2130 Senior Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies

Washington, District of Columbia, United States | IFDS | Full-time



The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the U.S. Congress, NED makes more than 2,000 grants in support of projects carried out by non-governmental groups working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries. The International Forum for Democratic Studies (the Forum) organizes research and conferences to support NED’s work, and also houses the Journal of Democracy, the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows program, and the Democracy Resource Center. The position is based in Washington, D.C.


Position Summary:


The Senior Director will be responsible for the strategic direction and thought leadership of the Forum; for setting administrative and programmatic procedures, policies, and goals; and for directing and supervising Forum research and conferences. The Senior Director also will promote cooperative relations with other NED programs, departments, and initiatives, as well as with counterpart organizations and the scholarly and policy communities.  




The Senior Director will: 


  • Provide leadership and strategic direction for the Forum and serve as the deputy to the Vice President for Studies and Analysis;
  • Supervise the Research and Conferences components of the Forum by establishing the scope and purpose of major conferences, meetings, and other fora, ensuring the most effective outcomes through the highest degree of excellence in selection of participants and promulgation of next steps, to include the preparation and publication of reports;
  • Fully leverage the cooperation between the Forum and the other parts of NED by co-organizing special events and other strategic initiatives;
  • Provide leadership and motivation for the Forum to achieve a high standard of excellence, including professional development of opportunities, goals, and objectives;
  • Supervise, mentor, and coordinate the work of Forum staff;
  • Direct all publications and outward-facing content for Research and Conferences activities;
  • Support the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program by participating in the process of selection of candidates and engaging actively in the meetings and seminars;
  • Oversee preparation and management of the Forum budget and financial strategies, in cooperation with the Finance department.




  • Knowledge/Experience (formal degree requirements and years of relevant job experience required):
    • Master’s in international relations, political science or a related field required, Ph.D. strongly preferred. Scholarly credentials highly desirable.
    • 15 + years of experience in democracy studies and/or promotion or a closely related field.



  • Other Qualifications:
    • Excellent writing and editorial skills, to include formal publications.
    • Highly innovative in establishing the scope and purpose of conferences, meetings, and other fora.
    • Demonstrated leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
    • Authorized to work in the United States.


  • Competencies:
    • Proven ability to act as a leader in communicating strategies and ideas.
    • Self-motivated with respect to prioritizing and meeting critical project milestones and deadlines.
    • Able to work effectively with all levels of staff to build good working relationships.



Apply here:

Applications must include a cover letter, resume, desired salary, and contact information for three professional references, of which one should be a supervisor.  Please, no phone call inquiries. 

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