Program Assistant

Ford Foundation

Position description

The Creativity and Free Expression Team manages the Foundation’s work to address inequality in the areas of arts and culture, media, investigative journalism and documentary film-making. 

The Program Assistant (PA) plays a key role in ensuring the successful running of the programmatic team. Reporting to two Program Officers (PO), they will be responsible for managing the Program Officers’ schedules, travel logistics and support for grant administration. The ideal candidate is someone with a proven record of successfully managing heavy and complex calendaring across different time zones. They are an excellent communicator who is actively engaged in the evolving priorities of the team’s workflow and, therefore, able to problem-solve and work independently to meet the Program Officers’ administrative and event management needs. This position is an administrative support role; however, it is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to learn about philanthropic grant-making and has an interest in the arts, journalism, and film. 

The Ford Foundation is committed to practicing salary transparency. The compensation for the PA is at minimum $75,000 and maximum is $77,500. The foundation offers a hybrid work model, flexible work arrangements, a dedicated budget for professional development of staff, family and caregiver support, generous time off, as well as affordable and comprehensive benefits.


Principal duties and responsibilities

  • Manage two Program Officers’ calendars including scheduling across different time zones

  • Manages team workflow calendar with Department Coordinator.

  • Manage travel planning and logistics for Program Officers 

  • Initiate and manage the contracts process, including tracking payments, and forwarding invoices for payment and processing expense reports

  • Provide general administrative support, including assisting with onboarding for new hires, creating, editing and managing  documents

  • Supporting Program Officers when preparing a CFE grantee event or film screenings as well as other administrative tasks as needed

  • Provide support for grant-related inquiries, including coordinating correspondence records and contact lists

  • Coordinates in office conference rooms, ordering food, briefings with grantees and Funders, including setting up technology to support a hybrid environment

  • Liaises between Grants Manager and programmatic team to monitor and track grantmaking efforts, foundational benchmarks, internal deadlines

  • Participates in weekly check-ins with Program Officers/Grants Manager to align on grantmaking efforts. 

  • Manages information management systems for grant submissions, using both Google Suite and Airtable.  


  • Ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills with high attention to detail and accuracy 

  • Detailed knowledge of and demonstrated proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office and Google applications, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Google Drive, Sheets, Docs, Slides 

  • Demonstrated proficiency in utilizing online information resources and data tools for information retrieval and data entry

  • Detailed knowledge of and demonstrated proficiency in using information management systems, preferably Airtable

  • Possess a learning and growth attitude and open to constructive feedback 

  • College degree plus a minimum of 1 year of work experience or equivalent combination of education and work experience


This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer.

The Ford Foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs, and operations. As part of this commitment, the Foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please contact [email protected]

SALARY: The Ford Foundation is committed to practicing salary transparency. The minimum starting salary for this position is $75,000 and maximum is $77,500.

LOCATION: This position is based in the foundation’s New York office. We operate in a hybrid model and require staff to be in the office three days per week.

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