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 three core program areas (higher education and scholarship in the humanities; arts and cultural heritage; and scholarly communications) as well as out of the Office of the President.  The Foundation seeks a Program Assistant in the Office of the President.


Reporting to the Program Advisor & Chief of Staff (PACOS), the Program Assistant will provide programmatic, logistical, and research support to programmatic work in the Office of the President.  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 managing program-related information in our grant portal (Fluxx), tracking grant data and budgets, reviewing proposals and reports, corresponding with grantees about proposals, and assisting with preparing dockets and other materials for trustee meetings), episodic or long-term research projects, collaborative work with colleagues in 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 grantmaking out of the President's Office.  The work is detail-oriented and requires flexibility, cool-headedness, effective time-management, precision, patience, efficiency, good humor, and discretion. 

Position Details

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

  • Monitor the progress of proposals from first receipt to presentation to the Board of Trustees, including their tracking and management in Fluxx, the Foundation’s online grant portal, an communicate with grantees as directed about the progress of their proposals
  • 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  
  • Review unsolicited inquiries and collect them for discussion with the OOP program team 
  • Conduct research in connection with current and new program initiatives
  • Prepare briefing materials for the PACOS and President, as assigned
  • 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, 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 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, etc. 


The ideal candidate would hold a bachelor's degree, preferably in the arts or humanities, or would be a student currently working toward an MA or equivalent.  Full-time experience in a fast-paced, high-volume office environment and experience with grants administration is preferred but not required.  Applicants should possess:  

  • Proven ability to take direction but also to work with minimal direct supervision and manage multiple projects, while being a committed team player
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to read and understand organizational budgets
  • An orientation toward self-starting, proactive anticipation of team needs, and creative problem solving
  • Willingness to learn from mistakes
  • Ability to read and decipher budgets
  • Superior written communication skills; excellent analytical, critical thinking, and organizational skills with precise attention to detail
  • Flexibility, adaptability, curiosity, integrity, and a good sense of humor
  • A high degree of competency in the MS Office suite, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and the ability to learn new applications quickly
  • Commitment to social justice and cultural equity
  • Keen understanding of and interest in disciplines in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences
  • Spanish language proficiency preferred but not required

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.  We will consider each response carefully, but will contact only those individuals whose candidacies we seek to pursue.