Senior Practice Specialist and Project Manager, Water, Energy, and Sustainable Cities practice


Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

Chemonics seeks a 50/50 split portfolio Senior Practice Specialist (Water, Energy, and Sustainable Cities) and Senior PMU Manager for the Asia Regional Business Unit (Asia RBU). The Asia RBU has fourteen active projects in eight countries and a range of technical areas including: energy, rule of law, environmental and natural resource management, agriculture and livelihoods development, private sector development, tourism, and greater social inclusion to promote broad-based economic growth in the region. The exact portfolio assignment will be made at time of hire. We are looking for individuals who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of people around the world.

Sr. Practice Specialist (Primary Position, 50%) General Summary

The practice manager, together with the practice director, sets the strategy and workplan for the Chemonics technical practice. The practice manager executes practice initiatives and core activities to contribute to the development agenda, support business units to increase competitiveness of our proposals, and support project teams to improve performance of our projects. The practice manager provides technical research, primers, and approaches for use on Chemonics projects and proposals, establishes and maintains connections with relevant partners and industry experts, improves knowledge sharing and thought leadership to deliver technical solutions, and supports technical capacity building among staff. The manager will establish professional connections with Chemonics employees in the home- and field-offices, to facilitate the flow of technical information for application to development challenges.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions)

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Supports new business development for mission-based, USAID/Washington-based, and other donor programming in assigned practice by providing technical input and guidance to proposal teams, connecting Chemonics to candidates and partners within the industry, and playing a direct role in proposal development as needed.
  • Fosters professional relationships with key clients, implementing partners, and industry experts within the sector, including USAID/Washington bureau officers.
  • Conducts and shares research on USAID trends and technical sector policies, and other potential clients, partners, and competitors.
  • Fosters and supports initiatives and activities with other technical practices at Chemonics, to highlight or develop corporate capability in cross-sectoral approaches.
  • Promotes Chemonics’ approaches and results, expands Chemonics’ relationships with clients and industry actors, and captures information on leading industry thinking and best practices through participation in associations, communities of practice, and industry events.
  • Provide daily management and oversight to Chemonics’ Indefinite Quantity Contracts, as assigned.
  • Reviews and provides comments and inputs to project or proposal technical documents as requested.
  • Demonstrates strong technical knowledge and expertise through taking on leadership positions in proposal teams, representing Chemonics at external events within the industry, and serving as a reliable technical resource for project teams.
  • Liaises with Strategic Communication and Outreach (SCO), Practice Support Department (PSD) Editorial Support and Production (ESP), and Project Management Units (PMUs) to capture, update, and maintain information on Chemonics’ technical solutions, for internal and external distribution.
  • Tracks and annually collects company development achievement indicators related to technical sector.
  • Holds leadership roles on proposal teams and mentors’ others.
  • Serves as acting director as needed and contributes to meetings on directors’ behalf, as necessary.
  • Delegates, supervises, and evaluates performance of assigned staff. Communicates clear performance goals and standards and ensures staff receives regular constructive performance feedback, prompt resolution of problems, and time and opportunity to grow and develop in key competency areas.
  • Promotes staff development and builds technical depth across the company through coaching, mentoring, and facilitating professional development opportunities in the technical sector.
  • Fosters and demonstrates a workplace inclusive of creating opportunity, serving others, building trust, innovation and exceeding expectations.
  • Performs other duties and responsibilities as required


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and responsibility satisfactorily. The qualifications listed below are representative of the required knowledge, skills, and/or abilities needed to perform the principal duties.

  • Minimum of four years of technically relevant work experience required
  • Minimum of one year of supervisory experience required
  • Bachelor’s degree in international development or related field required; Master’s degree preferred
  • Knowledge of USAID and industry trends in the technical discipline
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills; ability to effectively lead meetings, give presentations, and network within the industry
  • Willingness to travel and work abroad
  • Strong analytical skills, demonstrated leadership skills, and ability to take initiative
  • Language proficiency in Spanish, Russian, or French preferred
  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise and mentor staff

Senior Program Manager Position Overview (50%):

The senior program manager is responsible for management, delegation, and execution of day-to-day project tasks, including staff management, as well as engagement in new business and technical practices. The role involves concurrently managing multiple projects of advanced complexity together with roles in new business. The senior program manager will collaborate with other Project Management Unit (PMU) and team members and support and monitor the completion of tasks related to aspects of project management, performance, and compliance. Ensures adherence with company policies, applicable law and regulations, and project requirements. The senior program manager brings increasing focus on proactive effort and supporting the director in mitigating risks; working toward a high level of technical, financial, and contractual performance of projects; and increasing attention to successful new business.


Project Management

  • Manages day-to-day support to one or more project teams and client, including communicating and assisting with project-office requests and overseeing adherence to project requirements, government regulations, and Chemonics policies
  • Oversees financial aspects of the project’s contract or agreement by reviewing monthly invoices for accuracy and compliance; responsible for tracking expenditures against budget and total obligated funds, coordinating development and monitoring of annual corporate budget, and regular forecasting of expenditures for Chemonics and client. May support or manage a variety of contract mechanisms (e.g. Cost Plus Fixed Fee, Time & Material)
  • Proactively identifies issues or potential risks, including project performance, financial, and legal, and other core business areas. Develops strategies and solutions to address those risks, communicating, when appropriate, with the director and/or senior vice president; strategically assesses and consults with support units on corporate-office and project-office matters to help make informed decisions.
  • Leads efforts in reviewing and determining causes of variances in expenditures against forecasts and budgets and ensuring client is informed as appropriate; works with director to identify solutions for shortfalls and train other PMU staff to do the same
  • Takes initiative to identify business opportunities, efficiencies, and cost savings for the business unit (BU)
  • Identifies opportunities for knowledge- and solution-sharing across company and takes initiative to build staff and company capacity
  • Oversees and leads negotiations with project subaward partners; identifies and manages key subaward issues, budgets, and invoicing; and reviews deliverables in coordination with project team to ensure they meet technical, contractual, and quality standards
  • Leads recruits of long- and short-term project personnel in accordance with Chemonics’ policy and delegates to or mentors others in project recruiting where possible and appropriate
  • Conducts periodic project office visits to monitor and support project operations and implementation, including conducting training, conducting or responding to audits, providing input to work planning, conducting technical research, and performing other complex tasks
  • Reviews and provides comments on project technical work and deliverables and project communications documents
  • May contribute dedicated time to other workstreams and functions to achieve BU goals, including new business, operations, and technical practice contributions


  • Proactively engages in technical practice of relevance to areas of interest or focus, sharing information and best practices learned with the company; this includes a strategic view to connect the practice and project in support of enhanced project performance and technical leadership goals of the practice
  • Builds subject matter expertise and contributes to BU, technical practice, business line, and corporate priorities, including serving as a regional financial analyst or regional compliance specialist
  • Promotes Chemonics by identifying opportunities for and attending external events, networking with clients and counterparts, articulating a solid understanding of Chemonics’ past and present portfolio; effectively representing the company’s history, values, and standards; and identifying and developing new business leads

New Business Development

  • Takes initiative to support new business efforts, including growing personal network of industry contacts; assuming capture and live proposals roles; and building expertise to assume increasing levels of leadership roles on proposals, including as technical writer, cost preparer, or czar, in addition to other roles as needed

Management and Leadership

  • Supervises, mentors, trains, develops, and evaluates assigned staff; provides regular performance feedback to supervisees and the time and opportunity to grow professionally
  • Mentors and advises staff across the BU (e.g. associates, program managers, and others) as appropriate on a range of topics, including business development, technical work, and project management
  • Demonstrates inclusive behaviors and leadership consistent with Chemonics’ values and leadership competencies
  • Serves in the acting director capacity as required
  • Performs other duties as required


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience; Master’s degree preferred
  • Minimum 5 years of relevant professional experience; staff supervisory and mentorship experience required
  • Thorough understanding of donor/client regulatory and management requirements and demonstrated ability to apply and adhere to those requirements in project management
  • Mastery of critical project management skills, including budget management, contractual and procurement compliance, client relations and knowledge of client, and personnel management
  • Demonstrated experience working on one or more projects while simultaneously engaged in more progressively complexed proposal roles
  • Demonstrated leadership providing regional financial and/or compliance support on a project management team
  • Communicates clearly and concisely in both verbal and written communications; strong cross-culture communication and sensitivity skills
  • Demonstrated experience following standard practices and procedures, providing input on design and revision of procedures where needed, receiving general instruction on work progress, and making significant contribution to end results individually and by leading teams
  • Works independently and as part of a team
  • Demonstrated resourcefulness in problem-solving and initiative to learn new skills
  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office applications and word processing abilities
  • Previous experience working in international development and/or living or conducting work in developing countries preferred
  • Willingness to travel up to 8 weeks per year
  • Language proficiency for assigned geographic area preferred

Application Instructions: 

Apply through our Career Center by Friday, October 8, 2021. No telephone inquiries, please. Only finalists will be contacted.

Chemonics is an equal opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, or other legally protected characteristics.

COVID-19 Recruitment Information

Chemonics International is monitoring COVID-19 activity around the world. The health and wellbeing of our staff is of the utmost importance to us, and we continue to hire for all open roles with interviewing and on-boarding done virtually. Our new hires and current staff working from our Washington, DC, Arlington, VA, and London offices will temporarily work from home until it is safe to return to our offices.