Program Director

NEF - Near East Foundation

Program Director

NEF Belgium

Brussels, Belgium

Reports to: Vice President of Programs
Type: Full time
Travel: Yes, 35%

NEF Belgium is seeking an experienced Program Director to be based in Brussels. NEF Belgium was established in 2018 as a part of the NEF Family of Entities composed of Near East Foundation (Syracuse, NY, USA), Near East Foundation UK (London, UK) and NEF Belgium. NEF Family of Entities represents a network of three non-profit international organisations that support livelihoods recovery and community-based economic development in the Middle East, Africa, and Caucasus. Since 1915, NEF’s work draws on local teams, experience, and partnerships in the field to create community-led solutions to improve livelihoods and local governance among conflict and crisis-affected groups, while maintaining neutrality and ensuring inclusiveness in our approach. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF currently has approximately 250 staff members and active programs in nine countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. NEF’s programs are organised around three pillars: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilisation and Peacebuilding.


Working within NEF’s family of entities and under the leadership of NEF Vice President of Programs, the Program Director is responsible for the management of NEF Belgium’s portfolio, with a focus on program oversight, proposal development, partnership management and accountability for program performance. The Program Director has a strong background on inclusive finance, inclusive economic systems, and microfinance in fragile and/or conflict affected contexts. The Program Director has an existing working relationship with European and UN Donors and is familiar with the management of EU and UN funding. The Program Director will work in coordination with NEF’s global team to maintain and further program quality, contribute to program priorities, cultivate funding opportunities and support the diversification of NEF’s funding portfolio.

The Program Director will maintain effective working relationships with European and multilateral donors as well as philanthropic foundations and other partner institutions.


NEF Belgium Program Director has overall responsibility for NEF Belgium efforts to support, sustain and expand NEF programs. They will work closely with the program and business development teams to maintain effective implementation, donor reporting and a robust funding pipeline. They will contribute to business development and proposal writing for programme growth and project expansion, transition and sustainability.

The Program Director has the following specific responsibilities:

Management of NEF Belgium:

  • Maintain positive working relationship with relevant offices on behalf of NEF; the Program Director is NEF Belgium point of contact in Europe;
  • Work with NEF’s program team to ensure NEF Belgium projects are managed effectively to maximise impact, growth, innovation, and learning;
  • Foster open and transparent communication with NEF country programs and headquarters to ensure consistent information sharing and support;
  • Promote teamwork and cooperation to achieve shared objectives across NEF core program areas and functional areas;
  • Provide training and technical assistance to field offices when needed to enable staff to participate effectively in project management and contribute to program growth;
  • Undertake other tasks as assigned by the Vice President of Programs to contribute to meeting the strategic vision and objectives of NEF Belgium and the NEF Family of Entities.

Program/Proposal Development:

  • Ensure that NEF Belgium programs remain in alignment with NEF global goals and strategic plan;
  • Coordinate capture management and pre-positioning for new funding opportunities;
  • Contribute to proposal development efforts, serving as proposal lead for specific opportunities;
  • Contribute to program design and proposal strategy in cooperation with colleagues at headquarters and country offices;
  • Contribute to strategic partnership building in support of program growth;
  • Represent NEF in relevant working groups; maintaining a strong engagement with and building partnerships within development and other relevant aid communities in Europe and elsewhere;
  • Engage with institutional EU and UN donors to identify priorities, defines issues, and provides clear information about NEF experience, expertise, and effectiveness;
  • Work closely with the Vice President of Programs and business development staff to raise NEF visibility in Europe;
  • Represent NEF in relevant communities of practice and sector-specific fora.


Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor in a related field;
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in the field of international development, economic development, international finance, or equivalent experience;
  • Five years of proven management, business, or programme development experience;
  • Demonstrated experience in inclusive finance, microfinance, or inclusive economic systems;
  • Prior proven experience in building funder or investor pipelines and in identifying partners for consortia and strategic alliances;
  • Demonstrated experience in and thorough understanding of the priorities and decision-making of donors, minimally including key European bilateral and multilateral donors;
  • Experience leading proposal development and proposal teams for multimillion-Euro funding opportunities;
  • Proven ability to lead proposal strategy development and to develop proposal value proposition and themes;
  • Excellent written and oral communication in English and French is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Technical expertise aligned with NEF’s core programmatic areas (inclusive economic development, climate resilient development, and peacebuilding and stabilisation) in fragile and/or conflict affected contexts;
  • Prior successful experience establishing and managing operations office for NGO business or related initiative;
  • Master’s degree preferred but not required;
  • Arabic proficiency.

Position Criteria:

  • Strong analytical and assessment skills, including the ability to analyse development challenges and propose innovative and unique ways to address them;
  • Excellent written communication skills including ability to plan for, write, integrate, and edit technical proposals on a wide range of development topics, articulating solutions in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner;
  • Effective interpersonal and oral communication skills. Must possess aptitude for intercultural communication;
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and with flexibility; to perform duties under pressure and meet deadlines in a timely manner; to work as part of a team; complete assignments independently; to take instructions and criticism constructively; to exercise problem-solving skills; and to interact with co-workers, partners, donors and the public in a professional and pleasant manner.

NEF will accept a rolling application until the position is filled. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. A review of applications will begin on August 8, 2022.

To apply

Please apply by submitting the following documents to the Near East Foundation careers page at

  • Cover letter outlining relevant experience and availability;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • List of three references (including one from current, or most recent, employer).

Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation by visiting the NEF website at

NEF Belgium promotes Equal Employment Opportunities for all applicants seeking employment and NEF employees.

Please note, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Pre-employment Checks

Any Employment with the Near East Foundation will be subject to the following checks prior to start date:

  • A satisfactory Restricted Party Screening;
  • Receipt of satisfactory references;
  • Proof of eligibility to work in Belgium.
Don't forget to mention EuroBrussels when applying.

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© EuroJobsites 2022

EuroJobsites is a registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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