Program Associate: 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 communications; and international higher education and strategic projects).  The Foundation seeks a Program Associate in the Office of the President.


Reporting to the Program Advisor & Chief of Staff (PACOS), the Program Associate will have an opportunity to be involved in many aspects of the grantmaking process and in providing research support for the President's Office.  The successful candidate will be thoughtful, highly motivated, energetic, collaborative, and congenial, with well-developed communication and organizational skills.  This position combines independent work on on-going grantmaking activities (such as corresponding with grantees about proposals, reviewing reports, and assisting with preparing dockets and other materials for trustee meetings) and research with collaborative work with colleagues in the President's Office and around the Foundation on, for example, compliance, program planning, program-related event coordination.  The work is detail-oriented and requires flexibility, cool-headedness, precision, patience, efficiency, good humor, and discretion.

Position Details

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

  • Actively participate in the formulation of new proposals for funding, including advising grantees in preparation and revision of the narrative and financial components of proposals
  • Monitor grantee performance, including careful review of all reports, financial information, and other communication with directors and primary investigators, and execute appropriate follow-up
  • 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
  • Assist in drafting grant recommendations and other program-related materials
  • Conduct research in connection with current and new program initiatives
  • Participate in meetings with current and potential grantees; take notes and maintain notes and files on grant and potential grant activities
  • Represent the Foundation at public meetings and conferences as assigned
  • Keep grant files in the Foundation's file management system up to date; resolve inconsistencies, and prepare reports
  • Gather information and conduct research regarding the development of new grant initiatives and the review of existing programs
  • Research potential grantees and prepare briefing materials for the PACOS and President, as assigned
  • Assist with planning and coordinating arrangements for on- and off-site meetings


The ideal candidate would hold a bachelor's degree; advanced degree in a humanities discipline, social science, law, or related fields is preferred.  The position is not suitable for PhDs.  Applicants should possess:

  • Strong experience in financial analysis and program administration. Ability to read and decipher budgets. Experience with grants administration a plus
  • Superior written communication skills; excellent analytical, critical thinking, and organizational skills with precise attention to detail
  • Ability to work with minimal direct supervision and manage multiple projects, while being a committed team player
  • Flexibility, adaptability, curiosity, and a good sense of humor
  • Ability to anticipate and solve problems proactively; willingness to learn from mistakes
  • A high degree of competency in the MS Office suite, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, and Word
  • 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 Associate - OOP.  We will consider each response carefully, but will contact only those individuals whose candidacies we seek to pursue.