Director of Political Parties

National Democratic Institute
November 8, 2019
Washington, Dist. Columbia
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
10+ Years
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Not specified
Base Salary
Not specified


Job Function: Washington DC
Department: Political Parties
Location: Washington, DC

Director of Political Parties

Working with established and emerging political parties and movements across the political spectrum, NDI's political parties programs seek to build responsive and accountable political institutions that serve the needs and preferences of citizens and operate in a manner consistent with democratic values of the peaceful competition for power, transparency, representation, pluralism, and accountability.

Political parties and movements which are responsive to citizen aspirations and effectively deliver on policy solutions are critical to a functioning democracy.
Yet polarization and waning confidence in traditional models of political organizing are contributing to new approaches and actors stepping into the political arena to compete for citizens' support, including at the ballot box.

In all these areas, the Director will ensure the Institute's commitment to promoting the representative and substantive inclusion of women, young people, and other marginalized groups is upheld.

The Director will lead a functional team whose primary focus is to provide assistance to regional teams, country teams and partners related to the work of the Institute. The Director will also play a leadership role at the Institute and work closely with the Executive Office and others in providing guidance on the Institute's global policies and overall strategic direction. The Director will be responsible for working with other Functional and Regional leads as necessary to improve institutional approaches and tools; advance norms and democratic networks; develop new institutional relationships; and expand NDI's external profile in this area.


Provide Thought Leadership for Effective Delivery of Political Parties Programs by working across the Institute to support programming related to improved citizen responsiveness, particularly on issues related to inclusive policy development and capacity-building with a focus on new models of organizing, representing citizen interests and demonstrating respect for democratic values.

  • Serve as lead technical advisor for programs around the globe related to the engagement of established and emerging political parties and movements across the political spectrum.
  • Conduct regional and in-country assessments at regional, national and local levels, to consider strategies to improve citizen-centered political organizing models.
  • Organize expertise and innovation on political party organizing from all levels of the organization and channel it into program design, best practices and global norms and standards.


  • Lead and manage a multicultural team located in Washington, DC, in strategic planning, creative program design, and effective project implementation.
  • Provide leadership, guidance and support to regional and in-country teams in the design and execution of program activities
  • Nurture existing, and develop new relationships with political leaders, citizen representatives and other key stakeholders to encourage greater government accountability.
  • Promote and ensure a professional and respectful workplace environment for all staff.

Build approaches and tools and develop staff capacity in priority country programs and at NDI's headquarters

  • Develop lines of inquiry, design tools and pilot approaches to responsive political organizing particularly in the areas of inclusive political party reform and integrity efforts, including citizen-centered strategies for emerging political parties and movements, and consensus driven policy development.
  • Develop and/or recommend a set of monitoring and evaluation approaches for political party programs.

External Engagement

  • Identify and engage: key donor agencies (including USAID, DRL, NED, FCO and DFID, Global Affairs Canada, World Bank, UN and others); local partner organizations; research organizations and think tanks that focus on political parties and organizing.
  • Nurture and further develop networks within regional and global party internationals and other relevant organizations across the globe.
  • Engage practitioners with skills which include political reform, policy development with particular focus on gender, youth engagement and the application of technology.


  • Bachelor degree required. Master's degree preferred in relevant disciplines such as international affairs or political science.
  • Minimum 20 years of professional work experience in political party organizing, including international and diverse organizing models, citizen-centered policy design, strategy and message development, party renewal and movement building.
  • Experience managing a multi-cultural team in strategic planning, creative program design, and effective project implementation.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated credibility as a political leader with diverse networks.
  • Experience in international development including design, implementation, and evaluation of integrated political organizing programming. Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated experience engaging with host-country counterparts, including designing and leading training for staff and partners.
  • Experience with diverse donor requirements, including USAID, the Department of State, DFID, Global Affairs Canada, and the National Endowment for Democracy.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills combined with practical on the ground program development experience.
  • Prior general and/or program management of financial resources and risks.
  • Ability to communicate in a clear, positive manner with partners and staff.
  • Fluency in oral and written English required; additional abilities in French, Spanish, Arabic or other relevant languages also useful.


NDI welcomes and supports a diverse, inclusive work environment. As such, our commitment is to promote equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants seeking employment and NDI employees. NDI makes employment decisions based on organizational needs, job requirements and individual qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, personal appearance, military status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation, educational status, unemployment status, place of residence or business, source of income, or reproductive health decision making. Additionally, harassment or discrimination based on these characteristics will not be tolerated at NDI. To perform the essential functions of this position, reasonable accommodations are available to qualified individuals with disabilities and qualified individuals who have limitations due to pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or medical related condition.

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