Program Officer, Global Leadership Exchange

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If you’ve got a passion for continuous learning, program management, global engagement, and want to be part of a small organization that is mission-focused and active in the local and national community, we’re hiring. The World Affairs Council, celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2021, has a program officer opening in the Global Leadership Exchange (GLX) team to create and deliver unique exchange programs for emerging leaders from around the world.

We’re looking for an organized and people-oriented team member who will successfully plan and execute multiple virtual international exchanges each month while preparing for a return to in-person programming when conditions permit. You’ll report directly to the Director of the Global Leadership Exchange, supporting the GLX program and working to sustain strong relationships with critical stakeholders and partners.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Affairs Council’s operations and programs are entirely remote. When we return to in-person programming remains unclear, but we do plan to work in-person at our downtown Seattle office when it’s safe to do so. You’ve got to be okay with some ambiguity and be nimble as we navigate our “new normal.” At the World Affairs Council, you’ll be part of a small team that consistently delivers outstanding results—and while everyone has clear responsibilities and roles, everyone also pitches in when needed, whether on programs or to sustain the work of the Council overall.


Program Management

  • Plan and implement, from start to finish, international exchanges for emerging global leaders that provide professional development opportunities as well as cross-cultural engagement with their U.S. counterparts. GLX as a team implements between 50-70 exchanges per year.
  • Research and write proposals for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and other exchange programs, including conceptualizing programs and curriculum that align with specific learning outcomes, goals and objectives as well as financial and logistical guidelines.
  • Collaborate and communicate on a daily basis with teammates, program partners, stakeholders, funders, professional resources, and volunteers in order to meet deliverables and achieve program goals and objectives.
  • Manage and adhere to program budgets and guidelines, including federal guidelines and reporting requirements.
  • Oversee monitoring and evaluation as needed.
  • Oversee travel and administrative logistics when we return to in-person programming.

External Relations

  • Develop and maintain positive and enduring working relationships with local professional resources, volunteer hosts, and other partners who meet with international participants.
  • Develop and maintain positive and enduring working relationships with national partners, including national programming agencies, the U.S. State Department, and the Global Ties U.S. network.
  • Engage with diverse international delegations and serve as a point of contact for participants and staff throughout their program in Seattle (in-person or virtually).
  • Manage vendor relationships, including hotel and transportation partners.
  • Contribute to social media, the website, and email outreach, including the development of original content.

Program Administration

  • Consistently utilize Salesforce CRM, ensuring all information is up-to-date and important information is tracked.
  • Select and supervise interns and ensure they have access to meaningful projects and professional development opportunities.
  • Engage in continuous learning about the changing landscape of international exchanges, including best practices in data management, risk management, virtual/hybrid/in-person programming, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and other areas as needed.
  • Be well informed on local and regional issues relevant to programming and proposal development.
  • Other administrative tasks as required.

What we’re looking for:

  • You know the world: Bachelor’s degree in international education, international relations or related field and ongoing interest in international program management, education, public policy, or current events. Equivalent experience considered in place of formal education. Excellent organizational and communication skills will be important.
  • The mission matters: 3-5 years of relevant mission-driven work. Additional education may substitute for experience and we’ll consider making an entry-level or more senior-level hire, so if your background and interest are a great match but your experience isn’t what we have listed, consider applying. We read through every application carefully.
  • A planner: you’ve put on or helped plan or implement programs or events, and you love seeing a project through from start to finish.
  • A communicator: you know how to effectively communicate, solve problems, and work with diverse external partners.
  • Social media savvy: you don’t have to be a social media maven but should know how to capture the impact of our work and share it with our community.
  • Independent and agile: you’ve got to be comfortable with minimal oversight but keeping open communication and knowing when to ask questions. While you’ll have a lot of independence, you’ll have a team with a long tenure to help guide you when needed.
  • Getting it right matters: extraordinary attention to detail with the ability to handle competing deadlines and tasks.
  • Unflappable: things go wrong. You’ll figure out how to fix it.

What you might be looking for:

  • An organization that is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We’re on a journey.
  • A small staff that is focused on the mission and on creating a supportive place to work. We laugh a lot, even at corny jokes.
  • Great perks: medical, dental, and vision insurance; life insurance; short- and long-term disability coverage; and generous paid time off, including volunteer time off and floating holidays so you can celebrate what’s important to you.
  • Never the same day twice: from researching a proposal to meeting with a delegation, you’ll constantly be learning.
  • Trust – we’re not into micromanaging. You get autonomy to manage your time, programs, and working relationships with external partners.
  • A place that celebrates your successes and recognizes your contributions and value to the organization.


Salary will depend on experience and will initially start in the lower 40’s.


We bring the world to Seattle; we want you to bring your world to work with us. The World Affairs Council is committed to building a more inclusive organization, one that not only celebrates the diversity of the global cultures and traditions of our staff, board, members, international visitors, and the community, but also acknowledges the histories, lived experiences, and systems that impact the people and communities we serve, past and present. The World Affairs Council is an equal opportunity employer; we do not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any classification protected by federal, state, or local law. If you share our values and want to help shape our work going forward, we’d love to hear from you.

How to Apply

Apply online by clicking “Apply for this position” below. Please include a thoughtful cover letter telling us why you think you’re right for us and why we’re right for you. Unfortunately, incomplete applications will not be considered so please be sure to include everything in your application. This position will remain open until filled – but we’d love to have you start as soon as possible.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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