Program Officer

Work Location: Washington DC, hybrid or fully remote
Requisition Number: 1300
# of Openings: 1


Established more than 80 years ago on the core conviction that freedom flourishes in democratic nations where governments are accountable to their people, Freedom House is a nonpartisan non-profit organization that works to defend and expand freedom globally to help secure a world where all are free. Around the world, repressive regimes are preventing billions of people from exercising their fundamental rights. We identify and analyze threats to freedom, mobilize decision makers to respond to those threats and seize opportunities for progress, and support activists and organizations working to defend and expand freedom. We are dedicated to ensuring that the United States serves as a positive model of democratic practice at home and a consistent champion of freedom globally. By gathering authoritative data and leveraging our global networks, Freedom House is an unwavering beacon in protecting human rights and promoting democratic governance.


The Program Officer provides implementation support for all headquarters aspects of the Southern and West Africa portfolio, including backstopping project implementation and administration; providing technical input into/feedback on relevant tools, resources, and project deliverables; facilitating efficient and compliant financial management; supporting field staff, consultants, and partners on administrative issues; overseeing monitoring, evaluation, and learning; and identifying funding opportunities and participating in proposal development. Among other projects, the Program Officer will oversee a regional human rights initiative across Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries and a human rights program in Burkina Faso. This position reports to the Africa Deputy Director. Professional working knowledge of French is preferred.



  • Project implementation support: Support all aspects of program implementation, including work plan development, identifying and managing consultants and sub-grantees, organizing workshops, meetings, and events, drafting and finalizing program reports, and participating in communications with donor counterparts. Manage monitoring, evaluation and learning processes, connecting field data collection and analysis with HQ systems and learning objectives. Oversee program finances including field office drawdown requests and budget tracking and forecasting to ensure compliant and efficient spending (and no over-spending). Maintain regular communications and strong working relationships with Freedom House offices based in Southern and West Africa.
  • Networking and relationship management:  Develop effective professional relationships with a range of external actors, including peer organizations, donors, partners, and grantees. Represent Freedom House to external audiences at meetings and events.
  • Tracking regional developments: Monitor key developments related to democratic governance in the relevant regions, including political developments, elections, status of relevant legislation, and adherence to human rights norms. From time to time, contribute to Freedom House research, analysis and advocacy efforts, including drafting blogs or other analytical pieces.
  • Personnel Coordination: Oversee day-to-day work of a Program Associate/Senior Program Associate in order to effectively share and execute administrative, backstopping and financial management responsibilities; Provide administrative and operational support to in-country staff.



  • Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, International Relations, regional/area studies, or other social science or related field; Master's degree preferred
  • Knowledge of international human rights principles and mechanisms, and understanding of international democracy promotion, with a focus on Africa;
  • Four to Six years of related work experience; at least one year of cumulative experience overseas (in the relevant region) preferred
  • Professional working knowledge of French preferred
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the cause of advancing human rights and democracy
  • Understanding of political, social and rights dynamics across Southern and West Africa preferred
  • Deep understanding of USG funding processes, budget forms, rules, and regulations; at least two years’ experience working on USG-funded programs including creating and managing USG budgets and implementing monitoring and evaluation plans strongly preferred
  • Experience developing and drafting USG funding proposals strongly preferred
  • Experience supervising junior staff preferred


Skills and Competencies:

  • Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing; French proficiency desired.
  • Mastery of MS Office Suite, specifically Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Demonstrated experience managing and creating budgets in Excel
  • Knowledge of USG grant-related compliance requirements a plus
  • Ability to apply accurate and strong database and records management skills
  • Strong ability to independently plan, organize, prioritize work, and multitask to meet tight deadlines
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to consistently produce timely and error-free work
  • Skilled collaborator and ability to work as an effective team member
  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work at all times


Attributes and Characteristics:

  • Eagerness to think creatively about complex challenges
  • Willingness to reflect, learn, and adapt
  • Strong cross-cultural communications
  • Desire to champion democracy and human rights
  • Committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion in all aspects of work
  • Ethical conduct and ability to model integrity to colleagues
  • High professional standards and takes responsibility for quality of work
  • Understanding of personal strengths and areas for growth; continuously build knowledge and skills
  • Manage competing tasks on tight deadlines; know when to ask for assistance
  • Able to work on sensitive issues such as human rights violations, violent extremism, torture
  • Team oriented and thrives in a vibrant, collegial work atmosphere



  • This position will be based in the Washington, DC area.
  • General working office environment 
  • Some long hours including evenings and weekends to complete tasks or attend events
  • Occasional travel outside of the U.S. may be required (less than 20% of time)


The information contained in this description indicates the general nature and expectations of work performed by employees assigned to this position.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job and cannot reasonably encompass all specific job tasks that an employee may be required to perform.  Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and perform job-related duties as may be reasonably assigned by their supervisor.

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