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Near East Foundation

Full Time
North America, USA, Washington DC
Posted 3 weeks ago

About the Near East Foundation (NEF)

The Near East Foundation (NEF) is a non-profit international development organization headquartered in Syracuse, New York. NEF has supported livelihoods recovery and community-based economic development in the Middle East, Africa, and Caucasus since 1915.

NEF draws on local teams, experience, and partnerships in these regions to create community-led solutions to improve livelihoods and local governance among conflict and crisis-affected groups, while maintaining neutrality and ensuring inclusiveness in its approach. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF has operations in ten countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. NEF programs are organized around three themes: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding.

Inclusive Economic Development

NEF is committed to supporting communities in conflict-affected and fragile areas through comprehensive assistance in fostering inclusive economic development. Their efforts are focused on empowering individuals to build sustainable livelihoods, promoting early recovery, cultivating self-reliance, and enhancing resilience among communities facing prolonged conflicts and recurrent crises. NEF’s initiatives are designed to bolster community capacities for recovery and poverty alleviation by leveraging business and economic development, delivering employability training, and supporting inclusive value chain development.

The Role

We are seeking a dynamic and experienced individual to join NEF’s team as a Technical Specialist. This role is critical to NEF’s goals for achieving sustainable growth. This position requires expertise in inclusive economic development, with a strong focus on inclusivity, innovation, impact, value for money, innovative financing, and sustainability. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of developing and implementing innovative solutions to promote economic growth while ensuring that marginalized communities are included and empowered.


Proposal Development:

Lead the development of high-quality proposals, from conceptualization to drafting technical narratives, ensuring alignment with donor requirements. Coordinate inputs from HQ and country team members and stakeholders to ensure comprehensive proposals. Coordinate with Cost Specialist, MEAL, HR, and compliance teams to ensure alignment of technical and financial components in proposals. Contribute to the development of budgets, cost narratives, and financial projections for proposed projects.

Proposal Review and Alignment:

Review proposal documents to ensure clarity, coherence, and alignment with donor requirements. Provide feedback and revisions as necessary to enhance proposal quality and competitiveness.

Representation and Networking:

Represent NEF at meetings, conferences, and events to showcase expertise in inclusive economic development. Engage with potential partners and donors to strengthen partnerships and attract support for NEF’s initiatives.

Research & Analysis for Business & Program Development:

Work with the program and MEAL teams to prioritize, devise, and conduct strategic research and analysis to identify key opportunities and challenges in promoting economic inclusivity in conflict-affected and fragile areas and contribute to business and program development. Utilize insights to inform program design and business development.

Program Design and Technical Advisory:

Work with program, MEAL, and other relevant teams to prioritize, conceptualize, and develop inclusive economic development programs and projects tailored to conflict-affected and fragile areas. Provide technical advisory to project teams when needed to ensure the effective incorporation of programmatic best practices into project activities, program strategies, and learning agenda.

Knowledge Integration:

Stay informed about emerging trends and innovations in economic development, particularly related to inclusivity in conflict-affected and fragile contexts. Integrate relevant insights into NEF’s program strategies and knowledge products to inform program and business development and contribute to program growth. Co-lead with MEAL and program teams on deep-dive processes at project and program levels. Contribute to the development of learning agendas and the prioritization, conceptualization, and development of knowledge and business development products such as technical innovations, technical briefs and fact sheets, technical capacity statements, and technical presentations. Contribute as technical lead writer on strategically important products.


Uphold NEF’s core values of localization, respect, inclusion, and integrity by helping to build an environment of accountability and learning, keeping work commitments and respecting colleagues’ time, listening to diverse colleagues, and participating in regular feedback and performance reviews. Other duties as assigned.



  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in economics, international development, public policy, or a related field.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience working in the field of economic development, with a focus on inclusive growth and poverty reduction
  • Strong understanding of economic theory and proven ability to apply it to practical development challenges.
  • Experience designing and implementing economic development projects in diverse cultural and socio-economic contexts.
  • Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, with the ability to think critically and develop innovative solutions.
  • Minimum of 2 years of experience in writing clear, concise, and compelling proposals for funding from a variety of donors, especially USAID, EU, or FCDO, including bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations, and private sector partners.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to build relationships and collaborate effectively with diverse stakeholders.
  • Fluency in English required, proficiency in additional languages preferred.
  • Willingness to travel domestically and internationally as needed.
  • Proficiency in Salesforce, Microsoft Word and Teams, familiarity with Excel.

Required Qualification:

  • Candidates must be legally authorized to live and work in the United States without company sponsorship now and in the future.

Desired Skills:

  • Experience using participatory approaches to design programs and develop proposals, including applying principles of co-creation.
  • Experience engaging relevant communities of practice.
  • Experience engaging and coordinating with international colleagues and programs.
  • Knowledge and understanding of themes and cross-cutting requirements in international development, such as gender mainstreaming, market-based approaches, locally-led programming, resilience, innovative finance, technology and innovation.
  • Proficiency in French and/or Arabic is a plus.

Job Features

Job CategoryHumanitarian
LocationWashington, DC (Hybrid and must be legally authorized to live and work in the United States without company sponsorship now and in the future)
Salary$78,750 – $124,950 USD, plus benefits
Closing Date4th August 2024
Reports toVice President of Business Development
Travel5% – 10%

Apply Online

A valid email address is required.
A valid phone number is required.


All correspondence, at this stage, should be via Oxford HR. To apply for this post, click on the “Apply” button on the job advert page, complete our online application form, and submit your CV and cover letter as two different documents, which should be prepared before applying as they will be considered in the application process. The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit.
The document should be saved in PDF in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Pat-Jones-CV-062024-NEF or Pat-Jones-CoverLetter-062024-NEF.

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Near East Foundation

Job Features

Job CategoryHumanitarian
LocationWashington, DC (Hybrid and must be legally authorized to live and work in the United States without company sponsorship now and in the future)
Salary$78,750 – $124,950 USD, plus benefits
Closing Date4th August 2024
Reports toVice President of Business Development
Travel5% – 10%

Apply Online

A valid email address is required.
A valid phone number is required.
Maria Bencich-Grigore
Maria Grigore

Director of Research