22114 Program Officer, Afghanistan (TEMPORARY)

Washington, District of Columbia, United States | MENA | Full-time | COVID-19 remote


The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a federally funded, private, nonprofit grantmaking organization that works to support freedom around the world, seeks a TEMPORARY Program Officer for Afghanistan for the Middle East North Africa (MENA) team’s regional portfolio. This is a one-year position, renewable for up to two years, with anticipated dates of employment: October 2022–September 2023. This position is based in Washington, D.C.

  a Temporary

Position Summary:

Reporting to the senior manager, the Program Officer will work with other program staff to manage the Endowment’s grants program for Afghanistan, including monitoring and assessment of projects. 



  • Provide strategic and programmatic guidance to NED grantees in the Afghanistan 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 developments in Afghanistan, and the surrounding 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 quarterly 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 the Afghanistan 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 countries as required 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.
    • 4-7 years of experience in democracy-related projects and programs from the civil society perspective; significant experience in nonprofit work.
    • Minimum two (2) years living or working in Afghanistan.


  • Other Qualifications:
  • In-depth understanding of political issues and trends in Afghanistan and the MENA region generally;
  • Full professional fluency in English and Dari/Pashto languages are essential; other regional languages 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:

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. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristics covered by applicable law. The NED is committed to working with and providing reasonable accommodation for all qualified individuals and bases all employment decisions on qualifications, merit, and business need. The NED believes that diversity and inclusion amongst our team members are critical to our success as an organization operating globally and seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.


For more information, please visit our website at www.ned.org or careers@ned.org.