Program Assistant, Afghanistan and Central Asia Program

United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Mar 01

Position description

If you have a passion for making the world a better place and want to have a front row seat to the world stage, USIP is the place for you

We are a nonpartisan institute chartered by Congress to tackle the world’s toughest problems.  Working in conflict zones around the world, our staff advise and support the military, government officials and community leaders – to promote knowledge and practices that prevent, mitigate and resolve violent conflict.  To learn more about USIP programs and job openings go to  The Institute is headquartered in Washington DC with staff working in 22 different countries, at any given time up to 20% of the staff could be deployed working in the field. 


The Program Assistant will help manage program activities, provide day-to-day administrative and logistical support for the program, and assist the director with research and writing.


Research Support:

  • Conducts substantive research, writing and assists the Director and Afghanistan team staff with project development.
  • Works with director of the program and the Afghanistan and Central Asia teams to define research priorities and identify partners.
  • Assists the Afghanistan and Central Asia teams with program assessments and communicating program lessons and successes.
  • Peer reviews and edits products written by USIP authors.
  • Builds and maintains substantive expertise on a range of issues related to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Program Planning Support:

  • Supports all aspects of event organization and management.
  • Assists the director in identifying new programming and managing existing program activities (e.g., plans, develops, coordinates and implements the program’s support services).
  • Coordinates the implementation of the day-to-day Washington operations of the program.
  • Coordinates with key external stakeholders regarding the day-to-day planning and coordination of the program in order to support program goals and objectives.
  • Assists in the evaluation of program goals and objectives, with occasional travel to Afghanistan KBO office.
  • Develops, updates and edits various program documents and website material.
  • Maintain and expand contact lists related to Afghanistan and Central Asia events
  • Assist with public outreach regarding Afghanistan products particularly web and social media outreach.

Budget and Contract Management:

  • Prepares the initial program budget to be reviewed and approved by the director.
  • Assists with analyzing the financial data from software systems to provide program leadership with the status of the program financials or other items. Develops recommendations on any actions that may be required to ensure the program has the resources necessary to meet its goals and objectives.
  • Compiles program funding proposals for submittal.
  • Manages vendor contracts and payment receipts (e.g., writing a wide variety of contracts with external organizations to support special events or program activities).
  • Provides technical advice on contract related requirements.
  • Supports the director in developing funding concept notes and proposals as requested.
  • Serves as the main point of contact for external contractors or vendors on any contractual or logistical-related items.

Special Projects:

  • Participates in at least one working group within the Institute.

Performs Other Duties as Assigned.


  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals of countries listed in a U.S. Collective Defense Arrangement per the Department of State. To see a list of those countries, go to

  • Bachelor’s degree in international relations or related field required.

  • One year of relevant work experience, preferably related to Afghanistan, required.

  • Excellent writing skills.

  • Competence in program administration and financial management.

  • 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.

  • Strong time management skills with the ability to prioritize work and meet deadlines.
  • Experience organizing conferences, meetings, and events preferred.

Application instructions

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