Program Assistant

Hiring Organization: 
Ford Foundation
City and State: 
New York, NY


Ford Foundation 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. As such, the PA will contribute to the Foundation’s grant making and grant oversight processes as well as support special events and projects that advance the teams strategy.

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.

The ideal candidate will be a collaborative team player who is driven, able to work independently, and a detail-oriented problem solver with exceptional organizational skills , people skills, and who is able to manage complex schedules and operate calmly in high-pressure situations.

This position is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to learn about philanthropy, gain exposure to both U.S. and global work, interested in working on projects from beginning to end and curious about professional development opportunities.


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 1-2 years of relevant office experience or equivalent work experience

  • 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, Google Drive)

  • Enthusiasm for learning new tools and technologies and ability to adapt to rapidly evolving applications and systems

  • Adaptable, able to work in a fast-paced environment and comfortable with talking to multiple internal and external stakeholders

  • 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


  • Solid and strong administrator with some calendar management and scheduling experience preferred

  • Strong commitment to promoting social justice; interest and/or familiarity with the social justice issues that Ford supports


  • 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.

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


  • Tuition Reimbursement

  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years

  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day

  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work

  • Professional development initiatives for growth

  • Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%

  • Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)

  • Subsidized lunch in on-site cafeteria

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

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.  

How to Apply: 
To apply, please apply online at:
Job Category: 
Publish date: 
Find More By