Program Officer/Coordinator, National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), Placement
Washington - Washington, DC
Full Time

Flsa Status: Exempt

Pay Band: 3 Officer/Coordinator



NSLI-Y is a critical component of a multi-agency federal initiative to increase U.S. citizens’ capacity to engage foreign governments and peoples through the critical language of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. NSLI-Y is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and American Councils acts as the prime grantee collaborating with other partner organizations. NSLI-Y provides merit-based scholarships for eligible U.S. high schools students to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. To learn more about the program, please visit the NSLI for Youth website at


Based in Washington, DC, the Program Officer/Coordinator position supports the implementation and daily operations of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program. Responsibilities focus on program administration and student support for Chinese and Russian language academic year programs and Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Tajiki Persian language summer programs.


The NSLI-Y Program Officer/Coordinator will report to the NSLI-Y Program Manager for Placement.



  • Supports NSLI-Y Program Manager in daily operation and implementation of the NSLI-Y summer and academic year programs;
  • Supports the NSLI-Y Program Manager with administration of host institution partner agreements and budgets, as well communication with host institution partners during pre-program planning, on-program implementation stages, and post-program wrap-up activities;
  • Manages daily inquiries and communications from program participants and families;
  • Advises participants and families on a variety of language learning, cultural, adjustment and logistical issues in preparation for the program;
  • Provides on-program support for participants and Resident Director staff as needed, including responding to emergencies outside of business hours and working with a range of international time zones;
  • Helps to design pre-program materials, including participant guides, language resources, calendars and parent materials;
  • Assists with design, planning, and facilitation of pre-departure orientations and other program events;
  • Supports recruitment and hiring of Resident Director staff;
  • Helps develop, design and organize training programs and materials for host institution partners, Resident Director staff, teachers and students;
  • Assists in development of program budgets and tracking expenses;
  • Coordinates participant travel, visas, housing, and stipends as needed;  
  • Communicates with and supports NSLI-Y Administration operations as needed;
  • Assists with regulation compliance, drafts detailed quarterly and other reporting to U.S. Department of State;
  • Additional duties as assigned.
  • Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Education, Area Studies, language or a related field; Master’s degree preferred;

  • Excellent English written and oral communication skills;

  • Strong preference for effective verbal and written communication skills in Russian, Arabic, or Korean; 

  • Study, work, or extensive travel experience in NSLI-Y host countries;

  • Experience working with high school students and diverse groups of people;

  • Ability to handle high volumes of communication with a variety of individuals effectively and professionally in different time zones;

  • Experience engaging and motivating students in creative and effective ways;

  • Demonstrated skills in academic and personal counseling;

  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team;

  • Ability to multi-task effectively;

  • Ability to exercise problem-solving skills, good judgment, and discretion;

  • Ability to approach challenges with flexibility and a positive attitude;

  • Professional experience with administrative responsibilities; and

  • Demonstrated skills in general financial accountability;

  • Minimum of 2+ years working in international education or related field;


Candidates with more work experience may be considered for a Program Officer position.


Position contingent upon funding.



EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY – American Councils is committed to taking affirmative steps to enhance employment opportunities for minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities, and strives to ensure that meaningful employment and promotional opportunities are maintained for everyone. American Councils’ commitment to equal employment opportunity is based not only on federal requirements, but also on a longstanding commitment to maintaining a diverse workforce reflective of the communities in which we operate.



The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.