National Democratic Institute

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  www.ndi.org
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National Democratic Institute Reviews

Updated September 23, 2014
Updated September 23, 2014
45 Reviews
3.0
45 Reviews
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Kenneth Wollack
32 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Project Assistant Public Affairs

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

    I worked at National Democratic Institute as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    Great place to work. Very warm staff, very scholarly, very efficient.

    Cons

    Not a lot of room for growth in the organization. A lot of lenience toward senior staff. Open work space but closed work environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lighten up.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Awful management!

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

    I have been working at National Democratic Institute full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very passionate people but ultimately work is often hindered by egos of management and directors. I learned a lot because I had to become a manager since the director was incapable of completing simple administrative tasks or managing people. Junior staff are incredible, including interns and project assistants.

    Cons

    Directors have egos and don't know how to collaborate. Sadly, don't expect upward mobility or opportunities. Teams and organizations not open to new ideas or taking risks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When staff complain about management, do something about it. Build some accountability structures so Directors don't get away with bullying other teams and staff. Encourage and support junior staff and their ideas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bureaucracy for a good cause.

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

    I have been working at National Democratic Institute full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great people who mostly mean well.
    Awesome benefits.
    Nice plants in the office.
    Free coffee.

    Cons

    All encompassing bureaucracy makes it impossible to get things done.
    Way too many long term "time serving" employees.
    Terrible vending machines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay attention to junior employees.
    Stop empire building.
    Improve morale. Friday Fun days just don't cut it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    consultant

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

    I have been working at National Democratic Institute as a contractor for more than 5 years

    Pros

    really smart people, looking to promote democracy abroad

    Cons

    sometimes staff on ground abroad are not experienced

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great place to work, particularly compared to other INGOs

    • 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 National Democratic Institute full-time

    Pros

    The benefits were great; good luck duplicating anywhere else. Good people with a good sense of humor. Hard working, smart and talented staff.

    Cons

    Egos of a handful of regional directors and some deputies unnecessarily inflated, which is hard to understand as NDI's President is an extremely approachable and unassuming leader.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open minds to new ways of managing, structuring teams and rewarding/recognizing staff.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Fantastic experience

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

    I have been working at National Democratic Institute full-time

    Pros

    Quite the learning opportunity, great people, very fulfilling job

    Cons

    Can't think of any to be honest..

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Important Work but Demoralized

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

    I worked at National Democratic Institute full-time

    Pros

    -Smart, talented junior staff who have good ideas and in tune with the types of changes needed to make meaningful institutional changes.
    -Important mission and willingness to be innovative in program design.
    -Access to a diverse set of government, think tank and NGO communities doing important related work.

    Cons

    -Demoralizing and dishonest mid-level management with no real management or human resources skills. Possibly because they have been around for a long time and lack motivation and ingenuity.
    -Below-average salary compensation and benefits, even compared to other Washington DC non-profits.
    -Non-transparent, disconnected executive office. "Fun Fridays" don't cut it.
    -Cumbersome, bureaucratic, and arcane financial and reporting practices.
    -Little demonstrated interest in work/life balance or employee health.
    -On some teams, little opportunity to travel and interact with field staff that DC teams support.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management can have a genuine interest in junior staff by improving vertical communication, showing an interest in staff development that junior actually staff wants, and finding ways to incentivize work even if higher salaries are not possible.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Gratifying to work at because of the cause

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

    I worked at National Democratic Institute as a contractor

    Pros

    The mission of NDI, and the passion people bring to the organization. The people that work there are remarkable; the standard is the 'Best and the brightest". It can be a fun place to work. Caring for coworkers is better than any other organization outside the military.

    Cons

    Some of the support groups are challenged, and the absolute fiat of some individuals in upper management doesn't make for the best decision making.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You bring in outside people to help with some issues - that should extend to budgetary decisions also.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Poor respect for junior staff - inflated senior management.

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

    I worked at National Democratic Institute as an intern for less than a year

    Pros

    A lot of opportunity as a PA to move up if a position opens, the junior staff at NDI are really dedicated

    Cons

    Senior management is terrible - there needs to be an audit of management. A lot of wasted money on unnecessary senior management travel. Junior staff are often viewed as disposable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest more in your junior staff - your senior staff will not be around forever and your junior staff are the future of the organization.

    I know from friends that the institute is BLEEDING junior staff - incentivize them to stay.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Wonderful Atmosphere with Wonderful People!

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

    I worked at National Democratic Institute as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    This organization's purpose is to facilitate the creation of democracies in countries where there aren't any in place. The employees here are young, smart and driven and an absolute pleasure to work with!

    Cons

    I cannot think of one con.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work!

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

National Democratic Institute Photos

NDI Kenya office (Photo thanks to Flickr user andinyc All rights reserved.)
NDI Burundi office (Photo thanks to Flickr user andinyc All rights reserved.)
NDI Office (Photo thanks to Flickr user Thomas K Kelly All rights reserved.)

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