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Program Assistant

Ford Foundation
Job Title: Program Assistant
Job Type:
New York
New York
Job Search Ends:
April 15th, 2018
Organization's Website:

Job Summary

Ford Foundation recently launched a program called Building Institutions and Networks (BUILD), which aims to support and develop robust, effective and sustainable organizations addressing inequality around the world. In the course of a 5-year period, the Foundation will invest approximately $1Bn in a limited number of organizations, providing them with flexible operational and organizational strengthening support. By strengthening organizations that are core to the social justice infrastructure, the Foundation aims to ensure BUILD organizations have the stability it takes to drive change over the long term and in turn achieve greater impact.


The Program Assistant (PA) will provide administrative and logistical support to two Program Officers   from the BUILD department, including the Philanthropy portfolio. As such, the PA will contribute to the Foundation’s grant making and grant oversight processes, through BUILD generally and through the Philanthropy portfolio specifically, as well as support special events and projects that advance the BUILD and Philanthropy strategies. 

The PA will work closely and pro-actively with colleagues on the BUILD team and across the Foundation, including our international offices, to help manage administrative workflows and to ensure smooth-running operations. The Program Assistant may work closely with grants management staff on the production and maintenance of grant information and documentation and may also participate in research and communications initiatives with senior program staff, including event coordination and implementation of special initiatives.


  • Manage calendars, including scheduling individual and group meetings and required follow-up
  • Assist with Program Officers’ work-related travel, including obtaining visas where necessary; assist with developing travel plans and logistical arrangements, including processing expense reports
  • Assist Program Officers in responding to requests for information or other documentation from internal and external sources, including liaising directly with the foundation’s international offices in Latin America, Asia, and Africa
  • Work alongside the Department Coordinator, serving as backup when needed and collaborating, as needed, on workflows, including, but not limited to contract management, administrative tasks and projects, such as:
    • Supporting administration of the Organizational Mapping Tool (OMT) assessment with BUILD grantees by monitoring the OMT email inbox and other tasks as needed
    • Monitoring and coordinating tasks related to contracts, such as reviewing invoices to confirm deliverables have been met, coordinating with the Legal Department for contract review, and confirming appropriate budget classification of contracts
  • Support the intake and review of grant proposals and the tracking and monitoring of grant relationships
  • Support event coordination, including coordinating logistics and liaising with the Events team
  • Coordinate internal and external resources for the flawless execution and tracking of projects, ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery
  • Assist in the onboarding process for new hires/consultants/interns
  • Establish and maintain appropriate files, both physical and electronic  
  • Plan and coordinate logistics for site visits and major grantee meetings
  • Undertake Internet-based research and prepare presentations and other materials (including, e.g., PowerPoint or Prezi presentations) for program staff
  • Complete baseline data analyses as needed


  • BA/BS plus a minimum of 2-3 years of relevant office experience or equivalent work experience
  • Direct experience in the nonprofit sector as a staff member, board member, or volunteer, preferably including some international experience
  • Highly functioning administrator who is proactive and able to self-manage, prioritize work assignments across departments, manage multiple deadlines, and represent the unit and the Foundation in any given environment
  • A team player with an ability to work in diverse teams with accountability and responsibility; ability to contribute to a positive, productive, open and supportive environment that motivates everyone to perform at their best
  • A clear communicator; flexible; proactive planning skills, organizational skills, and critical thinking skills; proven ability to problem solve and follow up appropriately on process and procedural issues
  • Direct experience in the nonprofit sector as a staff member, board member, or volunteer, including some international experience, is preferred
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills; ability to manage communications tactfully and professionally with high attention to detail and accuracy
  • Demonstrated proficiency utilizing online information resources and data tools for information retrieval and data entry; experience undertaking internet-based research
  • Detailed knowledge of and demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office and Google computer applications, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, Slides.
  • Experience using and contributing to a formal content or document management system (for example, SharePoint); enthusiasm for learning new tools and technologies and ability to adapt to rapidly evolving applications and systems.


Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity.  A generous benefits package is provided. 



  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

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