Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. Reviews

Updated January 23, 2015
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Dr. Mirza Jahani
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7 Employee Reviews

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  1. Rewarding Volunteer Work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Schools Outreach Lead in Atlanta, GA
    Former Employee - Schools Outreach Lead in Atlanta, GA

    I worked at Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. part-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    The work that I got to do with this organization was very rewarding. They raise money to end global poverty. I was part of the schools outreach team. The schools initiative was in its' second year at the time. It was challenging to establish a name for the schools outreach team among the local community but I enjoyed the challenge. I had immense support from my team. By the end of my term we not only reach but surpassed our goal of having 20 schools as an active part of the initiative.

    Cons

    Depending on your role the responsibilities can become a bit overwhelming at times. I had a regional role so that meant a lot had to be done in a somewhat short amount of time. Although, if you are passionate about ending global poverty then the lack of sleep/social life/work-personal life balance won't phase you.


  2. Less professional

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

    I have been working at Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great exposure with much higher responsibilities for new graduates, that you can not easily find out somewhere else. A lot of field travels and first hand experience. Flexibility for personal initiatives and lot of room for creativity. a lot of Culture diversity and many nationalities in a relatively small team.

    Cons

    Poor Salary and personnel management. Employment policies enforced randomly at manager's will. There is no official pay scale, and you can be surprised to learn that a pear makes 50% and yet same responsibilities and experiences. Instead of written policies, management favoritism tend to be more prevailing.

    Advice to Management

    Open Communication and transparency in pay scales.


  3. good entry level positions

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    great networking atmosphere, friendly staff, some professional growth

    Cons

    short turn over, people change constantly, internal politics can affect daily routine

    Advice to Management

    to take more professional stance, politics of the organization should not affect every single employee


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (1)

    Not very professional

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

    I worked at Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    A lot of chance to learn new things and skills. Health insurance and things like that were good, and some of the assistants and associate staff are a lot of fun. Some people who work on the programs get to travel, but otherwise not.

    Cons

    The senior management are not empowered and not very good. Only the CEO and CFO have any authority. Hierarchy and social standing mean a lot here. The staff burn out quite quickly, salaries are all over the place but on the whole pretty low, woman who work here are likely to notice some sexism from management. There's no HR either.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest, transparent and respectful to your staff.


  6. Could be so much better.

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

    I worked at Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    It's a great place for a young person, just out of university or MA degree to get development experience for 2 years, then use that as a launching point for an overseas posting or into a larger company or NGO. The organization is known for good work, so it can be a resume-enhancer. Since staff is small, you get to know the project management process at all levels, which serves you well when you go to a different organization. Management staff did try to provide growth opportunities to staff who were interested, and that was appreciated.

    Cons

    All of these comments relate to the situation when I left, so there may have been changes. The staff is small, resulting in overwork and a lack of mobility. There is a significant lack of transparency at all levels of the organization that hampers its ability to effectively implement projects and anticipate the future, as well as run the organization using nonprofit best practices. Salaries and benefits are on average lower than other similar NGOs, and while management was addressing those issues, the process was incomplete. There is a significant level, or at least a signification perception, of favoritism between managers and certain staff, contributing to low morale, favoritism was salary-related and workload-related (i.e. higher salaries and small workloads for the favorites). There is high turnover, although for a variety of reasons, some due to the nature of the industry. The management focuses on each little nickel and dime, and misses the larger picture (penny wise, pound foolish). There is a lack of legal and financial oversight that is troublesome; junior staff are reviewing and revising legal documents with little qualified review.

    Advice to Management

    Be more transparent. Stop preferential treatment. Hire good people, not people who fit a certain box. Don't be afraid to hire (and keep) people who will tell you things you might not want to hear, as it will be good for the organization in the long-run.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Politics, Religion and Family/Community Connections Reign Over This Foundation

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

    I worked at Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A great place for recent college graduates to get a year or two experience in international development. In some departments you are able to learn a lot/gain new skills depending on how you manage the "dicey political waters" at the Foundation. At times it is a fun, engaging, demanding work environment and you get to go home knowing you are working for a great cause.

    Cons

    During my time at the Foundation I saw some employees leave bitter and resentful. If you take a job - try to keep a distance from the politics that run rampant here but also develop positive relations with managers and co-workers. Never forget that how your direct line manager (and upper management) views your work/person will dramatically effect your salary increases and promotions. Also, if you want to do well here turn a blind eye to the family/community connections that seem to permeate throughout the entire Aga Khan Development Network. Lastly, expect to see quick turnovers, a lack of transparency and some eye rolling moments.

    Advice to Management

    There are organizations that solely focus on helping international development organizations improve performance and achieve business results. Put aside the time and money that will be needed to actually obtain results.


  8. Field staff are very passionate and hard-working, senior management can be tricky.

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

    I worked at Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Dedicated staff in the country office.

    Cons

    Senior management at the country office can be bad and there are no checks and balances to keep them in line.



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