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. Helpful (8)

    "Some wonderful people, lots of bad management"

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

    I worked at Freedom House full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Some of the work is extremely interesting and unusual. There are some truly terrific people there. They have experience, commitment, and are the best in the field (compared to the often mediocre staff at the "core institutes"). They are also far more imaginative than the machine-made programs of the "core institutes"). Some of the programs have a very positive impact, genuinely assist in promoting and protecting human...

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    Cons

    Overall Freedom House is poorly managed and has a longstanding reputation for weak leadership. Top managers position themselves for their next political appointment and do not invest time and effort in the long-term good of the organization. There are too many top-level managers with too little to do who charge their time to programs that they do not work on. Institutional ethics are weak. There is a willingness to...

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    Advice to Management

    Split the leadership between a political figureheard, a post which Freedom House knows how to staff, and a manager, who should come from the private sector and should be empowered to make changes and ensure programs and the institution run properly. Develop the junior staff, invest in them, pay them better. Develop staff training. Develop an alumni network and bring good people who have left back to the organization....

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    Freedom House2013-12-04
  2. "Programs are meaningful and impactful!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You get to work in all aspects of programs – proposals, work plan, partner training, finance, interviews. Incredible colleagues across the board. Good benefits –flexible leave policy, good promotion policy. Finance and HR are steady composed pillars of support. HR advocates for junior staff - they resolved an issue between me and my director, after much bungling by VP.

    Cons

    Every organization has its good, bad, and ugly.

    Advice to Management

    Publications need to raise own funds – some staff have definitely outstayed, and the NY office is good program money down the drain. Development department is under a significant amount of strain – they need more resources, while IT seems significantly over-resourced. Downsize exec team.

    Freedom House2013-09-26
  3. "Steady growth, if you are focused"

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

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

    Pros

    Work environment is as laid back or as fast paced as you want. Mission-driven staff Promotions throughout the organization at all levels are a great moral boost. Talented, hard-working and engaging staff. 401k retirement, vacation and summer hours are great benefits. Inspiring and helpful onboarding of new staff – out-of-towners are assisted in their serach for apartments in DC, and finding a doctor; observed remarkably...

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    Cons

    Most programs aren’t able to fund more than one SPO position. Some staff are sick every week.

    Advice to Management

    Managers and IT meeting staff for happy hour is awkward. Watching from the sidelines, you need to better manage expectations of junior staff – most are great, a handful are downright unpleasant to work with, and probably should not have been hired.

    Freedom House2013-09-25
  4. Helpful (5)

    "A Shot in the Dark: Somewhere Between Great and Absolutely Terrible"

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

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

    Pros

    Long standing, well respected organization with reputation for principled, committed democracy and human rights work. By and large, staff are generally committed, talented, hardworking and compassionate people. Entry level staff and other young professionals can quickly build skills and get experience in the major processes that are a part of international work: proposal development, project implementation, some...

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    Cons

    Working environment varies greatly depending on which team you are on. Some teams are great, others mediocre, and on some teams the working environment is very toxic (overworked, understaffed, poor management). For those on "toxic" teams, staff sometimes deal with months of being treated poorly and disrespected by managers who are bullies while they look for another job. "Exit strategy" becomes a catch phrase for...

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    Advice to Management

    The need to address junior staff concerns with true action instead of lip service is enormous. It would go a long way in recovering a positive internal reputation for Freedom House. In this fiscal climate, salary raises and promotions may not be possible, but management must improve or overturn will continue to skyrocket, knowledge retention will be decrease and the programs will suffer for it, if they have not already....

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    Freedom House2013-09-25
  5. "Great place to start off your career"

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

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

    Pros

    -Passionate group of people who care about human rights. -Several morning huddles, all-staff meetings, and read-outs make for good flow of information. -There are amazing opportunities to work with field staff and activists. -Lots of international exposure and travel. -Inexpensive benefits package and flexible time-off policy. -Great promotion system. A few of my colleagues have complained about not being promoted,...

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    Cons

    I sit in a large open area and am forced to listen to a small group of very negative and manipulative employees. It isn’t a particularly productive environment when all you want to do is shush the noise and get stuff done.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage collaboration between programs to give junior staff opportunities for cross-program experience.

    Freedom House2013-09-27
  6. "Growth opportunities"

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

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

    Pros

    - they’re trying to build a reputation amongst an ocean of well-funded competitors; - several trainings, brown-bag meetings, etc. – depends on your appetite for learning and willingness to take up these opportunities; - they value work-life balance – PAs and SPAs required to obtain supervisor's sign-off before they work more than 40 hours - definitely not the case at my previous job; - great relationship with...

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    Cons

    - programs require proficiency in specific regional languages such as Spanish, Russian, Arabic, etc. - this can limit cross-program opportunities; - over-staffed finance - staff occupy every floor in DC building.

    Advice to Management

    - some staff aren’t busy - underscored by time expended conducting surveys, and now - environmental committee - when there’s an office manager in the building; - provide substantive feedback and support to programs - our program had a time-sensitive problem that was referred to the VP - VP didn’t proffer a solution, instead, he said he understood our frustration - senior VP offered substantive feedback, and saved...

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    Freedom House2013-09-22
  7. Helpful (3)

    "Good place to get experience, bad place to build a career"

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

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

    Pros

    -Junior staff get to work on everything from finance to proposals, which makes it a really good opportunity to build skills that you might not get (at better organized companies) that have more of a division of labor -Colleagues are incredible pretty much across the board. So much talent and passion. -Depending on the director, most junior staff get a lot of freedom to contribute their ideas, collaborate with other...

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    Cons

    -There is absolutely zero accountability at the top levels, with execs who try to be everyone's friends, make every decision based on an attempt to show their own worth rather than the interest of the organization, or simply don't seem to care what's going on below them. Some very impressive regional directors are definitely limited by the executive staff, rather than supported and encouraged by them. -President is not...

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    Advice to Management

    Be more supportive to programs and program staff rather than focusing so much on development and the Brussels office. Be more transparent about the systems and processes in place- sharing information goes a long way in creating good will rather than suspicion and negative feelings. Really strategically consider the worth of all employees, old and new, and create a hiring (and firing) strategy that sustainably supports...

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    Freedom House2013-09-24
  8. "Great place to work, better than most in the human rights field."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Program Officer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Opportunity for frequent travel, good benefits, flexible hours, and friendly colleagues. As a junior staff, I get the opportunity to develop work plans, and assist to implement and manage programs. Significant majority of finance, development and HR staff are reliable, and perform their jobs effectively, without the influence of idle chatter. It’s a great place to start out your career for a few years.

    Cons

    Executives’ incessant desire for validation drives every decision, if and when a decision is made – strategic, and less passive decision making leadership is desperately needed. Some overly ambitious junior staff members’ exuberance skews perception of what’s real, which results in ill-informed conclusions of what other junior staff members’ deliberations and expectations are. Good promotion policy, and I am working...

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    Advice to Management

    Policy wonks and academics don't always possess fundraising, and management skills to provide much-needed leadership. IT needs to provide proactive support to programs.

    Freedom House2013-09-12
  9. Helpful (4)

    "This company is failing"

    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

    - The junior staff are amazing--smart, innovative, and mission-driven. - The Eurasia team and Africa team have great managers. The staff on these teams are super talented, work well together, support one another, and design and implement interesting programs.

    Cons

    - Managers don't know how to manage, and leaders don't know how to lead. - HR is unprofessional, inflexible, and dramatically suppresses morale. When issues are raised, HR twists facts to dismiss the issues or discredits those who raise issues. It seems like it has never occurred to HR that they should listen to staff concerns and consider addressing issues. The HR department is, hands down, the worst part about Freedom...

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    Advice to Management

    - Fire people who shouldn't be at Freedom House. You know who they are! - When it comes to management, stop focusing so much on technical expertise at the expense of management skills.

    Freedom House2013-09-24
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Fabulous place to work!"

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

    I have been working at Freedom House full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A truly worthy mission and the most mission-driven staff I have ever worked with. Extremely talented people, at all levels. Top leadership that is interested in engaging and learning from the staff. These folks also exude integrity. Notwithstanding the complains from junior staff, this is the first organization I've seen where the president and other top staff meet regularly with junior staff and seem to really...

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    Cons

    I'm surprised by the number and intensity of negative reviews of Freedom House. One common theme I agree with, though: there are a handful of really bad managers and I wouldn't blame anyone reporting to one of these for hating the place. This is hardly an unusual circumstance, though: most organizations like FH promote from within, based on substantive achievement, not managerial skills. What sets Freedom House a bit...

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    Advice to Management

    Get rid of bad managers. Fix vacation policy.

    Freedom House2013-08-16
Found 70 reviews