IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board)

www.irex.org
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IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) Reviews

Updated March 17, 2015
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3.7
14 Reviews
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Kristin M. Lord
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Great nonprofit international development organization

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

    I have been working at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Staff are amazing, great room for professional growth, many international travel opportunities

    Cons

    salary can be a bit lower than competitors, especially for entry level positions

  2. Good organization, though depends on which division

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

    I worked at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You can learn a lot at the organization especially about international development programs. Plus, IREX continues to grow in areas of MENA and sub-saharan Africa.

    Cons

    In the Education Programs Division, program associates can expect to do a lot of grunt work with little input on program management and little chance for advancement.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Great mission, Professional development opportunities, and Low compensation

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

    I have been working at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    +Mission-based non-profit organization, focusing on education, media, civil society, and technology
    +Great office building with lots of perks (coffee, tea, nespresso) and great location in downtown DC
    +Professional development opportunities and in-house trainings
    +Youthful organization with approximately 150 employees in the Washington, DC office and people who are passionate about their work
    +Opportunity for professional growth if you align yourself with the right people in the organization and fit within the organizational culture at IREX

    Cons

    -Divisions are somewhat siloed both physically as well as by projects/programs, therefore while there is cross-divisional collaboration, employees tend to gravitate to their own divisions to conduct business as well as to socialize
    -Low compensation
    -Professional development may be limited if you are not aligned with the right people and do not fit within the organizational culture at IREX
    -Toxic senior leadership (Advice: Investigate who your primary supervisor will be before accepting a position)

    Advice to Management

    Empower employees through ownership and accountability in the decision-making processes and treat them as active collaborators in projects and programs.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Senior Leadership and Upper Management Wake UP!

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

    I have been working at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Everyone is pretty open and nice on a personal level. Everyone is there for the cause "Make the world better", which makes you feel you are working for something larger than yourself. The organization is constantly seeking new opportunities to grow and create new programs, which is vastly interesting.

    Cons

    The way Directors speak to staff below them and the lack of on boarding/training is laughable at best and worst I have seen in my life. The amount structure of the organization and some of divisions places so much work (read actually work and not responsibility-like decision making) that some work excessive hours while the org preaches about work-life balance. This balance is unachievable for those positions while they continue to be chastised by their lack of "commitment and focus to the job".

    Advice to Management

    Get a clue and wake up. You have some dedicated staff members who are killing themselves daily but are ready to walk. In certain cases some directors are on to their third or manager for certain programs because of their lack of leadership and management, not the program manager.

  6. Program Coordinator

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

    I worked at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) full-time

    Pros

    Great team that is culturally aware and progressive

    Cons

    N/A - no real suggestion. Keep doing great

  7. Great place to work

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

    I worked at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    IREX has created a collegial work environment while managing a challenging set of projects. IREX is also comprised of capable, friendly, mission-driven field-based staff and the DC office (renovated in April 2013) is a great environment in which to work. I also really enjoyed the size of the org (roughly 100 in DC; 450 globally).

    Cons

    Though it has been known to pay less than other DC-based mid-sized NGOs, I certainly enjoyed my experience with this organization. Limited mobility for some less senior staff and a high degree of burnout in the Educations Program Division.

    Advice to Management

    Define your future goals and present a united front. A lighter touch of management style from the Sr. Management might do the organization some good (i.e. instill a greater degree of trust in your SPO/POs).

  8. Helpful (1)

    Good people, good mission

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

    I have been working at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Focuses on key areas of development, mainly education, media, civil society, that can change societies for the better. Good, interesting colleagues. Openness to employees who show initiative. Most employees really care about the work.

    Cons

    Some in senior management seem disconnected from the reality of development and from the real work IREX does. Inconsistent management approach between divisions and very different cultures between divisisions.

    Advice to Management

    Be better at listening to employees; understand our work and the field of development; streamline management structure - too many involved.

  9. My work at IREX was interesting, although there is not enough incentive given to new employees.

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

    I worked at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) part-time (Less than a year)

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There is a diverse workforce and good chemistry between employees.

    Cons

    Some projects are impractical and should be managed more efficiently.

    Advice to Management

    The divisions at IREX are somewhat rigid and do not cover everything they should.

  10. Helpful (1)

    Fun for awhile, but it gets stale fast.

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

    I have been working at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some good people doing good work.

    Cons

    Expect mainly administrative work, unless you go beyond the Senior Program Officer level, and even then, it's not particularly much better I imagine.

  11. Helpful (5)

    Toxic leadership culture

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

    I worked at IREX (International Research & Exchanges Board) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Really nice colleagues
    Some great programs that make a true difference on the ground
    Good benefits
    If you report to a good manager and believe in the program you are working on, you can remain untouched by the toxic top leadership.

    Cons

    Top leadership -- several of whom have never done anything substantial other than work at IREX -- are obsessed with their own prerogatives, power, and privilege. They would rather enforce hierarchical distance, than do what is best for the organization or beneficiaries around the world.

    The organization has long struggled with defining its mission, because it is far easier to define what it doesn't do than what it does, with a hodgepodge of programs that are linked only by their nominal housing at IREX. In fact, the organization's true mission is to go after every lucrative contract it can, making it really no different then for-profit international development firms (except that IREX pays less) or the classic beltway bandits in the military arena.

    Huge gap between what most of the staff earns and those at the top.

    Advice to Management

    Give up some power, show some humility, desire to learn from your staff.

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