United Nations Democracy Fund update

Want the latest news from the United Nations Democracy Fund? Their new electronic newsletter contains the latest on UNDEF’s incoming project proposals, and stories and photographs from the field — from Afghanistan to Somalia to Haiti and beyond — all with clickable links to the UNDEF website.  Or better yet, subscribe by sending an email to democracyfund@un.org.


Council on Foreign Relations- Research Associate, Middle East (Washington DC)

Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is dedicated to increasing America’s understanding of the world and contributing ideas to U.S. foreign policy. The research associate will be supporting a Senior Fellow whose work focuses on the Middle East and on democracy promotion.  Candidates should email or fax a resume and cover letter to the Human Resources department at humanresources@cfr.org, fax: 212-434-9893, phone: 212-434-9400.  

The Brookings Institution- Fellow & Deputy Director, Brookings Doha Center

The Brookings Institution seeks to fill a Fellow & Deputy Director position. In this role the incumbent would serve as Deputy Director of the Brookings Doha Center (BDC) and Fellow in foreign policy studies in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.  The purpose of the BDC Center is to conduct independent research and studies into the socio-economic and geopolitical issues facing Muslim states and communities, including relations with the U.S., and to encourage collaboration between the U.S. and the Muslim world through research, publishing, and conducting outreach activities such as conferences, workshops, as well as co-convening the annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum.  To apply, E-mail dohacenter@brookings.edu with resume and cover letter to the Hiring Manager, reference job #0209 in the subject line. Full details here. 

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies- Director of Communications

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute focused on defeating terrorism and promoting democratic values, seeks a director of communications for an immediate vacancy. For questions or more information contact Bill McCarthy at bill@defenddemocracy.org .

OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (Warsaw).

The OSCE’s ODIHR has a secondment vacancy for an advisor on Civil Society Relations. The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the principal institution of the OSCE responsible for the human dimension. Among the ODIHR’s main fields of activity are election observations as well as a large number of assistance projects in the areas of democratic institution building, the rule of law and human rights. Full details here.

U.S. Institute of Peace- Program Assistant

The United States Institute of Peace, an independent non-partisan institution established by Congress to increase the nation’s peacebuilding capacity, seeks a motivated young professional to provide support to the Rule of Law Program’s work on Afghanistan. The Program Assistant will support the activities of the Rule of Law team in Washington and Kabul.  Responsibilities include coordinating meetings and conferences, making travel arrangements, tracking and managing budget expenditures, and occasionally writing up meeting minutes that may be published as USIP PeaceBriefs.  Full details and online application available here.

Center for Liberty-Middle East: Senior Program Manager

The Center for Liberty in the Middle East (CLIME) is a young non-profit organization promoting liberal democratic values in the Middle East. We are searching for a Senior Program Manager, possibly a Program Director, to work with CLIME staff, partners, and volunteers in developing and managing a learning portal for activists in the Middle East. The portal will feature a public area with a variety of knowledge and education resources as well as a private online education site for conducting training and mentoring. This full-time position will work at CLIME’s headquarters in Washington, DC. An ideal candidate for the position will have At least five years experience managing democracy and human rights programs in/for the Middle East region.  Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to stephanie@mideastliberty.org  or fax to 202.898.4892, attn: Stephanie Schwartz.

Various Vacancies, National Democratic Institute                                                                                              

Currently available international openings include: Guinea: Resident Senior Program Manager; Iraq: Resident Civic Organizer and Advocacy Specialist; Iraq: Resident Civil Society and Election Monitoring Expert; Iraq: Resident Political Party Program Director; Iraq: Resident Senior Program Officer, Political Party Building Specialist; Kenya: Resident Director ;  Nigeria: Senior Legislative Advisors; Sierra Leone: Resident Director; Somalia: Resident Director; Southern Africa: Resident Director  Sudan: Resident Program Officers; Sudan: Resident Senior Program Manager; Uzbekistan: Resident Director  Currently available Washington DC-based openings include: General Accounting Assistant Manager: Accounting;  IT Administrative Assistant: Technology;  Operations Officer: Operations; Senior Agreement Administrator: Program Coordination; Director of Sudan Program: Southern and East Africa; Program Manager: Southern and East Africa; Program Officer – Content Administrator: Middle East and North Africa; Senior Operations Manager.  Full details here.      

Various Vacancies, International Republican Institute                                                                                              

Currently available international openings include: Resident Country Director, Russia; Resident Country Director, Angola; Resident Program Officer/ Political Parties and Research Iraq (Erbil); Resident Accountant, Iraq; Resident Program Officer, Afghanistan; Resident Program Officer/Civil Society, Iraq (Erbil); Resident Program Officer, Jordan; Resident Program Officer/Campaign Specialist, Sudan; Resident Program Officer, Sudan (Juba) Currently available Washington DC-based openings include: Program Officer-Governance, DC (Iraq); Help Desk Level II; Junior Accountant Full details here.

Solidarity Center: Bilingual Project Accountant — Chinese

The Project Accountant is responsible for all aspects of the accounting relating to project expenses of his/her assigned projects and/or region. To Apply: Please send cover letter and résumé to Lisa Humphries, Human Resources Officer, Solidarity Center, 888 16th Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006; by e-mail to lhumphries@solidaritycenter.org; or by fax to 202-974-8266

Solidarity Center Field Positions: Country Program Director, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Country Program Director, Nigeria. The Country Program Director designs and implements field programs. S/he draws on her/his experience to write persuasive concept papers and proposals and seek funding for programs that address the needs of the partner trade unions, the AFL-CIO, and the U.S. strategy for the country or region. S/he monitors programs for progress toward expected programmatic results as well as compliance with budget targets. To Apply: Please send cover letter and résumé to Lisa Humphries, Human Resources Officer, Solidarity Center, 888 16th Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006; by e-mail to lhumphries@solidaritycenter.org; or by fax to 202-974-8266

Internship Opportunities

Voices for a Democratic Egypt

Voices for a Democratic Egypt (VDE) is a Washington DC based non-profit organization dedicated to promoting democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Egypt through research, advocacy, and dialogue.  Though VDE is relatively new, the organization is developing quickly and looks forward to compellingly engaging the new Congress and administration on enlightened democracy policy on Egypt, while supporting local Egyptian initiatives.  VDE is seeking a qualified intern who will attend relevant Washington DC events and take detailed notes, assist with VDE’s weekly newsletter, perform web site maintenance, assist with research, and assist with grant and funding proposals. To apply, please submit a resume, writing sample, and brief statement of interest to staff@democraticegypt.org. Full details here.

Democracy remains a “revolutionary idea”

The continuing significance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is reflected in the “diversity of struggles in which its approach and its reasoning” are adopted, writes Amartya Sen, and further indicated by “the extent to which authoritarian governments fear it.” The declaration provides “strong ammunition for social movements and agitations that defend the lives and freedoms of the ill-treated, the excluded, the violated, and the wretched.”

As if to confirm his point, Iranian police raided the offices of the Human Rights Defenders Center in Tehran, as it celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Chinese authorities arrested human rights activists who marked the occasion by launching Charter 08.

Philosopher Michael Walzer argues that the critical issue in promoting democracy is the question of agency. He believes democracy assistance is best conducted by non-state actors, working gradually over the long-term and seeking “points of entrance” within authoritarian states to work with the professions, trade unionists, co-religionists, and others who engage in the “nongovernmental, antiauthoritarian social practices that underpin democratic politics.”

His view is echoed by Michael W. Doyle, a member of the UN Democracy Fund board. “Promoting democracy is best done indirectly through trade, investment and foreign aid,” by example, incentives and assistance. Liberal democracy remains a “revolutionary idea” with “profound and extensive” effects, not least in fostering economic growth, reducing economic inequality and maintaining peace.