Program Specialist

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Last update: May 18, 2022 Last update: May 18, 2022


Deadline: Jun 17, 2022 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: USA USA
Sectors: Administration Administration
Job type: Permanent position
English English
Work experience: From 1 years
Date posted: May 18, 2022
Expected starting date: Jun 18, 2022


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Creative Associates International is a fast-growing, social impact company that specializes in the areas of education, economic growth, democratic transitions and stabilization in post-conflict environments. Based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this global development organization has a field presence is more than 25 countries and a strong client portfolio of that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department. Since its founding in 1977 by four enterprising women, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.

Position Summary:

Creative seeks a Program Specialist for the Communities in Transition Division. The Program Specialist (PS) works under close supervision performing a variety of work activities within their project area, which includes providing project backstopping support, as well as traveling internationally for field project and reconnaissance activities. Projects assigned may be complex in nature or include a portfolio of projects in a specific practice area. This position provides regular support to Program Associates, Project Manager(s), other program support staff, and field team members. The Program Specialist executes various operational activities and implements project-related decisions; assists with business development initiatives and supports staff who are responsible for technical program design and implementation. The position is based in Washington, DC.

Reporting & Supervision:

Program Specialist will report to a Project Manager.

NOTE: Different projects require different levels of project management skills based on their strategic importance, project profile and complexity, specificity, scope, and geographic location. Creative formally sanctions, and reserves the right to modify, the skill and position level(s) needed for each project.

Expected Outcomes:

Project Management

PSs provide consistent and timely support to project teams during project implementation of assigned projects, working closely with field and HQ teams to help meet contractual obligations and fiscal targets. PSs helps to ensure program compliance with client and Creative's administrative, financial, procurement and operational procedures and keep senior project leadership abreast of significant threats, project implementation deficiencies and opportunities.

Financial Management

PSs help meet project performance targets and revenue projections by tracking and monitoring functions for procurement of materials and services and reviewing/processing invoices and payment documentation. PSs may also assist with active management of vacancies, non-billables, and foregone revenue. Project issues requiring important course corrections or corporate support are elevated to senior management.

New Business Development

PSs will assist with proposal development and business development efforts, as needed. Creative projects demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and seize opportunities in the local marketplace and pave the way for the realization of new business opportunities.

Learning & Adaptation

PSs learn to incorporate defined learning agendas and M&E plans into program/project implementation as well as help document and catalog project interventions, innovations, tools and products as outlined in project Knowledge Management plans.

  • Performs technical, financial and administrative backstopping tasks for the field project team on assigned projects;
  • Reviews and processes project documentation including invoices, and ensures transaction compliance;
  • Develops and monitors consultant agreements including coordinating travel and facilitating timely payments;
  • Works on assigned business development and proposal activities, as needed;
  • Provides support on technical program design and implementation;
  • Uses mastery of company's administrative, financial systems, and operating procedures, including Creative's project management systems in performing duties;
  • Works closely with support divisions in HQ--including HR, Contracts, Procurement, Field Operations, Communications, and Finance-- to support complex project needs as they arise;
  • Utilizes knowledge of contract requirements, deliverables and budgets to manage key aspects of project documentation; conducts supplementary research in support of project activities.
  • Uploads, catalogues and tracks project documents and knowledge products on SharePoint in coordination with the KM team, ensuring they are shared and accessed per project KM plans.
  • Provides support to expatriate and TCN personnel, particularly with their allowances, as needed;
  • Plans and participates in reconnaissance and fact-finding trips in preparation for bids; travels to project sites or on reconnaissance, if needed; and
  • May represent a practice area before other Creative teams, clients and critical audiences.

NOTE: Your job title is based on the role you perform and you must meet the minimum qualifications for that job title. Greater (higher) education and experience than minimum qualifications do not automatically classify you into a higher-level job title/position.

  • Bachelor's Degree in a relevant field and one year of relevant experience, or a Master's degree and no relevant experience;
  • Experience tracking budgets and program expenses;
  • Experience working with consultants and vendors;
  • Experience organizing and managing program/project knowledge/information;
  • Experience supporting small grants programs;
  • Knowledge of U.S. government donor regulations;
  • Strong writing and editing skills;
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills;
  • Strong organizational and administrative skills;
  • Ability to work well in a team environment as well as independently;
  • Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, MS project, etc.); and
  • Ability to travel internationally on short notice.

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Proficiency in Arabic desired.
  • One year of work experience involving project backstopping for U.S. or other government funded projects.
  • Experience in Middle East and North Africa preferred.
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