Program Assistant - Somalia

United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Nov 20

Position description

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) prevents, mitigates and resolves violent conflicts around the world by engaging directly in conflict zones and providing analysis, education and resources to those working for peace.

To learn more about USIP programs and job openings, go to

These are the values we expect each USIP staff to live up to in their work and in their interactions with their colleagues.

  • Commitment
  • Respect
  • Teamwork
  • Accountability
  • Openness


The Program Assistant provides overall support to the program management and program officers as they accomplish the mission of the Institute. He or she provides day-to-day administrative support for the Somalia project and the Africa program, develops and updates informational material, conducts research, maintains program database, and supports budget and contract management activities.


Program and Administrative Support:
• Develops, edits, and updates program informational items for internal USIP staff members and external guests (e.g., web content, project pages, special reports, fact sheets, etc.).
• Conducts program-related research and writing as needed.
• Maintains program databases, files, and contacts. Runs reports.
• Assists the program staff in setting up administrative procedures for projects by establishing filing systems, logs, mailing lists, etc.
• Schedules meetings and activities.
• Responds to questions regarding general programmatic procedures and standards.
• Coordinates regular meetings with USIP project staff based in East Africa and the relevant team members in Washington, DC
• Coordinates and updates ongoing work plan with the USIP project staff based in East Africa
• Coordinates monitoring, evaluation and reporting for the Somalia project. 
• Completes special assignments as needed.

Procurement, Finance, Budget and Travel Support:
• Maintains contract management, contract execution; including requisitions, invoice and expense processing, and payment monitoring.
• Generates routine budget and financial reports to help monitor program budget.
• Helps reconcile the budget of program by inputting transactions correctly, including in Cash Register for East Africa-based expenses, obligating funds, processing travel vouchers and reimbursements, and tracking the budget using financial software.
• Provides contract management support activities, including drafting the initial contract proposal language, completing the USIP contract template, processing invoices, and monitoring payment of contractor services.
• Completes administrative travel processes for domestic and international travel.
• Processes travel authorizations, advances, cash request, vouchers and reimbursements.

Event Planning:
• Coordinates all logistical arrangements for program events, including reserving rooms, developing invitations, monitoring RSVPs, ordering food and supplies, arranging room set-up, and serving as the main point-of-contact for attendees.
• Develops promotional and informative descriptions of events for internal USIP staff members and external guests.
• Coordinates domestic and international travel and overnight accommodations for event participants. 
• Coordinates Somalia Working Group on a monthly basis.

Performs other duties as assigned.


• Bachelor’s degree (Masters preferred) in international relations or related field.
• One (1) or more years related business or administrative experience to become familiar with general personnel practices, accounting and budgeting principles and coordination of major office activities.
• Knowledge of conflict prevention, management and resolution.
• Knowledge of security sector reform, policing and CVE highly desired. 
• Knowledge of Africa conflict and peace issues, including Somalia.
• Excellent writing skills. 
• Familiarity with budgets. 
• Strong skills in the Microsoft Office Suite, particularly MS Word, MS Outlook, and MS Excel is required. Strong computer skills in database usage is preferred.
• Experience with managing research data highly desired.
• Experience with Pentaho, Momentum/Pegasys and other budget tracking and procurement systems desired. 

• Experience with QuickBase, Salesforce, Concur, and data visualization software desired.
• Strong time management skills with the ability to prioritize work and meet deadlines.
• Experience organizing conferences and meetings.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.

Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application instructions

*Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on*

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