Position Description

Program Manager/Senior Program Manager for Afghanistan Coordination
Work Location Flexible
Requisition Number 1224
# of Openings 1
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Freedom House seeks a seasoned Program Manager (PM) to co-manage a new two-year initiative, the Afghanistan Human Rights Coordination Mechanism. This mechanism responds to an urgent need for a nimble, flexible coordination mechanism among international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), leading Afghan NGOs, donors, governments, and other actors that are aiding defenders and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at-risk. Freedom House and four other core partners will be establishing the Afghan Human Rights Coordination Mechanism, which aims to provide a platform for effective and strategic coordination regarding critical needs of Afghan defenders and CSOs inside and outside the country, engage in joint advocacy, and channel additional resources to sustain civil society and human rights work in Afghanistan or in exile.  

To accomplish this, the mechanism will:  

  • Connect and share information with stakeholders 

  • Map and monitor the range of needs and groups providing support 

  • Refer at-risk Afghans to service providers 

  • Give strategic guidance to INGOs, foreign governments, regional organizations, Afghan NGOs, and others directly involved in the response 

  • Coordinate advocacy efforts to push decision-makers – including governments and multilateral institutions – to ensure that Afghan defenders and CSOs can continue to engage in their activism safely and with continued funding 

Freedom House and a core group of INGO and Afghan CSO partners will co-create this mechanism, which will be highly collaborative and build on existing networks and coalitions. To achieve this objective, the person filling the role of Program Manager will need a demonstrated track record on coalition-building, network development, and relationship building; respecting and adding value to the work of partner organizations; taking steps to manage partner time and resources efficiently and effectively; and serving as a knowledgeable and helpful point of contact and resource for other organizations. 


  • Partner Engagement and Outreach: Maintain a strong and collaborative working relationship with other CSO partner organizations that are co-leading the Mechanism; ensure regular and effective communication with partners to develop Mechanism and ensure its functioning; engage in outreach to inclusive representation in the Mechanism and that a diverse set of sectors are included (human rights community, academic institutions, artists networks, humanitarian aid actors, etc) 

  • Donor Engagement and Reporting. Foster productive and responsive relationship with primary donors; provide program updates, as needed, to donors, Freedom House leadership and colleagues. 

  • Subgrant and financial management. Manage the project’s finances, including budgeting and spending analysis, to ensure effective, timely program implementation in full compliance with donor rules/regulations 

  • Advocacy and external relations. Represent Freedom House publicly. Works closely with Freedom House’s policy and advocacy team to build strong external alliances and collaborative approaches with donors and the diplomatic community, congressional staff, partners and grantees, policy community, peer NGOs, and thinktanks. 

  • Team cohesion and collaboration. Maintain an effective and collaborative working relationship with all other Freedom House units and ensure close collaboration with staff in other parts of Freedom House implementing other, separately funded, assistance programs for Afghan defenders and CSOs. Ensure that Freedom House programs are considered by or reflected as part of the coordination mechanism. Participate in Freedom House activities geared toward organizational success and strength, including cross-team collaboration activities. 

  • Travel. Travel within U.S. and abroad as required. 



  • Bachelor's degree in political science, international relations, public policy, anthropology, or related field 

  • Master’s degree in political science, international relations, public policy, anthropology, or related field preferred 

  • Specialized coursework or experience in human rights and/or humanitarian principles and operations preferred 


  • Six to eight years of related experience. 

  • At least six years of involvement in the field of global human rights or closely related fields 

  • Two years of field experience preferred 

  • Two years of experience managing programs, including budgets, donor relations, etc. 

Skills and Competencies: 

  • Experience working in Afghanistan or with Afghan civil society 

  • Mastery of human rights principles and mechanisms, knowledge of and experience in crisis response and/or defense of human rights and/or promotion of democracy. 

  • Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing; ability to communicate effectively in a second relevant language strongly preferred 

  • Proven ability to communicate complex concepts verbally clearly and succinctly and in writing; ability to draft “camera ready” (i.e., final) documents of all types for external audiences including donors, congress, media, etc., is essential 

  • Strong program management skills from design through implementation, evaluation, and close-out or hand-off to other organizations; strong ability to manage own time, multi-task, and meet tight deadlines 

  • Budget management and monitoring experience; ability to manage and forecast expenditures to maximize use of available funds while not over-spending budgets. 

  • Ability to collaborate within diverse teams as an effective team member. Strong ability to lead by example, with integrity, purpose, and commitment to attainment of Freedom House goals 

  • Excellent inter-personal, diplomatic, and cross-cultural skills 

  • Excellent crisis management and conflict mediation skills 

  • Excellent judgment in problem solving and decision-making, including in high-pressure situations. 

  • Experience using new communications technology and social networking sites 

  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work at all times 

  • Ability to work independently without supervision, and to coordinate the efforts of other professionals to effectively meet program needs 

Training or Certification in some or all of the following is preferred: 

  • MS Office Suite, specifically Excel and Word 

  • Budget and financial management 

  • Program management 

  • Proposal writing 

  • Staff supervision and management 

  • Monitoring and evaluation of programs 

  • Ability to use digitally secure means of communication and secure digital databases; ability to maintain security of all Freedom House digital resources (software, computer networks, videoconference, etc.). 

Attributes and Characteristics:  

  • Strong and sustained commitment to Freedom House mission 

  • Good stewardship in use of Freedom House resources 

  • Responsiveness to stakeholder (including donor) needs and willingness to solicit stakeholder feedback to improve service quality 

  • Professional demeanor, positive attitude, and ethical conduct   

  • Sound judgment 

  • Strong desire for excellence, and ability to inspire others to attain it 

  • Awareness of own strengths and weaknesses; commitment to learning from experience and through training and development opportunities 

  • Ability to work as effective team member and successfully balance individual and team responsibilities 

  • Commitment to working transparently and respectfully with supervisors 


  • Internal:  U.S. and field employees throughout Freedom House  

  • External: Partners, subgrantees, donors, consultants, representatives of other INGOs and NGOs, congressional staffers, embassy staff, media, vendors, board members, members of the public, etc., without supervision 


General Working Conditions: 

  • General working office environment 

  • Some long hours including evenings and weekends to complete tasks or attend events 

  • Overseas travel [approximately 20 percent] 

  • Exposed to outside weather conditions when required to attend event venues or travel 

  • May involve work in regions that are remote and lack basic modern infrastructure, and in countries under U.S. travel advisory due to threats of terrorist attacks, civil unrest, kidnappings, disease outbreaks, etc. 

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 other duties, as assigned, may be part of the job. Freedom House may add, change, or remove essential and other duties at any time.

Qualified and Interested Applicants:

We invite qualified candidates to complete  an online application and submit a resume and cover letter .

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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