Program Director

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Disability Rights Fund, Inc.

  • Position Location:  Geneva or remote
  • Position Classification:  Full time

Position Summary

DRF is seeking an enthusiastic, experienced leader to oversee our global Program Team and manage our participatory grantmaking process. The ideal candidate will take an intersectional approach to advancing disability justice, human rights and gender equality in the Global South. They will work closely with the Executive Director, as well as our Advocacy, Technical Assistance (TA), Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL), Communications, and Development staff to ensure that DRF grantmaking is well-aligned, executed, evaluated and reported. The Program Director will also contribute to refinement of internal and external processes, incorporating best practices for participatory grantmaking to resource disability rights and inclusive development. The position involves international travel – up to 20% of the time. Persons with disabilities living in the Global South are strongly encouraged to apply.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Grantmaking Oversight

  • Supervise participatory grantmaking processes across DRF target country portfolios, ensuring consistency of approach from application to grant oversight and reporting:
    • Manage overall annual grants review processes
    • Supervise Program Team members to produce strong, logframe-aligned outcomes and provide empathic support to place-based Program Team members
    • Facilitate a team-based approach to application review, working closely with Grants Management, Finance, TA, and MEL Directors to carry out due diligence and confirm strategic alignment
    • Act as main liaison to the DRF Grantmaking Committee (made up of donors and disability activists)
    • Travel to oversee and support Program Team and grantees during convenings, site visits, and other key meetings
  • Liaise with Grants Management and other Directors to ensure robust grants oversight and risk management protocols that address challenges and provide effective support to grantees
  • Collaborate with relevant staff to ensure compliant and timely grant administration, effective monitoring and evaluation, accurate communications and reporting, and responsiveness to the movement’s advocacy and capacity-strengthening priorities

Grantmaking Strategy

  • Work closely with other Directors to recommend, shape, and carry out a shared vision for target country grantmaking that will amplify DRF’s mission, vision, and values, with a particular focus on intersectionality
  • Liaise with the Grantmaking Committee and the Board Program Strategy Task Force to monitor and update grantmaking strategies and processes, using lessons from the work of the Program Team and grantees
  • Supervise Program Team in development, monitoring, and assessment of country strategies, ensuring alignment with organizational strategies (Strategic Plan, Gender Guidelines) and results framework
  • Work with Grants Management and others to maintain and improve grantmaking systems, processes, templates, and policies (as outlined in the Grantmaking Guidelines and Grants Administration Manual)

People Management 

  • Lead the organization’s Program Team (liaising with our People and Culture Manager), including:
    • Recruitment, hiring and onboarding of new program personnel (as needed)
    • Development of work plans and annual performance evaluations
    • Team building and problem-solving in a remote environment
    • Facilitation of individual and team learning, including through organizing Program Team retreats

Knowledge, Skills, and Capacities

The ideal candidate will possess exceptional relational skills and a keen understanding of best practices to manage teams and programs. They will be a professional of the highest integrity, committed to advancing DRF’s mission and to bringing out the best in others. Specifically, they will bring the following:


  • Deep knowledge of and commitment to the human rights of persons with disabilities and the DRF mission
  • Ease in developing strong professional relationships, communicating effectively and managing conflict
  • Capacity to manage and prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment, and to delegate effectively
  • Fluency in written and spoken English (Fluency in additional other languages is desirable)
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint), receptiveness to learn new applications
  • Willingness to travel internationally, and to rural / remote areas
  • Team orientation to be successful in an e-office environment requiring close collaboration, while working independently with minimal oversight
  • Enthusiasm to work with and learn from people holding diverse cultural, ethnic, linguistic, SOGIESC, and disability identities


  • Track record of successful engagement with external partners (donors, UN entities, civil society, etc)
  • Demonstrated skill in balancing the imperatives of instilling team accountability while providing patient, empathic support in inclusive and accessible ways
  • Flexibility to negotiate and adjust processes, with a view towards improving work culture and ensuring our work is responsive to shifting conditions
  • Familiarity with grantmaking software and accessible technologies

Education and/or Experience

  • Relevant advanced degree, or equivalent (minimum 5 years) of relevant experience
  • At least 3 years of experience managing teams and programs (grantmaking experience highly preferred)
  • International experience supporting rights advocacy by marginalized groups (in the Global South preferred)
  • Preference will be given to candidates from the nonprofit sector, ideally with experience advancing disability rights and/or disability-inclusive development (in particular, using the CRPD and/or the SDGs)

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time (35 hours per week) position. Base salary and benefits will be commensurate with benchmarking based on the successful candidate’s qualifications and location. DRF offers excellent benefits (health, vision, dental, life insurance, retirement plan contributions), and generous time off policies, as well as a commitment to professional development and growth. Salary and benefits may be adjusted based on requirements of the locality in which the selected candidate is located.

How to Apply

Email a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample to with subject “Program Director”.

The Disability Rights Fund is an equal opportunity employer. We seek to build a diverse team and foster an inclusive, accessible work culture. We prohibit discrimination or harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, genetic information, pregnancy or any other legally protected class. This policy applies to all employment practices within our organization, including hiring and recruiting. Individuals who hold historically marginalized identities including, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and persons with disabilities, are encouraged to apply. To request accommodations in applying for this position, contact

Application Deadline

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. For your application to be considered in the first review, please submit by February 7, 2023.