National Endowment for Democracy Reviews | Glassdoor

National Endowment for Democracy Reviews

Updated September 21, 2017
31 reviews

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3.9
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Carl Gershman
15 Ratings

31 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great non-profit org"

    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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at National Endowment for Democracy full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Coworkers are friendly and intelligent
    - Diversity
    - Location is great
    - Lots of informational workshops

    Cons

    - Print and waste an extreme amount of paper
    - Not much team building in certain departments
    - Slow with technology
    - Not much mobility to higher positions unless someone leaves

    Advice to Management

    Get everyone up to speed with technology. There's lots of intelligent people who spend hours printing and arranging paper. Make sure there's an appropriate amount of people in each dept to handle work.


  2. "Mission focused staff"

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

    I worked at National Endowment for Democracy full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people here truly care about making the world a better place. They are all polished, intelligent, have extensive global experience and have attended reputable universities.

    Cons

    There is a bit of division among departments.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to create cross department collaboration and ensure all staff feel appreciated, not just program.

  3. "Meaningful work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at National Endowment for Democracy part-time

    Pros

    The work, mission, and the team are all pros. The people are a definite strength; everyone is professional, incredibly sharp, and easy to work with. The environment is welcoming and you can tell everyone is on the same page with the mission.

    Cons

    The work can be challenging but fulfilling, and sometimes the amount of work can feel daunting.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to encourage continued employee education and to stretch and grow their capabilities.


  4. "Smart and Driven Colleagues"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Endowment for Democracy part-time

    Pros

    The people here are some of the brightest and most focused individuals you'll find in DC. Nearly everyone is able to leave politics aside in order to recognize others who are helping to make the world a better place. There's also a number of work-sanctioned events to make sure employees get to know each other personally.

    Cons

    Salaries are not comparable to peers with the same roles/responsibilities at other organizations.

    Advice to Management

    The work environment is very healthy, but don't lose site of actual professional development.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Friendly colleagues, but little upward mobility"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at National Endowment for Democracy full-time

    Pros

    Program officers across regional teams are encouraged to talk about common challenges for supporting and communicating with grantees.

    Cons

    Salaries not keeping up with cost of living in D.C.; takes too long to be promoted.

    Advice to Management

    Raise salaries, ensure program officers and assistant program officers have opportunity for promotion within first three years of employment.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Great Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Endowment for Democracy full-time

    Pros

    A community of committed people who want to promote democracy and human rights across the world.

    Cons

    I would not call it a big disadvantage but some folks who have remained affiliated with NED as fellows find it hard to readjust in their home countries where they are unfairly billed as "American agents" when they return to their home countries after completing their fellowships in America.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work. I enjoy NED events, holiday parties etc.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "You Need to Move Out to Move Up"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Endowment for Democracy full-time

    Pros

    Good work-life balance, generous benefits, and great location. Lots of stability-- NED does not have to deal with the volatile funding environment of implementer organizations, given its position as a donor. But most of all, NED has some of the smartest, friendliest, and most committed colleagues I've had the pleasure of working with.

    Cons

    It is nearly impossible to move up at NED due to ossified leadership, beginning at the SPO level and above. Several of the Regional Directors started as interns nearly 20 years ago and have risen through the ranks to very comfortable positions. There is quite a bit of favoritism and arbitrariness in the grant making approach at NED. Young staff who come in should expect to remain Program Assistants or Assistant Program Officers for at least 3 years with an infinitesimal shot at a promotion to Program Officer, which is fine if you want stability, but not ideal if you're looking to advance your career. I moved out to move up. Junior Program staff should expect to have very little say in developing or spicing up grant portfolios, given that several Regional Directors still control and oversee the minute details of grant making despite their elevated titles. So, in short, lots of micromanagement.

    The approach to grant making is also not very innovative, which is in part because the leadership quashes creative thinking and alternative approaches. Many of the execs, including the president, have been there practically since the organization's inception and still ascribe to the same Reaganite neocon world views that dominated foreign policy in the late 1980s. Until there is a change in leadership, NED will not be innovative. If you're looking for a creative environment, take your job search elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    Offer clear opportunities for growth, training, and professional development for junior staff. Show them that you care to invest in their future. Develop a succession plan for the president and bring in fresh leadership and executives to revamp the organization, from its management to its grant making practices. Encourage and foster new approaches to innovative grant making, knowledge management, and democracy assistance.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Mission Focused"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Grants Officer/Trainer in McLean, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Grants Officer/Trainer in McLean, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at National Endowment for Democracy (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some of the best reasons to work for the National Endowment for Democracy is its mission and staff. The staff is highly dedicate to the mission and the grantees that they work with. The majority of the staff speak at least two languages, they have lived in the region(s) that they work on, and or they work hard to help the grantees succeed.

    Cons

    One of the downside of working at the National Endowment Democracy is limited upward mobility.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to staff


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Fatigue and unprofessional leadership"

    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 National Endowment for Democracy full-time

    Pros

    - great place to meet mid and junior level professionals who are passionate and mission driven

    Cons

    - no strategic vision
    - lack of professionalism on senior and executive level
    - you get the sense that the leadership is fatigue and unwilling to adopt to the changing environments

    Advice to Management

    - need to get in new leadership with vision for the future


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Program Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Endowment for Democracy full-time

    Pros

    the organization has a great mandate and doesn't really have to worry about money. there are a lot of resources and very interesting, welcoming people to work with. interesting events to attend. it's mostly a cushy job. it's an okay stepping stone but don't expect fast growth and upward mobility.

    Cons

    on the programs side, leadership doesn't empower junior staff. very poorly managed from senior leadership. horrible managers. retaliatory managers. no due diligence or checks and balances on decision-making and certain individuals. not a meritocracy; its all about politics. the board of directors has no idea what's going on and is not engaged in the actual grant decision-making. very bad environment for anyone who is proactive and creative thinker. content with status quo. resists innovation. bad HR and beware of firing without cause policies. not gender mainstreamed. sexism all over the place despite a lot of women in leadership positions.

    Advice to Management

    do some training and get some oversight and start realizing that it's in your best interest to empower your staff so you can do a better and more efficient job. assume that if you've been in a job for 10+ years that you have blind spots and should be more open-minded about improvements in work flow and objectives. stop being so petty and immature.


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