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Pact (Washington DC) Reviews

Updated January 8, 2018
74 reviews

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2.4
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Pact (Washington DC) President & CEO Mark Viso
Mark Viso
54 Ratings

74 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • At its core, pact is involved in very meaningful work around the world (in 5 reviews)

  • Good and professional staff in DC supporting the country offices (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Dozens of Director level staff and above have been forced out directly by Mark Viso CEO (in 12 reviews)

  • Without exception we agreed that there are serious problems with pact's leadership, in particular CEO Mark Viso (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    ""Great company""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pact (Washington DC) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    1. 100 % paid benefits
    2. Great Leadership
    3. Moral is up
    4. Employees are passionate about their work
    5. Work life balance

    Pact is a great company to work for, if you find a company were everything is perfect please let me know. Since the VP of HR is gone moral has been up. You can not make everyone happy there will always be disappointment somewhere. COO an CFO walks the office talks to the employees, and try to get a since of what is going on they're really engaged. Most of the time the CEO is busy but he has an open office you can walk right up to him. I would 100% recommend pact as a place to work at.

    Cons

    You have some negative people, most of them have left there are a few still here. Some departments have to put in more hours then normal, but they're passionate about the work that they do.

    Advice to Management

    We need to get the bitter/trouble makers out the door, hire more qualified people. For the employees give Mark V a chance he is on a sabbatical not even in the office and still getting bad reviews, it says a lot about you personally.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Just outsource everything at this point"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pact (Washington DC) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Open office space - I don’t care what anyone says it’s the most transparent thing about this place
    Exciting travel

    Cons

    Nothing more needs to be said about MV because there’s 50 other reviews that all say he’s horrible and needs to go ASAP. This latest restructure made people cry, threaten to quit, and stay home for days. It tore departments that should remain together apart and put one of them under someone who has no idea what it does and doesn’t care to learn. Some departments have room for professional growth while others have not not seen a promotion in years. Some departments are relatively stable while one in particular falls apart every year. HR has been outsourced and board members work for external companies we have on retainer. Consultants come in and say they’re saving money but they have a profit motive to stay as long as possible and it doesn’t seem to register with the upper management.

    Advice to Management

    If you’re serious about transforming, try working with what you already have.

  3. Helpful (10)

    "lol"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Pact (Washington DC) full-time

    Pros

    Employer-paid benefits
    Some nice people
    Convenient location
    Good purpose, great work
    Sometimes we get free food
    Better than average pay

    Cons

    Yet another reorganization is not going to fix our problems. When this one fails to "transform" anything, there will inevitably be another so the CEO can go to sleep thinking he has accomplished something. He lives in a fantasyland and truly believes selling someone else's patented platform and accounting software will achieve this "revenue neutral" delusion he has somehow managed to sell to the board. At least once a month, he likes to remind everyone he saved the place from debarment (onset of a manic phase). Despite a push to enter the fourth sector and the European development world, Pact is becoming increasingly dependent on USG funding and private partners have run away. Rather than expand and advocate for the three potential profit-making programs we have, he instead creates a new department and then says he thought we were making progress when the head of it leaves the company after eight hours on the job. You can create an ideal work culture on paper but until you address the sexism, backstabbing, low morale, high turnover, competing subcultures and general distrust of upper management, the time spent in this working group would be better used trying to win back the donors we have scared off. That being said, Mark has a gift for public speaking and would make an excellent used car salesman so I don't understand why he isn't out there trying to sell Pact more. I'm eager to see what profit we turn from his sabbatical on a vineyard (spoiler alert: none). Here's a novel idea: rather than chase down every possible source of funding, try developing a couple areas of specialty and then your regional hub idea might have a chance.

    Advice to Management

    trans·for·ma·tion
    ˌtran(t)sfərˈmāSH(ə)n/

    noun
    a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance


  4. Helpful (17)

    "Hard to express"

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

    I worked at Pact (Washington DC) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pact has a great office space, some cool people and reasonable financial rewards.

    Cons

    It's really hard to put into words how I feel about Mark Viso, Pact's CEO. I feel my own time there was wasted by his inability to decide on anything at all. At first I thought it was intellectual energy, after time I realized it was insecurity and fear. He hates the idea of anyone getting credit for anything. So all ideas have to play on his domineering ego. He hardly interacts with anyone now, except for his all male exec team. Mark doesn't think gender is an issue, except in a Board meeting. He in reality chairs the board he reports to so there is no accountability in Pact at all. I feel I wasted a few years in Pact not because of the work as such but because of Mark's inability to decide, inability to lead and manipulation. Glad to be out of it. Mark, though, keeps the org in turmoil and he's safe to transform for ever, no one believes it will stop in 2021.

    Advice to Management

    Really?


  5. Helpful (4)

    "office politics"

    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 Pact (Washington DC) full-time

    Pros

    great benefits and great CEO

    Cons

    a lot of politics which make the culture very draining.

    Advice to Management

    should demonstrate fair hiring process.


  6. Helpful (16)

    "Needs new leadership"

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

    I have been working at Pact (Washington DC) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Terrific country programs with smart country directors and staff. Strong on project management and delivers results at the country office level. Good and professional staff in DC supporting the country offices.

    Cons

    There are some serious issues with leadership. The president knows how to sweet talk but has no idea how to manage. He is always looking at the shiny bright thing in the future without fully understanding the current asset base. He has very little direct contact with our main clients. He is very slow at making decisions. He does not know how to delegate and is mostly interested in his own initiatives. There is a culture of fear in the DC office and people do not feel free to express their honest opinions. The board seems to be just a 'yes Mark' board and is asleep regarding his performance. Revenues from major clients have been on a decline since his tenure. The board granted him a sabbatical when he does not deserve one. Pact is a terrific organization in need of new leadership. The board needs to take some bold action soon.

    Advice to Management

    The board needs to wake up and make some serious decisions about senior leadership.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Pact Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at Pact (Washington DC) full-time

    Pros

    Friendly and supportive environment; employees are encouraged to contribute in areas beyond their specific job and can cross-collaborate across departments.

    Cons

    Strong divide between technical and program management

  8. Helpful (10)

    "Ditto"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    100% employer paid health care
    Great DC location

    Cons

    Sadly, the common theme running through these posted reviews is legitimate. It appears that exit interview comments and these reviews are not being read by the board. The culture is not healthy, especially if you are a woman.


  9. Helpful (15)

    "Sad"

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

    I worked at Pact (Washington DC) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    People are very dedicated. Most are new as tunrover is massive. People really try to do good work.

    Cons

    Two words, Mark Viso. The President and CEO is a toxic mix of insecurity and arrogence. At times it can be frightening. He doesn't know what he wants from one day to the next and will blame anyone but himself for not getting it. A true case study in leadership by paronoia and confusion. When a leader says in a open meeting 'that checks our diversity box' of a new senior employee or goes out of his way to publically trash former and existing colleagues you know there's a problem. It's sad really, mark must be deeply disturbed.

    Advice to Management

    Leave.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Solid company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Pact (Washington DC) (More than a year)

    Pros

    It is an open space with a lot of interaction between departments. Very committed staff that want to be involved and are passionate about the work that we do.

    Cons

    Sometimes the open office space is a bit overwhelming and just loud.

    Advice to Management

    Figure out how to required local staff in country offices to be a part of the transformation conversations. They are not engaging.


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