Senior Program Officer (Western Hemisphere - Youth Exchange Unit)

World Learning
  • Location
    Vermont, Remote or , D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Jan 24

Position description

World Learning seeks a Senior Program Officer to play a vital role on the Youth Exchange programs team in the acquisition, management, and design of programs for students and adult mentors from across the Western Hemisphere. These exchanges are based in the United States and focus on civic education, community service, and youth leadership development with students from the Western Hemisphere. The Senior Program Officer will provide grant oversight and program management, along with staff supervision, coaching and management. This position will be part of our Global Programs unit which designs, implements, monitors and evaluates global development and exchange programs. We work with various donors, including the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, to achieve immediate impact and sustainable outcomes. Consistent with our organization's status as both a global non-profit and accredited institution of higher education, we prioritize experiential programs that are grounded in theory, proven in practice, and that uplift diverse voices.


People and Team Management

  • Provide leadership and management to Youth Exchange program staff.
  • In collaboration with the Director, determine key staffing assignments for program portfolios.
  • Manage and mentor program staff through the following:
    • Coaching and supervising staff through regular oversight of job and program related responsibilities.
    • Mentoring staff year-round by modeling and encouraging appropriate work/life balance and supporting strong time management.
    • Collaborate with team Director to support staff professional development and learning within their roles and responsibilities, through trainings and other opportunities as identified.
    • Lead performance management process and conduct regular pause and reflect and annual performance evaluations.
  • Oversee hiring decisions for the program team, work with HR as well as coordinate onboarding, with oversight from the Director.
  • Work closely with other Senior Program Officers to coordinate cross-team collaborations, programmatic alignments, and shared projects across the Youth Exchange program portfolio.
  • Organize and lead program staff meetings and retreats as needs are identified.
  • Support Director in the management and communications of the Youth Ambassadors Consortium partners - currently including Georgetown University and Amigos de las Américas.
  • Manage global staff as assigned.
  • Support Director and Program Officers with funder communications for current and future portfolios. This includes being included on communications and stepping in on higher level matters as needed.

Program Management & Oversight

  • Provide overall management and oversight of Western Hemisphere program portfolio.
  • Maintain working knowledge of current issues, risks, and emerging trends in portfolio regions, while encouraging program staff to be fully immersed in regional understanding.
  • Serve as primary liaison, or co-lead with Director or Program Officers, with State Department and Embassy officials to meet expectations and deliver communications in a timely manner.
  • Support Director in managing key communications with ECA for the Youth Ambassadors Consortium.
  • Work closely with the Director to develop work plans for each program portfolio, collaborating with staff as needed.
  • Provide oversight of programmatic aspects of exchanges through regular communication with program implementation teams. This may include on-the-ground support of program preparation and implementation days, and backstopping Program Officers as necessary or assigned.
  • Support the creation and delivery of virtual programming elements where assigned.
  • Establish consistent processes and procedures across programs and ensure compliance by program staff with established protocols.
  • Overs and inspire key programmatic innovations.
  • Manage the preparation and timely submission of high-quality reports to the State Department and other donors.
  • Implement and inform the overall monitoring and evaluation strategy across portfolios; identifying cross-cutting trends and key takeaways to inform future policy and implementation practices.
  • Work collaboratively with Director on Youth Ambassadors Consortium deliverables (including but not limited to: capacity building training for partners, reoccurring consortium meetings, YA implementation handbook, etc.) where assigned.
  • Attend and fully engage in the delivery of staff training (ST), including:
    • contributing to workshop design (prior to ST),
    • session facilitation and content delivery (during ST),
    • administration of staff training - sweeping, setting up classrooms, supply runs, etc. as assigned.
  • Maintain a thorough understanding of all policies and procedures as laid out in the Youth Exchange Team Handbook (updated annually).
  • Review, edit, and create content for the Youth Exchange handbook as assigned.
  • Serve as on-call and risk management support year-round when assigned - this includes occasional nighttime and weekend shifts.
  • Take part in site visits as appropriate.

Budgeting and Financial

  • Conduct budget oversight for programs through regular review and updating of budget trackers, check-ins with
  • Program Officers, and support from Director - and in coordination with Finance Officers.
  • Work closely with Program Officers to creatively manage budget line-item overages, while maintaining close tracking and documentation and updating Director as needed.
  • Responsible for personal program advances and advance reconciliation.
  • Responsible for monthly reconciliation of credit card.
  • Support the development of grant proposal budgets.

Business and Organizational Development

  • Liaise with operational units at World learning such as Marketing and Communications (MARCOM), Business
  • Development (BDU), Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL), Finance, etc.
  • Contribute to organization's business development targets through ongoing program implementation, funder relationship building, and through other means as directed.
  • Play lead role in proposal design and budget development for grant bidding and renewal, attending trainings for a better understanding of the business development process, and
  • Other duties as assigned.


Required Experience/Education:

  • A Bachelor's Degree or equivalent experience is required.
  • A Master's degree in a related field is valued.
  • At least 6 year(s) of related work experience is required.
  • International or cross-cultural experience is appreciated.
  • Experience with youth programming and understanding of experiential education and youth empowerment pedagogies is valued.
  • Familiarity with US Government procurement policies and grant management is a plus.
  • Experience with monitoring and evaluation of projects.
  • Applicants must be authorized to work in the location where this position is offered.

Required Skills:

  • Demonstrated people and project management proficiency.
  • Demonstrated experience organizing logistics for travel and events.
  • Experience with international travel a plus.
  • Ability to adapt to change and make decisions in ambiguous situations.
  • Experience implementing U.S. Department of State-funded exchange programs is valued.
  • Experience and understanding of proposal development, project design, grant management, and budgeting.
  • Spanish or Portuguese language proficiency is a plus.

Required Behaviors/Competencies:

  • Collaborative and resourceful team player.
  • Supports a culture of continuous learning and improvement through diligent program monitoring, data tracking, and reflection to ensure strong outcomes.
  • Displays curiosity about World Learning and is eager to represent the organization effectively to external audiences, as required.
  • Shows dedication to the organization's business development targets through ongoing program implementation and relationship building.
  • Committed to promoting diverse, equitable, and inclusive practices in program implementation and monitoring, and willing to challenge exclusionary practices.
  • Willingness to work outside of regular business hours as needed during program season.


Application instructions

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