Senior Program Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)


San José, Costa Rica


Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Applications for this role will take you to the employer's site.


$79,468 - $103,309


Full Time


Fixed Term



Job Description

The Office of Asia Latin America and Caribbean (ALAC) design, provide, and assess humanitarian assistance, including assistance related to responding to, recovering from, and reducing the risk of man-made and natural disasters, while linking with other USAID investments that build resilience. To achieve these objectives, humanitarian experts based overseas coordinate with local authorities and USAID Missions, while humanitarian experts based in Washington coordinate with USAID Regional and Pillar Bureaus. 

The Office of ALAC consists of (3) three geographic divisions: Latin America and the Caribbean, East Asia and the Pacific, South and Central Asia. These divisions are responsible for the provision of emergency humanitarian assistance through grants and cooperative agreements to non-governmental organizations (NGOs); international organizations (IOs) including United Nations (UN) agencies; and to other partners to ensure the implementation and delivery of this assistance. These divisions also oversee BHA’s nonresponse efforts in disaster risk reduction (DRR), resilience, and humanitarian transition. 

The Senior Program Officer (SPO) plays a major role in the LAC Division’s effort to promote excellence in humanitarian assistance and meet BHA’s mandate to save lives, alleviate suffering, and reduce the social and economic impact of disasters. Under the guidance of the Regional Director (RD) or designated Regional Humanitarian Advisor (RHA), the SPO supports the coordination and management of BHA disaster response, preparedness, mitigation, and training programs in the region of responsibility. The SPO will ensure that BHA’s objectives for disaster response and assistance, strategic reporting, and analysis are met.


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Role and Responsibilities

Working under the guidance and supervision of the RD or designated RHA, the SPO supports the regional office through the management of humanitarian and DRR activities in the region, assisting with program analysis, strategy development, and coordination with partners in the humanitarian community. The SPO will work closely with a program team that may include RDs, RHAs, Senior Humanitarian Advisors, Program Officers, Regional Team Leaders, Deputy Team Leaders, Humanitarian Assistance Officers (HAOs), and Program Assistants. The SPO will perform the following: 

Contextual Specialty:

  • Develop and maintain a specialized understanding of humanitarian developments across the region to include political, social, and operational issues impacting humanitarian efforts.

  • Develop and maintain knowledge of USAID and USG humanitarian priorities and strategies within the region, and BHA’s contributions and comparative advantages to those efforts.

  • Provide regular reporting, through cables and other means, on issues related to the humanitarian situations in the region.

  • Provide regular reports on site visits, meetings, relevant current events and other issues that impact humanitarian relief efforts. 

Portfolio Management:

  • Provide regular reports on site visits, meetings, relevant current events and other issues that impact humanitarian relief efforts.

  • Become certified and serve as an Agreement Officer’s Representative/Contracting Officer’s Representative (AOR/COR), as assigned. The AOR/COR provides financial and programmatic oversight of all aspects of managing the agreement or contract; this includes but is not limited to reviewing invoices, requests for approvals, program/project deliverables (i.e. work plans, annual reports, month status reports), travel requests, key personnel requests, and financial/budget reports. They are responsible for drafting and submitting the annual contractor performance evaluation in Contract/Assistance Performance Assessment Review System. They prepare and review contract/assistance modifications documentation and assist the Contracting/Agreement Officer to ensure performance is compliant with the terms and conditions of the contract/agreement, the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and USAID policy. AOR/CORs are responsible for all related requirements set forth in the COR designation letter and the AOR designation letter.

  • Work with BHA’s Washington-based and field-based program staff to develop program strategies for response and DRR activities across the region, overseeing day-to-day management of the portfolio and its budgets.

  • Support team members in assessing emergency response and DRR needs in the region in order to ensure that BHA’s programs are appropriately responsive. 

  • Travel as permitted to assess, evaluate and monitor humanitarian conditions in the region, and make strategic recommendations for appropriate interventions.

  • Provide guidance on regulations and policies.

  • Assist in humanitarian activities outside of immediate areas of responsibility, as needed. 


  • Support the regional team in maintaining relations with senior leadership in the humanitarian community through regular coordination and collaboration with BHA, relevant USG staff, and the humanitarian community.

  • Assist the regional team to coordinate with the donor community on policy issues affecting humanitarian operations, and develop integrated, non-duplicative programs, as needed.

  • Engage in, and report on, joint donor humanitarian evaluations and UN-led assessments, and participate actively in the international community response structures.

  • Prepare briefing papers, notes, and presentations on BHA programming for official USG visitors interested in humanitarian issues.

  • Represent BHA with various audiences, as requested. 


  • Serve as peer mentor to team members on grants and portfolio management, to include BHA’s business process, portfolio-specific budget and workload management, and post-award monitoring and management.

  • In close coordination with the RD, RHA, and HAO, work with NGOs, IOs, and UN agencies that are developing proposals for BHA (including grant amendments and extensions) to ensure compliance with BHA’s guidelines.

  • Participate in office-wide discussions on initiatives that impact program implementation to provide field-based perspectives, as assigned. 

General Duties:

  • Serve in planning or program positions on response teams, assessment teams, or to provide coverage for field offices within the region.

  • Brief on portfolio programs and strategies, and provide programmatic input for information products.

  • As needed, serve on Disaster Assistance Response Teams which may require immediate (within 24 hours) deployment overseas for an extended period of time.

  • As needed, may serve on temporary detail within the office to meet operational needs during staff shortages. Duties performed while on detail will be aligned with the Team’s existing duties and responsibilities and will be directly related to the scope of work provided.

Experience, Skills and Qualifications 


(Determines basic eligibility for the position. Offerors who do not meet all of the education and experience factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.) 

Bachelor’s degree in any discipline, and at least seven (7) years of progressively demonstrated experience in emergency relief, disaster risk reduction and/or disaster preparedness programming and management, including at least three (3) years of overseas experience as demonstrated by short-term deployments or emergency situations. 

OR Master’s degree in any discipline, and at least five (5) years of progressively demonstrated experience in emergency relief, disaster risk reduction and/or disaster preparedness programming and management, including at least two (2) years of overseas experience as demonstrated by short-term deployments or assignments in emergency situations.


(Determines basic eligibility for the position. Offerors who do not meet all of the selection factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)

  • Offeror is a U.S. Citizen.

  • Complete resume submitted. See cover page for resume requirements. Experience that cannot be quantified will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.

  • USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID.

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a Department of State medical clearance throughout the contract.

  • Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (

  • Satisfactory verification of academic credentials.

Professional Experience (40 points)

  • (Donor Experience) At least six months of demonstrated experience working in a grantmaking organization and/or with humanitarian or development donor organizations supporting processes for establishing or communicating strategic priorities, budgeting, and supporting funding decisions. [5/10 for grantmaking; 5/10 for humanitarian or development donor experience; 10/10 if both]

  • (Diversity/ Teamwork): Demonstrated experience working to achieve humanitarian or development objectives as part of a diverse team with members located in different countries. [6 points total; 3 pts for achieving humanitarian or development objectives; 3 pts as part of a diverse team with members from different international locations]

  • (Field Experience) Demonstrated knowledge related to disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery in an international setting. [8 Points total; 2 points each]

  • (Program Design and Management) Demonstrated experience managing USG awards from the USG, NGO/PVO, or PIO side to include (1) strategy or program design, (2) proposal development or review, (3) implementation of regulatory compliance and monitoring. [6 Points total; 2 points per numbered action] 

  • (Representation/Communication) Demonstrated experience with: 1) Internal representation to senior leadership on program or policy issues, and 2) With external representation on humanitarian policy or programming matters. [10 Points total: 5 points for each]

How to Apply

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