Program Assistant (Angola / Southern Africa)

from Smile Train
Closing date: 31 Oct 2019

Smile Train is a 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Founded in 1999, Smile Train focuses on providing free cleft-related training for doctors and medical professionals. We have assisted more than 1,500,000 children to date. Check out our website at to learn more.

We are seeking a Program Assistant to support our work in Southern Africa. This person should ideally be based in Angola. They will devise, plan and implement local strategies to achieve the mission and goals of Smile Train in terms of high-quality and safe cleft lip and palate care through effective management of programs and partnerships in Angola. Ensure and take full responsibility for all legal compliance within the region and with the applicable laws of the United States. Be the 'face' of Smile Train in the region. Act when and where necessary to ensure the best interests of the organization and our programs. Prepare and monitor the budget. Be responsible for ensuring full compliance with Smile Train’s Safety & Quality Protocol and organizational Guidelines.

This is a full-time position, starting as soon as possible. Ideal candidates must be based in Luanda, and speak both English and Portuguese with professional fluency.


  • Assist the Program Manager in developing and implementing an annual budget and long-term and short-term action plans to reach as many cleft-affected children as possible with cleft treatment, as quickly as possible, in the most cost-effective manner, whilst maintaining high standards of safety and quality. Submit the budget for regional review and, once finalized, implement the same in the best possible manner.
  • Within the framework of the approved budget, draw up operational plans with measurable targets, specific checkpoints, and clear financial commitments.
  • Institute suitable business processes and necessary control mechanisms for the continual monitoring of financial, programmatic, and medical targets in the region.
  • Assist the Program Manager to receive, review, and analyze all grant requests from local stakeholders, most typically local partner hospitals, and carry out ‘due diligence’ to either reject or approve those that fall within the agreed financial authority and plans, sharing with Africa Regional Director when additional approvals are required.
  • Ensure all operations are legally and financially transparent and in compliance with all local laws and laws of the U.S. that apply to local business practices.
  • Be the local representative and spokesperson for Smile Train, and the ‘eyes and ears’ in the region. Speak up, when and where necessary, about the organization’s aims, values and practices; keep track of cleft-related issues and developments and share this feedback internally and with partners.
  • Lead efforts to share Smile Train’s global messaging locally and help to build the brand and awareness of Smile Train programs.
  • Capture and share stories, images, and videos that help to tell Smile Train’s story and that could be used across the organization to further Smile Train’s programs.
  • Maintain communication with existing partner hospitals in Angola and work together to ensure success of current and future programs.
  • Continually seek out new Smile Train partners that can contribute to the furtherance of the organization’s goals, and elicit their support.
  • Build and nurture the ‘Smile Train’ brand, developing an image of a focused, committed, ethical and caring organization upholding and furthering ‘best practices’ in cleft care. To this end, develop and maintain effective communications with all key external constituencies, e.g. medical professionals, social and voluntary organizations, government functionaries, the media and patients/guardians.
  • Assist the Program Manager in serving as a point of contact for operations within Angola and communicate regularly to keep the Management informed about all significant developments and key plans.
  • Additional projects or activities as needed


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily, specifically:

  • BA or advanced degree in Medicine, Public Health, Social Sciences, International Relations, Law, Accounting or any other relevant degree.
  • Thorough familiarity with the cultures of Angola and fluency in English and Portuguese are essential.
  • 2+ years related work experience in a coordination or management position in a large multinational or national for-profit or not-for-profit organization with significant project management experience.
  • Computer Literacy: Microsoft Office (Outlook, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint) and ability to navigate databases and datasets.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. Public speaking ability
  • Ability to work with a global team, exhibiting cultural sensitivity, a commitment to Smile Train’s mission, strong time management skills, and capacity to work independently with minimal or no supervision
  • Ability to travel and work evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Detail oriented, adaptable, organized and ability to manage multiple projects and tasks successfully.
  • High levels of energy and commitment to excellence.
How to apply:

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