International Republican Institute

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International Republican Institute Reviews

Updated Jun 25, 2014

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All Employees Current Employees Only

3.2 18 reviews

50% Approve of the CEO

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Lorne W. Craner

(10 ratings)

69% of employees recommend this company to a friend
18 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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    Great people and support

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThere are a lot of knowledgeable employees in this organization, all with a wealth of experience and knowledge of the different aspects comprising IRI's pursuits.

    ConsPromotions and significant salary elevations are hard-earned, as you must constantly demonstrate your value to not only the supervisors but to the support staff personnel, as well.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great people and advancement opportunities

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsGiven a lot of experience opportunities at junior levels and international travel

    ConsPromotions are hard-earned and inconsistent across divisions. Compensation often doesn't meet industry standards.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Interesting work, but can be a daily grind because of office culture

    (Former Employee)

    ProsThe work can be interesting and stimulating and involves collaborating with a diverse group of people. Everybody's pretty highly dedicated to the organizational mission. Average compensation package for expats, decent in countries with low costs of living.

    ConsDirectors in the field are poorly trained in managing an office staff, if they're trained at all. One can regularly see all the bad effects of that: confusion, wasted time, really poor communication. There is little emphasis on career development or training on relevant processes, and the performance review is formulaic and unhelpful. There's an overall reactive culture, not proactive. HQ program staff aren't too supportive of those out in the field, rarely heard and rarely seen.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEvery field office is different, but there generally needs to be more emphasis on the people there: regular trainings and career development activities, regular calls with HQ staff, trainings on accounting and M&E requirements, etc. It can feel like being on an island out there.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    Great overseas experience, very interesting work, one of the best jobs I've had.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsHad a great time living overseas, working in a field I became passionate about, met a lot of great people, made new friends and expanded by personal and professional experience exponentially.

    ConsManagement is too conservative, more interested in protecting bureaucracy and satisfying USG than in mission outcomes on the ground. Bureaucratic accounting requirements take up too much time in the field. Some staff are privileged over others, which has led to a number of departures of good people. Despite this, its a great job.

    Advice to Senior ManagementValue and empower field staff to explore creative programming options. The organization has great untapped potential, if sr. management would allow staff to unleash it. Be mindful of deadlines in the field when needing to sign contracts for work related projects. Many a good project was delayed or killed because sr. management did not give the green light in time.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Some of the internships are not worth your time. You will not learn what you think you will.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsMost of the younger staff is really nice and easy to get along with.

    ConsSome of the department heads, especially in the supporting divisions, are really not very nice people.

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

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    poor management, negative culture, low pay

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsIRI does really cool work.

    Cons1. The culture is very negative. People complaining about their jobs and venting about other employees is constant. I've only heard one person say they enjoy their job. There are also way too many high-strung, hard to work with personalities. This might change with the new president, but it seems unlikely to me.
    2. The pay is pretty low even compared to other nonprofits.
    3. It's super bureaucratic, beyond just the requirements of receiving grant money. The amount of inefficiency and redundancy is ridiculous considering the size of the organization.
    4. Poor senior management for the most part.

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

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    My best job experience

    Program Officer (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsAt least some reviews of IRI are, judging from job titles, from people on their first job. Straight out of college, no job is satisfying -- you're ready to set the world on fire and have all the answers, including on how to run your company. My first post-college job was with IRI, and after what I thought was a decent experience I left for what I thought would be something better. Very unstatisfied, I left that second job for a third. Both paid more but neither measured up to IRI, so I asked to return to IRI and was welcomed back. I'm one of about 30 people who have had a similar career track, returning to IRI after departing for what we thought would be better jobs. There's a lot of room for creativity, and opportunity for travel and meaningful work, if you really know your topic. There's a young and by and large creative and talented staff and a high premium on teamwork. And a "front office" management that, while not sitting down each and every day with each employee, does care about our welfare. Standards are high, but if you're very talented, you do get noticed, given additional outside training and promoted --to a point, see cons below; if someone obviously isn't making the grade, including occasionally at the director level, their departure is handled quietly and decently (again, unlike some other places I've worked). Finally, I don't know many other non-profits that care enough to have a grad school tuition payback program, which obviously helps the company retain employees, but also is a great benefit to those carrying big debt; some of my colleagues are taking grad school at night, with allowances made by management, because of this program. IRI isn't perfect -- for example the pay is not great -- but it's by far the best place I've worked so far.

    ConsThe work is meaningful and satisfying, and the benefits good, but the pay is not. Because many in senior management have been at IRI for years (some rising from internship and entry level positions) there's only so much room for advancement at the top. Finally, the "front office" does have sporadic lunches with employees including interns, but they should be more frequent.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate alternate paths for advancement at senior levels other than the traditional director/deputy director titles. Have more frequent "brown bag lunches" with employees.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Past its prime and decended into the abyss

    Program Officer (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsThe organization is well known and so there is hope of making good networking contacts while working there. There are also some great programs in different divisions. Some nice people too. Lots of fellow youngish folks trying to pay off graduate loans. The word at IRI is that there is job security, because unlike other groups, IRI has enough DC political connections that there is no need to worry about budget cuts.

    ConsThe organization lacks new or innovative ideas or concepts. Actually, the IRI fights against new ideas as it might jeopardize the status quo. Management routinely makes poor decisions and pays employees less than like organizations. Some Divisions have historically horrible managment (like Asia and Africa). Their employees seem unhappy and are cognizant of the fact that they do not have great bosses. Other Divisions seem to be filled with people just trying to pay the bills. I am actively seeking new employment, as are many others.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe organizaiton needs to be thoroughly reinvented. A lot of people need to go. An outside expert (like organizational psychologist) could probably give a lot of great advice. For a group that promotes transparency and democracy, IRI is the antithesis.

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

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    Good idea, bad implementation.

    Assistant Program Officer (Current Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsIRI is a renowned organization with global links. It will allow fresh college graduates (such as myself when I was hired) a world of experience. It will also thoroughly indoctrinate you to the real-world of red tape and bureaucracy that serves as the heart and soul of development work (and more specifically, IRI).

    ConsPatronage and cronyism dominate the organization's hiring and promotion system. Decisions lack transparency and are the antithesis of the "democracy" that IRI supposedly promotes. Program Assistants are treated as disposable goods and the turnover is indicative of that.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe organization needs a complete rework. The leadership is leadership for life and has all the hallmarks of an NGO that serves the wasteful interests of its masters, but not that of its employees.

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

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    Overall good professional and personal experience

    Program Officer (Former Employee) Washington, DC

    ProsInternational exposure and travel, diversified teams

    ConsCan be very demanding with very short deadlines

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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