Democracy Fellow, Religious Freedom and Atrocity Prevention


The Institute of International Education (IIE) seeks applications from qualified individuals for a full-time Democracy Fellow for Religious Freedom and Atrocity Prevention to serve within the USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center) in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA). The appointment is for approximately three and a half (3.5) months, to be concluded January 31, 2019, with possible extension to May 31, 2019. The Fellow will be hired as a full-time, salaried IIE employee, with benefits.


USAID's DRG Center aims to advance democracy, human rights and governance for the sake of political freedom. By integrating DRG across all sectors, the Center contributes to socioeconomic progress and overall developmental resilience and provides technical support to USAID missions implementing programs in these areas. With a strong emphasis on rigorous evaluation and learning, the DRG Center is committed to advancing evidence-based policy, strategy, and programming throughout the DRG sector.

Within its emphasis on human rights, the DRG Center is leading USAID in the implementation of the administration’s focus on promoting religious freedom throughout the world. The DRG Center is seeking to expand our work and find innovative approaches to promoting religious freedom as a fundamental human right. In addition, the Center has been the focal points for USAID's implementation of the Executive Order on a Comprehensive Approach to Atrocity Prevention and Response and other executive direction on atrocity prevention. Since that time, the incumbent has played an important role in informing policy and guidance on interagency efforts, such as the Atrocity Prevention Board (APB), to prevent and respond to atrocities worldwide. The DRG Center works collaboratively with other USAID offices, in particular USAID's Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation (CMM), as well as interagency partners to support the work of the APB.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Religious Freedom and Atrocity Prevention Fellow will support implementation of USAID's new focus on Religious Freedom and Action Plan on Atrocity Prevention by working on specific areas of the research agenda and practical projects related to both areas. Specific tasks include supporting DRG projects related to atrocities prevention, including supporting USAID missions in understanding and addressing atrocity risks, developing an in-person training course, engaging with the interagency and like-minded international donors. The Fellow will undertake new areas of technical research on religious freedom and atrocities prevention and work with agency colleagues to create and advance written products as needed. The Fellow will help foster greater dialogue and stronger relationships with the academic and non-governmental communities working on both religious freedom and atrocities prevention. The Fellow also may be asked to support USAID participation on the APB.

The Fellow should be prepared to undertake the following tasks:

  • Support and contribute to USAID's technical leadership and research related to religious freedom and atrocities prevention--including, but not limited to, the documentation of case studies and after-action reviews of USAID prevention and response efforts and the systematic documentation and dissemination of lessons learned through interagency processes.
  • Interview current and former USAID officers with first-hand experience of prevention or response efforts (USAID's "listening sessions") to inform the development of new atrocity prevention tools and resources for Missions in countries with a high risk of atrocities.
  • Serve as the principal author for the forthcoming USAID training on Atrocity Prevention, a one week training designed to support officers in the field in identifying early warning signs and developing programming to prevent and respond to atrocities.
  • Cultivate strong relationships with NGOs, the academic community, and other key civil society groups and networks working on atrocity prevention to improve USAID outreach, contribute to implementation of best practices in atrocity prevention, and foster a community of practice.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Skills

  • US Citizenship.
  • Ability to obtain a Secret-level security clearance is required; current Secret-level security clearance eligibility is strongly preferred.
  • Master’s degree required; JD or relevant social science PhD is preferred.
  • At least eight (8) years of experience working on issues of foreign policy and development, human rights, democracy and governance, conflict mitigation, or other relevant areas.
  • Strong analytic and research skills in religious freedom, atrocity prevention, human rights, and democracy and governance.
  • Strong writing skills and the ability to communicate complex programming elements in atrocity prevention, human rights, and democracy and governance into clear, concise documents and actions.
  • Demonstrated capacity to lead the development of projects, similar to the planned toolkit and training module, independently.
  • Experience serving as the lead on inter- or intra-agency and/or multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Relevant field experience; experience working with USAID and/or other USG agencies.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to foster relationships and coordinate the learning and expertise of multiple organizations engaged in the fields of atrocity prevention, human rights, and democracy and governance.

Supervision and Guidance

The Fellow will be a member of the DRG Center’s Human Rights Division and will be managed on a day-to-day basis by the Division Chief. The Fellow will participate in relevant working groups in other parts of the Agency as required. The Fellow is expected to exercise the highest degree of individual initiative, resourcefulness, responsibility, and authority, consistent with USAID's overall policy and procedural framework.

The Fellow will be an employee of IIE and will report for administrative purposes to the DFG Director at IIE.


The Fellow will be based at IIE’s office in Washington, DC, until s/he has an interim Secret-level security clearance, at which point s/he will transfer to USAID headquarters in Washington, DC. Some international travel will be required.

Duration of the position

The tentative end date of the fellowship is January 31, 2019, with a possible extension to May 31, 2019. The start date is as soon as possible.


The salary for the fellowship will be commensurate with the candidate’s salary history and experience, but the salary cap for this position is $100,000/year.


The application for this Democracy Fellow position is in two parts. Part I can be completed online using this link. Part II of the Democracy Fellow position will be emailed following the completion of Part I, this part includes the DFG Application (note that your signature is required on this document) and DFG Personal Statement. Both documents must be completed and emailed to by the application’s closing date

The deadline to submit applications is 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, September 23, 2018. Only complete applications will be considered.