Creative seeks a Program Associate for the Economic Growth Division. The Program Associate (PA) works under regular supervision and performs a wide variety of responsible assignments within their project area by serving as a member of a Headquarters (HQ)-based team. The PA provides regular project backstopping support, travels internationally for field projects and reconnaissance activities and helps to ensure the successful and compliant implementation of assigned projects. The PA serves as the primary financial, contractual, and program backstop for a specific project field team. This position works with senior project management staff to solve potential problems through professional project management and backstopping skillsets. The PA provides operational, research and logistical support to project staff and consultants, and contributes drafting of relevant programmatic documents and reports. As part of the HQ team, the PA works closely with the field team, and, as needed, contributes to technical aspects of program design and implementation. The Program Associate also assists with business development and proposal activities, as opportunities arise.
Reporting & Supervision:
The Program Associate will report to the Senior Project Director and may have a dotted line to a Project Manager.
PAs provide consistent and timely support to project teams during project ramp-ups, implementation and closedowns, contributing to meeting contractual obligations and fiscal targets and ensuring program compliance with client and Creative’s administrative, financial, procurement and operational procedures. Project staffing, project obligations, and reporting meet anticipated levels and high-quality standards and develop others’ knowledge and learning. PAs keep senior project leadership abreast of significant threats, project implementation deficiencies and opportunities.
PAs help meet project performance targets and revenue projections based on hands-on project and financial management skills, active management of vacancies, non-billables, and foregone revenue. Projects requiring important course corrections or corporate support are elevated to senior management.
(Sr.) and Program Specialists and (Sr.) and Program Assistants 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 is key. Projects honor all aspects of programmatic and fiscal compliance and PAs work diligently to identify opportunities to enhance HQ and field coordination and communication.
New Business Development
PAs make contributions to 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. PAs help Creative’s visibility before stakeholders.
Learning & Adaptation
PAs assist in incorporating defined learning agendas as well as M&E plans into project strategy and program/project implementation from concept to closure. Project interventions and innovations are well documented and catalogued. Pause-and-Reflect events capture salient programmatic aspects with potential for replication or scale up. Salient activities are celebrated and promoted through Creative’s Communications Department.
- Backstops field projects on technical, financial and administrative tasks for assigned projects and provides financial and administrative support to the project team in the field;
- Supports key personnel in the field, including mobilizing and demobilizing expatriate key personnel;
- Supports project consultants by developing and monitoring agreements, coordinating travel and logistics, and facilitating payment requests;
- Supports grant management by monitoring and facilitating payment for HQ-managed grants and subcontracts to international organizations;
- Reviews and processes project-related documentation including invoices, ensuring program files and transactions are compliant, properly documented, and organized;
- Assists in the preparation, tracking and realignment of the project budget and subcontractor budgets, and prepares quarterly financial reviews and projections;
- Supports the development/submission of contractual requests to the Contracting Officer for all travel;
- Contributes to weekly and monthly reports, project success stories and other deliverables as required;
- Acquires 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; maintaining solid knowledge of all administrative, financial systems, and operating procedures;
- Supports business development efforts by drafting proposal sections and budgets, assisting with proposal recruitment process, developing marketing materials, and researching topics as requested;
- Supports planning of necessary reconnaissance and fact-finding trips in preparation for bids.
Minimum Skills & Qualifications:
- Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and four years of relevant experience, or a Master’s degree and two years of relevant experience;
- Prior 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.);
- Ability to travel internationally on short notice; and
- Professional proficiency in written and spoken French.
Desired Skills and Qualifications:
- One short term technical assignment and/or experience working in a developing country; and
- Solid project backstopping experience for U.S. or other government funded projects.
About the Organization
Creative Associates International is a dynamic, fast-growing global development firm that specializes in education, economic growth, democratic development and post-crisis stabilization. Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Since its founding in 1977, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.