Senior Program Associate

Work Location: Washington, DC - US
Requisition Number: 1263
# of Openings: 1



Freedom House is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to create a world where all are free.  We inform the world about threats to freedom, mobilize global action, and support democracy’s defenders, especially those working in closed authoritarian societies. We are founded on the core conviction that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where governments are accountable to their people; the rule of law prevails, and freedoms are guaranteed.  Established 80 years ago to respond to the threats posed by fascism, we know there is no more powerful force for the development of human society than democracy. As the world experiences the 15th year of consecutive democratic decline, our work—and our partners carrying it out around the world—have never mattered more. 


Freedom House is seeking to add a new member to our diverse and qualified Human Rights Support Mechanism (HRSM) team to support a five-year Asia Religious and Ethnic Freedom (Asia REF) award from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (50% time). The position will also support the entire HRSM team in award management, closeout, and learning activities (50% time.)

This position is an outstanding opportunity for an early-career professional in international program management aiming to further develop skills by contributing to an innovative new program at a leading democracy and human rights organization. The Senior Program Associate (SPA) will provide programmatic and administrative support to a robust portfolio of HRSM projects and will work in collaboration with other members of the HRSM team and HRSM consortium members (ABA ROLI, Internews, Pact, and Search for Common Ground). The SPA will also support the Asia REF award at 50 percent of their time. The Asia REF award was designed through co-creation with USAID and the HRSM consortium partners and will require a high degree of collaboration, learning, and adaptation.

Freedom House seeks organized, detail-oriented candidates who have experience in tracking processes and providing support to dynamic teams under time-sensitive conditions. This non-exempt position is based in Washington, DC (temporarily remote due to COVID-19 restrictions) and reports to the HRSM Program Manager.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

The successful candidate will be a part of the HRSM team, supervised by the HRSM Program Manager but working closely with a Senior Program Officer, Senior MEL Specialist, and Senior Finance Officer, as well as the HRSM Asia REF Senior Program Officer. All duties and responsibilities under the HRSM section below might also be duties and responsibilities for the Asia REF award but are not duplicated in this job description.


  • Provide programmatic and administrative support for HRSM projects and program staff,  including but not limited to scheduling meetings with internal and external stakeholders; filing documents to remain in compliance with USAID requirements; budget tracking and forecasting to ensure compliant spending; tracking program progress; assisting with drafting contracts and sub-agreements; supporting the preparation of high-quality narrative quarterly, final, and ad-hoc project reports, including compiling data from across all awards;  reconciling credit card statements; handling travel logistics, and taking notes at meetings.
  • Closely coordinate with HRSM consortium partners and Freedom House regional divisions.
  • Support the development and implementation of the overall multi-year strategy for the portfolio in collaboration with the HRSM Technical Director, Program Manager, Senior MEL Specialist, Senior Program Officers, USAID, and consortium partners. 
  • Develop effective professional relationships with partners, local organizations, peer organizations and partners, and donors.
  • Possible travel to overseas locations to participate in, oversee, or evaluate project activities (COVID permitting).
  • Support the Program Manager and other staff in the closeout of the HRSM leader and associate awards.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned.

Asia REF

  • All of the above tasks and the following:
  • Support project development under the Asia REF award by HRSM partners. Track project development and state-of-play of multiple projects over the life of the Asia REF award.
  • Support the monitoring and evaluation process on the overall Asia REF award, ensuring timely documentation of all project activities and their impact.
  • Work with the HRSM Senior MEL Specialist and the Search for Common Ground Asia REF Learning Specialist and other Search staff in carrying out logistics on learning activities, including an annual learning event.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned.


Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in international affairs, public management, political science, anthropology, religious studies, or a related field or equivalent experience.
  • At least two years full-time work experience in an office environment
  • One to two years of experience working in the areas of human rights, religious freedom, and/or conflict resolution are strongly preferred; experience working with CSOs and human rights defenders based abroad is a significant plus.
  • Experience working on grants, including USG funding, and budgeting.

Core Competencies

  • Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing.
  • Mastery of MS Office Suite, specifically Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Strong ability to independently plan, organize, prioritize work, and multitask to meet tight deadlines
  • Ability to apply superb attention to detail and consistently produce timely and error-free work.
  • Ability to collaborate with others and successfully work as an effective team member.  

Additional Information

  • Diversity makes our work stronger. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.
  • Freedom House provides a strong benefits package, including a 403(b) retirement account, commuter benefits, flexible hours, floating holidays, high employer contributions to medical, dental, and vision premiums, basic and voluntary life and AD&D insurance, short- and long-term disability, flexible spending account, and more.
  • Salaries are commensurate with experience and based on pay grades that prioritize equity across the organization. The annual salary for this position starts at $44,000.
  • Staff is currently working remotely due to Covid-19, and Freedom House is continuing to evaluate when, and under what circumstances, staff will return to the office. This position will start completely or partially remote and may require mandatory relocation to Washington DC once circumstances allow (no earlier than July 1, 2022). 
  • Candidates must possess long-term authorization to work in the United States. Freedom House will not sponsor work visas.  

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors,  In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation to apply for a position with Freedom House, please call 202-227-4308 or email


Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit a 1 to 2-page resume and a 1-page cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position. 

Cover letters should be responsive to the responsibilities and qualifications presented in the job description. Cover letters that highlight a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging will be well received.

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