Program Administrative Specialist

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Dec 22

Position description

Program Administrative Specialist, International Migration Initiative, New York, Deadline: 01/11/2019

The International Migration Initiative (IMI)'s work is organized around three sets of goals: improving protections for refugees and vulnerable migrants; mitigating the exploitation of migrant workers; and building stronger ties between host communities and newcomers. To achieve these goals, we make grants, advocate, create multi-stakeholder partnerships, and engage with actors across a broad range of sectors, including civil society, national and local governments, international organizations, faith groups, and the private sector.

One of IMI's four thematic areas, Welcoming and Integrated Societies (WIS) is a new division of IMI created last spring. Global in scope, WIS focuses on supporting local and community-driven efforts towards welcoming and integrated societies, in which diversity is an asset - both real and perceived. Buttressed by the Open Society Foundations (OSF) network, our work involves engaging strategically with national and local governments, civil society, international organizations, faith groups, and the private sector. We do so through grant making, fellowships, advocacy, research and analysis, and by helping to build multi-stakeholder partnerships. Based in New York, WIS is part of IMI's international team, which operates out of three locations (and two countries: US and UK), working with internal and external partners around the world.

Job Profile

We are looking for a Program Administrative Specialist (PAS) to serve as the principle point of contact performing operational matters within the Welcoming and Integrated Societies (WIS) Division of the International Migration Initiative (IMI), and as a member of the administrative team providing more general administrative support to the work of the IMI.

Our ideal candidate will have a keen interest in developing specialized knowledge and technical expertise in the operational aspects of grantmaking and contracting. The candidate will serve as an expert resource in helping operationalize WIS' strategy, contributing to the institutional, programmatic, and financial integrity of the program, and identifying and resolving problems independently. They will have a high level of responsibility for establishing and maintaining effective and constructive working relationships both internally and externally and will be responsible for managing projects of some complexity. The successful candidate will enjoy maintaining order in the face of changing deadlines and requirements, with an ability to prioritize and balance multiple assignments. They will be rigorous and detail-oriented; collegial and collaborative; proactive and resourceful; punctual, responsible, and dependable, with a superior sense of discretion and judgement.

The PAS will primarily support the WIS Division (80% or four days/week), as well as provide general operational support for the wider IMI team (20% or one day/week). The candidate selected will report to the WIS Division Director and work closely with the WIS Senior Program Specialist.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides advanced operational support for WIS and the wider IMI team. Includes managing issues independently, identifying new administrative/operational needs, and developing and implementing solutions.
  • Stays abreast of relevant policies and compliance requirements and assists staff with understanding, operationalizing, and adhering to policies and guidelines. Includes guiding staff on processes/workflows.
  • Assists with processing grants and contracts as well as identifying and implementing grants/contract-related best practices.
  • Serves as WIS' key point of contact with OSF's relevant operational departments, helping pre-empt and troubleshoot any grantmaking, contracting, and other relevant issues.
  • Assists in complex event planning and managing related travel, logistics, and budgets. Liaises with vendors and negotiates contract terms and conditions. Includes managing administrative issues related to the work of retained consultants (and their logistical support).
  • Manages WIS' budget, including planning, tracking, and variance monitoring and reporting.
  • Reviews reports and other documents for compliance, accuracy, and readability; this may include review of data to assure that it is accurate and complete in accordance with appropriate protocols.
  • Manages the WIS Division Director's and the WIS' team calendars, schedules calls and meetings and taking minutes as requested, arranges staff travel, and submits travel authorizations, administers/processes expense reports and invoices, handles intake and appropriate routing of calls/emails, and deals with inquiries.
  • Ad hoc responsibilities: may be asked to take on other significant operational responsibilities such as conducting basic research; document editing; drafting correspondence, summaries, and background materials; outreach tracking; reviewing grantee updates; collecting, compiling, and analyzing data in support of eligibility assessments, docket write-ups, and peer and portfolio reviews; and reviewing financial reports).


Candidate Profile




  • Applicable administrative and/or operational experience (at least 3-5 years of relevant experience with knowledge of the philanthropic sector is an asset but is not required).
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, interpersonal, and proactive problem solving skills.
  • Demonstrated experience and desire to make operations run smoothly and efficiently.
  • Excellence in communicating with tact and diplomacy, both orally and in writing (including to senior management, co-workers, and the general public). Includes building and maintaining relationships with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds and displaying sensitivity to cultural communication differences.
  • Interest in acquiring in-depth knowledge of grantmaking and other related policies, guidelines, and processes.
  • Poised, works well under pressure, and attentive to detail.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in data management, Microsoft Office, and other office technologies as well as comfort in learning new proprietary software systems (e.g. Salesforce, NetSuite, Concur, and Box).
  • Ability to set up processes, systems, and workflows, and ensure adherence to procedures and follow-up.
  • Experience with record keeping, budget management, and finance administration.
  • Ability to prioritize appropriately and work independently on complex administrative tasks.
  • Experience making administrative and procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive and confidential issues.
  • Experience with multi-tasking and working independently on complex administrative tasks.
  • Mature, creative, and a quick learner, with high level of self-motivation, entrepreneurship, and strong work ethic.
  • Interest in issues relating to refugees and migration while helpful, is not required.
  • Fluency in second language is an asset, but is not required.


Competitive rates of pay apply.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations. We welcome applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences, and are committed to providing reasonable adjustments so that colleagues with disabilities are able to fulfill the essential functions of the job.



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