OTI Senior Transition Advisor

US Agency for International Development, Washington DC, United States

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
26th September, 2017

Job Description

The OTI Senior Transition Advisor position utilizes the experience and skills gained from working with political transition programs and operations oversight and management in the field, to provide support for assessments, new country start-ups and program implementation support, as well as training and mentoring of staff both in the field and in Washington. The employee will also be involved in strategic design of various OTI country programs and the development of management products for OTI based on lessons learned. The Senior Transition Advisor is considered an expert in the field of political transition programming overseas.

The OTI Senior Transition Advisor position was developed to allow OTI to take advantage of the accumulated experience of field staff following closure of the country program(s) that they managed. As OTI is evolving to carry out more assessments, provide more experientially based technical advice and analysis, and facilitate earlier consideration of countries that face possible political crises, having access to individuals with hands-on experience in transition programming will enhance our ability to deepen understanding, identify opportunities and constraints, and be more prepared to execute programming when necessary.


At the GS-14 Senior Transition Advisor level:

  • Fill critical program implementation staffing needs in the field and in Washington, DC including the provision of ad hoc support to new OTI country program start-ups and on-call technical assistance;
  • Apply a sound understanding of USAID’s programmatic and operational processes in Washington to support transition programming overseas, including assessment and conceptualization, design, management, analysis and evaluation of political transition and/or post-conflict activities;
  • Advise Senior Management and Team Leaders on budget processes and reviews, preparing justification documentation when necessary;
  • Act as OTI’s in-country Start-Up Manager for limited periods of time for new country start-ups, or provide support while an OTI Country Representative is absent;
  • Execute, if required, closeout activities related to OTI programs, and provide technical assistance to ongoing evaluations of OTI programs in the field;
  • Monitor local and regional political developments and regularly brief staff on their potential programmatic impact;
  • Conduct, in collaboration with the relevant OTI regional team, assessments for possible new country programs, and visits to field sites in areas where OTI has projects;
  • Conceptualize and design the country program with project managers and grantees;
  • Monitor and evaluate OTI country programs through regular communication with staff, reports from the field and Washington, liaising with the OTI Program Office team, and regular site visits;
  • Update and revise, as needed, program management guides, including strategic planning and field operations materials;
  • Ensure that all field staff adhere to security restrictions;
  • Conceptualize and design country program strategies and objectives in close coordination with OTI staff, USAID and U.S. Department of State personnel, and other governmental and non-governmental actors, based on political analysis and U.S. Government policy. When necessary, assist in refining strategic objectives and advocate on behalf of new programmatic approaches in-country possibly linked to neighboring country programs if considered appropriate;
  • Independently plan, design, and monitor OTI programs;
  • Assist with the development of information management products and improved business practices for OTI based on research and personal field experience lessons learned;
  • When required, serve as Contracting Officer Representative (COR) for Task Orders with a contractor for Program Office services, ensuring OTI’s requirements are met (serving as COR requires the successful completion of a USAID training course within the first 6-12 months of employment);
  • When required, supervise the implementation of OTI-financed activities, including overseeing and/or managing the selection of program implementers such as grantees, contractors, and Personal Services Contract employees;
  • Analyze and report on current political developments and security concerns as well as other pertinent information required to achieve OTI’s program objectives;
  • Advise and/or assist in drafting documents outlining future planning and vision in the development and implementation of OTI programs, and assist in developing and improving country program monitoring and evaluation systems, providing guidance on designing and managing final evaluations;
  • Help ensure that OTI’s programs and their activities are monitored and evaluated and that lessons learned from the activities feed into ongoing or future activities;
  • As required by Embassies or USAID Missions, provide support for the design and execution of programs that follow OTI’s quick impact programming model. Support to Embassies and USAID Missions may also include attendance and/or facilitation of program management processes for follow-on programming including but not limited to rolling assessments, strategy review sessions, program performance reviews and management reviews;
  • Represent and articulate OTI’s mission and global programs to visitors, senior officials from international organizations, bilateral donors and national and local foreign government officials;
  • Identify or seek out NGOs, international donors, USG agencies and other organizations of importance of OTI programs in Washington and the field, and develop and maintain professional relationships with them;
  • Serve as a liaison with other DCHA offices, other USAID divisions and the State Department on program and policy direction;
  • Negotiate, within the guidelines provided by the OTI Chief, FPD, or his/her designee, program and project agreements with governmental and non-governmental counterparts;
  • Assist the OTI Country Team in determining program and project agreements with governmental and non-governmental counterparts, within the guidelines provided by the OTI Chief, FPD, or his/her designee;
  • When required, assume higher representational responsibilities, potentially serving as Acting OTI Country Representative, Deputy Country Rep, Team Lead or Deputy Team Lead in his/her absence;
  • Provide training and mentoring on OTI program implementation for OTI staff both in Washington and the field as required;
  • Supervise staff as delegated by the supervisor (e.g. Program Managers, Program Assistants, Program Admin Assistants, etc.). Provide orientation, training, and mentoring for staff supervised; assign work, explain how duties are to be performed to meet expectations and communicate how the successful performance of those duties will be measured; evaluated staff performance; recognize good performance; communicate where performance needs to be improved; resolve complaints; and approve leave requests and timesheets as well as training, travel and program and operations requests;
  • Perform other related duties as determined by the supervisor to help ensure successful OTI program implementation.


At a minimum, the applicant must have:

At the GS-14 Senior Transition Advisor level:

  • A Master’s degree with seven (7) years of work experience; OR A Bachelor’s degree with nine (9) years of work experience; AND
  • A minimum of six (6) years of project management experience with a U.S. Government foreign affairs agency, domestic or international assistance organization, or non-governmental organization, in community development, economic development, mediation/arbitration, conflict resolution, democracy and governance, international law, and/or human rights activities;
  • A minimum of four (4) years of overseas field experience working in a developing country, of which two (2) years must consist of field experience in one or more countries undergoing a political transition;
  • A minimum of three (3) years of supervisory experience (including but not limited to mentoring, training, and guiding staff).


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