time, the Program Manager could be responsible for the following accountabilities:
- Serve as a resource and provide general guidance to Project Assistants, Program Associates, and Program Officers on programmatic procedures, tasks and assignments.
- Lead the development of detailed work plans to ensure achievement of assigned program(s) objective(s) and expected outcomes, including the establishment of actions to be taken, the required resources (time, funding, staffing, etc.), a schedule/timeline for the actions required, and specific measures/metrics for evaluation at completion.
- Conduct all aspects of program management, ensuring the effective and efficient execution of the established program work plans, including established actions, outcomes, and timelines. Monitor progress, identify problems and barriers and make recommendations to management for necessary adjustments to ensure successful, quality outcomes.
- Facilitate collaboration with teams to coordinate programmatic activities, including the development of program concepts and content for proposals, ensuring alignment with broader institutional strategies and approaches. Identify, document, and share feedback regarding successful processes/programs, as well as areas where improvements can be made for the establishment/execution of future programs.
- Conduct relevant analysis to determine potential impacts of programmatic work related to program-specific initiatives, plans, and/or problems, as well as review of data and metrics associated with program progress. Draw conclusions and present findings in a concise and understandable manner with related recommendations for any proposed actions to be taken.
- Draft, or review/edit drafts prepared by Program Associates and/or Program Officers, related to assigned communications such as board memos, briefing memos, reports or portions thereof, work plans, proposals, and presentations, ensuring proper and accurate formatting, spelling, and grammar usage as well as inclusion of required content, and finalizes for submission.
- Manage and monitor budgets, grants and expenditures for assigned programs, with particular focus on those with greater complexity, e.g. involving multiple grants, teams, and field offices. Maintain budget-related notes/documentation and ensure completion of reconciliations and proper application of allowable costs according to restrictions, structures, and established mechanisms/processes. Work to ensure adherence to budget limitations and anticipate/address overages, implementing solutions to budget variances with input/agreement from higher-level team members as necessary. Provide guidance to lower level staff related to budget preparation, tracking, and reconciliations.
- Establish, foster and maintain relationships with field staff, funding agency representatives, and overseas partners to ensure successful program implementation and execution and to articulate new funding proposals and concepts. Brief and/or collaborate to provide briefings to specific country political, civic and business leaders, donor organizations and members of the international community about NDI activities and positively influence and gain needed action for programmatic success.
- Serve as the point-of-contact with funding agencies for assigned programs, and interact regularly with relevant field offices to support programmatic work and allow for the monitoring and measurement of progress against plans and timing/preparations for required assessments. Act as a liaison with selected members of NGO, funding and Washington policymaking communities, as required, and negotiate with key program contacts, political leaders, donors and others to obtain relevant funding and establish program parameters and deliverables.
- Provide support for local and regional program conferences, workshops and meetings, leading the organization of cross-functional workshops as required. Represent NDI at selected external events/meetings to assist with NDI's public outreach.
- Conduct onsite field visits to facilitate/leverage programmatic work through actions such as organizing and/or conducting assessments (e.g. political, new opportunities, adherence to plans, etc.), developing assistance programs, and implementing and/or delivering training programs. Organize delegations abroad, as required.
- Ensure appropriate implementation of field office policies and handbooks and provide guidance on the interpretation and application of policies and requirements.
- Establish and maintain a network of potential international training resources, volunteers, and field representatives and engage/select those appropriate to meet specific needs.
- Adhere to NDI's organizational values, standards of conduct, policies and processes, and any other established expectations for NDI employees, including those related to performance, i.e. goals and position description accountabilities/responsibilities such as those presented herein.
Peripheral Accountabilities/Responsibilities (Non-essential)
- Support onboarding and training for Project Assistants, Program Associates and Program Officers, as required. Participate in interview processes, as needed.
- Act as a back-up for other team members as needed.
- Participate in cross-functional initiatives as needed.
- Actively seek and engage in professional development opportunities to enhance knowledge in project/program management, and maintain a general working knowledge of relevant program trends and issues occurring external to NDI.
- Perform other duties as required.
- Incumbent operates under general direction, works in accordance with established procedures and objectives.
- Incumbent serves as a resource and provides guidance to lower level staff.
- Incumbent regularly interacts with staff at all levels within NDI.
- Incumbent regularly interacts with NDI partners, funders, and other stakeholders, including international development organizations, civic organizations, NDI''s network of volunteers, trainers, and experts, political leaders and other key program contacts.
- Bachelor's degree, preferably in International Relations, International Development, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology, Journalism or a related field, or equivalent experience. Graduate degree in a similar discipline preferred.
- Five years of relevant work experience in international development, community organizing, political campaigns, legislative affairs, or a similar field, including experience in program strategy and design. An advanced degree or work towards one in a relevant discipline may be substituted for required years of experience on a one-for-one basis.
- Prior relevant international field work experience performed in-country is highly desired.
- Advanced knowledge and competence in one or more of NDI's international development disciplines, e.g. political campaigns, elections, community organizing, technology innovation, etc.
- Knowledge of budget development/management and accounting processes along with math skills and the ability to perform accurate calculations and understand quantitative information.
- Strong analytical and judgment skills for identifying problems, drawing conclusions, determining options for resolution, and recommending next steps.
- Negotiation skills and the ability to be innovative and creative in finding ways to resolve issues and secure necessary support and resources for achieving programmatic goals.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to interact effectively and diplomatically with individuals at all levels of the organization, as well as externally both domestically and internationally with NDI partners, funders, and other stakeholders, as well as with U.S. and foreign government personnel.
- Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and project a professional image when giving and taking information in writing, in person, and through various communication media. The ability to present to varying sized audiences in a manner that influences and drives understanding is highly desired.
- An attention-to-detail, with a propensity to complete work accurately and with a focus on quality.
- Action-oriented with a high level of initiative and an advanced level of proficiency in the ability to multi-task and prioritize; manage time, perform project management, problem-solving, and organizational skills; and flexibility to adapt and respond to shifting priorities.
- Capacity to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team.
- Ability to apply discretion and maintain confidential information.
- Ability to travel internationally.
- Proficiency in Google Suite tools preferred. Basic database skills are desired.
This position generally is performed in an office environment and may be suitable for partial telework.
Occasional evening and weekend work may be required, as well as attendance at external events.
Some international travel is required in this role, approximately 10% to NDI field locations. These locations often are in remote locations and may require significant time and varying modes of travel. Designated locations also may at times be considered less secure and with greater risk to NDI employees.
- Sitting/mobility—to work at a desk and move around work areas.
- Speaking/hearing—to engage orally in conversation with others and conduct presentations.
- Seeing—to effectively use a computer screen and for reading and interpreting printed materials, memos and other paperwork.
- Reaching/handling—to input information into computer systems and retrieve and work with appropriate paperwork, equipment and supplies.
The physical demands and work environment that have been described are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. NDI encourages applicants with disabilities to apply.
To comply with tax and legal obligations, all candidates for DC-based positions must reside in Maryland, DC or Virginia. While there may be flexibility for remote/hybrid work environments, candidates must be residents of MD, DC or VA or relocate prior to the start of employment at NDI.
This is a union position to be represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2.
Candidates must be legally eligible to work in the U.S. NDI does not provide sponsorship.
NDI is an equal opportunity employer (EOE). As such, NDI makes employment decisions and provides equal employment opportunity without regard to an applicant's or employee's race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other basis protected by federal, state and local laws. If you need reasonable accommodation in the application or hiring process, please notify NDI's Human Resources department.