Program Administrative Specialist

Open Society Foundations
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Aug 02

Position description

We are looking for a Program Administrative Specialist to perform high-level administrative duties that will facilitate the effective and efficient operations of the Eurasia Program.

Our ideal candidate is collegial and collaborative; proactive and resourceful; and unfailingly responsible and dependable. We are an international team based in three countries, working with internal and external partners around the world. Excellent communication and relationship-building skills are therefore a must. We are implementing a variety of projects and initiatives at all times, so our ideal candidate would be able to prioritize, balance multiple assignments simultaneously, and remain poised in the face of changing deadlines and requirements. Our ideal candidate will enjoy maintaining order, even in moments that seem chaotic. A knack for creating internal tracking systems and a love of Excel spreadsheets is always helpful. Even more important is a sense of humor, intellectual curiosity, and a problem-solving attitude. The Program Administrative Specialist will work with guidance and direction from program staff, under the direct supervision of the Program Administrative Officer, contributing to the institutional, programmatic, and financial integrity of the Eurasia Program.

Essential duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Providing advanced administrative support for grant making activities, contracts, conferences, and/or other program functions.
  • Assisting with processing grants and ensuring efficient flow of grants processing, payments, reporting and other similar information, as well as identifying and implementing grants related best practices.
  • Provides complex grant making or other data review and visualization. May help develop reporting tools and templates
  • Conducting research and synthesizing large amounts of data/information to be used in decision-making, strategy development, and evaluation of programs.
  • Assist in managing team/unit's budgets, including planning, tracking, and variance monitoring and reporting.
  • Staying abreast of relevant OSF policies and compliance requirements; assist staff with understanding, operationalizing, and adhering to relevant policies and guidelines.
  • Continually review current program processes to identify suggested areas of improvement, in order to maximize program effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Assisting in complex events planning and managing related travel, logistics, and budgets.
  • Liaising with vendors and consultants, and assisting with compliance and procurement processes, managing associated contracts and payments.
  • Providing regular updates to staff on the state of our philanthropic partners, government actors, private sector stakeholders, and grantees.
  • Managing the team calendar; arranging meetings on behalf of the team across multiple time zones.
  • Ad-hoc responsibilities: May be asked to take on substantive responsibilities or projects, such as overseeing translation and communications-related projects; conducting basic research/scanning of political landscape, grantee updates, policy, and research developments; collecting, compiling, and analyzing data to support programmatic decision-making; and reviewing grantees' reports for relevant information and compliance.


Candidate Profile
  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience/education with at least 3-4 years of experience in an office setting
  • A collegial team player, with a proven ability to build productive working relationships with international colleagues at all levels of the organization
  • Flexibility and a can-do attitude in the face of competing priorities; excels in managing multiple simultaneous projects
  • Superior ability to work with and value contributions from diverse populations
  • High level of self-motivation and strong work ethic; at ease working independently when necessary
  • Creative problem-solver able to navigate complex systems and networks
  • Proven experience handling administrative assistant duties, with administrative experience ideally at a large/complex organization
  • Demonstrated high proficiency with office technology and IT solutions used by OSF, including the Microsoft Office suite. Must be comfortable learning new proprietary software systems.
  • Proficiency in managing data in a complex environment, including proficiency in using data management and visualization platforms and databases (e.g. Salesforce, NetSuite, Concur, etc.)
  • Proven ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment; to troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion, consistently on schedule, without loss of attention to detail and budget.
  • Experience making administrative and procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive and confidential issues
  • Excellent written and spoken communication, including across cultures and office locations.
  • Russian language reading comprehension skills preferred.


We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.

The Eurasia Program works to deepen civil society, uphold human rights, and maintain space for independent debate and discussion in Eastern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine), the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). The program is advanced through grant making, advocacy and research, regional initiatives, and close engagement with local Open Society foundations. Throughout the region, the program works with a wide range of partners from all sectors of civil society, with a particular focus on promoting human rights, combatting corruption, strengthening independent media, securing access to justice for marginalized groups, and creating and maintaining platforms for debate and civic engagement.

We are seeking a Program Administrative Specialist, an operations-minded administrative professional who will facilitate the effective and efficient work of the Eurasia Program. Our ideal candidate is collegial and collaborative; proactive and resourceful; and unfailingly responsible and dependable. We are an international team based in three countries, working with internal and external partners around the world. Excellent communication and relationship-building skills are therefore a must.

We are implementing a variety of projects and initiatives at all times, so our ideal candidate would be able to prioritize, balance multiple assignments simultaneously, and remain poised in the face of changing deadlines and requirements. Our ideal candidate will enjoy maintaining order, even in moments that seem chaotic. A knack for creating internal tracking systems and a love of Excel spreadsheets is always helpful. Even more important is a sense of humor, intellectual curiosity, and a problem-solving attitude. The Program Administrative Specialist will work with guidance and direction from program staff, under the direct supervision of the Program Administrative Officer, contributing to the institutional, programmatic, and financial integrity of the Eurasia Program.

Essential duties and responsibilities will include:
  • Providing advanced administrative support for grant making activities, contracts, conferences, and/or other program functions.
  • Assisting with processing grants and ensuring efficient flow of grants processing, payments, reporting and other similar information, as well as identifying and implementing grants-related best practices.
  • Provide complex grant making or other data review and visualization. May help develop reporting tools and templates.
  • Conducting research and synthesizing data/information to be used in decision-making, strategy development, and evaluation of programs.
  • Assist in managing team/unit's budgets, including planning, tracking, and variance monitoring and reporting.
  • Staying abreast of relevant OSF policies and compliance requirements; assist staff with understanding, operationalizing, and adhering to relevant policies and guidelines.
  • Continually review current program processes to identify suggested areas of improvement, in order to maximize program effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Assisting in complex events planning and managing related travel, logistics, and budgets.
  • Liaising with vendors and consultants, and assisting with compliance and procurement processes, managing associated contracts and payments.
  • Providing regular updates to staff on the state of our philanthropic partners, government actors, private sector stakeholders, and grantees.
  • Managing the team calendar; arranging meetings on behalf of the team across multiple time zones.
  • Ad-hoc responsibilities: May be asked to take on substantive responsibilities or projects, such as overseeing translation and communications-related projects; conducting basic research/scanning of political landscape, grantee updates, policy, and research developments; collecting, compiling, and analyzing data to support programmatic decision-making; and reviewing grantees' reports for relevant information and compliance.


Candidate Profile
  • A collegial team player, with a proven ability to build productive working relationships with international colleagues at all levels of the organization.
  • Flexibility and a can-do attitude in the face of competing priorities; excels in managing multiple simultaneous projects.
  • Superior ability to work with and value contributions from diverse populations.
  • High level of self-motivation and strong work ethic; at ease working independently when necessary.
  • Creative problem-solver able to navigate complex systems and networks.
  • Proven experience handling administrative assistant duties, with administrative experience ideally at a large/complex organization.
  • Demonstrated high proficiency with office technology and IT solutions used by OSF, including the Microsoft Office suite. Must be comfortable learning new proprietary software systems. Experience with data management and visualization platforms and databases (e.g. Salesforce, NetSuite, Concur, etc.) preferred.
  • Proven ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment; to troubleshoot and follow projects through to completion, consistently on schedule, without loss of attention to detail and budget.
  • Experience making administrative and procedural decisions and judgments on sensitive and confidential issues
  • Excellent written and spoken communication, including across cultures and office locations.
  • Russian language reading comprehension skills preferred.
  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience/education with at least 3-4 years of experience in an office setting


Application Instructions - please apply via our website.

*A cover letter and resume are required for all applications.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.
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