International Republican Institute Reviews

Updated August 20, 2015
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Mark Green
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26 Employee Reviews

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  1. Program Officer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at International Republican Institute full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great learning experience. You are given a fair amount of autonomy to run your program without much micro-managing (depending on your division. There is no micro-managing in mine). There are ample travel opportunities for the PO level as well. free unlimited coffee.

    Cons

    Way too much bureaucracy. Every single thing you do program-wise requires a lot of paperwork. There is no dedicated team for business development so program implementors are also tasked with business development. i.e. grant proposal writing. There is a lot of reporting that is required, and program staff might find that they spend 60-70% of their time on business dev or on reporting, than in actual program implementing. There is a lot of pressure on program staff to not only implement programs perfectly but to also secure as much funding as possible, even if a grant has just been received. Divisions tend to be understaffed and the hiring process is exceedingly and unnecessarily long and drawn out. It's hard to be promoted from within, and even when that happens, staff is compensated under market rate or not as high as staff that has been hired from outside. Worst part of everything, the Institute is redesigning their office layout to an open floor plan, to no one's delight.

    Advice to Management

    Be faster in hiring staff when there is a need. Move toward having a dedicated team for business development so program staff can actually spend their time implementing programs.


  2. Program Assistant

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at International Republican Institute full-time

    Pros

    If you get on a good portfolio, there are cool opportunities to travel and conduct interesting international programming.

    Cons

    Unfortunately there are few opportunities for internal advancement, international travel and professional growth that are not monopolized by the Senior Staff.

    Advice to Management

    Senior Staff have difficulty attracting and keeping talent. More resources to retention would benefit the institute as a whole.


  3. Helpful (2)

    manager

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Manager in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at International Republican Institute full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Believe in its mission and core values.

    Cons

    Disconnect leadership. Poor judgement advise from wrong sources

    Advice to Management

    Rather not at this time


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Gallant Mission, Horrible Implementation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Junior Staff in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Junior Staff in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at International Republican Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The idea of working to advance freedom, equality, and equal representation worldwide is wonderful. For those who are mission driven, the IDEA of the work is really wonderful.

    Cons

    This organization is a perfect paradigm for "what not to do." Between a total lack of management, absence of business know-how, pervasive bureaucracy, absolute black hole of office culture and dead-end reality of career advancement, I can say my most valuable skills gained included how to handle crises and how to manage up. The opportunities to travel or perform rewarding work are overshadowed and tainted completely by everything else that comes with working at IRI. The people who work there come in talented, sharp, interested, and interesting; after a period of time they are not only unhappy, but the culture is so that one is made to feel pretty worthless, and unskilled despite their talents and strong capabilities. I think this place could have been /can be great, but it's a LONG road there.

    Advice to Management

    The Institute needs a complete overhaul. The mind-set of "We are a non-profit" needs to go. You can still be mission driven, but you have to be revenue motivated. Bring in people from the private sector and stop using the "we have to work with the senior staff we have" excuse. Get rid of the old guard and start fresh. Listen to your junior staff, they're the ones who are really running your programs anyway!


  6. International travel agent

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - International Travel Agent in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - International Travel Agent in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at International Republican Institute full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Opporunity to familiarize with GSA regulations

    Cons

    Be able to peform in Highly stressful environment

    Advice to Management

    Establish soild internal policies


  7. Helpful (4)

    Needs a complete overhaul

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at International Republican Institute full-time

    Pros

    The organization has a fascinating mission and it is great for someone seeking to get into development. You get really good at paper pushing and red tape.

    Cons

    Most of the senior management has been there for years and they promote their pets/favorites to positions within the organization. There is no accountability for the senior management and they do not serve the best interests of the organization (or its mission)... This is best evidenced in the lack of openness to new ideas/people/concepts. The organization itself is great, but it is being stifled by poor management and cronyism; oddly, the very things that IRI combats overseas.

    Advice to Management

    The Board needs to drastically shake up the organization from the grasps of all the lifers.


  8. COP

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at International Republican Institute full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    freedom to work in field, exciting, challenging work interacting with host country nationals on democracy and governance issues. Benefits good, with one exception below.

    Cons

    benefits for families not what they should be, specifically education support.

    Advice to Management

    education stipend


  9. Good cause

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at International Republican Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company's mission is a noble and urgent one, so there is pride in knowing that we are part of something bigger and important. It is also a great pleasure to work with some of the colleagues on the field, there is a sense of comradery which allows a great work environment

    Cons

    There is a big disconnect between HQ and the field. The policies and procedures are often taken from a HQ point of view and not taking into account some of the challenging environments of the countries we work on. Also, management doesn't really know or is always aware of the work we all do and therefore put unrealistic expectations on our shoulders. Also, make sure to look for the expat jobs, the compensation and benefits are a lot better than what they offer in DC


  10. Helpful (3)

    Good people, but poor management, bureaucracy

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at International Republican Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are some really great people here working in the overseas office and on program staff who care about their work and are dedicated to the cause. Opportunities to interact with important political figures from around the world is a positive, and you will learn a lot about the countries/regions you are working on. Travel opportunities, depending on your division and position.

    Cons

    Front office management has long been poor. The president was forced out several years ago but vps and other upper-level figures stayed, so not much has changed despite the new president. Front office doesn't trust lower level staff, monitors them closely and insert themselves/interfere with processes and decision making that should be left to regional directors. The front office is always issuing new rules, burdensome approval processes and paperwork requirements that strangles programming and takes up time for program staff that would better be spent doing other things. There is always more, and it is ALWAYS worse. Salaries are not competitive compared to other organizations doing similar work, and raises/promotions are more linked to which division you are in, or being "a favorite" of the front office than actual performance. This is a big problem at IRI that results in a lot of unhappiness among program staff. It is therefore not a surprise that staff turnover here is so much higher than at other similar organizations. This MUST be fixed if they want to retain talent.

    Advice to Management

    There should be clear differences between roles/responsibilities of the different job descriptions, and clear benchmarks to meet to be promoted to the next level. This will allow for promotions to be based on actual job performance and not favoritism. It will also make it so that people doing the same work will have similar salaries and the same title. Better work/life balance - if you are unwilling or unable to compensate employees properly, allowing a little flexibility is often a way to make it better for employees. Show trust for your employees. Stop creating new regulations and approvals processes and requirements for everything because it takes up people's time for no benefit. IRI will not be able to compete if things keep going in this direction. There are a lot of problems at this place, too many to go into on this forum.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Program Officer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer
    Current Employee - Program Officer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at International Republican Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Relative autonomy to be creative.

    Cons

    Given tremendous responsibility with no power.

    Advice to Management

    Program Officers are asked to manage, but do not partake in the performance evaluation process of the people they manage. Rather, Directors who do not know the day-to-day work loads of entry level staff are given all authority. This should be examined closely.



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