Senior Program Officer, Syria Program

Near East Foundation
  • Location
    Syracuse, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 10

Position description

The Near East Foundation (NEF) is seeking candidates for a Senior Program Officer to be based in its Syracuse, NY HQ office. For over 100 years, NEF has worked to build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East, Caucasus, and Africa through education, governance, and economic development initiatives. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF has operations in ten countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. Its programs are organized around three themes: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding.

The Syria Program builds on NEF’s innovative approaches to microfinance, value chain development, and agricultural recovery in North East and North West Syria. The program has grown significantly since 2017 in partnership with major institutional donors.

Position Description

NEF is seeking a dynamic and experienced individual to serve as Senior Program Officer (SPO) to support the Syria Program. The SPO will primarily provide overall coordination of HQ support to field teams to facilitate timely, effective, and impactful project implementation and growth.

The SPO will work directly with NEF’s Regional Team in Amman, Jordan, to support the effective delivery and programmatic excellence of NEF projects. They will serve as the primary headquarters (HQ) point of contact for a portfolio of projects and will provide coordination and support across contract management and multiple program support functions. The SPO will work under the supervision of the Program Manager and in close collaboration with NEF Headquarters and field teams.


Specific responsibilities include:

Contract Management, Coordination and Capacity Building (75%)

  • Manage the development and submission of weekly updates and progress reports, and serve as internal and external focal point for designated grants/contracts;
  • Track project progress and mobilize management support to ensure high-quality and timely implementation and monitoring of project activities; facilitate adaptive management;
  • Coordinate on a regular basis with field project management, convening HQ technical, MEL, compliance, communications, finance, and risk management support as needed;
  • Ensure compliance with agreements, regulations and requirements attached to NEF programs (including donor compliance requirements) and internal quality standards;
  • Conduct periodic visits to field teams to monitor and support project implementation;
  • Identify and advocate for professional development and capacity building needs and opportunities for local teams;
  • Provide timely inputs for fundraising and communication needs;
  • Identify, track and manage operational, economic and environmental risks for NEF projects;
  • Design and manage project-specific consultancies, such as evaluations and learning studies; assist in ToR development, recruitment and management of consultants;
  • Contribute to MEL processes and coordinate with MEL staff to ensure excellence across project cycles;
  • Coordinate with Program staff to mobilize technical support for project design, implementation and learning;
  • Coordinate budget management processes on assigned projects.

Program Development (20%)

  • Coordinate and develop business development products (including highlights and lowlights; learning documents; fact sheets; and in-depth reviews); technical innovation processes; pipeline growth and business capture.
  • Contribute to the conceptualisation and preparation of funding proposals for institutional donors.

External Representation (5%)

  • Represent NEF in external meetings and other fora.

Ad Hoc Support

  • Other project management and representational needs as needed.



The successful candidate will have the following qualification and experience:

  • A university degree in a relevant subject;
  • At least four years of demonstrated experience in development and/or humanitarian organisations;
  • At least two years of demonstrated experience and effectiveness in project management and knowledge of project management tools and systems, including MEL policies, processes, tools and capacities;
  • Demonstrated interest and familiarity in microfinance, economic development, or private sector development programming;
  • At least two yeas of demonstrated experience and effectiveness in project management and knowledge of project management tools and systems;
  • Previous field experience in one or more countries in an NEF region of interest; demonstrated understanding of the Syria context and operating environment;
  • Ability to deliver while navigating complex political environments;
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with a diversity of stakeholders;
  • Experience in (or understanding of) effective risk management;
  • Outstanding spoken and written English;
  • All interested applicants must be authorized to work in the UK or US at the time of application.

Additional Desired Qualifications

  • Experience in market systems or labour activation programming in fragile settings;
  • Experience in refugee/IDP livelihoods programming;
  • Experience in innovate finance programming;
  • Experience and success with proposal development and fundraising for NGOs;
  • Previous experience working on Syria programming; understanding of context and operating environment;
  • Arabic language skills is a plus.

Position Criteria

  • Strong communication skills, with excellent written and spoken English;
  • Ability to swiftly process large amounts of information, identifying action items and priorities for support and escalation;
  • Ability and willingness to travel to field sites (excluding Syria);
  • Ability to cultivate strong working relationships with colleagues and stakeholders across a wide variety of cultural contexts;
  • Ability to communicate with colleagues and partners remotely;
  • Understanding of effective and values-based partnership work;
  • Ability to think creatively and maintain a positive solution-oriented approach in high-pressure contexts.

Application instructions

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