Program Officer

Food for the Hungry
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 29

Position description

The Program Officer (PO) is a key member of the Relief and Humanitarian Affairs (RHA) team. Based in the Food for the Hungry (FH) Washington DC office, the PO will be a primary ‘Early Responder’ on behalf of FH in humanitarian contexts around the world. This position will have a special focus on helping ensure a smooth transition from RHA active support in relief responses to FH country team and regional ownership. The PO is expected to provide proposal writing, monitoring and evaluation, and field leadership in relief settings and in operations in which the RHA is leading or providing surge capacity. A particular focus for this role will be improving response capacity by working with highly vulnerable FH field offices.


Ensure disaster prone FH fields are prepared for emergencies. This includes collaboration and coordination with Regional Leadership and closely with the Senior Relief Specialist on logistics and security concerns (20% of time).

  • Update annual country level response plans;
  • Coordinate with Regional and Country Directors to provide capacity development and trainings;
  • Ensure RHA has an active focal point (below CD level) for emergency response at country level for key fields;
  • Ensure field is connected with Humanitarian Cluster Teams and have good networks for disaster response.

Emergency response leadership to relief and refugee response programs of FH or its partners (40%).

  • Deploy to respond to emergencies. With larger responses, deploy for up to 30 days at a time to help establish key infrastructure and/or leadership necessary for an effective response;
  • Coordinate with Integral Alliance in both strategy and field implementation, especially with strategic partners such as Medical Teams International (MTI);
  • Provide the architecture for larger emergency responses including working with the field to draft (a) response strategy and (b) engagement strategy for RHA and other GSC units at the country level (including exit plans from active management).

Responsible to build and strengthen relationships with key relief donors and help support program implementation of large grants as well as reporting (20% of time).

  • Develop and manage good relationships at the DC level and field levels in coordination with fields and the region, with USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and other relief donors;
  • Provide oversight for program reports and evaluations from OFDA, BPRM-funded (Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration) FH fields and verify that they are complete and accurate in addition to highlighting sectoral areas that require support;
  • Work with Grants team to ensure programmatic goals and indicators are met according to program work plans.

Provide leadership to FH’s strategic shift to a more disaster-response positioning (20%).

  • Manage the relief response quality improvement process (QIP) and subsequent improvement processes that are created from the first process;
  • Working with IO team and the L&E unit, create an active relief to development nexus model to underpin the investment into relief capacity building;
  • Develop and pilot initiatives to curate a culture of relief response across the organization.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty/function satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Vibrant personal relationship with Jesus Christ and Christian commitment to serving the poor and in full agreement with FH’s Christian foundation and beliefs as expressed in The Heartbeat: our Values, Vision, and Purpose;
  • Excellent people skills including warmth and sensitivity, conversational, able to relate to and effectively communicate with people from different cultures (at various levels within the organization);
  • High integrity and a strong sense of professional ethics;
  • Able to self-manage a diverse and dynamic set of responsibilities, proactively solve problems and/or suggest viable solutions while advancing goals and objectives;
  • Demonstrated computer operating skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office products, Google platform, and virtual technologies such as Skype and/or GoToMeeting;
  • Excellent organizational skills; ability to plan and coordinate work, ensure the efficient flow of projects and processes;
  • Strong people management skills/interpersonal skills with the ability to motivate, teach and mentor staff and volunteers;
  • Comfortable and persuasive when speaking before both large and small groups;
  • Ability to interact positively with all levels of the organization and across organizational and cultural boundaries;
  • Medical fitness to live and travel in rural and urban areas with extreme conditions and limited medical support;
  • Previous experience with backstopping programs. Knowledgeable of USAID/OFDA, USAID/FFP and State Dept./BPRM reporting requirements and guidelines;
  • Ability to travel up to 50% of time per year in the US and internationally, to insecure countries or locations.

Education and Experience

Bachelor's degree (B. A. or B.S.) in English, Political Science, or development related fields from four-year College or University; MA or MS preferred; or equivalent combination of education and experience. At least three-years of experience implementing and/or managing a relief or development program in a developing country preferred.

Supervisor Responsibilities

This position does not have direct supervisory responsibilities.


Proficiency in spoken and written English. Ability to read and interpret field program reports, USAID and State Department proposal guidance and requirements and administrative procedures. Ability to write, review and edit reports and proposals for USAID. Speaking/writing ability in Spanish, Portuguese, and/or French is preferable, but not required.

Application instructions

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