Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Reviews | Glassdoor

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Reviews

Updated April 26, 2017
44 reviews

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3.4
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Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Director, President & CEO Jane Harman
Jane Harman
16 Ratings

44 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Incredibly smart people, great events, reputable think tank (in 8 reviews)

  • The WWICS is a great place to work if you are interested in the field of public policy in Washington, D (in 7 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great for a career in International Relations.

    Cons

    Hard to move up the ladder.


  2. "Expect organization to become very challenged in Trump administration"

    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
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Wilson Center is a strange federal/nonprofit hybrid, with some of the strengths and weaknesses of both model. On the plus side, the work includes access to a lot of interesting public and private events, with speakers and panelists including world-renowned experts and heads of state. Environment is collegial with a lot of social opportunities, including softball team, happy hours, etc. in addition to formal events and dinners, many of which are very impressive. Benefits are good, including a very generous Smithsonian contribution to the retirement package. (Furthermore, the TIAA package for Smithsonian includes access to a number of very good funds, that most nonprofits cannot access.)

    Cons

    The executive leadership does not seem to have a sense of its direction and goals, and is going to be in serious trouble under the Trump administration, both due to the Trump animosity toward scholarship and because of the Wilson Center's perceived or real Democratic party sympathies. In addition to this political challenge, there is a sharp divide -- in age, compensation, and clout -- between the assistants and associates and the Directors and Vice Presidents. There are a lot of highly paid VPs and Directors, but associates and assistants frequently don't have a clearly defined career path. The support offices -- HR, Finance -- seem to provide only minimal levels of support for the programs. Many of them seem to be feds in a comfortable position with minimal interest in customer service.

    Advice to Management

    Need to make some tough decisions on how to position the organization in the face of this political disaster. Either stand up for values -- independent scholarship, free expression, openness and transparency, and risk defunding from the Trumpists -- or descend into irrelevance and try to serve the Administration's whims.

  3. "Problems ahead"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great colleagues and interesting programs

    Cons

    Low morale, high turnover, no career growth and extremely bad leadership


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great for Entry Level or Senior Positions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Development Assistant in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Development Assistant in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Perfect job out of college. So many young people. A very DC experience. Wilson Center Cafe is very nice and convenient.

    Cons

    There was little room for growth within the company. Most staff is labeled "junior staff" or "senior staff", and you basically have to leave to get a promotion after more than 5 years. This was the case in 2012.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your own employees. Constant turnover is costly on an organization like the Wilson Center.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Program Associate"

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

    I worked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Wonderful people who are all very nice. Made a lot of good friends.

    Cons

    The Center does not have enough funding to hire more support staff so the program staff are required to do just about everything by themselves. It takes a long time to get any payments of contracts processed through the financial management office because of the high turnover rate and the fact that there is only one person assigned to each function. There is also no training or support to new hires so the Center is suited to people who are self-starters and quick learners.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more support to your central support offices like IT, AV, HR, and FMO.


  6. "Great place to start an international career"

    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
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I started out with very little experience and the Wilson Center gave me so many opportunities to grow professionally and to take on new responsibilities. A great place for young people and a very collegial environment.

    Cons

    Turnover rate was high and limited funding made promotions difficult.


  7. "Great place, great people"

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

    Pros

    An amazing environment if someone is look for a research-oriented internship. There are so many things happening and so many ideas flowing around. Really great work environment. The interns also end up forming a community.

    Cons

    No payment or compensantion to support the interns

    Advice to Management

    Look for funds to support the interns.

  8. "Research Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good Place to work. Good people

    Cons

    Nothing to talk about at this time

    Advice to Management

    N/A


  9. "Great place to begin career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC

    I worked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to learn about foreign policy

    Cons

    More upward mobility and substantive assignments.


  10. "Excellent place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Intern in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Intern in Portland, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Very laid back
    - Interesting people

    Cons

    - Sometimes clique-y

    Otherwise an awesome place to work. I'd highly recommend it.

    Advice to Management

    Great place


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