Program Assistant, Higher Education Programs

American Council for International Education
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Sep 26

Position description

The Higher Education Department administers a wide range of scholarship programs brining undergraduate and graduate students from such countries as Russia, Kosovo, Timor-Leste, and Turkmenistan to study a broad range of disciplines at higher education institutions throughout the U.S. The Department also manages the U.S.-Central Asia Education Foundation Program (U.S.-CAEF), which provides full scholarship support for students from the five countries of Central Asia to complete undergraduate degrees at two of the region’s leading universities, offers U.S.-based internships to outstanding graduates, and coordinates extensive alumni activities. The Department also designs and conducts professional development programs for visiting university faculty, administrators, and researchers. As the Department regularly develops and implements new programs, it requires a high degree of staff flexibility, creativity, and initiative.

The Program Assistant is an entry-level position, reporting to the Program Manager for Higher Education Programs. Working together with the Higher Education Programs team and managers, the Program Assistant is responsible for providing administrative and logistical support for all initiatives within the department with the primary area of focus on the U.S.-CAEF Program and the Year of Exchange in America for Russians program (YEAR).


  • Serving as the primary point of contact for host institution representatives, including communicating on issues related to admission, enrollment, housing, billing, and on-program support;
  • Maintaining regular communication with fellowship recipients on all program-related matters;
  • Providing support and assistance to fellows experiencing academic, cultural adjustment and/or health issues;
  • Recruiting host families for program participants;
  • Contributing to the development of program materials, including presentations, proposals, newsletters, recruitment materials, fliers, student profiles, and annual reports;
  • Editing program materials;
  • Preparing documentation and processing payments for tuition, housing, stipend, book allowance, and other fees;
  • Maintaining accurate financial records, program activity summaries, and participant updates;
  • Screening application materials for accuracy and completeness;
  • Organizing and participating in selection committee meetings;
  • Assisting with the planning of program events, including pre-departure and arrival orientations, re-entry workshops, and graduation events;
  • Arranging for travel, housing, airport transfers, and other transportation needs;
  • Organizing videos and photos to be used in program materials;
  • Updating and monitoring program websites and social media pages;
  • Regularly updating data in participant, applicant, and institution databases;
  • Preparing electronic and paper files of application materials for departmental needs during selection and placement;
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in international education, area studies, international relations, Russian, or other relevant discipline;
  • Minimum of one year work experience in U.S. university administration, international education, or related fields;
  • Strong written and spoken communications skills (English);
  • Demonstrated effective planning and organizing skills;
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities quickly and effectively;
  • Ability to work independently while contributing to an overall team effort;
  • Effective interpersonal skills;
  • Demonstrated cross-cultural skills and ability to work effectively in a diverse team;
  • Study abroad or international work experience preferred;
  • Knowledge of a foreign language relevant to current or anticipated future initiatives is a plus.
  • Experience working with host family placements preferred;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Excel;
  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite preferred.

Application instructions

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