Senior Program Manager, State Resilience

Search for Common Ground

Team Summary

Recognizing the severity of the challenges we face requires nothing less than the best of all of us, we work to foster social cohesion, pushing back on toxic polarization, for a new way forward, built from our experience of supporting recovering from violent conflict in dozens of countries around the world.

Together, Search for Common Ground’s Common Ground USA (Search/CG-USA) and Over Zero (OZ) will build state-wide leader networks. These networks will empower diverse civil society stakeholders with strengthened relationships, skills, and tools to collaboratively prevent rising tensions and political and electoral crises.

The program is committed to starting in one state but is exploring work in multiple. These state-level networks will be built and scaled through 2025, spanning the 2022 midterms (early-stage work) and the 2024 election cycle, its aftermath, and any additional flashpoints throughout this period.

The perfect candidate is a visionary, seasoned, collaborative leader who derives purpose from growing and supporting a diverse team, and is passionate about conflict transformation, inclusive democracy, and coalition-building.


  • Leads strategic vision for the program, translates vision into clear implementation plan and executes with team
  • Supervises multiple national and state-level staff, including start-up and long-term team members
  • Builds relationships and represents the program with national and state individuals and organizations working on democracy, bridge building, social justice and other related fields
  • Develops trust-building and prevention of political violence curriculum
  • Oversees development and implementation of adaptive learning and building an evidence base plan.


  • Analyzes the potential risks related to Search’s current program implementation practices and articulates recommendations for mitigation of risks.
  • Compiles and renders usable the appropriate tools, tips, and guidance to help Search’s Program Managers to best comply with the relevant policies and procedures of Search’s donors as well as Search’s own standards.
  • Curates and socializes the relevant training tools and guidance for the ensemble of Search’s donors as related to our current grant portfolio.
  • Advises and trains program teams on donor compliance requirements and strengthens systems, policies, and procedures to assure compliance.
  • Creates quarterly reports for Search’s leadership which highlight potential risk areas, recommendations for improvement, and metrics to measure change.
  • Directly oversees the compliance of a strategic portfolio of grants, working in collaboration with the regional and country teams responsible for implementing these grants.
  • Provides technical assistance and advice to Programs Managers
  • Conducts final cost review and ensures budget documents are endorsed by respective senior management prior to submission of proposals. May assist on assembly, final production, and quality control of pricing proposals.
  • Provides Finance support in the development of cost-related responses to post-submission donor questions/requests for revision.
  • Leads reflection sessions with a view to developing action and corrective plans to be disseminated across the organization for better program implementation.
  • Leads grants start-ups and closes out key and strategic grants in the entire Search portfolio and positions the teams in a better technical position to implement and monitor compliance.
  • Collaborates with other team members in developing policies and standard operating procedures on program implementation processes.
  • Other duties that are broadly in line with the above key contributions as assigned.
  • Oversee state fellows, strategize and build their capabilities on proactive and responsive action
  • Lead coordination and communication with our implementing partner, OZ
  • Oversee the connection between state level and national work, while providing learnings to the broader team

Competency Behavior Indicators (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)

  • Works collaboratively with senior managers and colleagues sharing senior expertise; builds teams for successful implementation of projects and programs.
  • Effectively influences vendors, organizations, professional associations, partners, funders, and Search’s network of experts critical to the area of purview.
  • Makes decisions on existing information when it may not be complete.
  • Adapts to the personal style and preferences of colleagues to assess their needs and preferences; tolerates ambiguity.
  • Articulates Search/function program/project goals and objectives within and external to Search; develops program objectives, indicators, and results; and participates in strategy development for the team.
  • Overcomes obstacles, including personal biases, by following Search’s ethics code in complex situations; displayed in activities as ethical principles and values that guide professional interactions.
  • Assesses risks and opportunities in a complex environment and convenes discussions to lead to a favorable outcome.
  • Establishes tools to monitor the quality of work and verification of information.
  • Has knowledge of project management tools including technology as resources and applies delegation skills to support the development of others, as well as the building of efficiency and reduction of stress.
  • Supports employees in their efforts to achieve job goals (e.g., by providing resources, removing obstacles, acting as a buffer).
  • Engages with Shared Services teams, cross-functional teams, and colleagues to produce innovative solutions.
  • Uses analysis (costs, benefits, risks) to manage within a global standards and best practices framework.
  • Guides colleagues, Shared Services teams, cross-functional teams, and direct reports toward learning resources for purposes of broadening skill sets and understanding for continued growth in both breadth and depth of knowledge for organizational functions, standards, and objectives.
  • Type and Nature of Contacts

  • Routinely coordinates with colleagues and consultants on-site and in the field and resolves problem situations with tact.
  • Represents, as assigned, selected programs or projects and other organizations, including donors, vendors, and international and local partners.

Education and Experience

Typically BS/BA with a minimum of 12 years experience; a minimum of 2 years management experience in democracy, social justice, community or bridge building, political organizing, peacebuilding, and leadership development.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements

Usual office environment conditions; ability to travel across the United States at least 320%.

Supervisory and Budget Responsibility

Will supervise two or more staff members.

How to apply

Please apply here.

Noting that Closing date is 4-Aug-22