Program Officer, International Programs

American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Aug 12

Position description

Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 75 scholarly organizations.  As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences, ACLS holds a core belief that knowledge is a public good. As such, ACLS strives to promote the circulation of humanistic knowledge throughout society. In addition to stewarding and representing its member organizations, ACLS employs its $146 million endowment and $38 million annual operating budget to support scholarship in the humanities and social sciences and to advocate for its central role in the twenty-first century.


Overview of department

The department of International Programs contributes to the ACLS mission of advancing humanistic studies and strengthening relations within national professional societies by extending the reach of ACLS in these two dimensions beyond the borders of the United States.  The ACLS department of International Programs 

Advances humanistic studies through fellowships and grants

  • to North American scholars for study of other areas of the world;
  • to scholars in other parts of the world for strengthening local capacity;
  • to scholars worldwide for pursuit of humanistic studies. 

Strengthens relations in the humanities and related social sciences by

  • building communities of scholars in the world areas and disciplinary fields in which we work;
  • establishing connections between those communities and the relevant ACLS learned societies;
  • partnering with funders whose interests intersect with our programmatic vision;
  • designing and carrying out projects to deepen understanding of issues arising from our activities; 
  • sustaining contacts with our alumni/ae;
  • nurturing new associations founded by our Fellows and advisers.

The Program Officer will join IP team members: the Director, the Coordinator, and the Program Associate, who work collegially to administer current programs and develop new ones.

Job Summary

The Program Officer will work closely with the Director of International Programs and other senior staff at ACLS on activities to support humanities scholars and the communities in which they work.  

The Program Officer will 

  • help carry out and enhance ACLS’s rigorous peer-review processes;
  • monitor the progress of Fellows during and after their fellowship tenures;
  • help administer program-related activities such as Fellows’ symposia, writing workshops, and our Africa program’s residencies for advanced study and publishing initiative. 

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Program management

  • prepare written documents related to annual competitions for fellowships and grants;
  • oversee correspondence with applicants, Fellows, and selection-committee members;
  • manage sub-components of programs, such as relations with African Humanities Program (AHP) residential centers, liaison with AHP Associate Directors in Africa and their offices;
  • support early efforts to create, fund, and plan associations or scholarly societies emerging from longstanding grant programs;
  • enable and encourage communications with alumni/ae of programs, projects, and advisory groups.

Program evaluation

  • assist the Director with narrative progress reports to funders and to the ACLS board;
  • monitor reports submitted by Fellows and grantees;
  • design and carry out self-assessment of IP programs and procedures.

Program enhancement

(in cooperation with the Director of International Programs and other ACLS staff)

  • participate in ACLS’s recently launched strategic planning process;
  • explore new program directions; 
  • assist in convening advisory groups and commissions to address issues in the humanities and related social sciences, especially as they relate to the world areas and disciplinary fields in which we work;
  • explore collaborative relationships with centers of humanistic inquiry outside of the US.


  • PhD in humanities or related social sciences is required;
  • Administrative experience in non-profit organizations, government agencies, or foundations;
  • Demonstrated expressive skills, oral and written;
  • Competence in managing details
  • Excellent planning abilities and the flexibility to work well in a group;
  • Willingness to occasionally travel to events in the United States and abroad, and to work at odd hours in intensive, off-site conditions.
  • Proficiency in MS Office, particularly Word and Excel

Preferred qualifications:

  • Familiarity with organizational or financial planning of new organizations;
  • Experience raising funds from institutional philanthropies;
  • Expertise in using databases, especially relational databases such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter