Program Officer

Job Type

Full Time




District of Columbia
United States


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 Program Officer to develop and manage projects in the East and Horn ofAfrica portfolio, including 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;

·      Four to six years of directly related experience;

·      Regional expertise, including field experience, in East and Horn of Africa; familiarity with Uganda and/or Tanzania strongly preferred;

·      Experience in budget and financial management;

·      Minimum two years of experience in program management and proposal writing; 

·      Strong knowledge of human rights principles and mechanisms, and of democracy promotion best practices;

·      Knowledge of USG funding regulations, including USAID and State Department, preferred;

·      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;

·      Strong writing and presentation skills; experience writing for publication preferred.




·      Contribute to overall strategy and vision for global, regional, or thematic programs as assigned;

·      Develop short-range, long-range, and annual plans for multiple country programs;

·      Track and support 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;

·      Work with country representative(s) to ensure that programmatic objectives are met, and are in compliance with both Freedom House and funder requirements;

·      Monitor and evaluate 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 management, donor and external relations;

·      Monitor key developments in regional portfolio, including elections, status of relevant legislation, and human rights abuses;

·      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 ensure that the objectives and terms of agreement are met;

·      Assume responsibility and ensure safety and integrity of management mechanisms for relevant programs including internal team manuals, protocols, standard operating procedures, organization and maintenance of electronic information and servers;

·      Identify opportunities for new programs; design and develop 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;

·      Lead and contribute to advocacy and policy initiatives in region and throughout Africa, including drafting blogs/op-eds and other public outreach;

·      Maintain close contact and coordination with relevant policy communities in Washington and elsewhere;

·      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.



Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Qualified and Interested Applicants:

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

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.