News | May 2024

FICS seeks Programme Director for Civic Futures

The Funders Initiative for Civil Society is looking for a Programme Director to lead its flagship initiative Civic Futures, which is building a diverse ecosystem of funders, CSOs, and movements to push back against the ‘security playbook’ – the widespread abuse of counterterrorism and security laws and technological tools to stifle protest and dissent.

The purpose of the Civic Futures Programme Director role is to hold overall responsibility for the initiative: its overarching strategic plan, developing a programme of work to engage new and existing members of the Civic Futures funder community, funding, and operations.

The right person for the Programme Director role will be knowledgeable about the trends which shape civic space with expertise in issues related to counterterrorism and security and / or digital technology, as well as significant experience within philanthropy, grant-making or supporting funder learning.

About Civic Futures

FICS’ global research highlighted the ‘security playbook’ as a major factor contributing to the shrinking of civic space in this decade. This playbook includes tactics used by governments worldwide that, under the pretext of security, restrict civic freedoms and democracy. Despite the significant impact of these practices, the response from civil society in terms of action and funding is disproportionately small relative to the scale of the issue.

Civic Futures was launched by FICS and the Fund for Global Human Rights in 2021 to mobilise funders and civil society to work on the ‘security playbook’ at scale.

Our goal is for funders to increase financial resources to counter the security playbook directly and through new funding vehicles incubated or supported by Civic Futures. We do this by equipping funders with the analysis, learning, connections and vehicles they need to secure support from their leadership and boards to make grants and offer accompaniment to existing and new partners. As members of Civic Futures, we call upon funders to act as champions for this issue within their foundations and with peers, and share their learning back with the community. In its first two years working on this issue, Civic Futures:

Our ambition over the next five years is to leverage USD 30m for the growing field of actors working to disrupt, reform and transform the ‘security playbook’ and we are looking to the Programme Director to lead this scaling of Civic Futures’ impact.

This role is full-time and it is open to candidates worldwide, however the Programme Director will need to agree times that they are available to collaborate regularly with existing staff, who are currently based in the UK as well as other regular meetings with the wider FICS team who are based Kenya, the Caribbean and Brussels. The deadline for applications is 9am UK time 9 June 2024. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed online towards the end of June.

There will be information sessions for prospective candidates who would like to meet the team before applying. These will take place on 23 May at 4pm UK time (register here) and on 3 June 10am UK time (register here).  We recognise the timings aren’t ideal for all time zones, the audio will be recorded for those who can’t attend and uploaded here. Questions can be received by email to or submitted anonymously on the Padlet, where for transparency, responses to any questions we receive before the deadline will be published.

You can find more information about the role in the job pack.

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