Job Title:     Director of Programs
Status:          Full-time
Location:    Alexandria, VA
Division:     Programs

This position is responsible for leadership of the programs department. The Director oversees the management and coordination of all aspects of programs including planning, developing, organizing, staffing, and controlling program activities. He or she also serves in an executive role within the organization contributing to overall strategic direction and alignment, and modeling the organizational values. The Director of Programs reports to the Chief Executive Officer. The Director of Programs works with the CEO to ensure proper alignment with all key stakeholders and drives to achieve the organizations key strategic objectives. The Director of Programs must show commitment to IRUSA’s faith inspired values and principles, as well as a commitment to the vision and mission of the organization.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Contributes to the overall strategic direction and alignment of IRUSA as a member of the Executive Team; collaborates with Executive Team to identify organizational challenges and forge effective solutions.
  • Stays highly informed about security, political developments, international standards for relief and development work, and humanitarian needs around the world and in the United States.
  • Provides leadership within IRUSA in developing, implementing and monitoring multi-year departmental strategies and program design, in alignment with the organization’s vision, mission and values, and in collaboration with critical stakeholders.
  • Develops and ensures the implementation of annual operating plans for International Programs, US Programs, US Programs, Disaster Response, Gifts-in-Kind, and Quality and Standards.
  • Ensure the development and use of business tools such as work-plans, project timelines, databases, tracking tools, dashboards, relationship management systems, etc.
  • Ensures all program systems comply with the organization’s policies, procedures and operational practices; ensures that required internal reports are submitted timely.
  • Ensures a robust risk management approach across all programs, with particular emphasis on those that are implemented internationally.
  • Reviews, proposes and implements effective staffing structures to ensure excellence in the management of IRUSA programs; oversees hiring and disciplinary actions across the department.
  • Directly supervises department leaders, coaching them in their leadership, management and supervision of program teams, and ensuring accountability.
  • Ensures that Programs staff collaborate effectively across the programs and in cross-department initiatives, as well as with the wider Islamic Relief global family.
  • Ensures effective management of the IRUSA annual grant—making portfolio, ensuring maximum programmatic impact and aligned with IRUSA’s strategic and annual operational objectives.
  • Oversees the design and implementation of effective, rigorous and efficient grant-making business systems;
  • Ensures clear grant-making priorities, and mandates review processes to implement them;
  • Ensures appropriate input into IRUSA grant-making from IRUSA departments engaged in community relations, fundraising and marketing, public affairs and finance;
  • Directly handles high-level relationship management with grantees, with sensitivity to the unique cultural, social and political dynamics to which projects may be subject;
  • Provides broad guidance to program leadership on financial management, administrative decisions that set new precedents, and relationship trouble-shooting.
  • For projects carried out in the US, ensures that program strategies maximize engagement with IRUSA constituencies, including volunteers.
  • Ensures timely and effective decision-making and response to international and domestic emergencies and disasters, when appropriate for IRUSA engagement.
  • Provides leadership and guidance to Program Leaders in the development of annual budgets; regularly monitors the implementation of budgets; coordinates with Finance to ensure timely contributions to the annual audit and collaborates to advance best practices in program-related reporting and oversight.
  • Effectively represents Islamic Relief USA in national and international forums and working groups, attending events, initiating contacts and delivering presentations to public and private audiences as necessary.
  • Fosters existing relations with governmental, nonprofit and community organizations; identifies new opportunities with prospective supporters and collaborators.
  • Performs other duties as necessary.

Qualifications and Competencies:

  • Master’s degree in international development, international relations, social sciences or management required.
  • Minimum of 10 years’ executive experience in the nonprofit relief and development sector, including program strategy, design, management, assessment and evaluation.
  • Deep commitment to the mission, vision and values of Islamic Relief USA, and the ability to uphold them with integrity as an executive leader.
  • Significant experience in the US non-profit sector, with an acute understanding of the opportunities and constrains of the non-profit operating environment.
  • Significant experience in the international relief and development sector, with grounding in a rights-based approach, NGO standards, protection considerations and best practices.
  • Relevant field experience, particularly in the Middle East or Africa, is strongly preferred;
  • Demonstrated commitment to strengthening the capacity of implementing partners, through technical support initiatives, business design, training programs, peer-to-peer learning or other methodologies; a strong orientation to a customer service approach with partners.
  • Prior strong program management experience with proven proficiency in overseeing and handling the prioritization of multiple tasks and deadlines; experience in leading and managing programs in a complex post-disaster or post-conflict environment.
  • Experience in developing and managing complex budgets with restricted and unrestricted funding sources.
  • Successful track record in developing, submitting and negotiating proposals for different institutional donors, such as USAID, US State Department, UN agencies, bilateral or multilateral donors, foundations, or corporations.
  • Prior leadership and supervisory experience with the ability to align diverse teams of professionals around common goals.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to rally and secure broad support for courses of action, handle conflict with strength and diplomacy and develop and maintain critical relationships.
  • Demonstrated track record of working effectively with host-country professionals, government ministries and institutional donors.
  • Proven ability to exhibit cultural competence and sensitivity to work with a wide array of ethnicities.
  • Ability to travel internationally, often to remote regions, and domestically to evaluate strategic progress and learn from IRUSA supported programs, build relationships, represent IRUSA or attend events or activities, as needed.
  • Technical proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Suite and use of databases along with internet research techniques.
  • Experience managing sub grants and contracts under grants for complex projects.
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States.


Islamic Relief USA is committed to taking a zero tolerance approach, which means acting on every allegation in line with agreed procedures. IRUSA representatives must adhere to the organizational values: Sincerity, Excellence, Compassion, Social Justice, and Custodianship. In accordance with these values, IRUSA operates and enforces policies on Safeguarding, Code of Conduct, and Anti-Harassment and Discrimination.
Islamic Relief USA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID# 95-4453134) | CFC# 10194 | Islamic Relief USA © 2021 | All Rights Reserved