Vice President for Programs

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Organization: Freedom House
Closing date: 27 May 2021

The Vice President for Programs will provide overall strategic leadership, management, and operational direction for all programs in line with the new vision, mission, and strategic objectives of Freedom House. The person will lead the program team in developing innovative approaches and new opportunities to to advance organizational-wide strategic objectives. This person will serve as a manager of direct reports and member of the leadership team to ensure there is coherence and consistency between senior leadership and all team members working on programs and to work collaboratively to address cross-cutting issues that impact Freedom House’s ability to execute its mission.


  • Provide overall strategic direction, leadership, and management that assures programmatic excellence, and provides strategic coherence across Freedom House’s programmatic work in advancing the vision and mission of the organization
  • Ensure alignment of programmatic activities with others in Freedom House to include advocacy, research, communications, finance, fundraising, management, monitoring and evaluation, and technology
  • Lead program team to ensure synergy, effective communication, cooperation, and cohesiveness within the programmatic team
  • Build, support and sustain a diverse, inclusive, and collegial team committed to the vision and mission of Freedom House, including through the recruitment of a diverse, professional, and expert team, leadership of a cohesive and effective team, and ensuring professional growth and development of staff
  • Provide effective and clear direction and oversight to ensure programmatic objectives are met and aligned with the vision and mission of Freedom House
  • Report regularly to and work effectively with Executive Vice President to keep leadership apprised of relevant events and decisions, maximize coordination, address issues pertaining to programmatic work, and ensure collaboration across the organization
  • Work with programmatic teams to increase capacity to generate revenue to support and expand programs aligned with organizational strategic objectives
  • Ensure accountability and good stewardship in the allocation and use of funds, including in meeting donor and Freedom House obligations and regulations pertaining to personnel, finances, reporting, and other areas
  • Ensure development and maintenance of effective systems and processes to support the facilitation, collection, and sharing of knowledge that is generated by program teams
  • Provide effective leadership in the management of culturally diverse staff, and provide timely and regular performance feedback
  • Provide exemplary leadership in negotiations with bilateral and/or multilateral government agencies, donors or relevant audiences, as appropriate
  • Build effective coalitions and forge partnerships aimed at advancing Freedom House’s vision and mission
  • Apply mastery of human rights and democracy issues, and programmatic expertise to effectively interact with funders, partners, U.S. and foreign government officials, policy, and diplomatic communities, and other stakeholders
  • Employ mastery of programmatic work and speak persuasively in policy forums and media interviews
  • Assess overall program performance, and ensure best practices are developed and implemented
  • Stay abreast of key developments globally to include elections, relevant legislation, and human rights abuses, and provide analysis of their relevance to current and future programming
  • Write op-eds, press releases, briefings, blog entries, policy papers, and other substantive documents as required; and review other publications as requested and handle media requests as necessary
  • Travel to region for programmatic reasons and to assess new program opportunities, as needed
  • Ensure all work products comply fully with standards, policies and mission of Freedom House
  • Avoid the use of electronic devices such as cell phones while driving on Freedom House assignment
  • Other related duties as assigned



  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations, or related field.
  • Master’s degree in political science, international relations, or related field

Training, Experience, or Certification:

  • MS Office Suite, specifically Excel and Word
  • Budget and financial management
  • USG rules and regulations
  • Program management
  • Staff management
  • Proposal writing


  • Fifteen to twenty years of directly related experience; six years at management level
  • Two years of field experience in regional program areas preferred
  • Eight years of experience managing staff, including three managing senior staff
  • Eight years of experience identifying, analyzing, and effectively solving complex problems

Skills and Competencies :

Programmatic Skills and Subject Expertise

  • Proven knowledge of USG funding regulations and familiarity with US Congressional processes
  • Strong knowledge of financial management and grants-related compliance requirements
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of basic contract terms and agreements
  • Superior ability to conduct research and apply strong analytical skills to translate complex terms, and concepts clearly and engagingly into language easily comprehensible to nonexperts
  • Expert project management skills from conception through implementation, evaluation, and close-out
  • Expert ability to successfully navigate complex negotiations with bilateral and multilateral government agencies, other donors or relevant audiences; Demonstrable expertise in history, culture, economics, politics and dynamics of program regions
  • Mastery of human rights principles and mechanisms, and understanding of democracy promotion

Leadership Skills

  • Strong ability to coach and mentor staff and provide visionary leadership to a team of talented professionals from culturally diverse backgrounds
  • Astute political judgment and strategic thinking and vision for applying international human rights standards for good governance, free expression, and democracy
  • Excellent ability to write, review, and edit proposals, reports, procedures, and other materials clearly, concisely, and factually, and present them in public and high level meetings
  • Ability to recruit, develop, manage, and lead staff, and provide timely performance feedback
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to persuade and facilitate cooperation between people with divergent views
  • Strong ability to lead by example, with integrity, purpose, and commitment to attainment of FH goals
  • Strong ability to initiate, foster, interact, and maintain relationships with contacts and stakeholders in diverse and cross-cultural environments, with sensitivity and a high degree of courtesy, discretion, tact, and professionalism
  • Ability to apply excellent judgment in problem solving and decision making on a consistent basis
  • Ability to collaborate with others and successfully work as an effective team member
  • Ability to effectively coordinate and lead the efforts of other professionals to attain objectives
  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work at all times
  • Ability to represent Freedom House professionally in conduct and personal appearance
  • Strong ability to plan, organize, prioritize work, and multitask to meet goals and tight deadlines
  • Ability to accept guidance and feedback from leadership and peers

Additional Skills

  • Superior fundraising skills with demonstrable ability to successfully cultivate donors and foundations
  • Ability to apply superb attention to detail and consistently produce timely and error-free work
  • Excellent timekeeping and attendance, and ability to work flexible schedule and be available outside of normal business hours for emergency work purposes
  • Ability to travel independently and complete tasks in unfamiliar countries and regions
  • Ability to adhere to and work within strict guidelines and procedures in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to communicate effectively in a second relevant language is desirable
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite, strong database skills, and ability to type at least 40 words per minute
  • Familiarity with new communications technology and social-networking sites such as FB and Twitter

Other Skills as Needed

Attributes and Characteristics:

  • Exhibit strong and sustained commitment to the mission of Freedom House
  • Show good stewardship in the use of Freedom House resources
  • Respond promptly to stakeholder needs and solicit stakeholder feedback to improve service quality
  • Exhibit excellent communication etiquette, pleasant demeanor, positive attitude, and ethical conduct
  • Consistently use good judgment when dealing with all contacts and constituents
  • Exhibit high work standards, adherence to procedures, and responsibility for assigned tasks
  • Demonstrate strong desire for excellence, and 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
  • Work as an effective team member and successfully balance individual and team responsibilities
  • Comply with all policies and procedures

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.


How to apply:

Apply to Job

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