Solidarity Center

Solidarity Center

Country Program Director
Sri Lanka

Based in Colombo, Sri Lanka


Country Program Director, Sri Lanka

Asia – Colombo, Sri Lanka
Deadline to Apply: Until Filled
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Solidarity Center seeks an impassioned trade unionist with international experience and strong management skills to serve as Country Program Director (CPD) in its field office in Sri Lanka. This position requires a background in union building, coupled with a strong interest in the political, economic, social, and trade union developments in Sri Lanka and/or South Asia. The CPD must have sound judgment and political sense that facilitate decision-making, particularly when headquarters cannot be reached for consultation. This individual also must be conversant in the principles of grant management, including budgeting and reporting. The CPD has full management responsibility for the field office and country staff, including finance, HR, security, and general operations.

The CPD is the key driver in designing and implementing programs in Sri Lanka that address the needs of our partner trade unions and the AFL-CIO. Seeking funds for programs in country is a critical component of this position, which includes writing and editing concept papers and proposals. This individual is responsible for monitoring program progress and budgetary compliance. The CPD tracks significant developments in the country and reports back to headquarters through meetings, reports and other communication. The Country Program Director represents Solidarity Center outside the organization.

The CPD works with AFL-CIO affiliates, the ITUC and its regional organizations, and global union federations, to facilitate their participation in Solidarity Center programs. This individual may be required to travel extensively within the region (pending the lifting of travel restrictions and confirmation of safe conditions on the ground) and may fill in for other CPDs on a temporary basis as needed.

The CPD is responsible for compliance with Solidarity Center policies, US regulations governing grants, and host-country law. The CPD develops and maintains relationships with personnel at the USAID mission and US Embassy and oversees reporting requirements regarding Solidarity Center work. The CPD educates and informs USAID and the Embassy of organized labor’s role in the development process and how Solidarity Center programs contribute to their strategic objectives.


  • Able to work independently and with limited supervision
  • Knowledge of worker rights issues and trade unions in Sri Lanka
  • Knowledge of international relations and socio-economic and political developments related to trade unions in the U.S.
  • Experience working on union campaigns and organized efforts to defend and promote trade union rights legislation
  • Experience developing and leading a start-up campaign, project, or organization
  • Capacity to manage multiple assignments simultaneously and make 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 five years equivalent work experience
  • Good communication and writing skills
  • Good interpersonal skills, including the ability to develop strategic relationships
  • Strong sense of initiative, resourcefulness, and problem solving skills
  • Computer literacy for word processing and simple spreadsheets

Supervisor: Regional Program Director for Asia

Specific Duties

  • Manage the Solidarity Center field office in Sri Lanka, including supervision of the local-hire staff;
  • Ensure compliance with Solidarity Center and AFL-CIO policies and procedures, applicable donor and federal government regulations, and host-country law;
  • Design, develop and implement country or regional programs that respond to the strategies, goals and objectives of the donors, the AFL-CIO and the Solidarity Center’s partners;
  • 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 and discuss substantive changes with the Regional Program Director;
  • Monitor program expenditures to meet budget targets;
  • Work closely with AFL-CIO affiliates to coordinate their participation in Solidarity Center programs;
  • Manage the logistics for field trips by Solidarity Center, AFL-CIO and affiliate personnel as requested;
  • Develop relations with US government personnel in country to ensure they understand the role of labor in development and of Solidarity Center programs in the context of their strategy;
  • Share information on country conditions and labor issues with headquarters staff;
  • Provide assistance and support for program evaluations or audits of field projects/offices;
  • Travel (25-50% of the time once pandemic restrictions are lifted) within Nepal and around the region to meet with partners and oversee programs as needed, and
  • Develop coalition-building contacts with national and international labor, government and non-governmental organizations in the country or region.

The duration of this position, while contingent upon continued grant funding, is anticipated to last from three to six years, with the option to transfer to another post at the end of the assignment.

As part of the collective bargaining unit, this position is generously compensated with an annual salary starting at around $105,742 which may be subject to U.S. foreign earned income tax exclusion for American citizens (please consult a tax professional to verify). A robust benefits package includes excellent health and life insurance, a retirement plan/pension, and ample paid time off for holidays, vacation, and sick leave. In addition, as an expatriate position, the Country Program Director is entitled to housing, relocation expenses, annual home leave, and an education allowance for dependents.

For Candidates Applying from the AFL-CIO: Please be advised that we will inform the AFL-CIO when any of its current employees apply for positions with Solidarity Center. This notification is a matter of policy for all candidates, regardless of each individual’s qualifications and competitiveness for a specific opportunity.

Apply HERE.

The Solidarity Center cultivates the values of diversity, equality, and inclusion among its staff and partners. It does not discriminate on the basis of 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. Candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. Job seekers who require a reasonable accommodation to apply should contact us at: information@solidaritycenter.org.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.