Contracting Officer II for Pre-Award

US-DC-Washington | US-NC-Durham
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About FHI 360

FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in health, education, nutrition, environment, economic development, civil society, gender, youth, research and technology — creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today's interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 70 countries and all U.S. states and territories. We are currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of: Contracting Officer II for Pre-Award


A Contracting Officer is primarily responsible for managing the administrative processes for contract administration from pre-award to contract close-out. He/she will provide professional expertise in contract administration to ensure full compliance with donor rules and regulations. The functions of the position include: a) Comprehensive analysis of contract terms and conditions to ensure that the organization has the organizational capacity or is able to acquire the necessary capacity to successfully perform and meet contractual obligations; b) Expert interpretation of donor (USG and non-USG) rules and regulations; c) Standardization of administrative procedures for efficient award and sub award management; d) Development of contractual documents including templates and ancillary business forms; and e) Capacity building and replication of contract portfolio management systems and best practices in award and sub award management. A Contracting Officer may lead or supervise other staff in the efficient operation and maintenance of an effective contracts portfolio management system. Contracting officers will work in partnership with operations staff and other enterprise services staff to achieve successful and compliant contract performance. The scope of contract administration may include contract interpretation, compliance with regulatory requirements and restrictions, sub award administration, and donor relations among others.

Job Summary / Responsibilities

This role will champion the development of a dedicated pre-award contracts function to enhance support to proposal teams and organizational pre-award functions (including but not limited to the centralized business development and cost & pricing teams as well as business development functions embedded in operating units).  Initially this role will focus on the following responsibilities:

  • Maintain/update/revise library of templates for pre-award agreements (NDAs, MOUs, teaming agreements) and associated guidance on use.
  • Review and strengthen business volume templates and guidance for use of those templates on an on-going basis.
  • Review solicitations and resulting awards to look for recurrent items of a contractual nature in the bidding and negotiation process. Develop best practices for representing organizational needs in those processes.
  • Partner with business development management to document post-action reviews and debriefs—look for themes on lessons learned/best practices to inform systemic change.
  • Provide advocacy/consulting role—track recurring issues, analyze, and promote change.
  • Make recommendations on refining and strengthening the role of the contracts department in pre-award, including assessing the trigger points for contracts department engagement in pre-award phases of contract life-cycle.
  • Develop/maintain/revised contracts department operations manual sections on pre-award and associated guidance on pre-award.
  • Develop guidance for specialized pre-award processes (e.g., bidding through the General Services Administration).
  • Train pre-award teams on key contractual concepts foundational to the teaming and bidding processes.
  • Act as initial point-of-contact and advisory on broad spectrum contractual issues for pre-award processes and engage contracts department management as needed to resolve.
  • Ensure contracts department at large is informed on changes/revisions to pre-award processes and oriented/trained on any changes to negotiation strategies and best practices.

    Position may provide direct contract support for assigned proposal as needed but initial focus is on overall process improvement and development of broad general guidance.


  • Serves as a technical resource to proposal development units (Business Planning and Proposal and Cost and Pricing) by analyzing solicitations, interpreting regulations and award provisions, clarifying compliance issues, etc.
  • Reviews and negotiate critical award terms and conditions.
  • Identify significant risks and recommend plan for mitigation including justification of working at risk.


  • Manages contract set-up in the contract management and/or financial management system.
  • Advises senior management on matters of concern and elements of risk that can be detrimental to successful contract performance. Recommend alternative approaches to overcome any negative impact.
  • Reviews the work of contract specialists before submission to donors. These will include contract add-ons, budget realignments, cost extensions, and other transactions requiring donor approval such as sub awards, salaries, consultant rates, waivers, etc. The contracting officer will handle the more complicated or business-sensitive transactions.
  • Conducts complex negotiations requiring senior staff engagement.
  • Develops and maintain strong relationships with counterparts (internal and external).
  • Responds to audit matters (internal and external).
  • Articulates and advocate for the organization’s position on matters of regulation and other contractual issues.
  • Collaborates with operations staff and other enterprise services staff to monitor prime contract and subcontract performance.
  • Negotiates substantive provisions in lower- tier subcontracts.
  • Trains other staff in standardized procedures for efficient award and sub award management.
  • Manages input to contract close-out.
  • Advises executive leadership and general staff on critical contractual issues and indications of high risk based on established expert knowledge of organizational policy, donor regulations, and specific award terms and conditions. Level of interaction can be at the highest level in the organization.
  • Reviews and negotiate critical contracts, subcontracts and modifications.
  • Closely engage in managing disputes, business-sensitive transactions, and delicate customer relationships to preserve the reputation and good standing of the organization.
  • Leads in seeking reconsideration of requests denied by donors such as those for salaries, consultant rates, budget revisions, procurement, subcontracts, waivers, etc.
  • Contributes to the development and delivery of specialized training to staff on policy, regulations, and best practices in contract administration.
  • Conducts periodic reviews of the contract portfolio with the senior management.
  • Demonstrates deepened expertise, professional growth, and managerial and leadership skills through evidence of effective crisis management.
  • Trains, coaches, and mentors contracts department staff on the values and key competencies to be successful in performing the tasks above.


• Bachelor's Degree or its International Equivalent - Business Administration or Related Field.
• Minimum of 8+ years’ experience in a position of contracting authority in either the Federal Government acquisition system or a Non- governmental Organization (NGO) – domestic or international.
• At least 5 years of negotiating experience and direct management of a diverse portfolio of complex contracts and other agreements.
• Comprehensive knowledge of donor (USG and non-USG) rule and regulations including but not limited to USAID, DHHS, DOE, etc.
• Expertise in USG acquisition and assistance processes.
• Experience working in a not-for-profit or non- governmental organization (NGO).
• Experience working with international donors.
• Prior supervisory or mentor experience preferred.

• Mastery of donor (USG and non- USG) rules and regulations.

• Considered a subject matter expert.

• Effective customer management skills are essential to developing and growing critical business relationships within and outside of the organization.

• Influential leadership skills to facilitate and support transitions to new systems at the unit level.

• Highly articulate (compelling and persuasive) oral and written communication skills to convey complex business concepts and information both inside and outside of the organization.

• Strong and effective ability to develop, articulate, and implement.

• Good knowledge of strategic planning methodologies and practices.

This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

We offer competitive compensation and an outstanding benefit package. Please click here to visit FHI 360's Career Center for a list of all open positions.

FHI 360 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. FHI 360 is an equal employment and affirmative action employer whereby we do not engage in practices that discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, genetic information or any other status or characteristic protected under applicable law.


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