Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Program Officer

Work Location: Flexible
Requisition Number: 1155
# of Openings: 1




The Middle East and  North Africa (MENA) Program Officer


The MENA Program Officer will support the work of Freedom House’s Emergency Assistance Program by providing emergency assistance to at-risk human rights defenders (HRDs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the MENA region.





  • Oversee day-to-day management of emergency cases in order to provide small grants to at-risk HRDs and CSOs including the tracking of region-specific emergency assistance requests, case vetting, and coordination of grant dispersal and financial reconciliation.
  • Build and maintain a robust network of trusted and verified international and local partners in order to monitor key regional developments regarding human rights violations, receive quality cases, and proactively respond to the needs of frontline activists. 
  • Conduct periodic assessments of the political situation, the operational space for civil society and human rights defenders and religious communities, and provide verbal and/or written reports to the Director or program leads on significant developments.
  • Proactively take leadership on emerging regional crises
  • Professionally manage extensive correspondence with potential and actual program beneficiaries, reference, trusted partners, and other related contacts, using digitally secure means of communication, as relevant
  • Provide backup for other regional specialists, as needed.
  • Meet overall program metrics for effective and rapid provision of emergency assistance; regularly independently assess individual performance to strengthen effective emergency response.
  • Contribute to efforts to strengthen overall EAP effectiveness for case processing.
  • Carry out weekly, monthly and quarterly program reporting on a regional level, providing thoughtful and thorough input into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and closeout reports required by donors.
  • Provide reporting on country or regional level when requested by donors, FH executives, EAP director, Fund managers, or other colleagues, as necessary.
  • Identify opportunities and produce ideas for implementation of EAP sub-grants, and support fund staff in providing advice for project design and budget.
  • As relevant, occasionally contribute to FH publications and write website content, press releases, briefings, policy papers, etc.



  • In collaboration with other regional colleagues and program managers, develop a regionally specific strategy for grant-making and outreach.
  • Conduct outreach to HRDs and CSOs globally and regionally to develop and expand EAP’s trusted referral network and to identify needs, opportunities for engagement, and initiatives to be supported by EAP and/or Freedom House.
  • Develop effective professional relationships with national and international organizations to further EAP’s work and mission.
  • Facilitate meetings with relevant Freedom House staff and DC-based organizations for visiting civil society members and other partners.
  • Coordinate with and remain aware of the programming of Freedom House’s Regional Programs and NY-based research programs and communicate regularly with colleagues based in DC and the field.
  • Conduct travel to the MENA region and to other relevant meetings and conferences (including meetings of regional bodies) to conduct outreach, strengthen networks, and build knowledge of the social, economic, political, and human rights situation in the country (ies) visited; provide trip reports to colleagues and managers after travel.
  • As requested, speak about EAP work and/or FH programming, with donors or partners, to visiting delegations, and at conferences or other external meetings



  • Support EAP-wide initiatives and working groups, as assigned.
  • Contribute to efforts to strengthen overall EAP effectiveness for case processing.
  • Ensure that all case-related data is up to date in EAP’s grants management database on regular basis.
  • Translate and/or review translations of EAP working documents, including, but not limited to, application forms, fact sheets, and impact reports.
  • Assist program staff in communicating with EAP grantees, partners, and others, in local language, as requested.
  • Provide administrative support to include filing, copying, faxing, collating, and distributing documents.
  • Other related duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor's degree in international relations, journalism, international development, public policy analysis, anthropology or sociology, or a related field
  • Minimum 5 years of work experience in civil society, human rights, and government engagement programs; previous human rights grant-making experience is preferred.
  • Must read, write and speak English - strong writing skills and ability to convey complex ideas is required.
  • Native or near-native fluency in written and spoken Arabic, working knowledge of French or another regional language is a plus.
  • Strong knowledge of human rights issues and civil society organizations in the MENA region; existing networks with civil society organizations in relevant countries is preferred.
  • Ability to assess and address the security issues of threatened civil society actors; familiarity with digital security issues and tools (a plus)
  • Ability to travel to the MENA region and to the US.
  • Mastery of MS Office, specifically Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook; knowledge of grants management databases preferred.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and meet all goals and deadlines.
  • Strong ability to 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 work flexible hours and be available on weekends as needed.



  • Ability to work under pressure, multi-task, and meet challenging deadlines.
  • Excellent inter-personal, inter-cultural, and teamwork skills.
  • Work as an effective team member, successfully balance individual and team responsibilities.
  • Ability to use good judgment and respond promptly and professionally to colleagues, stakeholders, donors, and partners.
  • Exhibit high work standards, adherence to procedures, and responsibility for assigned tasks.
  • Demonstrate a strong desire for excellence, and a desire to inspire others to attain professional excellence.
  • Assess own strengths and weaknesses; pursue training and development opportunities; strive to continuously build knowledge and skills.
  • Exhibit strong and sustained commitment to the mission of Freedom House and show good stewardship of Freedom House resources
  • Comply with all FH and EAP policies and procedures.


The location of this position is flexible.  If, however, you are applying to work from the U.S. you must be a U.S. citizen, resident, or have a valid work visa.

Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  

Disclaimer:  This job description is only a summary of the typical functions of the job.  It is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list of all possible job responsibilities, tasks, and duties.  The responsibilities, tasks, and duties of the jobholder may differ from those outlined in the job description and that other duties, as assigned, may be part of the job. Freedom House may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time. 

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