Program Officer, Southeast Asia Program

Work Location: Washington, DC - US
Requisition Number: 1179
# of Openings: 1


Freedom House is a non-partisan, non-governmental organization that monitors, strengthens, and defends human rights and democracy worldwide and in the US through programs that support civic activists, research, and advocacy. We are seeking to add a Program Officer to our Asia team to support the startup and implementation of a major new program initiative in Southeast Asia.

This is an opportunity for a rising international development professional with an interest in supporting human rights and democracy in Southeast Asia to make their mark on a major program initiative at its inception. The Program Officer will spend most of his/her time supporting the startup and implementation of a new program in Southeast Asia that promises to be exceptionally complex, challenging and dynamic.  The Program Officer will be a key member of a program management team co-located in Washington, DC and Southeast Asia and will play a critical role in ensuring the smooth and timely startup of the program.  S/he will play a central role in ensuring effective communication and coordination within FH’s Washington office and its field office, among FH’s partners and between FH and other key stakeholders. The Program Officer will report to the Director for Asia Programs and/or a Senior Program Manager. 

This position is based in Washington, DC, though it will be remote through at least January 2022 due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities


  • Help to develop detailed and actionable plans for program startup
  • Lead or contribute to advancing multiple aspects of program startup
  • Develop and maintain systems for tracking key tasks required for startup
  • Develop and operationalize systems for communication and information sharing within FH, with program partners and with other key stakeholders
  • Lead or contribute to, and track, personnel recruitment and hiring
  • Lead or contribute to workplan development, preparation of subawards and contracts, and developing and implementing program activities      
  • Liaise closely with FH’s grants and compliance team to establish and maintain efficient and expeditious processes  
  • Oversee the planning for and preparation of quarterly and other reports
  • Track and analyze budgets for accuracy, prepare spending projections and forecasts, and propose corrective action when necessary
  • Lead or contribute to program monitoring and evaluation processes
  • Liaise with other Freedom House teams (including Emergency Assistance Programs, Communications and Advocacy and Research) to optimize communication and collaboration
  • Represent Freedom House at meetings and events with donors, peer organizations, international partners, government officials, and other external stakeholders
  • Contribute to the development of Freedom House’s other Asia-related programs
  • Supervise junior DC-based project staff
  • Travel to overseas locations to participate in or oversee project activities (less than 15% of time).
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Key Qualifications


  • At least four years of relevant program management experience, preferably with a U.S. organization
  • At least two years of experience working on programs for which US government procurement processes and compliance regulations applied
  • A demonstrated ability to work effectively and collegially in a complex, fluid and at time highly challenging work environment
  • A demonstrated ability to set up and monitor workplans and other systems to plan and track key aspects of program startup and implementation 
  • A demonstrated ability to develop and track multi-year budgets, perform financial analysis using spreadsheets, and utilize findings for effective budget management
  • Very strong verbal and written communication skills and a demonstrated ability to plan, write and edit high-quality quarterly and other reports
  • Bachelor’s degree in international affairs, public management, political science, Asian studies or a related field.  Master’s degree strongly preferred.


Other desirable attributes


  • Experience supporting the startup of a new program and/or new field office
  • Experience working with and supporting an overseas field office
  • Experience working in and/or on Southeast Asia
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and discretion when communicating with donors, partners and other stakeholders
  • Knowledge of human rights principles and mechanisms and up-to-date understanding of the current socio-political landscape and its implications on the prospects for democracy in Southeast Asia
  • Commitment to the greater goals of the team and ability to contribute constructively to joint tasks despite competing priorities.
  • At least one year of experience supervising more junior staff.

Additional Information

Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit a resume and cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position.

Physical Requirements: Sedentary, regularly required to sit for extended periods of time. Constantly talk, hear, and understand speech at normal levels using a telephone. Occasionally required to stand, walk, and bend over; reach overhead; use hands, wrists, and fingers to grasp, push, pull, move, handle, feel, and type. Constantly required to use close vision and distance vision for regular computer work. Occasionally required to lift and/or move up to 25 lbs. to waist height.

General Working Conditions: General working office environment. Some long hours, including evenings and/or weekends as reasonable, to complete essential tasks or attend important events and to be responsive in a timely manner to emergency assistance requests. Travel to event and meeting sites. Exposed to outside weather conditions when required to attend event venues or travel. Please note that, due to COVID-19 related restrictions, this will be a remote position through at least January 2022.

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. Read more about the application process and search answers to common questions here. Freedom House offers competitive compensation and a comprehensive benefits package including health and wellness benefits, retirement, and professional development.

Interested in learning more about our current work?   Keep up with us on social media: Twitter @FreedomHouse, Facebook at FreedomHouseDC.

Qualified and Interested Applicants:

Only candidates who have been selected for an interview will be contacted.

Only candidates authorized to work in the U.S. without any restrictions need apply.


Diversity makes our work stronger. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

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