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Program Officer - European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN)

Job Summary :

Every employee of IRI is responsible for carrying out the Mission of IRI and demonstrating the Core Values in their day to day operations. The Core Values, which are IRI's foundational building blocks include:    

Excellence- We believe in quality results delivered by investing in people. Freedom- We believe in exploration and experimentation to be agile and responsive. Respect- We believe in trust, empathy and empowering people. Teamwork- We believe in diversity, inclusion and the power of global collaboration. Transparency- We believe in open communication and clear decision-making. Accountability- We believe in personal responsibility as the foundation of success.
The European Democracy Youth Network (EDYN) is a coalition of political and civic leaders united by the desire to empower a new generation of changemakers. EDYN members are between 18-32 years old, representing the post-Cold War generation who are committed to advancing and sustaining the democratic values of EDYN. Formed in 2018 under the CEPPS consortium, EDYN is supported by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The network currently has 435 members and is managed on a day-to-day basis by IRI and NDI. It is also supported by the EDYN Headquarters, based in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The Program Officer (PO) is based in Washington, DC, and is part of the Transatlantic Strategy Division. The PO oversees and manages IRI's European Democracy Youth Network and the parent grant, funded by USAID. The PO will work toward ensuring EDYN is sustainable, including building the EDYN Headquarters' capacity. The PO is the primary person responsible for programmatic decision-making on EDYN and is supported by a Senior Program Associate and Program Associate.

Position Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree in political science, international relations or a related field.
  • Three to five years of professional experience in democratic governance and politics, preferably working directly with youth related to political processes and youth engagement. 
  • Demonstrated ability to execute program activities in ways that both achieve results and raise the initiative's public profile
  • Experience living, working or traveling internationally.
  • Strong written and oral communications and presentation skills in English.
  • Ability to effectively direct or participate in complex negotiations with bilateral and/or multilateral government agencies, other donors or relevant audiences.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and adapt to shifting priorities.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team to coordinate and lead the efforts of other professionals to effectively meet Institute needs.
  • Proven ability to write effective proposals, reports, procedures, complete required forms, and maintain complete and accurate documentation.
  • Proven knowledge of USG funding regulations.
  • Experience identifying complex problems and developing creative solutions
  • Strong ability to initiate, foster, interact, and maintain relationships with contacts and stakeholders in a diverse and multicultural environment with sensitivity, respect, discretion, tact, and professionalism.
  • Ability to maintain the highest degree of confidentiality regarding all aspects of work at all times.
  • Ability to effectively manage financial resources that meet the highest standards of the Institute and funders.
  • Willingness to travel.

Primary Functions & Responsibilities:

  • Oversees management and implementation of EDYN, from the fulfillment of substantive programmatic objectives to financial and compliance requirements for the life of the grant(s).
  • Contributes to short and long-term planning for IRI's European Democracy Youth Network.
  • Regularly and deliberately coordinate with the IRI EDYN program team in Washington and the field, with counterparts at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and EDYN members.
  • Communicate with IRI field offices in EDYN country chapter locations and support country chapters as they implement activities from their strategic plans.
  • Participate in fundraising and other capacity-building efforts for EDYN HQ and its staff.
  • Manage a subaward and tracks the financial health of EDYN HQ.
  • Oversee communication with CEPPS partners, including NDI and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).
  • Organize network-wide events alongside NDI, EDYN HQ, EDYN country chapters, and external partners.
  • Actively raises the profile of EDYN and leads efforts to seek new members.
  • Anticipates potential problems, troubleshoots project challenges, offers solutions, and actively leads to resolutions with creative and immediate solutions.
  • Actively supports IRI's communication strategy, including IRI's branding and outreach plans, including drafts and updates program summaries and other outreach materials, drafts web stories, tweets, etc.
  • Develops the substantive design of new programs and activities related to EDYN and IRI youth programs
  • Represents IRI at external events
  • Establishes, maintains, and develops productive working relationships with relevant stakeholders, consultants, and staff in DC and the field.
  • Maintains an understanding of Funder and IRI policies and procedures related to grant compliance and oversight.
  • Fully understands assigned grant's substantive, financial and compliance requirements and ensures that assigned grants are completed on time, within budget, and in full compliance.
  • Monitors grant budgets and overseas and tracks spending (budget trackers).
  • Oversees and leads efforts to monitor and evaluate efforts for grants assigned.
  • Drafts high-quality quarterly, semi-annual, final and other relevant reports for funders.
  • Travels as needed for program oversight and implementation; if an immediate need arises, deploys on short-to long-term service in a program in the field to maintain continuity of the program.
  • Participates in cross-functional teams and initiatives (optional)
  • Performs other duties as assigned.