Senior Program Officer, Middle East and North Africa

Work Location: Washington, DC - US
Requisition Number: 994
# of Openings: 1


Senior Program Officer, MENA

Location: Washington, DC


Position Summary

The Senior Program Officer manages programmatic aspects of the MENA team’s regional portfolio and contributes to the strategic vision and plan for the portfolio over the longer term. This includes supporting the MENA team program manager or director in strategic planning, program design, oversight of program implementation, backstopping field offices, monitoring and evaluation, financial management, fundraising, advocacy, outreach, staff supervision, and administration. This position is based in Washington, DC and reports to a program manager or the director of the relevant regional team.  


  • Project implementation - Manage donor awards, including developing work plans, identifying consultants and sub-grantees, organizing workshops, meetings, and events, drafting program reports, and maintaining productive working relationships with donor counterparts and partners. Support operations of field offices as appropriate to ensure compliance with host country requirements, FH policies, and donor regulations. Lead monitoring and evaluation process, track and document program activities and impact to ensure project objectives are met. Manage program finances including sub-grant reports. Regularly track and update budget monitors; analyze program spending to provide accurate forecasts for supervisor.
  • Proposal development – Working with supervisor, identify project opportunities, potential partners, and funding sources. Working with supervisor, draft project concepts and proposal packages, including budgets. Working closely with Freedom House’s proposal development team and supervisor, manage the regional team’s proposal preparation process, including coordinating contributions from partners as appropriate, to ensure complete, accurate, and timely proposal submission.
  • Regional strategic planning – Contribute to the development and implementation of the overall multi-year strategy for the relevant regional program, including developing short-term, long-term, and annual plans for the program, to include activities addressing multiple countries and issues. Work with supervisor and provide guidance to junior staff in pursuit of regional priorities and goals.
  • Representation of Freedom House – As directed by supervisor, develop and maintain relationships with external stakeholders, including donors, partners, grantees, the diplomatic community, and other implementing organizations. Represent Freedom House to external audiences at meetings and events; speak knowledgeably about Freedom House's mission and programming in the relevant region as necessary.
  • Tracking regional developments: As directed by supervisor, monitor key developments related to democratic governance in the relevant region, including political developments, elections, status of relevant legislation, and adherence to human rights norms. Contribute to the development of policy briefs and advocacy materials.
  • Personnel management: Oversee the day-to-day work of Program Officer, Senior Program Associate, and Program Associates in order to effectively share and execute administrative, backstopping and financial management responsibilities.






  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations, international development, or related field; Master's degree strongly preferred



  • Minimum six to eight years of related work experience; at least one year of experience overseas (in the relevant region) strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of and commitment to the cause of advancing human rights and democracy overseas
  • Understanding of political, social, economic, and rights dynamics in the relevant region
  • Deep understanding of USG funding processes, budget forms, rules, and regulations; at least four years’ experience working on USG-funded programs including proven ability to create and manage USG budgets (including use of Excel) and implement monitoring and evaluation plans strongly preferred
  • Experience developing and drafting USG funding proposals strongly preferred
  • Experience supervising junior staff strongly preferred


Skills and Competencies:

  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Astute political judgment and strategic thinking; excellent judgment in problem solving and decision making 
  • Proven ability to multitask and manage time effectively to meet competing deadlines and manage priorities  
  • Ability to conduct research and apply strong analytical skills
  • Mastery of MS Office Suite 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to persuade and facilitate cooperation between individuals with divergent views and to collaborate with others and successfully work as an effective team member  
  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work
  • Ability to represent Freedom House professionally in conduct and personal appearance
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to consistently produce timely and error-free work under tight deadlines
  • Excellent timekeeping, attendance, and time management, and ability to work flexible schedule and be available outside of normal business hours for emergency work purposes
  • Ability to adhere to and work within strict guidelines and procedures
  • Language skills applicable to the relevant region preferred  (Arabic, French, Farsi)


Attributes and Characteristics:

  • Eagerness to think creatively about complex challenges
  • Willingness to reflect, learn, and adapt
  • Exhibit strong and sustained commitment to the mission of Freedom House
  • Show good stewardship in the use of Freedom House resources 
  • Exhibit ethical, professional conduct at all times
  • Consistently use good judgment when dealing with all contacts and constituents
  • Exhibit high work standards, adherence to procedures, and responsibility for assigned tasks
  • Demonstrate the desire for excellence to inspire others to attain professional excellence
  • Assess own strengths and weaknesses; pursue training and development opportunities; strive to continuously build knowledge and skills
  • Work as an effective team member and successfully balance responsibilities
  • Comply with all policies and procedures



  • Internal: Employees at Freedom House in the U.S. and in field offices in the relevant region
  • External: Partners, donors, consultants, other implementing organizations, human rights and civil society organizations, embassy staff, vendors, both in the U.S. and abroad



  • General working office environment 
  • Some long hours including evenings and weekends to complete tasks or attend events
  • Travel within Washington, D.C.; occasional travel outside of the U.S. may be required to facilitate workshops and meetings (less than 20% of time)
  • Exposed to outside weather conditions when required to attend event venues or travel



  • 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.

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