Program Officer, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (Operations), Leadership Practice

Domestic Washington, District Of Columbia


Who We Are 

At IREX we strive for a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world—where individuals research their full potential, governments serve their people and communities thrive.  

But around the globe, persistent poverty, repression, and injustice prevent too many people form achieving their full potential.  To address these problems, we focus on people, not on vaccines, roads, or wells. We support individuals and institutions to create change in their own communities—and to create persons-to person bridges between nations.  

IREX works with partners in more than 100 countries in four areas essential to progress: cultivating leaders, empowering youth, strengthening institutions, and increasing access to quality education and information. 

The Program Officer for Operations will join the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), to support program operations. The Program Officer will manage critical Fellowship processes such as travel, procurement, and program finance. The Program Officer will further contribute to the management of program systems, processes, and staff, including oversight of specific program components and supervision of junior staff. 

We are doers. Our decades of on-the-ground experience help us create greater impact, practical recommendations, and lasting partnerships.  

Are you the next member of our team? 

Your Background & Skills 

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field; Master’s preferred. Candidates without an advanced degree should have demonstrated experience managing program operations 
  • Three to five years’ experience working with complex projects in program operations and/or in a university, non-profit, or similar organization managing international education, development, or similar programs, demonstrating relevant progressive experience; or equivalent 
  • Supervisory experience and demonstrated ability to manage and motivate staff 
  • Demonstrated ability to plan strategically and creatively to meet specified objectives with strong ability to anticipate challenges and generate solutions 
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills and ability to manage multiple tasks with a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail, including the ability to prioritize  
  • High-level proficiency in Microsoft office products, including and especially Excel, required, including use of advanced functions and formulas 
  • Data management skills, including utilization of Salesforce (or comparable CRS/database) experience 
  • Experience managing travel logistics on a large scale, both internationally and domestically 
  • Demonstrated experience with financial tracking and budget management 
  • Strong professional writing and editing skills 
  • Experience working in and/or interest in developing capacity for project systems including Salesforce, SharePoint, SurveyGizmo, Mailchimp, Formstack, Canvas LMS, Submittable, or similar 
  • Demonstrated capability to work independently and as a team member to consistently take initiative, meet deadlines within strict time constraints, and maintain positivity and flexibility amid shifting priorities 
  • Ability to provide reliable customer service to diverse stakeholders, such as funders, corporate and university partners, and international participants, maintaining professionalism in all client or partner relations 
  • Knowledge and/or hands-on experience managing or supporting virtual programming activities, such as e-learning, online engagement, and virtual conferences and events 
  • Experience managing difficult situations with tact and diplomacy 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and cross-cultural communication skills, with experience working in a multicultural and diverse environment 
  • Availability to support scheduled program activities in the evenings and on weekends, when needed 
  • Familiarity with SEVIS 
  • Familiarity with U.S. Department of State grants and regulations 
  • Demonstrated interest in and understanding of Sub-Saharan Africa and recent developments in the region 

Your Daily Tasks 

  • Support Senior Program Officer in managing program operations, ensuring timely, accurate, and thoughtful completion of deliverables within assigned program responsibilities. 
  • Support senior Fellowship staff in financial oversight and management of the program, including budget management, pipeline support, transaction review, tracking and reporting cost share, and participant taxes. 
  • Manage international and domestic travel for partners and participants. 
  • Support collection, oversight, and management of participant information and project data, maintaining accuracy and completeness. 
  • Provide guidance to partners and participants on project deliverables and policies. 
  • Develop expertise in project systems, ensuring that the systems are accurate and up-to-date and providing guidance and support of system use to team members. 
  • Assist in managing relationships with partner institutions, including corporate, non-profit, university, and government partners and vendors. 
  • Manage procurement processes, including requests for proposals, proposal review, vendor contracts, procurement and financial records, and payments, ensuring accuracy and compliance. 
  • Develop and support virtual programming efforts, including online engagement, learning, events, and conferences. 
  • Serve as an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) in the U.S. Government SEVIS system.  
  • Supervise and manage junior program staff. 
  • Oversee and manage subcontractors, consultants, and project vendors. 
  • Provide logistical, travel, and operations support before, during, and after project events. 
  • Represent program interests both within and outside of IREX. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

IREX will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008. 

Successful candidates are subject to background screenings 

This position is eligible for Telework. 

This position is not eligible for Immigration Sponsorship 


EOE – Equal Opportunity Employer 

We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity. 

All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply. AA/EOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled