Country Director (Russia), American Councils, Moscow, Russia

Country Director

Position Description

The Country Director provides overall administrative and programmatic direction for all American Councils activities and operations in the Russian Federation and represents American Councils to current and potential funders and partners. Located In Moscow, the position oversees and directs American Councils activities related to study in Russia for Americans and study abroad in the U.S. for Russians, as well as Russia-based programming for alumni of exchanges, development projects in higher education, and service to U.S. and Russian institutions seeking partnerships, cooperation, and learning. The Country Director exercises administrative oversight of all operations and personnel in the country, working in conjunction with respective Office Directors in St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and Vladivostok. The Country Director oversees and provides on-site academic monitoring of American Councils’ academic programs for Americans, and periodic evaluation of teaching effectiveness and program design. The portfolio in Russia includes exchanges such as Open World, FLEX, NSLI-Y, CLS, LFP, the Tatarstan Higher Education Fellowship, and development and other higher education initiatives such as the Enhancing University Research and Entrepreneurial Capacity (EURECA) Program, EducationUSA, and Legislative Institutes. In support of programming, the Country Director consults with Washington-based staff to make recommendations concerning personnel matters, policies, budgets, and innovations in programmatic and administrative structures.

This position reports to the Washington-based Managing Director for Field Operations and Programs, and as a key member of American Councils field-based leadership team, works closely with senior staff members, program managers, and colleagues in other field offices.


Oversight and Leadership
* Maintains American Councils’ organizational relations in the country with relevant US government offices and institutions (the US embassy, USAID, and other US government agencies); with the Russian federal and regional governments and private institutions (government ministries, agencies, and offices; national corporations; and American Councils’ institutional partners); international and domestic foundations organizations and foundations; and the media;
* Provides overall supervision of American Councils programs in Russia by communicating, as needed, with Russia-based and U.S.-based staff members concerning academic, operational, and other policy matters as affected by Russia’s political, economic and cultural conditions; Makes recommendations on general program matters, on perceptions of American Councils administered programs and on the influence of local conditions on administration of programs in Russia;
* Represents American Councils as related to all programs in individual consultations, public appearances, and meetings with potential and existing partners; advances goals of international cooperation and learning in the larger NGO, exchange, donor, and education community in Russia
* Participates actively in developing new programs, seeking new funding sources, cultivating philanthropic opportunities for the region and enhancing external relations.

Administration and Finance:
* Oversees American Councils internal operations, ensuring smooth operations of American Councils in the country in terms of infrastructure and staffing
* Advises staff on American Councils policies and employment matters and coordinates implementation of HR policies and practices related to hiring, training, evaluation, and professional growth and development
* Works closely with Program Managers and Grant Accountants to ensure budgets for the region are developed, monitored, adjusted and maintained according to government regulations and sound accounting practices.
* Oversees all general Moscow office administrative matters such as negotiating contracts; interacting with landlords, maintaining proper work environment, and providing DC office with finance reports monthly, and budgets every six months; monitors all outgoing and incoming funds
* Assists Office Directors with the coordination of all general office administrative matters in the region such as negotiating contracts.

Program Administration:
* Oversees and assists in organizing, implementing and reporting on activities, including recruitment and alumni activities delivered by program offices;
* Monitors all recruitment activities to assure timely and proper conduct of competitions;
* Assists with recruitment activities
* Meets with ministry and US government officials regularly to provide appropriate information and overview of the program administration processes and alumni activities
* Ensures accurate, full and timely reports are filed as appropriate

* Fluent in Russian; additional regional languages desirable;
* Graduate degree — related to region in: economics, international education or development, history, or related area; experience working with higher education a plus
* Professional-level program management experience;
* Experience in budget management;
* Demonstrated experience in developing external sources of funding support;
* Supervisory experience; experience supervising host-country national staff preferred;
* Experience traveling extensively under difficult conditions;
* Overseas work/living experience, preferably in Russia;
* Cross-cultural skills;
* Strong written and oral communication skills.

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Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer.

American Councils improves education at home and abroad through the support of international research, the design of innovative programs, world. American Councils employs a full-time professional staff of over 370, located in the U.S. and in 40 cities in 24 countries of Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Asia and the Middle East.

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