Senior Program Associate - Economic Growth Division

Creative Associates International
  • Location
    Chevy Chase, Maryland
  • Sector
    Commercial
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 09

Position description

Creative seeks a Senior Program Associate for the Economic Growth Division. The Senior Program Associate (SPA) works under regular supervision and performs a variety of responsible, specialized assignments with a project implementation focus. The Senior Program Associate serves as a member of the HQ-based team, traveling internationally for field projects and reconnaissance activities and contributing to the successful and compliant implementation of assigned projects. The Senior Program Associate serves as a primary financial, contractual, and program backstop for project field teams. This position works with Project Managers, Senior Project Managers and Project Directors to solve potential problems using professional project management skillsets. The Senior Program Associate provides operational, research and logistical support to project staff and consultants, and contributes to drafting of relevant programmatic documents and reports. As part of the HQ team, the Senior Program Associate works closely with field teams, and, as needed, contributes to technical aspects of program design and implementation. The Senior Program Associate is also engaged in business development and proposal activities.

Reporting & Supervision:

Senior Program Associates report to Project Managers or Senior Project Managers and may have a dotted line to a Project Director. 

Expected Outcomes:

Project Management

SPAs support project teams in all facets of project ramp-ups, implementation and closedown, contributing to meeting contractual obligations and fiscal targets in line with client and Creative’s administrative, financial, procurement and operational procedures. Creative projects are well-planned and human resource deployments, STTA, procurements are timely and effectively supported by HQ. Project staffing, project obligations, and reporting meet anticipated levels and high-quality standards and develop others’ knowledge and learning.  SPAs keep senior project leadership abreast of significant threats, project implementation deficiencies and opportunities.

Financial Management

Projects meet performance targets and revenue projections based on hands-on project and financial management skills where SPAs proactively manage vacancies, non-billables, and foregone revenue. Projects requiring important course corrections or corporate support are elevated to senior management.

Staff Management

Junior project staff are tangibly supported technically and professionally; their professional objectives and personal needs are well understood, as are those of key staff in the field. Contributions to meaningful, constructive and timely performance reviews of junior project staff is key.  Projects honor all aspects of programmatic and fiscal compliance and SPAs work diligently to identify opportunities to enhance HQ and field coordination and communication.

New Business Development

SPAs make contributions to proposal development and business development efforts.  Creative projects demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and seize opportunities in the local marketplace and pave the way for the realization of new business opportunities. SPAs help Creative’s visibility before stakeholders. Specific new business pursuits are well planned and timely executed.

Learning & Adaptation

SPAs assist in the development of project strategy and program/project implementation from concept to closure. Projects have explicitly defined learning agendas, M&E and Knowledge Management (KM) plans that track progress towards learning, and course corrections that are informed by data. Project information, interventions and innovations are synthesized, shared, tracked and managed within KM plans.  Learning events (i.e., Knowledge Share) capture salient programmatic aspects with potential for replication or scale up. Salient activities are celebrated and promoted through Creative’s Communications Department.

Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities

  • Backstops field projects on technical, financial and administrative tasks for assigned projects and provides financial and budgetary support to project teams in the field;
  • Supports key personnel in the field, including mobilizing and demobilizing expatriate key personnel;
  • Supports project consultants by developing and monitoring agreements, may also coordinate travel and logistics, and oversee the facilitation of payment requests;
  • Supports grant activity management, as needed, by monitoring and facilitating payments for HQ-managed grants and subcontracts to international organizations;
  • Reviews and coordinates the processing of project-related documentation including invoices, ensuring program files and transactions are compliant, properly documented, and organized;
  • Prepares, tracks and realigns project budgets and subcontractor budgets, as directed, and prepares quarterly financial reviews and projections;
  • Develops/submits/reviews contractual requests to the Contracting Officer for all travel approvals;
  • Contributes to weekly and monthly reports, project success stories, and other deliverables as required;
  • Develops intimate familiarity with contract requirements, deliverables and budgets;
  • Develops and maintains strong working relationships with partner and/or donor organizations;
  • Works closely with support divisions in HQ including HR, Contracts, Procurement, Field Operations, Communications, and Finance, to support complex project needs as they arise; builds detailed knowledge of all administrative, financial systems, and operating procedures;
  • Directly manages and ensures the project’s timely development of quality products and knowledge-share events according to project KM plans in close collaboration with the KM team;
  • Directly manages and ensures the timely and accurate tagging, uploading and tracking of KM project products in coordination with the KM team;
  • Provides targeted product development authorship or leadership for KM, as required;
  • Drafts proposal sections and budgets, assists with proposal recruitment process, develops marketing materials, and provides support to Creative’s proposal and business development efforts; and
  • Plans reconnaissance and fact-finding trips in preparation for bids.

Qualifications

Minimum Skills & Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in a relevant field and six years of relevant experience, or a Master’s degree and four years of relevant experience;
  • One short term technical assignment, preferably backfilling a specific field post or implementing a field project.
  • Several years of project backstopping experience for a USAID or Department of State project;
  • Prior experience in international development in a donor funded setting;
  • Prior experience in developing and monitoring proposal and project budgets;
  • Experience working with consultants and vendors;
  • Experience organizing and managing program/project knowledge/information;
  • Experience supporting small grants programs;
  • Strong knowledge of U.S. government donor regulations;
  • Strong writing and editing skills; excellent communication, organizational, and analytical skills;
  • Ability to work well in a team environment as well as independently;
  • Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines; ability to travel internationally on short notice; and
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, MS project, etc.).

Completion of Trainings

  • Completion of all coursework and trainings required at the Senior Program Assistant, Program Specialist and Senior Program Specialist levels.

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Specified level of proficiency in a language other than English, as assigned by project requirements; and
  • More than one short term technical assignment and/or experience working in a developing country.

Application instructions

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