Academy for Educational Development
2.7 of 5 18 reviews
www.aed.org Washington, DC 1000 to 5000 Employees

Academy for Educational Development Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated Feb 28, 2014
Academy for Educational Development – Washington – “Intersection of Connecticut & Florida Avenues, NW…”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.5 11 reviews

                             

25% Approve of the CEO

Academy for Educational Development President & CEO George Ingram

George Ingram

(4 ratings)

29% of employees recommend this company to a friend
11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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OK

Senior Project Director (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Academy for Educational Development full-time for more than a year

ProsGood at capacity development; invest in staff

ConsTook the suspension lightly; Never thought they would dissolve

Advice to Senior ManagementNo advice at this point...AED no long exist/

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Large organization with so many different divisions and not a lot of communication/ movement between the.

Program Manager (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Academy for Educational Development full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat location. Enthusiastic employees. Wonderful mission. Flexibility in work schedule. Very good benefits package. Lots of interesting groups.

ConsPoor upper management. Difficult to move around within.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Be prepared for an absolutely ridiculous low-ball salary offer

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Academy for Educational Development

ProsTons of trainings and professional development opportunities are offered, if you can make them work into your work schedule. Some supervisors are more helpful than others in facilitating this

ConsSalaries are significantly lower than competitors, mandatory 9 hour days impede work life balance. Benefits were just OK. My particular supervisor was TERRIBLE and their HR processes weren't at all prepared to deal with grievances about a supervisor, only about subordinates

Advice to Senior Management360 review process might help to identify managers like mine who have no business being in supervisory positions. Exit interviews might also be a useful tool

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Extreme corruption, serious violations of government regulations, manipulated finance reports, much misuse of funds.

Senior Finance Manager (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Academy for Educational Development

ProsI wonderful mission, many good employees who were not given the opportunity to share their knowledge. Solid reputation and great potential to make a difference in the world.

ConsCurrupt Human Resources, serious violations of funds expenditures, very high hidden bonus to management, manipulation of budget structiures in several bids, Manipulated reports to USAID regularly on project expenditures. Senior manager taking positions overseas but still receiving the same high salary as Senior VP plus expat benefits.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop the corruption. Internal politics. Allow finance managers to perform their jobs according to Federal regulations. Stop manipulation of overhead in order to win contracts from multilateral organizations and foundations.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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I now know what its like to live as a serf in the days of old....

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at Academy for Educational Development

ProsIf you are in a good position, you can pursue your own projects and funding.
Lots of talented people at AED.
Physical work environment good.
The Mission is good, but it seems to be only words

ConsThe competitive environment between centers inhibits collaboration and lowers the quality of work we are able to do.
Senior management are only interested in new business development or when there are problems. There seems to be little or no concern for the quality of our work.
Positive performance is not recognized. But when there are problems, you can be attacked.
Management is top-down with little focus on a person's humanity.
There are no mechanisms to communicate up the chain.
There is a culture of self-censorship that seems to arise from a fear of reprisal
Promotions are handled first from a political perspective.
Senior management states that technical excellence is AED's most valued asset. However, all promotions and recognition are provide for people in management positions with little or no technical capacity.
Some teams are really dysfunctional.
Performance assessment process is a joke and purely an administrative task.
The disparity between the lowest salaries and the highest are embarrassing for a non-profit.
If someone needs to be paid over $300K for the privilege to make a positive difference in the world than something is really wrong and they should go to the private sector. We cannot be dedicated to our mission if we have to paid so much.

Advice to Senior ManagementOpen and use your ears.
Create a 360 degree assessment process.
Destroy the culture of self-censorship
Create policies that will punish internal competition and rewards collaboration
Live the mission. Focus more on excellent work and less on business development
Reduce the salary disparity and lower the top salaries to no more than $300K

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A dream job turned disaster

Technical Manager (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Academy for Educational Development

ProsBenefits are OK, and the educational development benefit is useful; it pays for conference attendance or professional memberships.

ConsOverall chaos and disorganization prevailed at AED even prior to their being banned from receiving further USAID funding. After that, even worse conditions developed. Payment of reimbursements and postal allowances (for working in a dangerous foreign environment) were delayed or denied for no apparent reason. Communication between management and employees became adversarial and fraught with mistrust. Promises had been made by middle managers in conflict with AED policy and resulted in employee disenchantment. Employees' adverse reactions to being lied to were not validated.
A bait & switch approach to salary information was used to attract employees to positions as contractors, then they were switched to regular employees at greatly reduced salaries. Employees were expected to develop educational programs without access to libraries or textbooks. Orders for materials were delayed by months due to bureaucratic inaction.
Employees in a country known for terrorist activity were housed in unsafe conditions and transported without safety precautions as recommended by their own emergency insurance plan.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire managers who do not see their relationship to employees as an adversarial one. Get better contract writers; contract terms were unclear and unreasonable because the contract was written by someone without experience on the ground in the host country and without an educational background. Make sure that communication with employees is honest and is conducted on a professional level by all employees. Do not place managers in a position for which they are not qualified. Take better care of overseas staff members.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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A corrupted place with no credibility to work with corrupted governments

Analyst M&E (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at Academy for Educational Development

ProsGreat location! Some very talented and competent staff.

ConsI wonder how the organization can work on behalf of the US Government and lead programs that support, protect and promote values such as transparency, gender equality, anti corruption, advocacy, healthy lifestyles when it does not practice it! I'm at a loss for words trying to comprehend how AED continues to get ridiculous amounts of money from our government when the economy is so bad.

Advice to Senior ManagementReturn the money to tax payers, stop corruption and treat your employees with dignity and respect. And fire some many of the top senior and mid level managers that perpetuate an environment of fear and corruption.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Broad range of options, much lost potential

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at Academy for Educational Development

ProsAED has access to a huge range of options in terms of countries, projects and topics in which it works, and its staff is very competent and diverse. Climate is friendly, open and respectful. Provides opportunities and expects staff to be self-managed in terms of their time and tasks. Benefits are great. Location of the main offices is great too.

ConsAED management is surprisingly weak considering its success in the industry - probably a reflection of growing up with its main source of funding (US government agencies). Incentives and compensation do not address the needs for development of the organization nor its staff, but rather compensate giving "110% because management messed up." Local staff in field offices are second-class citizens with few chances for advancement in the organization. Overall the organization is wasting the huge potential of its staff and knowledge.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe less hidebound. Break down stove-piping, commit in practice to your words: a global organization.

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Good overall, but has its downsides

Web and Database Developer (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at Academy for Educational Development

ProsNice people, pleasant office space filled with art, frequent cultural and educational events open to all staff. Quite good benefits.

ConsServing in a technical role (web and database developer for one of AED's projects) I feel too far removed from having a direct positive impact on any of the areas in which AED works. I've also been frustrated by the IT department, which is inflexible when it comes to their policies. For example, Remote Desktop Connection is also blocked, which makes it very difficult for me to work from home. I'm sure that inflexible IT policies are not unique to AED, but it's new to me, coming from a college environment that was much more permissive.

Working in a technical role in this organization can be isolating, because there is no network amongst other staff doing similar work for other projects. In my job, I have no technical mentor or anyone who can review my design decisions.

Advice to Senior ManagementOn the right track.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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A great place to learn, move up, then move on.

Program Officer (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Academy for Educational Development

ProsAED is a thought and practice leader in government contracting around so many types of social issues. It is a great place to start your career and gain transferable skills while you figure out your own interests and talents. If you get the right manager, AED central services provides great resources for personal and professional development. It is easy to move up and to gain great skills that are recognized throughout the international development community. They have great infrastructure and facilities for a non-profit and are located in a nice location to work. The roof deck is a major perk.

ConsIt's a large place and easy to get stuck with a less-than-forward-thinking manager who does not always see the big picture.
They have major leadership pipeline issues: many upper level staff get too bogged down in administrative or programmatic tasks instead of being strategic leaders.
Some senior managers have work-life balance issues and expect the same level of commitment from their underpaid staff.
Compared to other organizations, there are very few opportunities for international travel for lower and mid level employees.
The organization does not have a strategic communications strategy- neither internal nor external, and could benefit from some better reflection on the way that they talk to their employees.

Advice to Senior ManagementDo a social network analysis to compare the informal relationship realities with the formal organizational structure.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Academy for Educational Development reviews and ratings in Washington, DC — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Academy for Educational Development CEO George Ingram. All 11 reviews posted anonymously by Academy for Educational Development employees.