Program Assistant: Job Description

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ("Foundation") is a not-for-profit, grant making organization that seeks to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies.  It makes grants in four core program areas (Higher Learning, Arts and Culture, Public Knowledge, and Humanities in Place) as well as out of the Office of the President.  The Foundation seeks a Program Assistant for the Arts and Culture program.


Reporting to a Program Officer, the Program Assistant will provide programmatic, logistical, and research support to programmatic work in Arts and Culture.  The successful candidate will be thoughtful, highly motivated, energetic, collaborative, and congenial, with well-developed communication and organizational skills.  This position includes independent work on on-going grantmaking activities (such as serving as a liaison to grantees, corresponding with grantees about proposals; managing program-related information in the Foundation's grant portal (Fluxx), tracking grant data and budgets, reviewing and preparing proposals and reports, and assisting with preparing dockets and other materials for trustee meetings); episodic or long-term research projects; collaborative work with colleagues across program areas, the President's Office, and around the Foundation (for example on compliance, program planning, and program-related event coordination); and administrative work in support of the Program Officer and grantmaking out of the Arts and Culture program.  The work is detail-oriented and requires strong organizational and communication skills, flexibility, cool-headedness, effective time-management, precision, patience, efficiency, and discretion.

Position Details

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

Grant Management

  • Monitor the progress of proposals from first receipt to presentation to the Board of Trustees, including their timely tracking and management in Fluxx, the Foundation's grants management system, and communicate with grantees as directed about the progress of their proposals in line with Foundation deadlines
  • Monitor and carefully review grant reports and requests for modifications, extensions, and transfers, correspond with grantees about deficiencies, alert program colleagues to unresolved difficulties, and take appropriate actions
  • Identify the need for grant modifications and no-cost extensions, and facilitate the modification approval process by providing instructions to the grantee, reviewing request materials, and updating relevant information in Fluxx
  • Participate in reviewing unsolicited inquiries and collect them for discussion with the Arts and Culture program team
  • Conduct research in connection with current and new program initiatives
  • Prepare briefing materials and reports for the Arts and Culture Program Officers, as assigned
  • Assist with information gathering regarding the development of new grant initiatives and the review of existing programs as requested by program leaders
  • Participate in meetings with current and potential grantees; take notes and maintain notes and files on grant and potential grant activities.
  • Work with other Foundation departments to ensure timely delivery and processing of grant-related information for proposals, reports, and modifications, and facilitate rapid response to internal questions as they arise
  • Keep grant files in the Foundation's file management system up to date; resolve inconsistencies, and prepare reports
  • Assist with planning and coordinating arrangements for virtual, on- and off-site meetings
  • Undertake general office and grant-related work, such as electronic filing, maintaining program records, preparing correspondence, responding to requests for information, scheduling, etc.


The ideal candidate would hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in the arts or humanities, or would be currently working toward completing a master's degree, or a recent graduate of a graduate degree program in a related area.  Full-time experience in a fast-paced, high-volume office environment and experience with grants administration is preferred but not required.  Applicants should possess:

  • Commitment to social justice, equity, and transformative cultural work
  • Ability to work with minimal direct supervision and manage multiple projects, while being a committed team player
  • Superior written communication skills; excellent analytical, critical thinking, and organizational skills with precise attention to detail
  • Ability to read and understand organizational budgets
  • An orientation toward self-starting, proactive anticipation of team needs, and creative problem solving
  • A high degree of competency in the MS Office suite, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, Adobe Suite, and the ability to learn new applications quickly
  • Interest in community engagement and inclusion and with a strong sense of ethical practice and empathy
  • Keen understanding of and interest in disciplines in the arts, humanities, design, and humanistic social sciences
  • Willingness to learn from mistakes
  • Flexibility, curiosity, integrity, and a good sense of humor

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

Contact Information

Candidates should apply by submitting a thoughtful cover letter describing fit for the position together with a resume to:  Program Assistant (AC).  We will consider each response carefully, but contact only those individuals we feel are most qualified for the position.