Senior Program Manager at National Democratic Institute

Job Function: Washington DC
Department: Asia
Location: Washington, DC**
Senior Program Manager/ Program Manager: Asia-Pacific **

The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) is seeking candidates to join its Asia & Pacific team at the Senior Program Manager (SPM) / Program Manager (PM) level. SPM/PM’s support in the day-to-day management of country- and program-specific democratic development programs related to strengthening civil society, enhancing democratic governance, promoting women’s and other marginalized groups’ political participation, and strengthening political parties across Asia and the Pacific.

This is a full-time position based in NDI’s Washington, DC office with a portfolio focused on Hong Kong, Taiwan, open government and anti-corruption, a regional youth leadership program, and China’s role in the Asia-Pacific region, in addition to other programs as needed.


  • Provides assistance and team leadership in the day-to-day internal implementation of country-level portfolio
  • Designs and oversees large-scale and diverse program activities across multiple countries
  • Responds to NDI staff inquiries requiring functional or regional expertise
  • Contributes to the planning, design, and evaluation of NDI’s projects for the region in collaboration with local partners, in-house experts, and external experts and advisors
  • Maintains collaborative relationships with international democratic development organizations, civic organizations in the U.S. and the region, national and international news organizations, political party networks and partners, and NDI’s network of volunteer trainers and experts
  • Monitors assigned region’s annual budget; provides a full, accurate and timely accounting of all funds
  • Monitors political events in assigned country portfolio
  • Serves as NDI representative at local and international conferences and meetings and assists with NDI’s public outreach
  • Provides final edits on regional department generated documents
  • Provides final reviews on the substance of reports and other documents/proposals/concept notes, that are developed in the field, before submission to donors.
  • Travels to the region to assess political development and new opportunities and evaluates current projects; acts as “Resident Director” in absence of established office or staff
  • Following Covid-19 restrictions, willingness to travel and be stationed in a country program for several weeks at a time to provide substantive assistance to senior staff during exceptionally hectic periods
  • Takes necessary steps to fill staff vacancies, orchestrates recruiting for the assigned region, and coordinates closely with the relevant field offices, to ensure the suitability of the candidates’ profile and experience with the country office needs.


  • Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree preferred, preferably in International Relations, International Development, Politics, Sociology, Journalism or related subject; Additional years of relevant work experience may be substituted for the educational requirement on a one-for-one basis
  • Preferably a minimum of eight (8) years relevant work experience in international development, project management, community organizing, political campaigns, organizational development, legislative affairs
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to interact with all levels of staff, U.S. and foreign government personnel, members of donor organizations, funders, and policymakers
  • Superior oral communications skills to effectively present information, respond to questions and negotiate
  • Exceptional competency in one or more areas of NDI’s functional programs preferred, in addition to a highly developed knowledge of Asia-Pacific’s political environments and people
  • Exceptional analytical skills for interpreting complex program and political issues and to think innovatively and introduce new concepts
  • Superior writing skills, clear and persuasive and experienced enough to edit all types of team documents
  • Established network, through years of experience, of significant contacts and political leaders
  • Experienced management and leadership skills in order to lead, inspire and motivate staff where results are clearly beneficial
  • Experience in program design and how to strategize
  • Working knowledge of PC-based word processing and spreadsheet applications
  • Experience with Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Google Drive, G+, etc.) strongly desired
  • Seasoned budget and accounting skills
  • Ability and willingness to travel to regional locations, which are often remote and difficult to reach, for more than two weeks at a time multiple times per year.
  • At least one year of experience living and working in the Asia-Pacific region strongly preferred.
  • Asian language proficiency preferred, but not required.


As a result of COVID19, this position will start in a remote capacity. However, when the office re-opens, this position will be based in our Washington, DC office and the expectation is that you would be based locally to fulfill this obligation.

Candidates must be legally eligible to work in the U.S. NDI does not provide sponsorship.

This is a union position to be represented by the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 2.

NDI welcomes and supports a diverse, inclusive work environment. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment and NDI employees. NDI makes employment decisions based on organizational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, personal appearance, military status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation, educational status, unemployment status, place of residence or business, source of income, or reproductive health decision making. Additionally, harassment or discrimination based on these characteristics will not be tolerated at NDI. To perform the essential functions of this position, reasonable accommodations are available to qualified individuals with disabilities and qualified individuals who have limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or medical related condition.


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