Job Opportunity – Middle East Programme Officer

Forward Thinking is a London based NGO working in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and political dialogue in the Middle East and North Africa.

We seek an outstanding candidate to drive the delivery and development of our Middle East Programme. The aim of this programme is to build support for an inclusive and sustainable Israeli – Palestinian peace process by engaging influential constituencies that have been excluded from the mainstream peace discourse.

We are looking for a self-starter with excellent project delivery, communication and relationship-building skills. The role will be based in London with frequent travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories (subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions).

As the Middle East Programme Officer, you will be a key part of the Forward Thinking team, reporting immediately to the Middle East Programme Manager and under the overall supervision of the Director of Forward Thinking.

The Role:  

The role is diverse and requires the ability to learn fast, take initiative and balance independence with teamwork. As one of only three members of the Middle East team you will be expected lead and deliver on several aspects of our work – from organising the logistics to the facilitation of high-level meetings. This will include reporting, budget management, research, and building and maintaining relationships with the diverse members of our network. You will have the opportunity to contribute to strategy, and delivery across Forward Thinking’s projects in the Middle East.

Required technical experience, knowledge and skills:

  • Relevant experience of project delivery, proven ability to manage competing priorities and a track record of delivering on ambitious targets.
  • Fluency in English and excellent written and spoken communications; demonstrable experience of policy paper drafting, proposal development and/or securing funding highly desirable.
  • Demonstrable experience of budget management, and delivering monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) approaches.
  • Strong working knowledge of the MENA region and / or Israeli-Palestinian context.
  • A commitment to, and respect for, facilitating inclusive dialogue with groups holding highly diverse political, religious and ideological views.
  • Undergraduate degree in a related field (politics, history, languages, political sciences etc) or relevant experience essential; postgraduate qualification desirable.
  • Fluency in written and spoken Arabic highly desirable.
  • The ability and willingness to travel to all parts of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, including the Gaza Strip, is essential.
  • The right to work full-time in the UK and be based in London

Required competencies:

  • Excellent relationship building skills, with an ability to navigate the different approaches required to engage political, religious, civil society and governmental stakeholders in an Israeli – Palestinian context; experience working with parliamentarians and policymakers at an international level desirable.
  • Strategic thinking, with the skills to initiate and build new partnerships and source funding opportunities.
  • Excellent written communication skills, with the ability to write concisely, persuasively and to tailor your writing to a range of different audiences, including stakeholders, policymakers and funders.
  • Able to prioritise effectively to tight deadlines and manage logistical and strategic responsibilities concurrently.
  • A ‘can-do’ attitude, with excellent problem-solving skills and ability to respond calmly and flexibly in a fast-paced and conflict-affected environment.

Contract type and Salary

This will be a permanent (subject to a period of probation), full time position. Salary will be £25,000 – £30,000 subject to experience.

How to apply

Please write to harry.higginson@forward-thinking.org with your CV and short covering letter (no more than two sides of A4) explaining your interest in the position and why you would be well suited to the role. Please put in the subject line of your email: Middle East Programme Officer Application.

Application period

Applications will be accepted from today until the 27th of May at midnight. Any applications received outside of this period will not be considered. We may appoint a candidate before the close of the application period.

Interviews and start date

Applicants we would like to invite for interview will be contacting on a rolling basis, with the first interviews planned from early May.

Successful candidates will be invited for an in-person interview in London. Before their interview, candidates will be asked to take a short aptitude test. More details of the test will be sent to the candidates who are invited to take part.

An appointment will be made the basis of an assessment of both the interview and test.

Due to the high volume of applications we expect to receive, we will not write individually to unsuccessful candidates. If you do not hear from us by the 30th of May, please assume you have been unsuccessful on this occasion.