Director of Communities and Governance (Practice Lead) - Global Programs Group

Domestic Washington, District Of Columbia


DATE REVISED: June 5, 2019      

FLSA STATUS: Exempt                                                   

GRADE: 8                                                                            

POSITION TITLE: Director of Communities and Governance (Practice Lead)          

REPORTS TO: Vice President Global Programs  


IREX is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to building a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world by empowering youth, cultivating leaders, strengthening institutions, and extending access to quality education and information.



IREX seeks an entrepreneurial and collaborative Director to lead IREX’s Communities and Governance Practice (C&G).  C&G is a core program area for IREX, with operational programs world wide.  The C&G practice provides high-quality solutions designed to improve the effectiveness of institutions of local government, empower communities to be positive change agents, preserve civic and political space for free expression and assembly, advance gender equity and social inclusion, and fight modern slavery. 

This position is within our Global Programs, and will provide strategic leadership and programmatic management for a team of over 20 talented staff who support, coordinate, design and implement programs within a more than $40 million-dollar C&G portfolio.  The incumbent is a part of the Global Programs Leadership team and a member of IREX’s senior management. Through these roles, they provide leadership across the organization in support of IREX’s work.

A proven team entrepreneurial and collaborative leader, the Director of C&G will guide the practice and collaborate with other IREX practices and teams. This is a role that combines strategy, excellence in program execution, and relationship building to deliver sound programs, and to cultivate a spirit of learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship within the practice and across IREX as it relates to C&G program areas. The Director will work with the Vice President of Global Programs to further strengthen systems for delivering high quality services and products, and to position IREX for increased impact and future growth.  



Provide direction, leadership, and management of IREX’s Communities and Governance Practice

  • Provides sound and forward-looking technical management and oversight for a portfolio of governance and civil society projects;
  • Develop and execute plans for practice talent management, including recruitment, staff assignments, performance goal setting and management, and training and other professional development for DC and field-based staff.
  • Manage practice overhead budget and adherence to IREX policies and administrative and operating systems and practices. Develop or refine program support systems and practices when clear needs emerge.
  • Ensures all projects assigned in the practice portfolio are measuring and achieving their intended impact, are compliant with donor and IREX policies, and are fiscally sound.Provide or oversee effective and timely management of project start-up and close downs. 
  • Lead annual planning and manage implementation of the C&G Practice Annual Plan.

Provide leadership and vision to IREX’s work across the organization in support of institutional development and community impact goals. 

  • Provides technical input and direction for governance initiatives across IREX including data for civic decision making, anti-trafficking programs, institutionalization of gender and social inclusion practices, and other emerging issue areas.
  • Develops and promotes technical expertise and program impact through technical products and approaches.
  • Ensures public representation and promotion of IREX’s work to a range of external audiences, directly or by empowering and coaching staff.
  • Ensures IREX values are “lived” by practice staff by setting example and tone for practice and emphasizing the importance/necessity of practicing our values to achieve impact.

Identify, organize for, and contribute to IREX growth opportunities  

  • Creates new business opportunities for IREX by establishing new strategic relationships, partnerships, and pilots; and/or by building on existing relationships, partnerships, and programs; or driving technical design of new initiatives, programming, and products.
  • Leads and/or contributes to complex proposal efforts ensuring that global best practices, research, and approaches are incorporated into design; mentorsother staff in leading and designing high quality proposals and concept notes. 
  • Liaises with funders at the stage of award negotiation and during project implementation.

Provide IREX organizational level leadership

  • Serves as a key member of the Global Programs Leadership Team, led by the Vice President for Global Programs.
  • Participates in IREX wide Senior Management responsibilities including strategic planning, review and consultation on policies and practices and high-level representation/support for large program events and key interventions.



  • Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree preferred
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant experience; prefer a combination of technical leadership and progressive program and staff management.
  • Demonstrated experience leading a team of individuals with diverse technical skills and levels; prefer experience managing said team across distributed geography.  
  • Demonstrated ability to manage complex donor-funded programs, including project execution, financial management, policy compliance, staff recruitment and management, evaluation and communication, excellence in technical approaches, and producing high-quality and timely donor deliverables.
  • Clear grasp of established best practice, emerging trends, and innovative approaches, tools, or techniques that support governance and civil society programming.
  • Record of organizational or public leadership around institutional strengthening, civil society, accountable governance, or other relevant area of expertise; familiarity with impact metrics, social inclusion, and human rights work in politically closed or closing space.
  • Ability to set and guide strategic vision and goals for the C&G Practice, andcontribute to setting short and long-term organizational goals through participation in IREX’s Senior Management team. 
  • Strong organization and communications skills; ability to translate strategy into concrete initiatives and collaborate to mobilize the people, revenue, and partners necessary to achieve results
  • Flexibility for travel internationally and domestically, as needed, to develop and maintain relationships
  • Fluent, professional, written and spoken English; other languages encouraged
  • Demonstrated commitment to IREX values ( and collaborative staff management style