Director, Communities & Governance Practice

Website IREXIntl International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)

Who We Are

IREX is a global development and education organization. We strive for a more just, prosperous, and inclusive world—where individuals reach their full potential, governments serve their people, and communities thrive. With a projected annual portfolio of more than $100 million and more than 600 staff worldwide, we work with partners in more than 100 countries in four areas essential to progress: cultivating leaders, empowering youth, strengthening institutions, and increasing access to quality education and information.

IREX seeks a Director of Communities and Governance (C&G) that will lead this $120 million global portfolio with a diverse team of over 100 staff. C&G programs span the globe including work in Ukraine, Moldova, Nepal, Mexico, Liberia, the United States, and across the MENA region with support from numerous donors.   C&G programming strengthens civil society, promotes good governance, and fosters inclusive civic engagement. The portfolio includes Ukraine National Identity through Youth (UNITY), Comunitatea Mea, Ambulantes, Navigator, and the Elections and Democracy Activity in Liberia.

IREX is looking for an entrepreneurial and results-driven leader who has an excellent command of global civil society and good governance development efforts to serve as its Director of Communities & Governance. As a member of the Senior Management Team, the Director will provide leadership across the organization to help IREX define and achieve ambitious civil society impact goals. The Director will be accountable for enabling, spearheading, guiding, expanding, and measuring the impact of this portfolio of programs. They will collaborate with and guide other leaders, program managers, and practitioners to help them develop and observe standards of excellence in programming. The successful candidate will have deep expertise leading, designing, and managing programs that strengthen civil society, promote good governance, and foster inclusive civic engagement. The Director will have a successful track record collaborating with and inspiring others, and partnering with governments, the private sector, and the philanthropic community.

The Director role combines strategy with high standards for excellence, impact, and evidence. It requires advanced relationship building skills and the ability to cultivate a spirit of learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship across programs and practice areas. The Director will work with the Vice President of Global Programs to further strengthen systems for delivering high quality services and products, and to position IREX for increased impact and future growth. The Director will continually assess the competitive environment to consolidate existing partnerships and identify new opportunities for IREX to advance its mission.

Are you the next member of our team?

Your Background & Skills

Bachelor’s Degree; Master’s Degree preferred.
15 + years of progressive experience.
Demonstrated passion for and thought leadership in strengthening civil society, promoting good governance, and fostering inclusive civic engagement.
Strong experience and knowledge of related best practices.
Experience in relevant program management, including overseas work experience and deep country-level expertise.
Experience building a portfolio and elevating program impact.
Experience leading, motivating, developing, mentoring and managing a diverse team of high-capacity international staff.
Demonstrated commitment to IREX values ( and collaborative staff management style.
Ability to set and guide strategic vision and goals for the practice and contribute to setting short and long-term organizational goals through participation in IREX’s Senior Management team.
Excellent organizational planning, presentation, and professional-technical writing skills.
Agile learning skills that lead to personal and group continued learning of practice technical area.
Experience with supporting local organizations and shifting power to enable their leadership.
Strong donor, partner, and peer collaboration and negotiation skills.
Strong budgeting and financial planning acumen.
You must have unrestricted authorization to work in the country where you reside.

Your Daily Tasks

Provides strategic vision and guidance to practitioners working on strengthening civil society, strengthening public institutions, and empowering communities to build social trust across the organization.
Leads high standards for impact, measurement, scaling and adaptive learning across the program portfolio.
Drives the portfolio to achieve IREX 2025 strategic goals.
Elevates and builds the capacity of local leaders and organizations.
Supervises and supports heads of projects, ensuring effective and compliant project management with a focus on results and impact.
Proactively monitors program risks and collaborates across the organization to mitigate against or address them.
Develops and promotes practice technical expertise and program impact through strategic communications products and approaches.
Cultivates and consults with donors and partners to promote IREX’s work.
Publicly represents and promotes program impact to a range of external audiences.
Collaborates with external peers and partners to establish IREX as a thought leader based on the impact, scalability, and innovative achievements of our program work.
Establishes new strategic relationships/partnerships and deepens and expands existing relationships/partnerships/programs.
Leads and/or contributes to complex proposal efforts ensuring that global best practices, research, and technical approaches are incorporated into design.
Oversees practice annual budget, and compliance and financial integrity of projects in portfolio.
Monitors and supports teams to manage within (static or changing) project budgets, or to pursue cost-share.
Develops and executes plans for practice talent management, including recruitment, performance goal setting and management, and training and other professional development.
Champions diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through developing and implementing DEI strategy that aligns with IREX’s DEI goals.
Provides leadership and vision to IREX’s work across the organization in support of its strategy.
Ensures IREX values are “lived” by practice staff by setting example and tone for practice and emphasizing the importance/necessity of practicing our values to achieve impact.
Other support duties as needed.

IREX will make reasonable accommodations in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008.

We conduct background checks on all successful candidates.

This position is eligible for Remote work. The eligible employee is a regular, full-time staff who works from a worksite outside the DC metro area on a more permanent or ongoing basis.

This position is not eligible for Immigration Sponsorship.



EOE – Equal Opportunity Employer

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, including disability/vets.

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