Program Officer, Virtual Initiatives - Critical Language Scholarship Program

American Councils for International Education

About the organization

Established in 1974, American Councils for International Education began as a teachers exchange organization, and has since expanded to administer academic exchanges and overseas language immersion programs, perform data-driven research and create educational development programs.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is an immersive language and cultural program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Each summer students spend 8-10 weeks abroad studying one of fifteen critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. In addition to summer study abroad programming, the CLS Program is developing innovative initiatives to engage with students virtually. By prioritizing inclusion and access, the CLS Program ensures that the next generation of America’s global leaders reflects its diversity.


Based in Washington, DC, the Program Officer for Virtual Initiatives leads the planning and administration of virtual exchange programming by recruiting for the program, developing preparatory materials, advising students, and working with colleagues and implementing partners on program planning and implementation. The Program Officer also provides some support for study abroad programming. The Program Officer has a special role in preparing and supporting students to cooperate with their diverse cohort members and fostering leaderships skills, recruiting candidates from diverse backgrounds, building relationships with program stakeholders across the United States, and supporting participants from a wide array of backgrounds. The position requires close attention to detail. The Program Officer will report to the Program Manager.

While organizational skills and administrative experience will be an important plus for any candidate, an extensive understanding of academic culture for study abroad programs is also important. The position will require the ability to work independently as well as a member of a team. Limited, occasional travel to conferences or for recruitment activities is required.


A minimum of two years of relevant full-time work experience;
Experience with study abroad, international education, language learning, or virtual learning;
Experience communicating with and advising individuals from diverse backgrounds;
Commitment to supporting diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in study abroad;
Familiarity with issues pertaining to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) in American society and/or higher education;
Strong written and oral communication skills in English;
Strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
Demonstrated problem-solving skills;
Ability to manage multiple priorities quickly and effectively;
Ability to work independently while contributing to an overall team effort;
Ability to work effectively in a cross-cultural work environment;
Proficiency in Microsoft Office;
General financial accountability; and
Effective interpersonal skills.


Bachelor’s degree;
Familiarity with American higher education landscape, including diverse types of institutions and departments;
Experience designing and/or implementing DEIA focused initiatives;
Knowledge of a critical language offered by the CLS Program (Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu);
Experience mentoring or advising students.

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