Program Director -- Eurasia

National Democratic Institute
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 25

Position description

Job Function: Washington DC
Department: Eurasia
Location: Washington, DC

Program Director -- Eurasia

Position Summary

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) seeks a Program Director to join its Eurasia team. This full-time role is responsible for leading and overseeing all current programming in two countries or regional programs in Eurasia. The Program Director will contribute at a senior level to program planning, oversight of program implementation including budget development and oversight, and ensuring quality control of programs and written products. S/he will manage junior staff teams and report to the regional deputy director.

Essential Accountabilities/Responsibilities

  • Leads day-to-day management of all programs, in at least two countries or one country and a Eurasia regional program, each with multiple grants
  • Leads team in conceptualizing and drafting proposals, together with field directors, and Eurasia monitoring and evaluation team lead.
  • Develops and maintains collaborative external relationships with international democratic development organizations, civic organizations in the U.S. and the region, national and international news organizations, political party networks and partners, and NDI's network of volunteer trainers and experts.
  • Responsible for the development and oversight of budgets under all grants in assigned countries, working with staff to provide a full, accurate and timely accounting of all funds.
  • Provides guidance to field directors on NDI and donor policies and procedures.
  • Monitors political events in the assigned regional department.
  • Serves as senior-level NDI representative at local and international conferences and meetings and assists with NDI's public outreach.
  • Leads and supervises staff in documenting program progress and achievements, ensuring quality control of written quarterly and semi-annual reports; provides final edits on generated documents.
  • Travels to assigned countries to assess political development, new opportunities and evaluates current programs; serves as "Resident Director" in absence of established office or staff.
  • Collaborates with the regional director, deputy director and country directors on fundraising initiatives.
  • Manages subordinates including conducting yearly performance reviews, conducting interviews and making recommendations to director/deputy on hiring.
  • Oversees the inputs and updating of a series of programmatic trackers.

Peripheral Accountabilities/Responsibilities (Non-essential)

  • Manage, as well as support onboarding and training of Project Assistants, Program Associates, Program Officers and Program Managers, and participate in the recruitment process for those positions by reviewing resumes and recommending candidates for consideration/interviews
  • 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
  • Maintain a general working knowledge of relevant program trends and issues occurring external to NDI
  • Lead a bureau-wide initiative.
  • Perform other duties as required


  • Operate under general direction, plans or coordinates work in accordance with established objectives
  • Interact with NDI partners, funders and other key program contacts
  • Interact regularly with staff at all levels within NDI
  • Serve as a resource and provide guidance to lower-level staff
  • 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

Supervisory Responsibility

  • This position manages direct reports in both Washington, DC and liaises with staff in the assigned region.


  • Bachelor's Degree, preferably in International Relations or related subject; graduate degree desired.


  • A minimum of 12 years relevant work experience in international development, community organizing, political campaigns, organizational development, legislative affairs, or impressive experience at NDI. Additional years of relevant work experience may be substituted for educational requirement on a one-for-one basis

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Extensive experience overseeing large grants or handling multiple programs or countries
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively interact with all levels of staff, U.S. and foreign government personnel, members of donor organizations, funders, and policy makers
  • Exceptional skills for analyzing complex program and political issues and to think innovatively and introduce new concepts
  • Superior oral and written communication skills.
  • Clear and persuasive and experienced in editing of written materials -
  • Proven ability to write proposals
  • Ability to establish network of significant contacts and political leaders
  • Prior demonstrated management and leadership experience with the capability of leading, inspiring and motivating staff to carry out NDI's objectives
  • Working knowledge of PC-based word processing and spreadsheet applications
  • Experience managing budget planning and overseeing budget related tasks, including financial forecasting
  • Ability and willingness to travel to regional locations, which are often remote and difficult to reach.


  • Experience as a political practitioner working with civil society groups, political parties or government in developed democracy.
  • Experience in the Eurasia region.
  • Experience in programming to counter disinformation.

Certification/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 for this role, approximately 15 %, to NDI field locations in order to facilitate work at the country level. These locations often are in remote locations and may require significant time and varying modes of travel. Designated locations 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.


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.

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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