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Program Officer: Latin America and the Caribbean

NDI - National Democratic Institute

Washington, DC, United States

The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) seeks a Program Officer to support country staff, senior program officers and the regional director in the day-to-day activities of planning, designing and implementing programs related to strengthening political parties, civic organizations, election bodies, local governments and legislatures by performing the following duties:

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Monitors political events throughout the region;
  • Provides administrative and logistical support to field offices and regional staff;
  • Compiles briefing materials for staff, consultants and volunteers in field programs;
  • Drafts briefing memos, proposals, work plans, quarterly and other reports with minimal substance guidance; edits work of Senior Program Assistants;
  • Develops program concepts; manages proposal process and timeline for proposal submissions; drafts program objectives, results and indicators, and contributes to program strategy;
  • Leads work plan discussions; manages process for work plan drafting and submission;
  • Manages overall strategy and vision; handles most aspects of program management; anticipates and plans for programmatic needs and takes action accordingly; maintains interaction with field offices and monitors and measures program performance, timing and results; prepares for assessments;
  • Serves as Point of Contact; meets with funding agencies to describe program progress and articulate new funding proposals; Frequent contact with NDI partners;
  • Represents NDI at local conferences and meetings with NGO community, funders and donors and members of the foreign policy community to assist with NDI's public outreach;
  • Lends support to Supervisors by providing effective management of multiple grants with multiple programs and reconciliations; monitors appropriate application of allowable costs; ensures that they stay within budget limits; anticipates and successfully addresses costs and overages, and implements solutions to budget variances; guides other staff regarding structures and mechanisms;
  • Creates initial drafts of budgets; generates pipeline of expenses;
  • Travels to the region to organize and conduct political assessments, assess new opportunities, participate in and evaluate current projects;
  • Provides support for local and regional program conferences, workshops and meetings; organizes cross-functional workshops; organizes delegations abroad;
  • Recruits international trainers, volunteers and staff for numerous positions within the assigned programs; directs collaboration within the team and between teams;
  • Ensures appropriate implementation of field office policies and handbook; interprets policies in field office; supervises junior staff; identifies development opportunities for Senior Program Assistants;
  • Maintains collaborative relationships with international democratic development organizations, civic organizations and NDI's network of volunteer trainers and experts; acts as back-up to team members not present;
  • Translates documents as needed.

Required Skills and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in International Relations, Political Science or a related field; graduate degree preferred;
  • Minimum of four (4) years experience in international development, community organizing, political campaigns, organizational development or legislative affairs;.Additional years of relevant work experience may be substituted for educational requirement;
  • Experience living and working overseas, preferably in the region;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to effectively interact with all levels of staff, U.S. and foreign government personnel and NGO community;
  • Excellent oral communication skills to effectively present information and respond to questions;
  • Exceptional writing skills, clear and persuasive with little editing;
  • Capacity to work both independently and as a member of a team;
  • Basic managerial skills, good negotiation skills;
  • Ability to take initiative and motivate staff;
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions;
  • Working knowledge of PC-based word processing and spreadsheet applications;
  • Working knowledge of budget and accounting procedures;
  • Ability and willingness to travel to regional locations which are often remote and difficult to reach;
  • Interest in and knowledge of regional political environment and people;
  • Political analysis skills;
  • Fluency in oral and written Spanish, English and French required;
  • Experience in Program Design and how to strategize;
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Ability to effectively prioritize;
  • Ability to coordinate activities with superiors, colleagues and overseas field staff;
  • Familiarity with web-based informational and organizational tools.

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