Program Officer -- DemTech (Multiple Positions)

National Democratic Institute
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    May 24

Position description

Job Function: Washington DC
Department: Democracy & Technology
Location: Washington, DC

Program Officer -- Democracy & Technology (Multiple Positions)

Position Summary

NDI's Democracy and Technology (DemTech) team is seeking a Program Officer in our Washington, DC office who is passionate about improving the global impact of the internet on democracy and politics. Depending on experience, the Program Officer may support one or more programs focusing on topics such as promoting an open and democratic internet (building advocacy skills, policy research, internet freedom issues), building NDI partner resilience to digital security threats, and researching emerging technology trends. The Program Officer will help guide the development and implementation of DemTech's programming across NDI, work directly with partners around the globe, and engage with peer organizations, major technology platforms and standard-setting bodies.

Essential Accountabilities

  • Serve as a resource and provide general guidance to Project Assistants and Program Associates on basic programmatic procedures and tasks.
  • Contribute to 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.
  • Execute required components of established program plans, and perform programmatic assignments in accordance with established expectations and timelines. Monitor progress, identifying problems and barriers and making recommendations to management for necessary adjustments to ensure successful, quality outcomes.
  • Collaborate with team leadership, other team members, and as required across other teams in the development of program concepts and content for proposals, ensuring alignment with broader institutional strategies and approaches. Support the identification and documentation of 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 assigned communications in adherence to specific guidance and substance direction, to include board memos, briefing memos, reports (e.g. quarterly) or portions thereof, work plans, proposals, and presentations ensuring proper and accurate formatting, spelling, and grammar usage as well as inclusion of required content. Review/edit related drafts prepared by Program Associates and Project Assistants, as required.
  • Create and monitor budgets, grants and expenditures for assigned programs, with particular focus on those for larger or complex programs covering multiple 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. Implement and manage all aspects of subgrants.
  • 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 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.
  • Provide support for local and regional program conferences, workshops and meetings and organize, as required, cross-functional workshops. Attend and/or represent NDI at selected external events/meetings.
  • 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.
  • Establish relationships and maintain a network of potential international training resources, volunteers, and field representatives.
  • 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 and Program Associates as required. Participate in interview processes, as needed.
  • Act as a back-up to other team members as needed.
  • Participate on cross-functional teams and 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 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.

Required Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree, preferably in International Relations, Political Science, Computer Science, or a related field, or equivalent experience.
  • An advanced degree or work towards one in a relevant discipline is a plus.


  • Three years of relevant work experience in international development, community organizing and management, political campaigns, digital security, communications and social media management, project coordination or operations, or related technology fields. International democracy, political, governmental or activist experience is a bonus.
  • Internships in one or more of these listed areas also may count as relevant work experience. 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 and/or completion of one or more semesters of education abroad is highly desired.

Language- Reading, Written, and Oral/Spoken

  • None


  • Experience working on or leading digital development initiatives, such as developing digital strategies, and implementing digital solutions meeting the needs of various stakeholders at multiple levels (individuals, organizations, governments, etc.)
  • Demonstrated understanding of the application of technology to human rights, freedom of expression, and privacy issues, including a technical knowledge of basic information security tools and approaches.
  • Experience developing and delivering training and/or presentations, taking into account different cultural and linguistic contexts.
  • Experience designing and implementing programs and interventions for women and marginalized communities in the digital space.
  • Knowledge of basic 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.
  • Strong 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.
  • 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 multitask 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 Microsoft Office to include Word, Excel and PowerPoint; knowledge of/proficiency in Google Suite tools preferred. Basic database skills are desired.
  • Fluency in a foreign language is beneficial, but not required.

Certifications/Licenses (desired)

  • None required.

Work Environment

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 country offices or other international locations. These locations are often remote, 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.

Physical Requirements

  • 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.

ADA Notation:

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.

Comments :

While there may be flexibility for remote/hybrid work environments and to comply with tax and legal obligations, successful 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.

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