National Endowment for Democracy Reviews | Glassdoor

National Endowment for Democracy Reviews

Updated March 7, 2017
27 reviews

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3.5
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Carl Gershman
11 Ratings

27 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Great Place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  2. "Friendly colleagues, but little upward mobility"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    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.


  3. Helpful (5)

    "You Need to Move Out to Move Up"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


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  5. "Mission Focused"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Fatigue and unprofessional leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Program Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  8. "Mission-driven"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Fascinating work, committed and smart staff, room to grow and develop in your career

    Cons

    All the pros above are dependent on your direct manager, and there is a lot of variance.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Great Place to work-Senior Leadership needs to move on."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Endowment for Democracy full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great work atmosphere with interesting, fun and very sharp people. Benefits are hard to beat! Lot's of interesting activity going on. Depending on manager and team, there can be great flexibility in terms of what you can work on and pursue.

    Cons

    Low pay that is not competitive, despite limited HR efforts to measure it up to industry standards. Senior leadership has mostly been there for 20 and 30+ years, limiting any upward mobility for younger staff. Senior leadership is highly ideological (neocons), stuck in a cold war mindset and have little patience for new ideas or divergent perspectives.

    There is very little room for promotion, and even where it's possible, it's very very slow to occur. The result is high turnover of very talented young staff. But senior leadership does not care.

    Advice to Management

    Senior Leadership needs to consider the impact of a president and top leadership being in place for over 30 years. It's time for NED to move on and forward--create a structure where there's actual possibility for upward mobility--and bring in new senior leaders with fresh ideas and new perspectives. Current structure makes no sense. Also, HR department needs serious improvement.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work, low pay"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    Great benefits, smart and talented people

    Cons

    Pay is almost pitiful, management needs training, no upward mobility for junior staff


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Program Assistant"

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

    I have been working at National Endowment for Democracy full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    amazing mission, great people, good environment for learning

    Cons

    slow promotions, archaic management



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