Program Associate: Job Description

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ("Foundation") is a not-for-profit, grantmaking 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 five core program areas (higher education and scholarship in the humanities; arts and cultural heritage; diversity; scholarly communications; and international higher education and strategic projects).  The Foundation seeks a Program Associate in the International Higher Education and Strategic Projects (IHESP) program.


IHESP undertakes grantmaking to programs in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences at select universities in South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, and Lebanon, and to select pan-African and pan-Arab institutions, supports collaborations between its grantee universities and universities in Africa, the Middle East, and other parts of the world, and manages grantmaking to US and other institutions pursuing international collaborations or programs related to the Global South.

The Program Associate is responsible for reviewing grant reports, monitoring and evaluating the progress of grant-funded activities, and communicating with principal investigators and financial directors at grantee institutions.  The position assists in the review and preparation of materials in the grantmaking process, and in the development of program initiatives.  The Program Associate also contributes as needed to Foundation-wide research and evaluation activities, as well as to various collective activities and special initiatives, and helps maintain an effective and collegial work environment.

The holder of this position will report to the Program Director, International Higher Education and Strategic Projects (IHESP) and work closely with another Program Associate and an Administrative Assistant.

Position Details

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

  • Carefully review grant reports and requests for modifications, extensions, and transfers and take appropriate actions;
  • In accordance with departmental guidelines, and Foundation-wide policy and practice, keep grant files in the Foundation's file management system up to date and maintain their integrity;
  • Assist program staff in drafting grant recommendations;
  • Evaluate program grants and initiatives;
  • Review grant proposals as needed;
  • Conduct research in connection with current and new program initiatives;
  • Assist in the preparation of special reports for Trustees, Officers and Executive Staff, and program staff regarding program activities;
  • Participate as needed in meetings with current and potential grantees;
  • May represent the Foundation at events as appropriate to the program's mission;
  • Collaborate with staff in other programs as required, particularly in matters requiring IHESP expertise and experience;
  • Work with external consultants and evaluators as needed.


  • Bachelor's degree is required, while an advanced degree is preferred;
  • Keen understanding of and interest in disciplines in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences;
  • Knowledge or/and experience of African/Middle Eastern and international higher education (institutions, research, learning and teaching) is desirable;
  • Integrity, discretion, and attention to detail;
  • Strong analytical and problem solving abilities;
  • Ability to analyze budgets and financial reports;
  • Ability to work with minimal direct supervision on multiple projects and matters at once, while being a committed team player;
  • 2–4 years of experience in program administration or management, or a related field;
  • Strong communication skills including writing, editing, and presentation;
  • Writing and reading proficiency in Arabic, French, Portuguese, or other languages will be an advantage;
  • Demonstrated computer skills, including mastery of Microsoft Office, familiarity with web-based technologies; knowledge of Fluxx or Sharepoint, and database or statistical applications is desirable.

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

Contact Information

Qualified candidates should submit a resume, cover letter and salary requirements to:  Program Associate (IHESP).  We will consider each application carefully, but contact only those individuals that we feel are most qualified for the position.