Solidarity Center

Solidarity Center

Country Program Director
South Africa

Based in Johannesburg, South Africa


The Solidarity Center is the largest U.S.-based international worker rights organization. Its programs are based on the principle that, by exercising their right to freedom of association and forming trade unions and democratic worker rights organizations, working people can collectively improve their workplaces, call on governments to uphold laws and protect human rights, and be a force for democracy, social justice and inclusive economic development. Its programs in more than 60 countries focus on human and worker rights awareness, union skills, occupational safety and health, gender equality, migration and human trafficking and pro-legal strategies, bolstering workers in an increasingly informal economy. Founded in 1997 by the AFL-CIO to tackle the enormous challenges workers face in the global economy, the Solidarity Center works to promote democratic rights and respect for workers; raise public awareness about abuses of the world’s most vulnerable workers; and, above all, help the world’s workers secure a voice in their societies and the global economy.

Summary of Position: The Country Program Director (CPD) is responsible for the effective management of the South Africa field office and field programs. This individual will represent the Solidarity Center and the AFL-CIO in South Africa. They must be thoroughly conversant with all aspects of regional program activities and current events relevant to the on-going political, economic, social and trade union developments in the country or region. The CPD will need sound judgment and a good political sense that facilitate decision-making, particularly for times when headquarters cannot be reached for consultation. This individual must have a working knowledge of and experience in US Government regulations and procedures related to the funding and management of grants.

The Country Program Director will design and implement field programs. Drawing on their experience, they will write persuasive concept papers and proposals and seek funding for programs that address the needs of the partner trade unions, the AFL-CIO, and the US strategy for the country or region. This individual will monitor programs for progress toward expected programmatic results as well as compliance with budget targets. They will keep headquarters informed of significant developments in the country or region through periodic program reports and other forms of correspondence.

The CPD will work closely with AFL-CIO affiliates, the ITUC and its regional organizations, and the international trade secretariats, within approved communications guidelines, to facilitate their participation in Solidarity Center programs. This individual will provide logistical support for visitors from the Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO, affiliates, GUFs, the donor agency and/or other organizations. They must have the experience and presence to represent accurately and effectively in public fora and in private meetings with donor organizations, partners, and other national and international organizations, the policies and programs of the Solidarity Center and the AFL-CIO. The CPD may be required to travel extensively within the region and is able to fill in for other Country Program Directors on a temporary or indefinite basis.

This individual will manage the operations of the field office and supervises the local-hire field staff. They will ensure that the operations of the field office conform to the host country labor code and other pertinent laws.

The Country Program Director will be responsible for compliance with Solidarity Center policies and US regulations governing grants. This individual will develop and maintain positive relationships with the appropriate personnel at the USAID mission and the US Embassy, and keep them informed about the Solidarity Center’s work in the country. They will follow the evolution of country development strategies and ensure that USAID and the Embassy understand both the role of the labor movement in the development of the country, and the ways in which the Solidarity Center program contributes to and enhances their ability to accomplish their strategic objectives.

Supervisor: Regional Program Director

Specific Duties:

  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the field office;
  • Recruit, select and supervise local hire staff;
  • Ensure compliance of the office with Solidarity Center and AFL-CIO policies and procedures and applicable donor and federal government regulations;
  • Design, develop and implement country or regional programs, which respond to the strategies, goals and objectives of the donor organizations, the AFL-CIO and the Solidarity Center’s partners in the field.
  • Initiate concept papers and program proposals and seek funding for same;
  • Prepare timely, well-written reports in accordance with the deadline schedule;
  • Monitor program performance and results; discuss substantive changes required with the Program Officer and Regional Program Director;
  • Monitor program expenditures to meet budget targets;
  • Work closely with AFL-CIO affiliates to coordinate their participation in Solidarity Center programs, within approved communications guidelines;
  • Manage the logistics for field trips by Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO and affiliate personnel;
  • Develop solid relationships with US government personnel in country, and ensure that they understand the role of labor in development and of Solidarity Center programs in the context of their country strategy;
  •  Share information on country conditions and labor issues as appropriate;
  •  Support program evaluations or audits of field projects/offices;
  • Travel on a temporary basis to conduct and/or oversee program development and implementation in other countries in the region; and
  • Develop coalition-building contacts with national and international labor, government and non-governmental organizations in the country or region.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Ability to work independently and without supervision;
  • Extensive knowledge of international relations and trade union and socio-economic and political developments in the U.S. and abroad;
  • Previous trade union experience, and/or experience in the Solidarity Center as a Program Officer III or Senior Program Officer;
  • Ability to manage multiple assignments simultaneously and make substantive decisions that have major effects on costs and completion of projects;
  • Bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations, labor relations or related fields and/or ten years equivalent work experience;
  • Excellent communication and writing skills (in English) and computer literacy for word processing and simple spreadsheets; and
  • Ability to work and interact easily with a wide variety of people.

Specific Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated leadership with the ability to manage relationships and build partnerships in complex cultural environments;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of project management and ability to monitor progress and budgets, program outputs, and outcomes and write results-oriented reports;
  • Knowledge of and/or experience with engaging with worker rights issues in supply chains;
  • Knowledge of and/or experience with worker rights violations particular to women in supply chains, including Gender Based Violence (GBV) issues; and
  • Experience with worker organizing and/or worker issue advocacy in the developing world (highly desirable).

As a field-based assignment, this position includes compensation to expatriate hires for housing, relocation, home leave, and education for dependents, in addition to the annual salary and standard benefits. Field assignments typically last from three to six years, with the option to transfer to another post at the end of the assignment.

Apply HERE!

The Solidarity Center is an equal employment opportunity employer that does not discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status or any other status protected under applicable law. Women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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