Program Officer

Scholar Rescue Fund, Institute of International Education

Position description

The Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF) arranges, funds, and supports fellowships for threatened and displaced scholars at higher education institutions worldwide. These fellowships enable the scholars to pursue their academic work in safety and to continue to share their knowledge with students, colleagues, and the wider public within their home and host communities. IIE-SRF was established in 2002 and builds upon IIE’s efforts for over a century to protect the lives, voices, and ideas of scholars threatened by war and repression. 

The IIE-SRF Program Officer conducts application review and development for a complex pool of applicants from around the world, undertakes research to inform programmatic approaches to myriad higher education and country contexts, prepares written and oral reports on competitive candidates for the IIE-SRF Selection Committee, and maintains and develops partnerships related to IIE-SRF application outreach and assessment.




• Assesses a diverse and complex pool of applications to IIE-SRF: assesses applicants’ reported circumstances and academic experience in myriad country contexts; sensitively communicates with applicants in vulnerable situations; conducts country- and field-specific research to inform application assessments; identifies possible strategic risks or benefits to IIE and IIE-SRF; makes complex eligibility determinations and recommendations to IIE-SRF leadership.
• Prepares high-quality written and verbal presentations for the IIE-SRF Selection Committee, including responding to ad hoc questions from the IIE-SRF Chair and Committee members.
• Develops and implements outreach strategies to reach potential IIE-SRF applicants and/or relevant individuals and organizations that can generate referrals, inform programmatic approaches, or otherwise strengthen IIE-SRF’s support of threatened and displaced scholars.  
• Contributes to the development of systems to manage application intake and review, including a new online application submission platform.
• Contributes to internal and external communications: assists with reporting on data and trends for USG and private sponsors; assists in creating content for external communications; reports to IIE-SRF and IIE leadership on application trends and complex and sensitive applications.
• Represents IIE-SRF at meetings and events, when appropriate.


Education and Work Experience: 
• Requires a Bachelor’s degree and at least two years of related work experience, or combination education and experience.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 
• Excellent communication skills, including superior writing abilities. Demonstrated interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, including emotional intelligence and sensitivity for working with individuals from vulnerable groups. 
• Demonstrated interest in and experience with global affairs and ability to research and synthesize information about relevant geopolitical topics and events. Knowledge of international educational systems, human rights / refugee organizations, or other relevant entities preferred. 
• Experience reviewing scholarship / fellowship applications.
• Flexibility, initiative, and problem-solving abilities, particularly in ambiguous or complex situations, and superior attention to detail. 
• Solid judgement and demonstrated ability to handle sensitive, confidential information in a discrete, professional manner.



Salary Range: $60,547 – $70,386. A candidate’s salary is determined by various factors including, but not limited to, relevant work experience, job-related knowledge, skills, abilities, internal organizational equity, and geographic region.

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