National Democratic Institute Reviews in Washington, DC | Glassdoor

National Democratic Institute Washington Reviews

Updated Sep 19, 2019

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Found 79 reviews

3.2
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
63%
Recommend to a Friend
49%
Approve of CEO
National Democratic Institute CEO Kenneth Wollack (no image)
Kenneth Wollack
45 Ratings
  1. "Project Assistant overall worthwhile despite being temporary"

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

    I have been working at National Democratic Institute for less than a year

    Pros

    People are super friendly, different teams have different vibes and are all pretty inclusive. You're pretty busy all the time unlike some intern/temporary positions where no one gives you anything to do. They actually put you to work and encourage you to get the most out of the job as you can.

    Cons

    You're doing a lot of grunt work and you can sometimes feel micromanaged. Just keep reminding yourself that you're the intern and not to take it personally. Another con--it's temporary.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe don't have 5 people look over a logistics email? It seems like a waste of manpower and feels unnecessary. In a nutshell: there's not a clear management structure and you're often getting feedback from many different people--just gotta go with the flow.

    National Democratic Institute2017-02-03
  2. "Great place to work on Latin America"

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

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

    Pros

    Good leadership, opportunities for growth and upward movement.

    Cons

    NGO salary is not great

    Advice to Management

    Continue to foster a wonderful environment to learn and work

    National Democratic Institute2019-09-20
  3. "Great Mission but Changing Culture"

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

    I have been working at National Democratic Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Mission driven organization with many dedicated staff members across the globe. Fast paced work environment with great opportunities for people with skills who want to work hard. No better place to work for people who want to focus on democratic development work.

    Cons

    Entry and Mid-level staff created a union last year. Has created a real division between management and "staff" and begun to change the culture of the organization.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on programs, the field and the mission.

    National Democratic Institute2019-09-10
  4. "Great people -- frustrating environment"

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

    I worked at National Democratic Institute full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Mission oriented, and a focus on doing good in the world.

    Cons

    Compensation well below the rest of the industry, bad management pervasive, and an unwillingness to reform or change.

    National Democratic Institute2019-08-07
  5. "Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Democratic Institute for less than a year

    Pros

    Good for experience Dealing with smart people

    Cons

    Lack of long term opportunity

    National Democratic Institute2019-05-31
  6. Helpful (2)

    "A Tarnish Star"

    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
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    NDI is a mission driven institution that has a long history of stellar work NDI's staff are kind, driven, hardworking individuals In country staff and on the ground programs are of a high quality, for the most part

    Cons

    No one seems to be in charge here, there is no clear vision or strategy. Non-managers are treated as cogs in a machine and are not paid even close to their value and the amount of effort With a mass exodus of talented staff to IRI there seems to be no desire to even ask "why?" NDI is behind the times in terms of technology and allow people with ZERO tech background make decisions on the use of US tax dollars... on tech based programs. It's Elizabeth Holmes on almost every grant. All leadership, with exception of the CFO, refuse to make decisions or be truly transparent on policies or strategies. The common phrase heard from those LEADING the institute is "Well, what can we do?!" Very little upward mobility

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    Advice to Management

    Pay your DC staff what they are valued and figure out your policies Reward loyal, hardworking, competent staff with promotions and salary increases. We can't pay our rent in "prestige." Nudge those who have been at NDI for over three decades and have refused to change to move on Fire incompetent and unprofessional staff

    National Democratic Institute2019-05-09
  7. "Great Place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Democratic Institute full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great Place to work, and great people.

    Cons

    Work life balance is less than ideal

    National Democratic Institute2019-04-20
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Wonderful Mission, Terrible Management, Union Strong!"

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

    I worked at National Democratic Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    NDI recently unionized. Perhaps the strong and engaged staff can save this great institution from going the way of the dinosaurs. Committed and engaged staff.

    Cons

    I worked with multiple teams at NDI and the story is the same across teams. Stick it out for a couple of years and NDI looks good on your resume. You will have to endure: Disconnected management Managers who barely know what their teams are up to yet reap the rewards Very lax cybersecurity - I have a friend on the tech team that tells me horror stories about compliance and security - many breaches go... unreported Very low staff morale. My team's interns worked a lot of unreported hours. Low wages and a HR team that use a lot of mental gymnastics to justify this Very weak HR that always bow to management - our team had a lot of layoffs a couple of years ago and HR and our managers said nothing to us in subsequent team meetings. Bad managers that are only sticking it out until retirement If you are junior staff (or on one of the admin teams like accounting or technology) you will work hard for low pay and very low work-life balance.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Look hard at your managers and the story they tell you.

    National Democratic Institute2019-04-23
  9. Helpful (3)

    "Incredible work, mediocre management, low pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Democratic Institute full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The work that NDI does is vital and unique. Junior staff is amazing. I would recommend working here despite the organization's significant flaws.

    Cons

    Upper management and the board of directors have been gathering dust for decades. Many of them should have been fired years ago for incompetence though it seems like they have lifetime appointments. Compensation for anything but the most senior staff is insulting (but the benefits are good).

    Advice to Management

    Clean house at the director level.

    National Democratic Institute2019-02-24
  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great People"

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

    I worked at National Democratic Institute full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Staff are, for the most part, extremely talented and hard-working people. Organization really cares about the mission. Most staff, even in administrative functions, really believe in mission and want to do good work. Working there gives junior staff a great ability to understand how to manage and run programs and operations. If you stay there awhile and work hard, there is a real sense of family with co workers.

    Cons

    Generally junior staff are underpaid compared to other nonprofits in D.C.. It can be heavy on beaucracy but largely because of donors. Not much ability to move up after manager level as senior management does not change much. Some managers are great and others are bad. Lack of formal training. Management is slow to respond to change. At times, management ignores concerns raised because it is against favored... staff or their perception of situation.

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    Advice to Management

    Increase pay for junior staff. Offer more management training. Move some of the senior directors who are poor managers out of management to more technical advice role. Offer more short term postings or temporary duty positions to permanent staff to give them an opportunity for growth. When hiring interns or project assistants, be honest that almost purely an administrative post.

    National Democratic Institute2018-08-18
Found 79 reviews