Academy for Educational Development Reviews
64% would recommend to a friend
(26 total reviews)
61% approve of CEO
Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
Found 26 of over 30 reviews
Updated Jun 16, 2023
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- 5.0Aug 13, 2015Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 8 yearsWashington, DC
Great opportunity to grow professionally for mid-career professional
Needed to go to leave to go to graduate school and come back to improve professional growth opportunities.
- 3.0Jun 14, 2011Anonymous EmployeeCurrent EmployeeWashington, DC
If you are in a good position, you can pursue your own projects and funding. Lots of talented people at AED. Physical work environment good. The Mission is good, but it seems to be only words
The competitive environment between centers inhibits collaboration and lowers the quality of work we are able to do. Senior management are only interested in new business development or when there are problems. There seems to be little or no concern for the quality of our work. Positive performance is not recognized. But when there are problems, you can be attacked. Management is top-down with little focus on a person's humanity. There are no mechanisms to communicate up the chain. There is a culture of self-censorship that seems to arise from a fear of reprisal Promotions are handled first from a political perspective. Senior management states that technical excellence is AED's most valued asset. However, all promotions and recognition are provide for people in management positions with little or no technical capacity. Some teams are really dysfunctional. Performance assessment process is a joke and purely an administrative task. The disparity between the lowest salaries and the highest are embarrassing for a non-profit. If someone needs to be paid over $300K for the privilege to make a positive difference in the world than something is really wrong and they should go to the private sector. We cannot be dedicated to our mission if we have to paid so much.2
- 4.0Nov 1, 2008Program OfficerFormer EmployeeWashington, DC
AED is a thought and practice leader in government contracting around so many types of social issues. It is a great place to start your career and gain transferable skills while you figure out your own interests and talents. If you get the right manager, AED central services provides great resources for personal and professional development. It is easy to move up and to gain great skills that are recognized throughout the international development community. They have great infrastructure and facilities for a non-profit and are located in a nice location to work. The roof deck is a major perk.
It's a large place and easy to get stuck with a less-than-forward-thinking manager who does not always see the big picture. They have major leadership pipeline issues: many upper level staff get too bogged down in administrative or programmatic tasks instead of being strategic leaders. Some senior managers have work-life balance issues and expect the same level of commitment from their underpaid staff. Compared to other organizations, there are very few opportunities for international travel for lower and mid level employees. The organization does not have a strategic communications strategy- neither internal nor external, and could benefit from some better reflection on the way that they talk to their employees.3
- 1.0Feb 5, 2011Technical ManagerFormer EmployeeWashington, DC
Benefits are OK, and the educational development benefit is useful; it pays for conference attendance or professional memberships.
Overall chaos and disorganization prevailed at AED even prior to their being banned from receiving further USAID funding. After that, even worse conditions developed. Payment of reimbursements and postal allowances (for working in a dangerous foreign environment) were delayed or denied for no apparent reason. Communication between management and employees became adversarial and fraught with mistrust. Promises had been made by middle managers in conflict with AED policy and resulted in employee disenchantment. Employees' adverse reactions to being lied to were not validated. A bait & switch approach to salary information was used to attract employees to positions as contractors, then they were switched to regular employees at greatly reduced salaries. Employees were expected to develop educational programs without access to libraries or textbooks. Orders for materials were delayed by months due to bureaucratic inaction. Employees in a country known for terrorist activity were housed in unsafe conditions and transported without safety precautions as recommended by their own emergency insurance plan.1
- 3.0Nov 18, 2008Web and Database DeveloperCurrent EmployeeWashington, DC
Nice people, pleasant office space filled with art, frequent cultural and educational events open to all staff. Quite good benefits.
Serving in a technical role (web and database developer for one of AED's projects) I feel too far removed from having a direct positive impact on any of the areas in which AED works. I've also been frustrated by the IT department, which is inflexible when it comes to their policies. For example, Remote Desktop Connection is also blocked, which makes it very difficult for me to work from home. I'm sure that inflexible IT policies are not unique to AED, but it's new to me, coming from a college environment that was much more permissive. Working in a technical role in this organization can be isolating, because there is no network amongst other staff doing similar work for other projects. In my job, I have no technical mentor or anyone who can review my design decisions.1
- 3.0Jan 12, 2010Anonymous EmployeeCurrent EmployeeWashington, DC
AED has access to a huge range of options in terms of countries, projects and topics in which it works, and its staff is very competent and diverse. Climate is friendly, open and respectful. Provides opportunities and expects staff to be self-managed in terms of their time and tasks. Benefits are great. Location of the main offices is great too.
AED management is surprisingly weak considering its success in the industry - probably a reflection of growing up with its main source of funding (US government agencies). Incentives and compensation do not address the needs for development of the organization nor its staff, but rather compensate giving "110% because management messed up." Local staff in field offices are second-class citizens with few chances for advancement in the organization. Overall the organization is wasting the huge potential of its staff and knowledge.1
- 3.0Jun 27, 2008Technical Officer ICurrent EmployeeWashington, DC
The breadth and depth of the knowledge of international projects that AED employees work on is incredible. They are in over 80 countries around the globe and have wonderful opportunities to participate in these programs.
Usually when you get hired, they low-ball your offer. You can talk them up however. They also offer full benefits, but watch out for the medical plan that the doctors you want to see are covered. Many of the popular doctors under the larger health plans in DC are NOT in the health plan they offer. Also watch out if you're a short timer -- retirement doesn't kick in until one year on the job.2
- 2.0Apr 29, 2012Senior Finance ManagerFormer EmployeeWashington, DC
I wonderful mission, many good employees who were not given the opportunity to share their knowledge. Solid reputation and great potential to make a difference in the world.
Currupt Human Resources, serious violations of funds expenditures, very high hidden bonus to management, manipulation of budget structiures in several bids, Manipulated reports to USAID regularly on project expenditures. Senior manager taking positions overseas but still receiving the same high salary as Senior VP plus expat benefits.
- 3.0Apr 11, 2012Anonymous EmployeeFormer EmployeeWashington, DC
Tons of trainings and professional development opportunities are offered, if you can make them work into your work schedule. Some supervisors are more helpful than others in facilitating this
Salaries are significantly lower than competitors, mandatory 9 hour days impede work life balance. Benefits were just OK. My particular supervisor was TERRIBLE and their HR processes weren't at all prepared to deal with grievances about a supervisor, only about subordinates
Academy for Educational Development Reviews FAQs
Academy for Educational Development has an overall rating of 3.6 out of 5, based on over 30 reviews left anonymously by employees. 64% of employees would recommend working at Academy for Educational Development to a friend and 53% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has improved by 4% over the last 12 months.
64% of Academy for Educational Development employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Academy for Educational Development 3.3 out of 5 for work life balance, 4.2 for culture and values and 2.9 for career opportunities.