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Center for International Private Enterprise Reviews

Updated September 24, 2017
24 reviews

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2.9
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Thomas J. Donohue
3 Ratings

24 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Average work experience but some major company turn-offs"

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

    I worked at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people (particularly the junior staff) are generally very accomplished and friendly. Education assistance program is nice. Most people care and believe that what they're doing is making a difference. Pretty flexible vacation days + holidays, though these are limited for entry-level staff.

    Cons

    Unclear affiliation with the Chamber of Commerce. Dysfunctional program-operations relationship and MAJOR double standards in efficiency and professionalism for junior/sr staff and programs/operations staff. Some people clearly don't care about the mission of the organization. Senior management feels very remote.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your junior staff and take their complaints and suggestions seriously. Stop wasting resources on inefficient processes, and especially give greater respect to junior staff's time. There is absolutely NO incentive for junior staff members to stay more than two years - no retention policy, no clear bonus structure, few professional development opportunities within the company. Low salaries. A LOT of money is wasted on unnecessary travel and for anyone who's paying attention it's not a good look for CIPE. Try to learn from other organizations. A lot of CIPE's processes are very outdated. Open up channels to communicate with senior management and HR. Unclear if anything is done to promote diversity in recruiting, and the organization is pretty homogenous. Finally, it makes absolutely no sense that the HR handbook prevents employees from using former CIPE managers as recommenders....why???


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Program Assistant fine place to start"

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

    I have been working at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time

    Pros

    Great coworkers and friends, lots of interesting perspectives

    Cons

    Low pay, bad upper management

  3. Helpful (2)

    "When measuring the people: great. When measuring everything else: be warned."

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

    I worked at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you're looking for a group of people who are passionate about their work and who have random knowledge about a niche interest area, then CIPE is the place for you.

    Good personal leave benefits
    Healthcare is okay
    People come and go as they please during the day
    Free coffee
    Office location is good
    You'll learn a thing or two about a very specific type of development
    Education assistance
    Minimal expectation to stay past 5-5:30

    Cons

    Junior staff are overworked and underappreciated. Leadership sincerely lacks diversity (both racially and gender-wise). Many high-achieving, ambitious people come to CIPE with high hopes and dreams and leave defeated and jaded. It's rare for junior staff to stay beyond two years. The operations team runs amuck with its own set of standards and expectations. There is no consistency across the organization for promotion standards. It's very easy to just become a cog in the wheel and contribute to the mindless complacency within the organization. There is an overwhelming presence of large egos without the goods to back up the egos running the show, specifically in certain functional teams. Hiring isn't taken seriously and people are given jobs just based on the convenience of being in the right place at the right time, as opposed to value added or potential. Organizational structure is severely lacking and positive reinforcement does not exist. Forced indoctrination from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's full staff meetings AKA mini anti-Obama/liberal political rallies.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time building stronger relationships with staff under the program officer level and give regional directors actual responsibilities and accountabilities. CIPE does not have enough funding to justify paying regional directors as much as it does for the little amount of work they actually do. Take hiring more seriously and vet candidates properly. Hire more human resources staff and stop hiring operations staff. Spend more money and time on resource development and staff recruitment. Build better morale among junior staff by acknowledging the work that they do. Stop waiting until it's too late to work on retaining staff. Create clear boundaries for job responsibilities between functional teams and communicate any significant changes to staff when they happen. Get rid of the dead weight at the top. The main reason high-performing junior staff leave is lack of support from managers or blatant disregard from said managers, and a severe lack of an avenue to address this lack of support. So much money is wasted on things like first-class flights, external event venues, unnecessary equipment, and mismanagement of time but there's little to no accountability for this waste. If strong organizations were built on hopes and dreams for success then CIPE would be great but strong organizations are built of consistent procedures and efficient use of resources - two things CIPE needs to work on heavily. Make the evaluation team more accountable. If there isn't time to review proposals in a timely manner and give feedback then there certainly isn't time to be attending political science conferences that contribute nothing to CIPE - an organization that is supposed to be uninvolved with domestic politics. There's no reason why the less-senior staff member on the evaluation team should be serving as the primary point-of-contact on all things evaluation. Implement an avenue for staff to review performance across teams to avoid inherent bias in annual reviews.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great Start But Don't Stay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Program Assistant in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great career start in International Development, decent benefits package, and considered to be an employee of the US Chamber of Commerce, a company great to have on your resume.

    Cons

    Salary is very low, will work you to death, long hours, no mentorship opportunities, no advancement opportunities or promotions, and positions are based on funding so they can let you go at the drop of a hat. Senior Management lets partner organizations bully its staff.

    Advice to Management

    Promote and reward your junior staff since they carry the entire weight of teams, Establish career building opportunities, and Senior Management needs to support staff concerning the unfair treatment of partner organizations.


  5. "Program Officer"

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

    I worked at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great colleagues, committed to the mission

    Cons

    Under previous senior management, junior staff were put-down, but now the situation has improved


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Be Prepared to Work A Lot...For Very Little"

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

    I have been working at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Fantastic staff that are both fun and intellectually exciting to work alongside.
    -Opportunities for junior staff to travel and help implement projects in the field.
    -Opportunities for junior staff to develop professionally through involvement with every aspect of program management: design, implementation, and monitoring. The caveat is that this "growth" is more often out of necessity, due to an extreme lack of staffing, than intention on the part of the organization.
    -Great connections, both in DC and internationally.
    -Great place to start out your career, since you have opportunities to get involved in program management to an extent that's not always possible at larger organizations in DC.

    Cons

    -Complete and total lack of intentional investment in junior staff. Many are overworked, all are underpaid, and there's high turnover due to a lack of incentive for them to stay.
    -Promotions are rare for junior staff, but rules/expectations are frequently bent for middle and upper management. This contributes to a lack of morale on the part of many junior staff members, who are made to feel expendable.
    -HR is highly inefficient, non-responsive, and does very little to take staff concerns up the chain of command.

    Advice to Management

    -Invest in junior staff. You have a lot of amazing, talented, high achievers, many of whom are actively searching for work elsewhere because it's been made clear to them that they're expendable. Provide better incentives (in the form of a standardized mechanism and criteria for promotions and raises/bonuses).
    -Invest in business development-specific staff.
    -Provide greater opportunities for staff creativity and programmatic innovation, beyond the standard "bread and butter" projects CIPE frequently falls back upon.


  7. "Good place to work if you want to build up your resume"

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

    I worked at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time

    Pros

    Great colleagues to work with. CIPE provides plenty of professional growth opportunities, which is a big plus for entry-level personnel.

    Cons

    Program staff are expected to perform the amount of work that is typically done by multiple positions including project manager, portfolio manager, program manager, grant proposal writer, monitoring & evaluation officer, grants administrator, donor-relations manager, and program outreach manager.

    Advice to Management

    Hire the much needed subject-matter experts to take on the roles/responsibilities listed above in order to allow program staff to truly implement projects more effectively.

  8. "Good experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time

    Pros

    Team work and team spirit

    Cons

    Little career advancement opportunity, few perspectives


  9. "Not a Good Employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - You'll become an expert at budgeting - for clothes, food, utilities and other basic necessities.
    - Camaraderie and office morale are enhanced by the fact that nobody makes enough money to go out to eat and must bring a little packed lunch everyday.
    - People don't tend to get fired, so job security is decent.
    - Plenty of office supplies are provided.
    - Mildly interesting subject matter.
    - Good amount of vacation time.

    Cons

    CIPE is where life's winners go who have lost. Pay is laughably low, few people there believe in the mission, and those who manage to get a tiny bit of 'power' hold on to it as tightly as possible and flaunt it as much as possible. Turnover is, of course, high; meaningless meetings proliferate; and the world's most ridiculous dress code is actively enforced. Don't work there unless your only other option is to be a bank teller at Wells Fargo...or something similar.

    Advice to Management

    The new Director seems a very well meaning, intelligent guy, but also seems a 'go along to get along' type, so is unlikely to implement the fundamental changes needed to create an effective organization and desirable workplace.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Conservative Culture Needs to Change"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends

    I worked at Center for International Private Enterprise full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Recent changes in Senior Management are a step in the right direction; those at the top seem genuinely supportive of new staff-led initiatives.

    -Dedicated, interesting, and intelligent staff that help each other out. Introduction of Slack in the office has removed much stove-piping between regional teams.

    -Partner-driven approach and flexibility sets CIPE apart from other donors.

    -Great work/life balance and excellent benefits. Ability to take advantage of the U.S. Chamber's professional development program is a nice perk.

    Cons

    -Senior Management transparency is a real issue. Program staff often are relayed information through their Regional Directors on a need-to-know basis. This leads to a constant rumor mill and low morale among staff.

    -Lack of a dedicated business development team puts undue stress on program staff to do their job, but drop everything to bid on RFP/RFAs with limited time and resources.

    -Unwavering blind allegiance to NED and USCC keeps CIPE from implementing more sensible policies suited for the organization's growth and development.

    -Operations are stuck in the 1990s. Paper routing and no electronic signatures means that documents are often held-up because of a constantly traveling staff.

    -Low pay and meager 3% raises are not consistent with cost of living in DC.

    Advice to Management

    -Bring on a dedicated business development team.

    -Get the Board more involved and give staff face-time with them.

    -Be more open and transparent about top-level decisions to avoid the spread of rumors and low morale.

    -Improve operations to allow for electronic routing and signatures. Allow for more leniency on teleworking.

    -Standardize criteria for advancement within the organization rather than leave it to the personal whims of Regional Directors.


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