Position Description

Senior Program Officer
Location Washington, DC - US
Job Code 360
# of Openings 1
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Freedom House  promotes the spread of freedom and democracy around the world through research, advocacy, and programs that support frontline activists. We are a leader in identifying threats to freedom through our highly regarded analytic reports, including  Freedom in the World, Freedom of the Press, Freedom on the Net, and Nations in Transit. With 13 field offices and two U.S. offices, we  support the right of every individual to be free.


Freedom House seeks an experienced Senior Program Officer to develop and manage all program aspects for the East and Horn and Central and West Africa portfolio to include strategic design, program design, oversight of program activities, 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 the Senior Program Manager.



  • Bachelors’ degree in political science, international relations, or related field;
  • Master’s degree in political science, international relations, or related field strongly preferred;
  • Six to eight years of directly related experience;
  • Experience in budget, and financial management;
  • Minimum two years of experience in program management, and proposal writing; 
  • Minimum two years of experience as lead, supervisor, or manager; 
  • Minimum two years of field experience in program region preferred; 
  • Minimum three years of experience identifying and analyzing complex problems and developing effective solutions; 
  • Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing;
  • Ability to communicate effectively in French is preferred;
  • Strong knowledge of human rights principles and mechanisms, and understanding of democracy promotion, with proven expertise in one or more specific thematic or regional areas, as needed;
  • Strong understanding of history, culture, politics and regional dynamics of assigned portfolio;
  • Proven knowledge of USG funding regulations, and familiarity with US Congressional processes;
  • Ability to contribute to and participate in complex negotiations with bilateral and/or multilateral government agencies, other donors or relevant audiences;
  • Exhibit strong and sustained commitment to the mission of Freedom House.



  • Assist in drafting program strategy, and with managing overall strategy and vision for global, regional, or thematic programs;
  • Develop short-range, long-range, and annual plans for multiple country programs identifying potential partner organizations;
  • Design, manage, and supervise all programmatic aspects of a major grant or grant portfolio including work plan development, identifying consultants and sub-grantees, organizing trainings and other activities, monitoring and evaluation, budget management, reporting, and backstopping field offices;
  • Manage in coordination with country representative where appropriate, all activities to ensure that programmatic objectives are met, and are in compliance with both FH and funder requirements;
  • Design, and lead training and other activities for project beneficiaries and DC staff on relevant topics;
  • Monitor and evaluate the performance of program activities, identify successes and failures, and make program adjustments accordingly;
  • Anticipate programmatic administrative, and financial needs, and take appropriate corrective action;
  • Advise supervisor on decisions that relate to program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, financial matters, donor and external relations;
  • Monitor key developments in assigned country and/or regional portfolio including elections, status of relevant legislation, and human rights abuses, report and present findings;
  • Manage program finances including analysis, budget monitoring and projections in full compliance with Freedom House and funder requirements;
  • Negotiate and write contracts, MOUs, letters of agreement, and other contractual documents for partners and vendors, and manage to ensure that the objectives and terms of agreement are met;
  • Assume responsibility and ensure safety and integrity of management mechanisms for the teams including internal team manuals, protocols, standard operating procedures, organization and maintenance of electronic information and servers;
  • Identify opportunities for new programs; design and develop program concepts for proposals, write proposals and prepare budgets;
  • Manage proposal submission process and ensure complete, accurate, and timely proposal submission;
  • Contribute to and participate in complex negotiations with bilateral and/or multilateral government agencies, donors or relevant audiences as authorized;
  • Other related duties as assigned.



  • General working office environment;
  • Some long hours including evenings and weekends to complete tasks or attend events;
  • Travel to event sites and field offices less than 20% of the time;
  • 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.;
  • 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.


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.