Freedom House

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Freedom House Reviews

35 Reviews
3.2
35 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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David J. Kramer
21 Ratings
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Organization in freefall.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Officer
    Former Employee - Program Officer

    I worked at Freedom House full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are some very nice and talented people who work here. We move to a new office soon, which could only be a positive thing. Upcoming change in leadership, will also be a potential positive...

    Previously controversial Human resources Director was replaced by a very kind and helpful person. Good job, Freedom House, Incorporated (Inc.). She and the HR staff are doing well to get things moving in the right direction.

    Cons

    In reference to the Washington, DC-based organization, there are many to consider.

    Liiterally dozens of the organization's staff members have left this year. Sometimes, it was due to funding. But in many cases it was due to they just could not take it anymore. They seem to have taken upper management's attitude - if you think you can get higher pay/more respect/a better work experience elsewhere, go ahead and try - to heart.

    Accountability:
    there is little accountability at Freedom House, Inc. Instances of waste are not uncommon - yet the leadership seems strangely uninterested in doing anything about it, even when it harms organizational reputation (which makes it difficult to get more funding in the future). Serious instances of incompetence and ethical violations are (or at least historically have been) swept under the rug.

    Management
    There are certainly widespread morale problems stemming in large part from ineffectual management, both senior and middle. The current executive leadership is highly ineffective at tackling the challenges facing the Organization. For instance, on the Programming side there is no discernible strategy for dealing with "USAID (the United States Agency for International Development) Forward" and the movement by other donors to directly funding local organizations. Being intermediary for the US government and local groups is no longer a "value added." Freedom House, Inc. has yet to carve out new niche. The senior leadership will not come up with coherent strategy for moving forward. They are stuck in the passed. They are seen to be either highly disorganized/scattered or pushing their own agenda (at the expense of all else). In both the cases, it is ineffective leadership and that has a negative trickle-down effect on the morale and performance of the organization.

    In Middle Management, citizens are hired or promoted to positions where they should at least have a modicum of a) demonstrated success at program management, b) ability to can manage people and lead teams, and c) raise funding. However, key management positions are hired for by the aforementioned executive staff, often with disastrous consequences. Several teams (Mid-East & North Africa, South East Asia, Freedom of Expression) are in their death throes. Still, the leadership does nothing! Bizarrely, several "managers" were promoted to "directors" this year, even when they have little to know staff to manage/direct.

    Fundraising
    The burden of fundraising and new business development falls on what are called "junior" staff, with VPs and management typically only reading the proposals before submission to offer last minute suggestions about projects they'll never really work on if the proposal is won (unless it involves travel to a nice fun place). Nevertheless!! executive staff is included in proposal budgets at minimum 10% of salary, inflating personnel costs and making proposals less competitive. Nobody monitors how many work hours are spent fundraising (writing proposals) and ignoring actual program implementation. (There's also the issue of charging to grants while working on fundraising.) The president spends valuable time and energy fundraising for the "flagship publications" but not the programs. He says this doesn't take away money from programming but that is discounting the opportunity cost.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As a parting show of good faith, the outgoing president should get rid of the 3-4 execs who are not doing their jobs. Don't set the next guy/gal up for failure.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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