Senior Grants Specialist

  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
  • Experience
  • Posted
    May 06

Position description

The Senior Grants Specialist will negotiate and prepare all pertinent documentation for new grants, cooperative agreements, interagency agreements, awards to public international organizations, and all amendments/ modifications thereto, and supporting documentation such as waivers and memoranda of negotiation. This individual will ensure package of documents is complete for the approval and signature of the Agreement Officer. The Senior Grant Specialist will explain the legal requirements, policies and regulations, negotiation terms and grant procedures to U.S. and non-U.S. organizations interested in applying for grants. The individual will work with client to develop grant funding opportunities and post them on  and advise client’s technical review committee on grants and budget issues. The Senior Grant Specialist must continuously review and update his/her knowledge of the professional field of procurement, especially in terms of the frequently changing Federal and Agency-specific rules, regulations and policies governing assistance instruments.  In addition, the Senior Grant Specialist must be familiar with the technical aspects of the portfolios that he/she supports to permit full and active participation as a representative of the OFDA Team and the Grants Unit.


This position supports the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance’s (DCHA), Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).


Key Responsibilities & Essential Functions:

  • Conduct cost analysis of complex budget proposals in accordance with 2 CFR 200 and internal USAID/OFDA policies to determine whether proposed costs are reasonable, allowable and allocable.
  • Conduct risk assessments of U.S. and non-U.S. applicants to determine awardee eligibility using A-133 audits and Recipient Contract Audits (RCA).
  • Negotiate and prepare complex USAID/OFDA grants, cooperative agreements, and/or other federal assistance instruments in accordance with ADS 303 and 308, as well as, amendments/modifications and supporting documentation, memorandum of negotiation for designated Agreement Officer’s signature.
  • Interprets award provisions for awardees and for officials of the agency and provides appropriate advice and guidance. Advises technical office counterparts/grantees/recipients on their administration responsibilities contained in the award.
  • Develops the solicitation documents such as Annual Program Statements (APS) and Requests for Applications (RFAs) in accordance with all appropriate Federal regulations, selects and includes correct required clauses or standard provisions, and transmits solicitations using  Responds to offeror questions during the proposal or application submission phase; and, determines the need for, and prepares, clarifying amendments, as required, for solicitation documents.
  • Coordinates issues of technical weaknesses and excessive cost with the technical committee prior to commencement of negotiation. Clarifies, and, as necessary, instructs the members of the technical team, on the USAID procurement process. Designs the negotiation strategy, identifies areas subject to negotiation, and consults with technical specialists concerning data submitted by offerors; and conducts extensive negotiations on cost and technical issues prior to award.
  • Review documentation and provide recommendations on award-related issues, provide guidance and support on processing necessary approvals and modifications and assist in formulating the necessary documentation and obtaining necessary clearances to process recommendations/actions with the Activity Manager, AOR, and/or AO.
  • Provide training, technical assistance, oversight, advice, expertise, and consultation to program officials, awardees, review panels, applicants, as needed.
  • Conduct Post-Award Orientation for USAID/OFDA partners.
  • Develop or revise templates, as required, associated with the administration of grants and cooperative agreements to include but is not limited to formal memos and letters, modifications, award documents, waivers and close-out documentation and standard operating procedures.
  • Review and propose updates to informal and formal guidance and guidelines which will include the Guidelines for Unsolicited Proposals and Reporting, grants-related templates, training materials, information bulletins and other resources, as necessary. 
  • Utilize OFDA and USAID management information systems including GLAAS, Phoenix and ASIST for award obligations and tracking.
  • Lead unit initiatives designed to improve internal processes and maximize team performance.
  • Provide document review, mentorship and training to mid- and junior- level grants specialists, as needed.
  • Perform all assigned tasks independently with minimal supervision and/or work in teams, as needed



  • Bachelor’s degree with 15 years of relevant experience; or
  • MS/MA/MB with 12 years of relevant experience; or  
  • JD/ABD with 10 years of relevant experience; or
  • Ph.D. with 8 years of relevant experience; or
  • Less than BS/BA with 20 years of relevant experience


Professional certification in grants management and/or completion of the Grants Management Certificate Program is desired.



  • Experience in the fields of acquisition and assistance/grants and/or financial analysis, law, accounting/auditing, systems or business analysis.  (See “Education” section for number of years of required experience.).
  • Experience working with USAID funded awards desired.
  • Experience working with federal awarding agencies and/or international non-governmental organizations.
  • Experience in managing, negotiating and resolving highly complex tasks, awards and award-related issues in an effective manner.
  • Experience in professional/customer service delivery.
  • Experience in writing and editing office communication products and/or professional materials and conducting presentation.



  • Demonstrated advanced knowledge of applicable USAID Assistance Regulations such as Code of Federal Regulation (CFRs) and Automated Directive System (ADS) series; OMB Circulars and other directives governing grants and contracting;
  • Ability to apply regulations, procedures, and policies to individual acquisition and assistance programs;
  • Exceptional attention to detail and excellent analytical, critical thinking, leadership, and organizational skills;
  • Ability and willingness to mentor junior staff and understanding of knowledge transfer to provide training for junior staff members;
  • Must be able to work independently in a highly demanding environment and capable of handling tasks with varying deadlines;
  • Strong written and verbal communication and presentation skills to express ideas verbally and in writing, document procedures, and professionally represent the organization to internal and external parties;
  • Familiarity with financial management procedures and systems such as USAID Global Acquisition and Assistance System (GLAAS), Phoenix, ASIST or similar applications.
  • Proficiency in basic Microsoft Office suite (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and/or Google suite (docs, slides, sheet);
  • High level of integrity, professionalism and supports teamwork to deliver within short deadlines; and
  • Excellent leadership and time-management skills.

Application instructions

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