1885 Program Officer, Iraq

Washington, District of Columbia, United States Full-time

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a congressionally funded, private, nonprofit grant making organization that works to support freedom around the world, seeks a Program Officer for Iraq. This position is based in Washington, D.C.

Position Summary:

The Program Officer will work with the regional director and program staff to manage collaboratively the Endowment’s grants program for Iraq plus an additional geographic portfolio in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, including monitoring and assessment of projects.



  • Provide strategic and programmatic guidance to NED grantees in the portfolio, including assisting them with program development and design, offering creative solutions to political and technical challenges, providing administrative advice, and facilitating contact with like-minded organizations throughout the region.
  • Work closely and flexibly with a diverse range of activists in media, human rights, rule of law, conflict resolution, civic education and other areas.
  • Monitor political trends in the region to inform NED strategies and programming, including reading various US- and regional-based publications, meeting with regional political analysts and other partners, keeping abreast of the changing political environment, and actively coordinating with other MENA team members on their country portfolios.
  • Oversee the implementation of NED-approved projects, including analysis of narrative reports, providing feedback on implemented activities, maintaining continuous communication over the grant cycle, and conducting regular field visits.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and the institutional growth of NED grantees and grants portfolio, and recommend renewed and new funding.
  • Build and maintain relationships with like-minded organizations, including other donors, NED partners and regional organizations.
  • Travel to Iraq and possibly other countries in region to monitor existing grantees, identify new funding opportunities for NED, and gain an on‑the-ground perspective on the political situation. The visits include on-site meetings with all or most NED grantees, meetings with core institutes, potential civil society partners, other donors active in the country, and political analysts and opinion-makers.
  • Think creatively about how to improve team effectiveness, including suggestions for new team processes, improving grantee-reporting guidelines, communicating with other teams at NED, etc.
  • Liaise with other NED teams; participate in various working groups, and other efforts to improve NED’s overall functioning and effectiveness.



  • Knowledge/Experience:
    • Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, Political Science, International Development or a related discipline; master’s degree preferred.
    • At least 5 years of experience in democracy-related projects and programs from the civil society perspective; significant experience in nonprofit work.
    • Minimum of 2 years living or working in Iraq.


  • Other Qualifications:
  • In-depth understanding of political issues and trends in Iraq and the region generally;
  • Full professional fluency in English and Arabic languages are essential. Other languages, such as Kurdish, are preferred.
  • Authorized to work in the United States.


  • Competencies:
    • Excellent interpersonal skills in multi-ethnic, multi-national environment;
    • Solid analytical skills;
    • Ability to maintain professionalism under pressure;
    • High degree of organization and initiative;
    • Demonstrated ability to work as a team player, including coordination and facilitation skills.


To Apply:

All applications must include a cover letter, resume, salary history, and contact information for three professional references.  

The NED is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  For more information, please visit our website at www.ned.org

Please, no phone calls; direct questions to careers@ned.org with 1885 – Program Officer, Iraq - YOUR NAME in the subject line.