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Program Coordinator, The Afghanistan Observatory

About The Afghanistan Observatory

The Afghanistan Observatory Fellowship is a collaboration between Future Frontlines and the Fellows programs at New America. The initiative will serve as a hub for at-risk Afghans now in exile with a demonstrated commitment to peacebuilding, good governance, and the defense of human rights. The purpose of the program is to provide a platform for Fellows affiliated with the observatory to give voice to the millions of Afghans displaced by endless war and grinding poverty. The program will focus on cultivating a network of journalists, human rights defenders, and champions of good governance and producing engaging analysis on the situation in Afghanistan.

About Future Frontlines:

The digital revolution is not only transforming how we think about truth, facts, evidence, but most importantly it is changing the very essence of power and influence. It has also changed how journalists, investigators, fact-finders of all stripes think as well as ask and answer questions about complex subjects. The core objective of Future Frontlines is to help the public and policymakers make sense of all this, and to understand how technological transformation is changing the character of competition, conflict, and influence. We are part of a growing global movement of journalists, policy analysts, social scientists, computer and information scientists, and human rights defenders who are leveraging publicly available data to hold power to account.

About the Position:

The ideal candidate is an experienced journalist, editor, or researcher with project management experience and is a self-motivated, highly detailed, professional, and flexible individual capable of managing the day-to-day operations and goals of the program. Day-to-day responsibilities require strong communication and organizational skills, familiarity with contract management, overseeing a broad range of program-related activities, engaging with our program partners, supporters, and, most importantly, supporting our dynamic group of Afghan Fellows. A baseline understanding of the security and political dynamics in Afghanistan is a must.

The Program Coordinator will support the recruitment and selection process for the fellowship program, lead event management, communicate and coordinate regularly with Fellows, partners, and guest speakers, as well as provide editorial support for the production of a series of reports about Afghanistan. The coordinator will work closely with the program directors to ensure project deadlines are met and deliverables are produced to specifications in a timely manner.

High attention to detail, intellectual agility, and strong organizational, research, and communications skills are essential for this role as we follow through on our commitment to support the Afghan Fellows as they seek to develop their projects while also creating a community that is greater than the sum of its parts.


  • Manage the program's day-to-day operations, including communicating with and fielding questions from the Afghan Fellows, staff, program partners, and potential candidates of the program.
  • Maintain accurate, up-to-date records and institutional knowledge of the program at all times. This requires updating program records on a weekly basis, or as significant developments take place.
  • Support all external communications efforts, including social media, event invitations, and website maintenance.
  • In collaboration with the program directors, work with Fellows and staff at New America to develop, frame, and produce a series of reports on the situation in Afghanistan that aligns with style guidelines.
  • Support the program staff to develop, schedule, and run regular internal programming for our Fellows, including professional development sessions and writing workshops.
  • Support the outreach, recruitment, and logistical support for the selection process.
  • Assist with grants management; preparing the first draft of the grant applications and final grant reports.
  • Assist the program staff with occasional special projects that may include compiling and organizing various assets or components of multimedia.
  • Manage the program intern (if applicable).


  • A bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Very high attention to detail.
  • Fluency in English is a must; proficiency in Dari and/or Pashto is highly desirable.
  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to prioritize work and manage time in order to meet multiple deadlines.
  • Strong interest in the mission of New America and The Afghanistan Observatory.
  • Familiarity with the craft, ethics, and production of investigative journalism projects.
  • Familiarity with creating, keeping, and tracking budgets. Strong Excel skills preferred.
  • Strong writing and editing skills.
  • Experience designing and then implementing high-level and high-impact events; curating content, managing a program schedule, reaching out to speakers, placing catering orders, and troubleshooting issues as they arise.
  • Ability to complete assignments and problem solve with minimal supervision.
  • Interest in working on teams and contributing to the broader life of the institution.
  • Ability to work with a diverse group of individuals including journalists, academics, and funders.

Application Process:

Please submit a resume, a professionally written one-page cover letter, and a short writing sample (2-3 pages). Salary is commensurate with experience and is competitive. The deadline to apply is December 10, 2021.

The coordinator role is a short-term consulting position and does not come with benefits.


New America is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our clientele, our employees and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.

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