Program Associate/Associate Director of MMUF

Hiring Organization: 
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
City and State: 
New York, NY

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (“Foundation”) believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and we believe that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. It makes grants in four core program areas (Higher Learning, Arts and Culture, Public Knowledge, and Humanities in Place).  The Foundation seeks a Program Associate/Associate Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program with a strong interest in and commitment to the advancement of diversity in the humanities and among college and university faculties.  

Position Description: 

Across more than three decades the MMUF program remains the Foundation’s signature pipeline effort for undergraduate and graduate students aimed at remedying the problem of racial and ethnic underrepresentation in the humanities professoriate.

We are seeking a dynamic, outgoing, and energetic individual with excellent communication, programmatic, human relations, and administrative skills to work in the Higher Learning program as Program Associate and Associate Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (MMUF).  This position has a hybrid character. The principal identity of the position will stem from its association with the MMUF program: the daily management of processes related to MMUF and MMUF-related grants; interpretation and shaping of guidelines; relationship-building with the professionals on more than 50 university and college campuses that host MMUF programs; and effective collaboration with a partnering organization, the American Council of Learned Societies, which shares administration of the program with the Foundation. As a Program Associate in Higher Learning, there will be regular and significant opportunities beyond MMUF grants to participate in grant-management activities across the full range of our grantee community.

The position requires continuous orientation to programmatic and budgetary detail; a strong work ethic, precision, patience, and discretion; and the ability to conceptualize and strategize at the programmatic level. We expect the successful candidate will be a collegial, understanding, and generous person in all grantee relations. They should demonstrate an expressly invitational and inclusive approach to their work with MMUF and other grantees so that stakeholders can feel like partners in a common enterprise. Candidates should come with significant higher education administrative experience and be able to represent the Director of MMUF/Senior Program Officer and the Foundation to various external constituencies.  The position is at least 50% time working on MMUF but the percentage of time spent on MMUF or other Higher Learning realms will shift significantly throughout different periods of the year.  Collaboration with ACLS and with Foundation staff related to management of MMUF, including the Director/ Senior Program Officer, will be more or less constant and sometimes thoroughgoing.


Responsibilities may include, but will not be limited to the following:

  • Working closely with and reporting to the Senior Program Officer/Director of MMUF, assisting him with all aspects of communication and management of the program
  • Assisting the Senior Program Officer/Director of MMUF in developing and implementing strategic goals for the program
  • Traveling to and conducting site visits at grantee institutions
  • Representing the Foundation in professional settings, and specifically representing the Senior Program Officer/Director of MMUF at various functions
  • Reviewing proposals and assisting with the drafting and editing of materials for grants to be recommended to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees
  • Working closely with the on-campus MMUF coordinators to advise them, in consultation with the Senior Program Officer/Director of MMUF, on the day-to-day management of their programs and respond to questions
  • Working with program staff to assist Mellon Mays fellows by answering questions about the fellowship or program processes
  • Working closely in both an advisory but authoritative capacity with colleagues at the American Council of Learned Societies during annual reporting and renewal of MMUF grants as well as with organizations such as the Social Science Research Council and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to coordinate the administration of graduate and post-graduate grant programs for Mellon Mays fellows
  • Working with the Director and other Senior Program Officer of Higher Learning on all aspects of grant management and support for assigned non-MMUF grants
  • Maintaining and updating the MMUF website and the ACLS/MMUF grantee portal in collaboration with Higher Learning staff
  • Taking on other assignments as necessary
  • Collaborating with staff in other program areas and departments as required
  • Assisting other Foundation programs in matters requiring diversity expertise


Relevant skills and experience for the appointee to the Program Associate/Associate Director position include:

  • Masters degree required, preferably in the humanities or other academic discipline supported by the MMUF program or in a field related to race and ethnic studies
  • Deep knowledge of inclusive college or university environments and of the tenets of diversity leadership
  • Familiarity with pipeline programs or other programs that promote the advancement of students of color along a trajectory of academic excellence and achievement
  • Demonstrated collegial/invitational disposition and outstanding interpersonal communication, team-building and leadership skills
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills
  • Outstanding administrative, organizational, and work-flow management skills
  • Strong ability to work both collaboratively and independently
  • Experience supervising professional staff or in team-building
  • Ability to work with a diverse constituency and on multiple tasks with close attention to detail, at times under deadline pressure
  • Ability to read and understand organizational budgets
  • Ability to travel for the program as needed and in regular consultation with the Senior Program Officer/Director of MMUF
  • Experience working in/with higher education institutions and with students
  • Active interest in current policy issues in American higher education
  • PC computer literacy, particularly capacity to use all functions of Microsoft Office, including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, web content management software, and the ability to learn new applications quickly
  • Flexibility and strong work ethic with a commitment to integrity and high quality
  • Commitment to a collegial work environment and to collaboration with colleagues in all the Foundation’s program area

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that offers a competitive salary, outstanding benefits, and excellent working conditions.

Candidates should apply by submitting a thoughtful cover letter describing fit for the position together with a resume to: Program Associate-Associate Director MMUF

We will consider each response carefully, but will only contact those individuals we feel are most qualified for the position.

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