Project Manager, Education for Development

  • Posted on 19 March 2019

Job Description

Position Summary:

Creative seeks a Project Manager (PM) for the Education for Development Division. The PM works under general supervision and performs a variety of complex work assignments that include project implementation, technical assistance and thought leadership, and business development. The PM may assume responsibilities for projects typically of $3M in funding, depending upon variables such as the complexity, projected timeline of the projects, and geographic location of the work. Work involves guiding activities through work plans from concept to closure, working with multiple teams and ensuring coordination and collaboration between HQ and the field. The PM may oversee junior staff providing project backstopping support for financial, contractual, and programs. The PM travels internationally to provide short-term technical assistance to field projects, support reconnaissance activities and contributes to the successful and compliant implementation of assigned projects. This position identifies and helps resolve potential project implementation problems through professional backstopping and project management skillsets. The PM drafts programmatic documents, reports and research; and coordinates operational and logistical support to project staff and consultants. As part of the HQ team, the PM contributes to technical aspects of program design, implementation, and thought leadership in educational development as well as business development and proposal activities. The PM also works closely with the Divisional Business Development Director, helping to position for, track and pursue new business opportunities.

Reporting & Supervision:

The PM reports to a Senior Project Manager, Project Director or Corporate Monitor, assigned as appropriate. The PM may supervise junior level project management staff.

Expected Outcomes:


Projects under PM oversight receive support in all facets of project start-ups, project implementation and project close-outs. Projects are managed purposefully, cohesively and efficiently. Project objectives are clear strategically, tactically and operationally. Challenges and potential implementation issues are preemptively identified and proactively addressed. The PM keeps senior project leadership abreast of significant threats, implementation deficiencies and opportunities.

Project Management

Projects under PM oversight meet contractual obligations and fiscal targets in line with the client’s and Creative’s administrative, financial, procurement and operational procedures. 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.

Financial Management

Projects under PM oversight meet performance targets and revenue projections. The PM proactively manages 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, managerially and professionally; their professional objectives and personal needs are well understood, as are those of key staff in the field. Performance reviews are meaningful and constructive and are administered timely. Projects honor all aspects of programmatic and fiscal compliance and lead efforts to enhance HQ and field coordination and communication.

New Business Development

The PM supports proposal development and business development efforts. The PM contributes to the tracking and documentation of new business opportunities, the coordinating of resources to support informed capture and marketing efforts, the execution of targeted country capture efforts, and writing proposal sections. The PM supports capture coordination efforts across the Education for Development Division as appropriate. Activity design is conducted with insight and intellectual curiosity. The PM supports capture efforts that build on methodical technical preparation and lead to competitive and, ultimately successful, proposals. Projects under PM oversight demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit; the PM is able to seize opportunities in the local marketplace, and to position the company and pave the way for the realization of new business opportunities.

Thought Leadership

The PM contributes to one or more of the division’s technical working groups, helping to apply and advance effective, evidence-based approaches to educational development through program delivery; and provide focus to a coordinated research agenda that positions the company as a leading provider of quality educational programming meeting the needs of both emergency and development contexts.

Learning & Adaptation

Projects under PM supervision have a heightened awareness of the value of learning and adaptation. The PM plays a key role in project strategy and program/project implementation from concept to closure. Projects have explicitly defined learning agendas, M&E plans that track progress towards learning, and course corrections that are informed by data. 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.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Oversees assigned project support staff;
  • Ensures that projects under PM oversight monitor and achieve contractual deliverables with technical distinction, meet fiscal targets, are well planned, resourced and properly tracked;
  • Tracks aspects of project performance; oversees project implementation of approved activities, monitoring timelines, tracking budgets, and supporting subcontract performance and financial management;
  • Represents Creative in stakeholder meetings; communicates with client representatives, i.e. CORs and AORs as well as other partners;
  • Resolves issues in project start-up and close-out; manages project backstopping, key field personnel support, consultant agreements; processing of project finance transactions, invoices, approval and handling of program files;
  • Provides/backstops field projects on technical, financial, and administrative tasks, as assigned;
  • Supports key field personnel; may coordinate mobilizations and demobilizations of expatriates and TCNs;
  • Develops and monitors consultant agreements, assures coordination of travel and logistics, and oversees the facilitation of payment requests; may handle grants management activities, as needed;
  • Recommends improvements to project management standard operating procedures;
  • Ensures compliance of project-related documentation including work plans, staff records, communications, and transactions ensuring they are properly documented, including reviewing project-related invoices;
  • Participates and takes substantial part in pertinent new business development endeavors; contributes to proposal preparation and supports proposal writing efforts in technical/geographic areas closely connected to projects in the portfolio, including participating and/or leading reconnaissance and fact-finding trips in preparation for bids;
  • Assists Education for Development Division business development team to track and pursue new business development opportunities, coordinating capture team efforts and proposal development tasks;
  • Elevates risks and opportunities to senior project management;
  • Reviews, and may prepare, project reports, and other material such as success stories, interventions and innovations;
  • Participates in project learning and data driven adaptation; and
  • Serves as a liaison with Creative’s support units, including HR, Finance & Contracts, Procurement, Field Operations, Communications, etc.
  • Represents Creative and the project at industry events for networking, partnership development, and learning.
  • Assume other roles and responsibilities as appropriate and necessary.

Minimum Skills & Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and eight years of relevant experience, or a master’s degree and six years of relevant experience;
  • Short-term technical assignments totaling at least four months of field time;
  • Experience supervising or facilitating the work of junior staff members;
  • Considerable skill and experience in U.S. government donor regulations;
  • Experience in an international development donor funded setting and interacting with client representatives and other project stakeholders;
  • Experience in writing reports; developing and monitoring proposal and project budgets;
  • Experience in procuring goods and services and working with consultants and vendors;
  • Experience organizing and managing program/project knowledge/information;
  • Strong writing and editing skills; excellent communication, organizational, and analytical skills;
  • Ability to assume responsibilities for project of approximately $3M in funding;
  • Exceptional 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;
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.); and
  • Knowledge of USAID rules and regulations.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of DFID and/or EU regulations;
  • Proficiency in a language other than English; and
  • Previous proposal writing experience.

Only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

Creative Associates International Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

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.

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