Program Specialist, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island - PROGR001823-00001

Closing date


Who We Are

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 Program Specialist will support USIP’s work in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands Regions. The program focuses on working with local partners to build more peaceful and resilient societies and closer ties between the United States and these regions. The Program Specialist will support substantive research and writing, help manage program activities, provide day-to-day administrative and logistical support, and undertakes other tasks as assigned. The Program Specialist will work closely with the Southeast Asia Senior Expert to develop new programming on Indonesia and the Pacific Islands Region. The position is based in Washington, D.C., and reports to USIP’s Southeast Asia Senior Expert.


Grade 10 - $66,000 - $68,000

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.


Research Support:

* Assists the Southeast Asia Senior Expert with substantive research, writing and project development.

* Works with the Southeast Asia Senior Expert to define research priorities and identify research partners.

* Coordinates with the Asia Center Research and Publications Program Officer to peer review and edit products written by USIP or external authors.

* Builds and maintains substantive expertise on a range of issues related to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands Region.

* Writes and/or assists in writing and publishing articles for USIP website and other USIP and external publications.

Program Planning Support:

* Develops, edits, and updates program informational items for internal USIP staff members and external audiences (e.g., web content, project pages, event pages, etc.).

* Supports program strategy development

* Maintains program databases, files, and SalesForce contacts, and holds responsibility for the accuracy of the data.

* Completes special assignments as needed, including internal research assignments on potential new programming areas as needed.

* Assists the Senior Expert in identifying new programming and supporting the management of existing program activities (e.g., plans, develops, coordinates and implements the program’s support services).

* Assists in the development of concept notes and proposals for new areas of research and programming as needed.

* Coordinates the implementation of the day-to-day operations of the program.

* Coordinates with key external stakeholders regarding the day-to-day planning and coordination of the program in order to support program goals and objectives.

* Assists in the reviewing and evaluation of program goals and objectives.

* In coordination with the Senior Expert for Southeast Asia, assists the Senior Expert for Vietnam with publications and meetings in support of the Vietnam War Legacies and Reconciliation Initiative.

Budget and Contract Management:

* Prepares requisitions, invoice and expense processing, cash requests, payment monitoring of contract services, and generating budget reports.

* Maintains contract tracking system. Equipped to answer basic questions about any contract under the Southeast Asia teams’ management (e.g. contract expiration date, amount of funds remaining, latest payment, etc.).

* Assists in the preparation of the initial program budget to be reviewed and approved by the Southeast Asia Senior Expert.

* Serves as Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative as needed and appropriate.

* Serves as the main point of contact for external contractors or vendors on any contractual or logistical-related items.

* Achieves mastery of USIP financial management systems and is recognized by teammates as the ‘go-to’ person for questions related to financial management.

* Alongside the Senior Expert, analyzes the program budget (e.g., monitors expenditures, schedules payments, and reviews budget reports) in order to develop recommendations on budget-related matters.


* Assists in the planning and organizing of workshops and other meetings in Washington, D.C. and in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands Region.

* Coordinates all logistical arrangements for program events, including reserving rooms, drafting and formatting event text, sending out invitations and monitoring RSVPs, ordering food and supplies, arranging room set-up, and serving as the main point-of-contact for attendees.

* Drafts event text, agendas, panelist bios, etc. and develops promotional and informative descriptions of events for internal USIP staff members and external audiences.

* Liaises with panelists and/or co-sponsoring organizations.

* Creates web content for events on USIP website and Exact Target.

* Serves on USIP-wide events assistance roster.

Performs Other Duties as Assigned.


* Bachelor’s degree (Masters preferred) in international relations or related field required.

* Four (4) or more years of relevant work experience, preferably related to Southeast Asia required.

* Knowledge of Southeast Asian think tank and academic landscape, and experience collaborating with such institutions. Experience with institutions in the Pacific Islands Region a plus.

* Experience assisting in the organization of conferences, meetings, and events, including with partner organizations in Southeast Asia, preferred.

* Competency in a major Southeast Asian language, preferably Indonesian, strongly preferred.

* Excellent writing skills, with record of publication on Southeast Asian affairs.

* Competence in program administration and financial management.

* Strong skills in the Microsoft Office Suite, particularly MS Word, MS Outlook, and MS Excel is required. Strong computer skills in database usage is preferred.

* Strong time management skills with the ability to prioritize work and meet deadlines.

* Experience organizing conferences, meetings, and events preferred.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.


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.

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 apply for this position, please use the following URL: