Country Director, Afghanistan

  • Senior-level
  • Posted on 8 February 2019

Job Description


The Country Director (CD) will represent the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Afghanistan and assist in developing, managing and evaluating in-country program activities. The objective of USIP’s Afghanistan program is to support efforts to better understand the nature and causes of conflict in Afghanistan through research and analysis, to use this learning to inform policy making, and to implement programs aimed at preventing, mitigating and/or resolving violent conflict. The top priority of USIP’s Afghanistan program is to support the Afghanistan peace process.

The CD will be based in Kabul, Afghanistan, and will report to the director for Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs based in USIP’s headquarters in Washington, DC.


Program Development

  • Identify strategic and innovative programming opportunities that are aligned with the USIP program strategy.
  • Help design program interventions, including new and innovative initiatives to support intra-Afghan peacebuilding efforts.
  • Manage some programs while providing oversight over others.
  • Help lead efforts to effectively monitor and evaluate USIP’s Afghanistan programs and document program learning.
  • Facilitate effective communications between USIP’s Kabul and Washington offices regarding program activities.

Research Support

  • Support policy relevant research initiatives by helping to develop research priorities, identifying potential researchers and research institutions, shortlisting proposals, monitoring progress, and reviewing initial drafts.

Representation and Communications

  • Serve as USIP’s representative in Afghanistan, which will require liaising with relevant officials of the US embassy, Resolute Support, the Government of Afghanistan, other embassies and the UN, as well as with a diverse range of civil society organizations, academic institutions, the media, and local community leaders and groups.
  • Effectively disseminate information about USIP’s Afghanistan program activities and research findings through briefings of key stakeholders and participation in and convening of working groups and/or events.

Partnership Development

  • Manage partnerships with US embassy counterparts, including communicating work that is currently being supported, developing ideas for potential programming, and assisting in drafting of project concept notes and interagency funding proposals.
  • Identify innovative Afghan partners to work with on programs and manage relationships with existing implementing partners.
  • Develop and maintain productive contacts with relevant Afghan government agencies and institutions.

Budget Management

  • Work closely with USIP’s Afghanistan and HQ teams to ensure that USIP and interagency policies and procedures are adhered to.
  • Manage USIP’s in-country budget in an effective and accountable manner and ensure that financial reporting is timely and accurate.
  • Ensure that USIP and interagency narrative progress reports are timely and informative.
  • Maintain USIP’s strong reputation for sound and transparent finance and administration practices.

Operations/Office and Security Management

  • Manage USIP’s in-country operations, and provide effective managerial, administrative, financial, and logistical leadership and support for the successful implementation of USIP’s portfolio in Afghanistan.
  • Regularly review and update the Kabul office’s security guidelines and ensure that they are understood and followed by all USIP staff and visitors in Afghanistan.
  • Provide logistical support and advice, including arranging meetings, for USIP visitors to Afghanistan.

Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Master’s degree in political science, international affairs, law, or related field required; equivalent work experience may be substituted for master’s degree.
  • A minimum of ten years of relevant work experience working in in at least two of the following areas: humanitarian and/or development assistance, conflict resolution, democracy and governance, international law, and/or human rights activities.
  • Minimum of six years of relevant experience working in/on Afghanistan.
  • Relevant experience in managing country programs, including grants and project management, personnel management, and proposal development and report-writing;
  • Experience working with local and international civil society groups and donor organizations;
  • Creativity and strong analytical skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to operate independently in complex and difficult situations;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, including the ability to deal effectively with counterparts on all political, social, and economic levels.
  • Dari and/or Pashto language skills highly desirable.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.

Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

To be considered for this position, please submit a complete application package consisting of:
1. Completed employment application including titles, dates of hire and salary history.
2. Cover letter
3. Resume

For questions about this position please email Do not send resumes or attachments to this email address.

Only those applicants that are selected for further discussions will be contacted.

No Phone Calls. Interviews will be scheduled by appointment only.

USIP is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy and practice of USIP to offer equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliations or belief, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law.

About the Organization

If you have a passion for making the world a better place and want to have a front row seat to the world stage, USIP is the place for you.

We are a nonpartisan institute chartered by Congress to tackle the world’s toughest problems. Working in conflict zones around the world, our staff advise and support the military, government officials and community leaders – to promote knowledge and practices that prevent, mitigate and resolve violent conflict. To learn more about USIP programs and job openings go to The Institute is headquartered in Washington DC with staff working in 22 different countries, at any given time up to 20% of the staff could be deployed working in the field.

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