Program Assistant

Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Feb 22

Position description

Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, American institution located in Washington, D.C. and dedicated to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations through education, programs, and research. Our programs focus on facilitating research on security, economics, business, trade, cybersecurity, and other common challenges. We also seek to improve public understanding of the U.S.-Japan relationship in the United States and strengthen people-to-people ties between the two countries through delegation programs, roundtable discussions, and public forums in and outside of Washington, D.C.


Sasakawa USA seeks an enthusiastic and proactive entry-level Program Assistant to join our outreach, research, and educational efforts on U.S.-Japan relations. Our efforts include events and activities for the policy community in Washington, D.C. and regional leaders in other cities, delegation program for emerging U.S. policy experts involving a visit to Japan, and grant programs facilitating better understanding among U.S. Congressional members and staff. The Program Assistant will provide administrative and logistical support to the Director for Programs in all program functions including, but not limited to: event planning, execution and follow-up; filing expenses and tracking budgets; internal and external coordination and communication; and preparation of grant proposals and reports. In addition, s/he will support our research activities as needed to develop new programs, and is encouraged to provide programmatic input such as suggestions for potential speakers and topics The Program Assistant will report directly to the Director for Programs and is expected to work in close coordination with other Program staff, Communications and the Finance & Administration teams.

An ideal candidate will start by June 1, 2019 or earlier. 



To support our programs in Washington, D.C. and other cities, the program assistant will be responsible for the following tasks:  

  • Drafting and sending out event invitations and announcements.
  • Maintaining and updating the program contact database and event invitee list.
  • Managing invoices, filing expenses in a timely fashion, and monitoring program budgets.
  • Facilitating external communication and coordination with program speakers and partners.
  • Facilitating internal communication and coordination with other program staff and departments.
  • Drafting program proposals and reports to grantors/funders.
  • Making travel arrangements for staff members and speakers.
  • In coordination with the Communications Manager, planning and generating Tweets on assigned projects/events and drafting website information; overseeing and editing/updating website and newsletter contents for assigned programs.
  • Providing administrative and logistical support to execute the Sasakawa USA Emerging Experts Delegation (SEED) program for rising U.S. policy experts, including its pre-trip briefings, a weeklong trip to Japan, and post-trip activities. Travel to Japan to provide on-the-ground support.
  •  Travel domestically to provide on-the-ground support for The Alliance Working in America program in other U.S. cities.
  • In coordination with the Communications Manager, supervising the Communication and Programs intern, delegating tasks as needed and overseeing their execution.
  • Serving as the Point of Contact (POC) for Congressional programs including grant programs executed by other organizations, keeping track of grant reporting requirements/deadlines and payment schedules, and monitoring program events and activities.
  • Providing research assistance to support the development of new programs and event concepts.
  • In coordination with the Alumni Program Coordinator, provide administrative and logistical support as needed to support our activities for alumni.  


  • Bachelor's degree in relevant field (Japanese Studies, International Relations, History, Political Science, or area studies relevant to Japan and Asia)
  • Administrative support experience
  • Attention to detail and ability to multi-task
  • Ability to travel domestically and overseas
  • Conversational proficiency in oral and written Japanese
  • Strong written and oral English communications skills
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated interest in U.S.-Japan relations
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Authorization to work in the U.S. (non-US citizens must possess work authorization that does not require employer sponsorship for a visa)

Preferred Skills:

  • Experience in non-profit programs and event planning
  • Experience with mass email marketing systems (Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc.)
  • Experience with contact database management
  • Experience on Capitol Hill
  • Native fluency in written and oral Japanese

Sasakawa USA offers health insurance coverage, a 401k plan, paid vacation and sick leave. Normal working hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm with flexibility on start and end time, with a one hour lunch break and the occasional weeknight and/or weekend event (paid overtime). 

Application instructions

To apply, please send resume, one-page writing sample, and cover letter specifying the possible start date to the attention of Ms. Kazuyo Kato by March 31, 2019. Only applicants who are selected for interviews will be notified.

Cover letter should detail your interest in Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, how your past experience relates to the above responsibilities, and your available start date. Include your name and the title “Program Assistant” in the subject line. All attachments should be labelled “First Name Last Name_Document Title” (e.g. Jane Doe_Resume). 

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