Program Director - Disability Rights Fund


Position Title:               Program Director

Reports to:                   Deputy Director


The Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund have an exciting opening for an enthusiastic, experienced team leader to facilitate strategic management of our global Program Team (currently, 7 team members) and participatory grantmaking process. We are seeking candidates who will take an intersectional approach to human rights work and gender equality in the developing world. The position entails international travel – up to 20% per year. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


Our headquarters are in Boston, MA; East Coast base preferred. Must have legal standing to work in the United States without employer sponsorship.

About the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund

The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) is a grantmaking collaborative between donors and the global disability rights community that empowers persons with disabilities to advocate for equal rights and full participation in society. We resource organizations led by persons with disabilities, primarily in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean, that are leading efforts to secure rights for all. The Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) is DRF’s sister organization, supporting advocacy for legislative change. The Funds – which are based on a participatory grantmaking model – make grants ranging from USD$5,000 - $50,000 annually to Disabled Persons’ Organizations in the developing world to advance the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), including in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Grantmaking Oversight

·   Oversee grantmaking across regional and country portfolios, ensuring consistency of approach from application to grantee oversight:

o   Manage overall annual grants review processes (two annual pooled funds grant rounds plus additional off-cycle grants – currently a total of 100-125 grants/year)

o   Supervise Program Team members in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Pacific to produce strong, consistent results across regions and provide empathic support to local Program Officers

o   Facilitate a team-based approach to application review, working closely with the Grants Manager, Finance Director, Evaluation and Learning Manager, and other staff to carry out due diligence and confirm match of grants to priorities, goals, and strategies

o   Act as main liaison to the DRF/DRAF Grantmaking Committees (made up of donor representatives and disability activists)

o Travel to oversee and support Program Team and grantees during grantee convenings, site visits, or other key meetings

·   Strategize with Deputy Director, and work closely with other DRF/DRAF staff, to develop and maintain robust grants oversight protocol that addresses any challenges and provides effective support to grantees  

·   Collaborate with the Evaluation and Learning Manager on Monitoring and Evaluation of grantmaking, including development of relevant data-gathering tools, systems and processes


Grantmaking Strategy

·       Work closely with DRF/DRAF Executive Director and serve as staff liaison to the Board Program Strategy Task Force to monitor and provide input to grantmaking guidelines, strategies, and processes, using lessons from the work of the Program Team on the ground and Monitoring and Evaluation data; make changes as necessary

·   Supervise Program Team in development, monitoring, and assessment of country strategies, ensuring alignment with organizational strategies (Strategic Plan, Gender Guidelines) and results framework  

·   Work closely with the DRF/DRAF Deputy Director to lead implementation within Program Team of organizational strategies and systems

·       Work with Grants Manager to maintain and improve DRF/DRAF grantmaking systems, processes, templates, and policies (as outlined in the Grants Administration Manual and elsewhere); facilitate improvements as necessary


Supervision of Program Team

·       Supervise the organization’s Program Team, including:

o   recruitment and hiring (as needed)

o development of annual work plans and annual performance evaluations

o      team building in a virtual environment

o  facilitation of individual and team learning, including through organizing an annual Program Team retreat

o   Problem-solving as needed



·       Support information sharing on grantee achievements for communications and development

·       Oversee the Program Team budget, working closely with the Finance Director

·       As a member of DRF’s Management Team, liaise with other senior-level staff on coordination and implementation of organizational operations and strategy

·       Assist with other tasks, as requested by the Executive and Deputy Directors


Education and/or Experience

·       Advanced degree, or equivalent, with minimum 5 years of relevant experience in grantmaking

·       At least 3 years’ experience supervising teams

·       At least 3 years’ experience in program management within the human rights field

·       Experience in supporting rights advocacy by marginalized groups in the developing world preferred

·       Preference will be given to candidates from the nonprofit sector, ideally with experience in disability rights and/or disability-inclusive development

·       International experience preferred


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

·       Knowledge of the field of international disability rights, international development, and, specifically, the CRPD and the SDGs

·       Expertise in intersectional rights, specifically gender equality

·       Demonstrated experience as a team leader or team manager

·       Demonstrated ability to work well with diverse populations, including staff who do not speak English as a native language, across countries and time zones, and in an e-office environment

·       Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English. Other language proficiencies (French, Haitian Kreyol, Burmese, or Indonesian Bahasa) a plus

·       Ability to manage and prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment, and ability to manage task delegation

·       Flexibility to adjust processes and negotiate timeframes with program officers with a view towards improving work culture

·       Ability and patience to listen in an empathic and supportive way, with an understanding that staff is composed of people with diverse abilities and varying levels of English comprehension

·       Commitment to the human rights of persons with disabilities and the organizational mission

·       Excellent computer skills (including Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.); willingness to learn additional applications and accessible technology as necessary


The Disability Rights Fund is an equal opportunity employer. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.


This is a full-time position; salary and benefits will be commensurate with experience.


How to Apply

Please email a cover letter and resume to:

Roger Falcon, Deputy Director

[email protected] (please no phone calls)



Applications must be received by August 30, 2019.


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