Freedom House Reviews | Glassdoor

Freedom House Reviews

Updated Mar 14, 2019

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Found 70 reviews

3.2
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
54%
Recommend to a Friend
83%
Approve of CEO
Michael Abramowitz
5 Ratings
  1. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommends
      Approves of CEO

      I worked at Freedom House

      Pros

      I was an intern at Freedom House during the summer of 2015. It was a fun, dynamic, and interesting place to work - I did something new each day and my team was incredibly intelligent, top in their field. Many languages could be heard throughout the office each day. Would highly recommend.

      Cons

      none really, it was great

      Advice to Management

      none

      Freedom House2016-06-18
    • Helpful (5)

      "Identity Crisis"

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

      I worked at Freedom House full-time for more than a year

      Pros

      Not many to speak of. The work is pretty standard for any DC based human rights NGO, but organizationally there's still a lot that needs sorting.

      Cons

      During my time, management was very complacent. There were several higher-ups who contributed little and knew even less. The new president and budget issues ushered in a bit of a spring cleaning of upper management, which was much needed. They almost never promote from within.

      Advice to Management

      Refine the structure and goals. Don't try to bid for every contract at once. There needs to be a clear vision of what Freedom House does, and then do it well.

      Freedom House2016-02-18
    • "Freedom House"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
      Recommends
      Positive Outlook
      Approves of CEO

      I have been working at Freedom House

      Pros

      I work here and i think it's a great place with lots of opportunities especially for people just starting out in their career.

      Cons

      Top managers are not people savvy or do not necesarrily have the right managerial skills.

      Advice to Management

      Take some management course

      Freedom House2016-01-23
    • Helpful (5)

      "Executive Staff - Asleep at the Wheel"

      StarStarStarStarStar
      • Work/Life Balance
      • Culture & Values
      • Career Opportunities
      • Compensation and Benefits
      • Senior Management
      Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
      Doesn't Recommend
      Negative Outlook

      I have been working at Freedom House full-time for more than a year

      Pros

      Genuine commitment by staff to human rights and democracy.

      Cons

      New President is condescending, out of touch and self serving. The Executive staff - out of touch and show very little regard for anyone below the title of Director. Staff are at the mercy of their supervisors who manage their programs with impunity - there is no room for true collaboration, due to toxic environment of competition. Staff are disregarded, overworked and grossly under appreciated.

      Advice to Management

      Stop traveling around the world and take a serious step towards righting this ship. Look around how many staff members have to leave before you wake up.

      Freedom House2015-12-26
    • Helpful (7)

      "Awful management."

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

      I worked at Freedom House

      Pros

      There's great work going on at FH and staff are extremely knowledgeable/qualified in their respective fields. Most people around you are really driven by the mission.

      Cons

      The new President, Mark Lagon, is absolutely horrendous. Terrible leader, blatantly self-promoting, arrogant, and cares more about his title than the mission. His strategic planning process seemed to be "for-show" and I suspect that he will pursue his own ideas and ignore others. I left before I could find out. Run away. This place is plummeting towards the ground.

      Advice to Management

      Don't instigate internal politics. Learn to lead the organization.

      Freedom House2015-12-17
    • Helpful (3)

      "Shifting (funding) sands could spell trouble."

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

      I worked at Freedom House full-time

      Pros

      When done well, the work helps to extend the reach and impact of human rights advocates, especially those operating under duress. It can be inspiring and the international posts are an education unto themselves.

      Cons

      The field staff are sometimes regarded as fungible, and rarely included as part of the intellectual capital of the institution. What is a great opportunity for a recent US college grad can be a disrespectful and humiliating necessity for a seasoned activist in a project country. Much of this relates to management attitudes and styles.

      Advice to Management

      Make sure that the CEO is passionate about program/project work.

      Freedom House2015-09-04
    • Helpful (6)

      "Freedom House needs to do better."

      StarStarStarStarStar
        Former Employee - Program Officer 
        Doesn't Recommend
        Negative Outlook

        I worked at Freedom House full-time for more than a year

        Pros

        Good place to earn valuable experience in DC. Great connections. Mission is admirable.

        Cons

        The same problems have existed for years, and will continue to exist for years because there is absolutely no will to change the status quo. Abusive, harassing, and incompetent managers are the norm, and suffer no consequences for inappropriate actions. New president is condescending and out of touch with the reality of the institution, despite an intensive "listening tour," that has been followed up with nothing more...

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        Advice to Management

        Hire an external account to review financial protocols and procedures and balance the books. Respect ALL employees.

        Freedom House2015-09-08
      • Helpful (3)

        "Cautious Optimism"

        StarStarStarStarStar
        • Work/Life Balance
        • Culture & Values
        • Career Opportunities
        • Compensation and Benefits
        • Senior Management
        Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
        Recommends
        Neutral Outlook

        I have been working at Freedom House full-time for more than a year

        Pros

        Low threshold for excellence facilitates rapid assumption of responsibility, that sounds like a left-handed compliment, but it spells opportunity for the smart and resourceful. There is a lot of opportunity for advancing core agendas from a low level, if you can figure out where to fill in your program's gaps. There are talented people at work; seek them out, and collaborate. There is a lot of room for creativity.

        Cons

        Management is largely unaware of the moving parts within their departments, and directoral infighting is constant. At a broader level there is little strategic thought from the 'business' perspective. Institutional funding priorities are unclear between research, programs and advocacy initiatives. Accountability is low, and there is a dearth of management talent - which regrettably links full-circle to the low threshold...

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        Advice to Management

        Lead, then manage. The organization lacks a strong vision, and combined with low performance standards, this leads to high turnover, lack of program institutionalization, and ineffectiveness. If publications are most important, then say so. If programs are to remain a small component of the institutional portfolio, then build and equip those teams to do compelling work. The research arm could be doing a lot to inform...

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        Freedom House2015-05-01
      • Helpful (3)

        "lofty mission."

        StarStarStarStarStar
        • Work/Life Balance
        • Culture & Values
        • Career Opportunities
        • Compensation and Benefits
        • Senior Management
        Current Employee - Program Associate in Washington, DC
        Doesn't Recommend
        Negative Outlook

        I have been working at Freedom House full-time for less than a year

        Pros

        The mission's lofty. few programs are successful. most publications are well received. few employees identify with the lofty mission. for most, it pays the bills.

        Cons

        Freedon house isnt bad because of bad land, lumber, plumbing, electricals, or construction work. it's a toxic environment. we think it. we believe it. don't waste time splitting hairs separating execs from junior staff or senior staff. bad employees = bad place to work.

        Advice to Management

        get consultant to identify what programs are sustainable. get consultant to help get rid of toxic employees (90% of all employees). bad employees = bad place to work. get real.

        Freedom House2015-05-23
      • Helpful (7)

        "Disaster."

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

        I worked at Freedom House full-time for more than a year

        Pros

        Because the organization is so dysfunctional, new staff get lots of hands on experience very quickly. Somehow, it still has a good reputation.

        Cons

        Where to start... Freedom House is a mess from start to finish. TERRIBLE executive management affects the entire organization. You will find roadblocks to good work at every avenue. You will also be under-appreciated, overworked, undermined, and frankly traumatized by the time you leave. On top of that, the organization just keeps doing the same type of programs it has for decades without any real evidence that they...

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        Advice to Management

        Impose term limits on the Board so they don't continue the terrible cycle of micro-managing leadership positions and driving the organization into the ground. Have a truly accountable management structure and don't be afraid to replace people who can't demonstrate real success. Empower your staff instead of undermining them at every opportunity. If you want to do human rights work, start at home and value people.

        Freedom House2015-04-29
      Found 70 reviews