Program Administrative Specialist

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 07

Position description

Program Administrative Specialist, International Migration Initiative, New York, Deadline: 03/01/2019

We are seeking a highly motivated Program Administrative Specialist to become an integral part of the International Migration Initiative (IMI). Based in New York, this position is part of IMI's international team, which also operates out of London and Washington, DC, and works with partners around the world.

IMI is organized around four program areas:
  • Welcoming & Integrated Societies : We work closely with local governments to promote innovative integration policies, and also support welcoming initiatives that bridge natives and newcomers. We pay close attention to the concerns of host communities and aim to strengthen their role in integration.
  • 21st Century Protection : Our goal is to renew support in select countries for the protection of refugees and vulnerable migrants, by demonstrating how reforms and new operational models can improve upon and complement existing systems.
  • Fair Work : Our strategy aims to improve government policies and business practices to ensure a fair deal for migrant workers; challenge the culture of impunity by expanding migrants' access to legal remedies; and build a broader, more resilient field of civil society actors to elevate migrant voices and shape policymaking.
  • Advocacy & Special Initiatives : This work supports our substantive program areas with vigorous advocacy, the creation of multi-stakeholder partnerships, and engagement with the private sector.


As part of 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.

Our ideal candidate will have a keen interest in developing specialized knowledge and technical expertise in the aspects of program administrative and operational support, event planning and logistics, grant making, and contracting. The candidate will serve as an expert resource in helping implement IMI's program goals and strategies, 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 judgment.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides advanced operational and administrative support for the IMI team; this includes managing issues independently, identifying new operational needs, and helping to develop and implement solutions to achieve program goals and strategies.
  • Supports the planning and coordination of key team meetings, such as weekly/biweekly staff meetings, team portfolio reviews, staff retreats, advisory board meetings, and staff development opportunities.
  • Helps with scheduling for staff recruitment processes as well as creating and maintaining materials for on-boarding new staff.
  • Serves as a key point of contact with OSF departments across the network; this includes acting as a team resource and liaison on operational matters, project coordination with internal and external partners, helping to pre-empt and troubleshoot on administrative and operational issues as they arise, and supporting the program's operational needs as relates to grant making, contracting, and other relevant issues.
  • Stays abreast of relevant policies and compliance requirements and assists staff with understanding, operationalizing, and adhering to policies and guidelines. May include guiding staff on processes/workflows, as well as providing relevant staff training.
  • Assists with processing grants and contracts as well as identifying and implementing grants/contract-related best practices, helping to coordinate grant and contract processing schedules, handling related invoices and payments to vendors and consultants, and uploading information and running reports in various information management systems.
  • 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), as well as tracking and related variance monitoring and reporting.
  • Other general operational support will include tasks such as: reviewing reports and other documents for compliance, accuracy, and readability; scheduling calls and meetings; taking minutes; arranging staff and consultant travel; submitting travel authorizations; processing expense reports; handling invoice and reimbursement processes; helping to manage the intake and appropriate routing of internal and/or public inquiries; and helping to keep the OSF website and KARL portal up-to-date with IMI program information.
  • Possible ad hoc responsibilities may include 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; reviewing financial reports; and communications related projects.


Candidate Profile

  • 3-5 years of applicable operational and administrative support experience, preferably in a fast-paced working environment within a large organization, NGO, or foundation. Knowledge of the philanthropic sector and experience working across multiple locations is an asset, but not required.
  • Demonstrated experience and desire to make operations run smoothly and efficiently.
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, interpersonal, and proactive problem solving skills.
  • Ability to prioritize appropriately, multi-task and work independently, as well as on a team, when handling a wide range of complex administrative tasks.
  • 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.
  • Ability to set up processes, systems, and workflows, and ensure adherence to procedures and follow-up.
  • Experience making administrative and procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive and confidential issues.
  • Poised, works well under pressure, and attentive to detail.
  • Mature, creative, and a quick learner, with high level of self-motivation, entrepreneurship, and strong work ethic.
  • 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).
  • Interest in acquiring in-depth knowledge of grant making, contracting and other related policies, guidelines, and processes.
  • Experience with record keeping, budget management, and finance administration.
  • Interest in issues relating to refugees and international migration is helpful and encouraged, but not required.
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is essential. Fluency in a second language is an asset, but 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.
follow us on Twitter