Program Design Specialist V

Full Time
Arlington, Virginia, United States
Posted 2 months ago

Place of Performance: Washington D.C. (Local Telework Subject to Approval)

SCOPE: The contractor shall assist with project and program design, development, and oversight. Tasks shall include conducting research and analysis on policy and programmatic trends, consolidating volumes of data to draft concise briefing papers, talking points, public affairs documents. Supporting outreach activities to the U.S. Congress, media, and other public stakeholders; review quarterly reports and grant documents; assist in program and budget tracking; analyze quantitative and qualitative data related to projects awarded, and programmatic and administrative support to NEA/AC Foreign Affairs officers in tracking and responding to implementation of US foreign policy initiatives.


  • Must be a U.S Citizen
  • This position will require or should be able to obtain a Top Secret
  • Education: Masters or Bachelor’s with 3 years’ experience or 9-10 years of relevant work experience.
  • Native fluency in
  • Ability to read and converse in Arabic and/or French is preferred but not
  • Strong (written and oral) communication and organizational skills
  • Ability to multi-task and be detail-oriented
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of stakeholders of different backgrounds
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment in a politically sensitive environment
  • Ability to work well with others and productively under pressure
  • Programmatic project design, performance indicator development and monitoring and evaluation experience
  • Background knowledge of and experience working on or in the Middle East/North Africa (3-4 years) is a requirement for this
  • The PDS V contractors are expected to be senior Program Design and Support Specialist with significant knowledge of U.S. Government foreign policies and demonstrated relevant
  • The PDS V contractors will possess skills exemplifying significant attention to detail, the ability to operate in a dynamic environment, expert policy analysis, inter-agency coordination as well as the following: interpersonal skills and ability to communicate orally and in writing, problem solving, and significant organizational leadership
  • The PDS V contractors will be able to lead and train the other PDS’ in operation of the program
  • The PDS at this level will require little day-to-day direction to successfully complete grant and programming projects.
  • Will generally obtain approval from supervisor at project completion with minor revisions and will seek guidance from supervisors for assistance in resolving challenging issues.


  • Promotes internet freedom in NEA/AC priority areas and serves as the primary point of contact for NEA/AC on internet freedom and emerging tech issues with a particular focus on innovative anti-censorship protocols and peer-to-peer technologies.
  • Advises NEA on how to design, implement, and adjust programs to safely and strategically incorporate emerging technologies in support of USG assistance strategies and congressional earmarks.
  • Develops security protocols and procedures to mitigate the risks to civil society in NEA countries, NEA/AC program implementers, and USG officials from hostile cybersecurity attacks.
  • Evaluates cybersecurity challenges and develops strategies and protocols to mitigate the risks to NEA/AC program participants and USG officials.
  • Develops background information and conducts research for presenting policy positions and discovering opportunities for USG assistance in the areas of emerging technologies and advances in access and secure communication technologies–including both fixed and mobile applications—especially as it pertains to censorship, network disruptions, and total internet shutdown scenarios.
  • Advises Department and interagency officials and staffs on assistance coordination issues and problems, including developments in information and communications technologies and policies.
  • Maintains visibility on all relevant USG internet freedom programs in the region, keeping NEA informed of key developments and assessing the effects of changes in the communication environment and networks in the region.
  • Supports communication of U.S. assistance strategy to Congress, media, NGOs, policymakers, and the information and communications industry.
  • Participates in and supports program budget formulation and congressional appropriation process for regional assistance.
  • Initiates and evaluates scientific, policy, and technical research, identifying developments which might directly impact policy and project objectives.
  • Identifies, initiates, and develops strategies and tactics to implement all assigned projects to ensure that they achieve established objectives and make appropriate contributions to the portfolio.
  • Deploys expertise to evaluate the effectiveness of project-related operations in meeting established Bureau, office, and USG foreign policy goals and objectives, recommending improvements or other policy changes, as appropriate.
  • Contributes to and influences the establishment of foreign assistance policy coordination in the interagency as it relates to internet freedom and emerging technologies in the region.
  • Participates in assigned Department and interagency working groups and meetings and makes recommendations to these bodies and to Department management on policies or program management approaches that will assist in achieving Department goals.
  • Monitors compliance by implementing partners in information technology (IT) and operational security policies and practices, including the protection of sub-partners, participants and beneficiaries through best practices and other compliance standards, including vetting and secure communications.
  • Reports instances of security violations or incidents to the appropriate supervisory officials, including security issues and incidents affecting grantees and others in the communities that NEA actively supports.
  • Briefs NEA leadership on developments of interest; drafts memoranda, position papers, and cables on internet freedom and emerging technologies.
  • Utilizes expertise to analyze, on a qualitative and/or quantitative basis, the effectiveness of project-related operations in meeting established Bureau, office, and U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, recommending changes or follow-up, as appropriate.
  • Leads the drafting and oversight of solicitations for funding applications related to internet freedom.
  • Performs assigned Project Officer duties, including reviewing and recommending action on implementer quarterly performance reports; evaluating award burn rates; reviewing indicator data and workplan progress; recommending action if performance issues are flagged; ensuring that project information included in AC databases and inventories is accurate and up to date; analyzing information and project performance data and proposals, preparing reports, drafts project proposals, memos, and other documents for senior officers.
  • Coordinates effectively with other NEA/AC members by sharing information, facilitating cross-portfolio cooperation and sharing of best practices, and supporting other officers to accomplish team tasks as requested.
  • This position involves projects and/or assignments requiring considerable decision-making authority regarding procedures, processes, plans, and schedules. Ability to work independently or in a team setting is necessary.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS/WORK ENVIRONMENT: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Needs ability to use a keyboard to enter and retrieve data. .
  • Must be able to lift 5-20
  • Remaining in a stationary position, often standing, or sitting for prolonged
  • Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to
  • Local travel, Conus and Oconus may be required





Job Features

Job CategoryAnalyst, Program Design

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