Program Associate

Ford Foundation | New York, New York

Background

The Ford Foundation's Natural Resources and Climate Change International program (NRCC-I) thematic area seeks a dynamic, curious and collaborative Program Associate to support a team of program staff who are implementing a shared global strategy. The Program Associate will work most closely with a New York City based team, but also with team members in Indonesia, Southern Africa, West Africa, Brazil, the Andean Region, and Mexico and Central America. Program Associates hold a variety of responsibilities related to the research, analysis and coordination of programmatic activities with a primary focus on the portfolio of grants made to support the teams' strategy.  Program Associates also serve as a strong conduit for shared learning within the team and across programmatic teams, and at times will play a leading role in these learning processes. 

Job Summary

The ideal candidate will be a detail-oriented, organized, problem solver who is a self-starter and remains calm and gracious in high-pressure situations. They will also be able to take direction from multiple people while managing competing priorities and should feel comfortable collaborating with people of all levels and backgrounds, and across different regions of the world. 

This position is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to strengthen their analytical and qualitative skills, as well as learn from  collaborative and inclusive teams of colleagues working on other Ford Foundation strategies, including on issues relating to gender based violence, increased restrictions on civil society, racial and gender justice, digital security, climate and land use, and art for social good, among others.

Responsibilities

Grants Portfolio Strategy & Management

  • Map all grants so that the NRCC-I team can understand the totality of investments, fostering learning across the team
  • Analyze and create periodic reports that summarize common themes across the portfolio of grants, for the purpose of shared team learning, strategy refinement and effective grantee support
  • Review grant proposals and prepare analysis that reflects grant outcomes and their contribution to NRCC-I's strategic goals, for discussions with responsible Program Officers and other team members
  • In coordination with Program Assistants and/or Grants Managers, monitor grant codings and ensure integrity and consistency of data entry
  • Maintain communication with Program Associates in the foundation's regional offices, to identify and anticipate emerging trends in grantmaking

Research, Analytics, Monitoring, Reporting and Knowledge Management

  • Conduct research for the Director and team members using a variety of external and internal resources (e.g., commercial online subscription databases, other web-based reference sources, Foundation information systems, and Foundation archives); consult external experts or other resources as per the research protocol.
  • Support the Director and team in analyzing data,identifying trends, and compiling key data points as inputs to external and internal communications
  • Enter and compile information for dashboards and specialized reports to support decision making by the Foundation's program staff and leadership
  • Summarize research findings in written documents, databases, presentations, or multimedia formats
  • Act as the team's “information architect and manager,” partnering with the Information Management department 
  • Create substantive materials for the team, collect and manage them according to Foundation protocols, and advise members of the team on how to access and use the information provided
  • Coordinate with the Department Coordinator and Program Assistant to ensure that the team's information management system, Fordify, is regularly monitored and that information is relevant and current.

Grantee Relationship Management

  • Under the guidance of the Director and NYC-based Program Officers, follow up on leads and contacts generated through site visits and meetings and hold preliminary informational meetings with stakeholders
  • Coordinate with Department Coordinator and Program Assistants on the logistical arrangements for grantee and network convenings
  • For convenings and site visits (when public health conditions allow), develop and prepare background research and meeting materials

Project and Meeting Management

  • Work with the Office of Strategy & Learning to create, implement and update learning tools for team learning and to share with other programmatic teams
  • Track decisions and follow-up items during meetings and calls and in coordination with other team members, produce meeting summaries based on notes taken by oneself or another supporting staff member
  • Prepare and give presentations of data and reports to team members in NRCC-I meetings, International Program meetings and other learning sessions
  • Provide PO leads with support for the development and hosting of NRCC-I learning sessions with agenda design, prep or background materials, coordination with regional offices or grantees etc 

Relationship Management

  • Develop relationships with internal and external stakeholders to facilitate the Foundation's work
  • At the request of the Director, attend relevant meetings/conferences to gather information and knowledge to advance the work of the NRCC-I program

Communication

  • Compile a short periodic summary of related newsworthy events, activities and deadlines of the team, internal and external publications by team, and other relevant information
  • Coordinate with the Office of Communications on press and promotional requirements and large event staging

 General Administration

  • Assist team members in responding to requests for information or other documentation from the various departments of the Foundation and from others outside of the Foundation
  • Serve as back-up to Program Assistants, Department Coordinator and Grants Managers, as needed

Qualifications

  • B.A./B.S. with at least three years' experience working in program related support capacity in natural resources, environmental justice and development, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Strong proficiency with data collection, review, analysis and reporting
  • Strong proficiency with the use of software platforms and high degree of comfort with multiple technology applications, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint and databases
  • Exceptional organizational and communications skills
  • Strong skills in public presentation of data and data interpretation
  • Strong writing skills
  • Client-service orientation
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully in a multi-faceted, multitasking environment
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in ongoing organizational development

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Graduate degree in fields overlapping with one or more of the substantive areas addressed in the NRCC-I program
  • Knowledge of contemporary issues facing communities affected by deforestation, natural resource extraction and agribusiness
  • Knowledge of civil society activities around indigenous, afro-descendant and traditional peoples' rights, natural resources, and climate change
  • International work or research experience
  • Language skills in Spanish, Portuguese, French or Bahasa

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer (when we return back to working in the office).

MINIMUM SALARY: US$ 80,000

Alignment to Culture and Values

  • 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

Benefits

  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
  • Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
  • Three weeks' paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years 
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year's Day
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child's first year (born into family or adopted)

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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Organization: Foundations