Academy for Educational Development

www.aed.org

Academy for Educational Development Reviews in Washington, DC

Updated August 15, 2014
Updated August 15, 2014
19 Reviews
2.8
19 Reviews
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Academy for Educational Development President & CEO George Ingram
George Ingram
5 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Good and Mixed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at Academy for Educational Development full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Innovative people within the company. Good technical experts. Strong historical track record, particularly in the fields of education and health.

    Cons

    Most senior level of leadership was not responsive to market changes. Stratified at the highest levels - so much so that change was difficult. They would have done well to incorporate feedback from younger employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change is good

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    OK

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Project Director in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Project Director in Washington, DC

    I worked at Academy for Educational Development full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good at capacity development; invest in staff

    Cons

    Took the suspension lightly; Never thought they would dissolve

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice at this point...AED no long exist/

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at Academy for Educational Development full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Poor upper management. Difficult to move around within.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Be prepared for an absolutely ridiculous low-ball salary offer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at Academy for Educational Development

    Pros

    Tons 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

    Cons

    Salaries 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 ManagementAdvice

    360 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

    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Finance Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Senior Finance Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at Academy for Educational Development

    Pros

    I 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.

    Cons

    Currupt 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 ManagementAdvice

    Stop 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Academy for Educational Development

    Pros

    If 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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    Open 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

    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    A dream job turned disaster

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Technical Manager in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Technical Manager in Washington, DC

    I worked at Academy for Educational Development

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Overall 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 ManagementAdvice

    Hire 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    A corrupted place with no credibility to work with corrupted governments

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst M&E in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Analyst M&E in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Academy for Educational Development

    Pros

    Great location! Some very talented and competent staff.

    Cons

    I 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 ManagementAdvice

    Return 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Broad range of options, much lost potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Academy for Educational Development

    Pros

    AED 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.

    Cons

    AED 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Approves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC

    I worked at Academy for Educational Development

    Pros

    AED 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.

    Cons

    It'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 ManagementAdvice

    Do a social network analysis to compare the informal relationship realities with the formal organizational structure.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

Academy for Educational Development Photos

Intersection of Connecticut & Florida Avenues, NW in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. (Photo thanks to Flickr user NCinDC, available under by-nd v2.0)

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