Program Associate: Job Description

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ("Foundation") is a not-for-profit, grant making organization that believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there.  Through its grants, the Foundation seeks to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.  The Foundation makes grants in four core program areas:  Higher Learning, Public Knowledge, Arts and Culture, and Humanities in Place.  The Foundation seeks a Program Associate in the Public Knowledge program.


The Public Knowledge program supports a range of university, public, and other local, national, and global libraries, archives, and presses that are foundational to knowledge production and distribution in culture and the humanities.  The program's goal is to increase equitable access to deep knowledge that helps to build an informed, heterogeneous, and civically engaged society.  Recent grants have included support for:  data storytelling efforts focused on the US-Mexico Borderlands; activists working in special collections libraries to chronicle acts of social and political resistance; and cohort-building and sustainability for community-based archives.  Please visit the Foundation's grants database to see all of the grants made through the Public Knowledge (Scholarly Communications) program.

The Program Associate will report to the Program Officer for Public Knowledge, and will work in close collaboration with the Senior Program Officer and Public Knowledge program staff on many aspects of the grantmaking process.  This position combines independent work monitoring grant activities and conducting grants-based research with work that is in collaboration with colleagues in the program and around the Foundation.  Occasionally, this role will interact directly with grantees who meet with program staff on-site or in virtual meetings.  The work of the Program Associate is highly detail-oriented and requires accuracy, the ability to anticipate outcomes, multi-tasking, flexibility, cool-headedness, precision, patience, efficiency, and discretion.

Position Details

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

  • Monitor performance of a portfolio that comprises approximately 100 current grants—including careful review of all narrative and financial reports—and evaluate requests from grantees for modifications to project scope, timeline, and budget
  • Assist in drafting and editing quarterly grant recommendations and other program-related materials
  • Participate as needed in virtual and in-person meetings and site visits with current and potential grantees, and take and maintain notes on grant and potential grant activities
  • Stay abreast of current events and developments related to the program area, and draw connections to current and potential grant initiatives
  • Gather information and conduct research regarding the development of new grant initiatives and the review of existing programs
  • Attend regular program and administrative staff meetings

Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree; advanced coursework or degree in library and information science, digital humanities, or a related field is desirable
  • Demonstrated knowledge of organizational practices and field-wide trends in libraries, archives, and/or technology, particularly as it relates to social justice work in the arts and humanities
  • 3–6 years of experience working in a collecting, cultural heritage, or academic institution, or related experience
  • Excellent analytical, oral, writing, and organizational skills with precise attention to detail
  • Sustained personal engagement with low-income communities and/or with communities in the US that are underrepresented in the philanthropy workforce
  • Motivated, disciplined, and comfortable working both independently and collaboratively in a high-volume environment with multiple overlapping timelines
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and curiosity with the ability to anticipate and solve problems proactively
  • Facility with Excel and SharePoint
  • Familiarity with web-based technologies and data visualization and analysis applications, or a willingness to learn and experiment is desirable
  • Commitment to the Foundation's mission and core values

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.  The Foundation will consider each response carefully, but only contact those individuals it believes are most qualified for the position.