Program Assistant

Ford Foundation
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    May 13

Position description

To be considered for employment at Ford Foundation, please complete our online employment application. Your application and all required attachments must be submitted for each individual job post for which you are interested in applying. If there is an application deadline, please ensure that your application is submitted by the deadline. Once you submit your application you will not be able to edit your application.



Creativity & Free Expression manages the Foundation’s work to address inequality in the areas of arts and culture, media and investigative journalism and documentary film-making. The Program Assistant (PA) will provide administrative and logistical support to one Program Officer from the Creativity and Free Expression team whose portfolio focuses on the development and support of high-quality, principled reporting in the United States, with an emphasis on social justice, a diversity of voices, and press freedoms. The PA will manage various activities for the Program Officer, including meetings, calendar of appointments and work-related travel.


The ideal candidate will be a confident and detail-oriented problem solver with exceptional organizational skills , and people skills, who is able to manage complex schedules and operate calmly in high-pressure situations.


This position is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to learn about philanthropic grant-making and gain a deeper understanding of how the arts, journalism, and film can contribute to fairer and more just societies.



  • Manage calendars, including scheduling individual and group meetings and required follow-up

  • Assist with Program Officers’ work-related travel, including obtaining visas where necessary; assist with developing travel plans and logistical arrangements, including processing expense reports

  • Assist Program Officer in responding to requests for information or other documentation from internal and external sources

  • Coordinate internal and external resources for the flawless execution and tracking of projects, ensuring on-time and on-budget delivery

  • Plan and coordinate logistics for site visits and major grantee meetings

  • Request administrative and support information relative to grantee proposals and grant actions

  • Establish and maintain appropriate files, including virtual grant file records    

  • Support the development of grant recommendations through editing and information compilation

  • Undertake Internet-based research and prepare presentations and other materials (including, e.g., PowerPoint or Prezi presentations) for program staff

  • Complete baseline data analyses as needed



  • BA/BS plus a minimum of 1-2 years of relevant office experience or equivalent work experience

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills; ability to manage communications tactfully and professionally with high attention to detail and accuracy

  • Demonstrated proficiency utilizing online information resources and data tools for information retrieval and data entry; experience undertaking internet-based research

  • Detailed knowledge of and demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office and Google computer applications, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, Slides

  • Experience using and contributing to a formal content or document management system (for example, SharePoint, Google Drive)

  • Enthusiasm for learning new tools and technologies and ability to adapt to rapidly evolving Ford Foundation applications and systems

  • Adaptable, able to work in a fast-paced environment and comfortable with talking to multiple internal and external stakeholders

  • Highly functioning administrator who is proactive and able to self-manage, prioritize work assignments across departments, manage multiple deadlines, and represent the unit and the Foundation in any given environment

  • A team player with an ability to work in diverse teams with accountability and responsibility; ability to contribute to a positive, productive, open and supportive environment that motivates everyone to perform at their best

  • A clear communicator; flexible; proactive planning skills, organizational skills, and critical thinking skills; proven ability to problem solve and follow up appropriately on process and procedural issues



  • Solid and strong administrator with some calendar management and scheduling experience preferred

  • Strong commitment to promoting social justice; interest and/or familiarity with the social justice issues that Ford supports



  • This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer.


Alignment to Culture and Values

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams


  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years
  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
  • Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)

Salary:  Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity.  A generous benefits package is provided. 

Application instructions

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