Senior Program Officer, Eurasia

Work Location: Washington, DC - US
Requisition Number: 1308
# of Openings: 1


Position Title: Senior Program Officer, Eurasia

Location: Washington, DC


Position Summary

Freedom House monitors, strengthens, and defends democracy worldwide through programs that support frontline activists, research, and advocacy. We are leaders in identifying threats to civil liberties and political rights and working with civil society activists and organizations around the world to address them.

Freedom House is seeking a Senior Program Officer to provide strategic thinking and leadership in activity implementation for its projects in Eurasia focusing on authoritarian states. This is an outstanding opportunity for an experienced professional in international program management aiming to further deepen their expertise in the Eurasia region by contributing to a leading democracy and human rights organization. The Senior Program Officer will work in collaboration with other members of the regional team, field staff, and external stakeholders to ensure achievement of project objectives in a complex programmatic portfolio. This position has a high degree of team collaboration and is solidly engaged in a regional team under the supervision of a Project Director. It is an excellent next step for a confident professional able to make difficult decisions in an ambiguous, constantly changing environment. This position is based in Washington, DC and is expected to work on a consistent hybrid schedule.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serve as the headquarters expert and point of contact on assigned activities and issues within the Eurasia region for internal and external stakeholders.

  • Continuously develop own expertise and networks on the portfolio issues and countries by nurturing direct contacts with local stakeholders, coordinating with peer organizations, and proactively monitoring key developments, such as reforms, socio-economic and political changes, elections, status of relevant legislation, human rights situation, and international engagement on human rights and democracy issues.

  • Lead the implementation of all aspects of assigned projects, participate in annual workplan development, budgeting and expense tracking, outreach to and coordination with partners, activity planning and execution, monitoring of performance indicators, development of program documents, and other program tasks.

  • Closely coordinate with DC and field staff, consultants, and local partners to ensure timely implementation of project activities at the highest level of quality. 

  • Identify opportunities for new collaborations, conduct background research on trends in civic activism, actively expand Freedom House's network of local partners and contacts in the assigned portfolio. 

  • Represent Freedom House at appropriate events and with donors, peer organizations, international partners, government officials, and other external stakeholders on the assigned portfolio. Prepare and lead briefings on programmatic, strategy and political updates; present the analysis to the relevant stakeholders with a high degree of professionalism and in-depth knowledge of details.

  • Lead the preparation of high-quality narrative quarterly, annual, and ad-hoc project reports for donors.
  • In collaboration with Evidence and Learning staff, conduct the monitoring and evaluation activities, ensure timely documentation of all project activities and their impact.

  • Track and analyze budgets for accuracy and draft spending projections and forecasts, propose corrective action when necessary. 

  • Proactively network and liaise with other Freedom House teams (Regional, Emergency Assistance Programs, Communications and Advocacy, Research, Finance, etc.) to collaborate on program implementation or to resolve administrative issues.

  • Provide technical advice, programmatic oversight, and managerial approvals within delegated authority to projects and staff across the Eurasia region.

  • Travel to overseas locations to participate in, oversee, or evaluate project activities (less than 10% of time).

  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Master's degree in international affairs, public management, political science or a related field, or equivalent experience.

  • Six to eight years of directly related project management experience, preferably with a U.S. civil society organization; direct activity implementation experience.

  • At least one year of professional field experience in the Eurasia region.

  • At least three years of experience working on civil society, independent media, human rights, and the rule of law programs in the Eurasia region.

  • Deep understanding of USG funding processes and compliance regulations from project design to closeout; at least four years of expereince working on USG-funded projects in various capacities including proven ability to create and manage multi-year budgets, conduct procurement and subgranting, and manage multiple partners.

  • At least three years of progressive experience in project design and proposal development for initiatives of varying complexity using the Logical Framework Approach, including performance monitoring and evaluation plans, for USG funders. Experience managing the entire proposal development process with multiple team members and potential partners strongly valued.

  • Professional fluency in English and Russian, both verbal and in writing.

  • Strong knowledge of human rights principles and mechanisms; up-to-date understanding of the current socio-political landscape and its implications on the prospects of democracy in the region.

  • Strong understanding of history and culture of Eurasian countries and their interdependencies.

  • Confidence in and committment to using project management information software (Planner, Asana, Trello or the like) strongly valued.


Attributes and Characteristics

  • Ability to exercise critical judgment and poise in leading the assigned projects and representing the team within the organization, as well as Freedom House at high-level meetings and in engagement with senior interlocutors from government, nonprofit and corporate institutions.

  • Eagerness to think creatively about complex challenges, proactively identify problems and propose solutions, both in program management and strategy development.

  • Proven ability to maintain composure, project confidence, make informed decisions, and lead junior staff in ambiguous situations.

  • Strong analytical skills and proven ability to conduct research and write well-argued analytical pieces.

  • Ability to balance strategic thinking with exceptional attention to a myriad of minute yet critical details.

  • Commitment to the greater goals of the team and ability to contribute constructively to joint tasks despite competing priorities.

  • Ability to effectively work remotely and productively with minimal oversight.


Additional Information

Applicants are required to complete our online application form and to submit a resume, a cover letter that outlines interests and qualifications for this position, and a writing sample on a relevant topic (no more than 2 pages).

The successful candidate will be required to present proof of ability to work in the United States without additional employment authorization from Freedom House immediately with the acceptance of the employment offer.

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. Occasionally 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.

Freedom House is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. 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


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