Program Officer, Transnational Kelptocracy

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a 501(c)3 grantmaking foundation that receives an annual Congressional appropriation in excess of $310 million and is governed by a private, bipartisan Board of Directors. This unusual arrangement positions NED to play a unique role as America’s leading foundation for freedom, empowering the institution to be nimble, innovative, and risk-taking in support of democratic activists, civil society organizations, independent media, and the NED family core institutes (the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Center for International Private Enterprise, and the Solidarity Center).

The International Forum for Democratic Studies seeks a Senior Program Officer focused on Transnational Kleptocracy to help strengthen the impact of our work and mission. This is an opportunity to join an ambitious institution and team committed to the cause of our time. The ideal candidate will be energized by the idea of being part of an expanding team supporting our brave partners on the frontlines of the fight for freedom and democracy around the world. This position is based in Washington, D.C.

Position Summary:

The International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy is a leading center for research, discussion, thought, and analysis on the theory and practice of democracy around the world. The Senior Program Officer will help the Forum take NED’s work on Combating Transnational Kleptocracy to a new level. The ideal candidate will bring a strong background on issues relating to the evolving challenge of transnational kleptocracy and its impact on democracy, including the flow of illicit money and other forms of grand corruption, foreign influence of oligarchic and other kleptocratic networks, and, critically, civil society responses to these challenges. The ideal candidate will have relevant research and analytic experience working with leading experts in the think tank, civil society, and advocacy communities.


· Work with Forum leadership and other NED colleagues to lead the conception and organization of innovative workshops, public events, and other meetings related to NED’s work on transnational kleptocracy and how this global challenge is challenging democracy by fueling autocracy around the world, exploiting the international financial system, evading democratic government and non-government responses, and cooperating with other autocracies across borders.

· Collaborate with external experts to produce creative and thought-provoking material that deepens understanding of issues and accelerates learning across regions, including event-related summaries and materials, short, and long-form multimedia publications.

· Develop and build cross-sectoral networks of relevant experts, civil society activists, and external partners working at the intersection of authoritarian influence, transnational kleptocracy, and democratic development.

· Develop communications strategies for the dissemination of Forum materials to reach and grow new and influential target audiences.

· Contribute and participate actively in NED-wide strategy and grantmaking relevant to transnational kleptocracy.

· Work effectively across the Forum team and all internal NED departments.

· Other duties as assigned.

· The level of responsibility and independence in assigned tasks will increase with experience.


· Bachelor’s degree in international affairs or related subject required;

· 4+ years of relevant work.

· Strong understanding of the global challenge of transnational kleptocracy and the role of civil society.

· Professional experience with democracy assistance is a plus.

· Sound understanding of the NED’s mission and the importance of developing and maintaining positive relations within the Endowment and with external stakeholders.

· Excellent analytic, research, writing, and editing skills.

· Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with complex projects.

· Strong communication skills and ability to collaborate in a team environment.

· Ability to work efficiently in a dynamic environment, take initiative, and juggle competing priorities.

· Ability to travel internationally.

· Authorized to work in the United States.

This position is part of the NED Bargaining Unit.

To Apply:

Applications must include a cover letter, resume, desired salary, and contact information for three professional references, one of which should be a supervisor.

Located in Washington, D.C., the salary range for this role is $51,750 –$73,125 USD, plus benefits. The final offer for a successful candidate will be determined by a combination of factors, including, but not limited to, skill set, level of experience, education, and market considerations.

At NED, we recognize that our most important asset is our people. We value the diversity of skills and perspectives our team brings to our work. We believe an inclusive and supportive work environment fosters a culture of respect and appreciation for all individuals. NED is committed to creating a workplace that allows everyone to be their authentic selves and make meaningful contributions to our organization, our grantees, and our world.

NED strives to create a work experience that supports our employees’ well-being and healthy work-life balance. Our comprehensive benefits package offers health insurance (includes no copay for mental health services), a generous retirement savings plan, paid parental, vacation, and sick leave, a hybrid workplace model, flexible work schedules, and wellness initiatives to ensure a positive work-life balance.

NED is dedicated to creating an environment of respect and collaboration where everyone is encouraged to participate and take ownership of their work. We offer flexible work schedules and, for most positions, the opportunity for weekly telework days. This hybrid approach allows our employees to balance their work and personal lives while still participating in the collaborative process at the heart of our mission.

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 needs. The NED believes that diversity and inclusion among our team members are critical to our success as an organization operating globally and seeks to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.

For more information, please visit our website at or