Program Assistant, Central Africa and the Sahel - PROGR001822-00001

Closing date

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Peace is our commitment. The United States Institute of Peace represents the American people’s shared values and commitment to peace worldwide. We know that Peace is Security – it advances both U.S. and international security by preventing, managing, and mitigating violent conflict.
We are an independent, non-partisan institution and are actively engaged with peacebuilding efforts around the world. Together we tackle the most challenging problems and hold fast to the possibility of a more peaceful world. To learn more about USIP programs and job openings, go to
If you have a passion for making the world a better place and want to have a front-row seat on the world stage, USIP is the place for you.
The Africa Center seeks to hire an entry-level professional who will support the Africa Center’s mission and projects, with a focus on Central Africa, the Sahel, and regional programs as needed. The Program Assistant provides programmatic, operational, and administrative support including program coordination and scheduling, basic research and writing, and other duties as they arise. The Program Assistant will report to the Senior Program Officer for Central Africa and Sahel and works closely with other Africa Center staff, including the Vice President. This position is based in Washington, DC.
The Program Assistant should be highly organized, able to work with a diverse team, including across cultures, and adept at learning and navigating USIP’s various systems project tracking, travel, events, and financial management. The candidate should demonstrate flexibility and adaptability and have experience and/or education in public policy, public administration, international affairs, conflict management, or Africa programming.
Grade 7 - $49,000 - $50,000
The Institute uses the General Schedule salary tables for administering compensation. Contractor offers are determined based upon candidate qualifications, related experience, internal equity, and the amount budgeted for the position.
Administrative and Program Support
• Provides programmatic support to the Africa Center with a focus on Central Africa and Sahel portfolios in strategic planning, design, project implementation, reporting, and monitoring and evaluating. This includes:

  • Supporting drafting internal and public documents
  • Supporting drafting quarterly reports
  • Supporting project tracking and reviewing project deliverables
  • Managing the documentation of events and projects, including recording developments in USIP’s QuickBase systems and Sharepoint
  • Preparing summary event and project demonstration for USIP’s executive office and other departments as needed·
    • Attend internal and external meetings with partners. This includes:
  • Taking notes and distributing them to the team, as needed.
  • Serving as a connector and representative when other team members are unable to be physically present for the meeting, setting up the systems to allow for remote participation.
  • Build relationships and liaise with other departments at USIP as needed to accomplish the above tasks.
    • Develops and maintains program-related files, documents, and database records.
    • Assists in establishing and maintaining policies and procedures to manage the day-to-day operations of the Africa Center.
    • Develops and maintains relationships with vendors and partners.
    • Coordinate the publications peer-review process in line with publications guidelines and deadlines.
    • Provide program design, implementation, and reporting support to programs.
    • Provide support to the Vice President of the Africa Center for scheduling meetings.
    • Provides support for Africa Center scheduling and administrative functions, including center-wide meetings.

    Budget and Contract Management Support
    • Supports Contracting Officer Technical Representatives (COTRs) to administer contracts, track progress toward milestones, receive deliverables, and monitor contract end dates.
    • Executes the contracting process by supporting the drafting contracts, preparing required contracting information, submitting requisitions, scheduling contract launch meetings, processing invoices, monitoring payment processes, and contract close-out.
    • Liaises with the Africa Center’s Resource Manager and USIP Finance and Procurement teams to track budgets, resolve issues, and review the budget and financial reports to help monitor program budgets.
    • Ensures quality control by inputting transactions correctly and tracking the budget using financial management software.

    Meetings, Events, and Logistics Planning
    • Makes domestic and international travel arrangements for staff and contractors including creating Travel Authorizations and processing Travel Vouchers in a timely manner.
    • Provide substantive and administrative support for small and large invite-only meetings and public events, including study groups, workshops, and other programmatic activities:

  • Regularly updating email lists and consulting internally as needed on invitees.

  • Drafting invitation text and taking RSVPs for events.

  • Using USIP’s event systems to reserve rooms.

  • Operating the virtual portion of the event, including reserving Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or teleconferences lines in advance and operating platforms during the meetings to allow for remote participation.

  • Liaising with reception and security to grant building access to guests and greeting and escorting guests

  • Develops promotional and informative descriptions of events for USIP’s internal staff members and external guests.

  • Arranging for food and refreshments as needed.
    • Schedules internal and external meetings and activities for the Africa Center
    Performs other duties as assigned.
    • A Bachelor’s degree in public administration, management, or business-related field and preferred in conflict, international development, political science, or a related field is required, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
    • One (1) or more years related administrative experience, familiar with general personnel practices, accounting and budgeting principles, and coordination of major office activities.
    • French language skills required.
    • Strong skills in the Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Sharepoint, Teams, MS Word, MS Outlook, and MS Excel, are a must.
    • Experience with project reporting, administrative, and financial requirements for USAID and State Department-funded agreements.
    • Experience with Momentum/Pegasys financial management system strongly desired.
    • Experience with QuickBase is strongly desired.
    • Strong time management skills with the ability to prioritize work and meet deadlines.
    • Strong interpersonal skills are necessary.
    • The candidate must demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively both in-person and electronically and be able to adapt communication approaches accordingly.
    • Knowledge of conflict prevention, management, and resolution.
    • Knowledge of Central Africa and the Sahel is highly desired.
    • Knowledge of program management processes, especially project planning, budgets, and monitoring and evaluation.
    • Expertise in database management and knowledge management is highly desirable.
    • Excellent writing skills, including experience with drafting program reports and supporting proposal writing processes.
    • Experience organizing public events, roundtables, conferences, and meetings preferred.
    • Experience making domestic and international travel arrangements preferred.
    All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.
    USIP is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy and practice of USIP to offer equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliations or belief, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law.

How to apply

To be considered for this position, please submit a complete application package consisting of:

  1. Completed employment application including titles, dates of hire, and salary requirements.
  2. Cover letter
  3. Resume

For questions about this position please email Do not send resumes or attachments to this email address.

Only those applicants that are selected for further discussions will be contacted.

No Phone Calls. Interviews will be scheduled by appointment only.