Program Assistant, Natural Resources and Climate Change | Ford Foundation

Program Assistant, Natural Resources and Climate Change
New York, NY
Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Natural Resources and Climate Change (NRCC) OVERVIEW

The International NRCC program works foundation-wide, including our office in New York and our international offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America, in support of efforts to help rural communities gain more secure rights over land and forests, especially for indigenous peoples, racial and ethnic minorities, and women. We seek to improve natural resource governance, challenge irresponsible natural resource extraction, promote more equitable resource-related fiscal and tax policies, and curtail illicit financial flows. We also support efforts to promote climate change policies and investments that benefit rural and indigenous communities.


The Program Assistant (PA) will provide administrative and logistical support to three Program Officers from the international NRCC department who are based in the Foundation’s New York office. As such, the PA will support them in organizing special events and projects that advance the team’s strategy. The PA will work closely and pro-actively with them to help manage administrative workflows, calendars, and to ensure smooth-running operations.

The ideal candidate will be a collaborative team player who is driven, able to work independently, and a detail-oriented problem solver with exceptional organizational skills, people skills, and who is able to manage complex schedules and operate calmly in high-pressure situations.

This position is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to learn about philanthropy, gain exposure to U.S. and global work, interested in working on projects from beginning to end and curious about reducing global inequality and promoting social justice.


  • Manage calendars, including scheduling individual and group meetings and required follow-up

  • Assist with Program Officers’ work-related travel, including obtaining visas where necessary; assist with developing travel plans and logistical arrangements, including processing expense reports

  • Assist Program Officers in responding to requests for information or other documentation from internal and external sources

  • Work alongside the Department Coordinator, serving as backup when needed and collaborating, as needed, on workflows, including, but not limited to contract management, administrative tasks and projects

  • Coordinate internal and external resources for the flawless execution and tracking of projects, ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery

  • Assist in the on-boarding process for new hires/consultants/interns

  • Work alongside Program Officers and Grants Managers to determine whether the activity to be funded is appropriately classified as a Direct Charitable Activity (DCA) or an operating budget expense

  • May be asked to monitor contracts, including reviewing invoices and confirming that deliverables have been met before submitting for payment

  • Establish and maintain appropriate files, both physical and electronic   

  • Plan and coordinate logistics for site visits and major grantee meetings

  • Undertake Internet-based research and prepare presentations and other materials (including, e.g., PowerPoint presentations) for program staff


  • BA/BS plus a minimum of 1-2 years of relevant office experience or equivalent work experience

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills; ability to manage communications tactfully and professionally with high attention to detail, efficiency and accuracy

  • Demonstrated proficiency utilizing online information resources and data tools for information retrieval and data entry; experience undertaking internet-based research

  • Highly functioning administrator who is proactive and able to self-manage, prioritize work assignments across departments, manage multiple deadlines, and represent the unit and the Foundation in any given environment

  • Detailed knowledge of and demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office and Google computer applications, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, Slides

  • Experience using and contributing to a formal content or document management system (for example, SharePoint, Google Drive)

  • Enthusiasm for learning new tools and technologies and ability to adapt to rapidly evolving applications and systems

  • Adaptable, able to work in a fast-paced environment, support a high-functioning team, and comfortable with talking to multiple internal and external stakeholders

  • A team player with an ability to work in diverse teams with accountability and responsibility; ability to contribute to a positive, productive, open and supportive environment that motivates everyone to perform at their best

  • A clear communicator; flexible; proactive planning skills, organizational skills, and critical thinking skills; proven ability to problem solve and follow up appropriately on process and procedural issues


  • Solid and strong administrator with calendar management and scheduling experience preferred

  • Strong commitment to promoting social justice; interest and/or familiarity with the social justice issues that Ford Foundation supports


  • This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer.


  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams


  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years
  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
  • Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)


Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity.  A generous benefits package is provided. 


Please apply online:

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.