Program Administrative Assistant


The Open Society Scholarship Programs support individuals passionate about improving their knowledge and ability to advance positive social change in their home countries. We prioritize grants to individuals in countries particularly challenged by repressive governance and a lack of democratic practice. Using transparent, open and merit-based competitions, we offer awards for advanced study in the social sciences and humanities. Our work extends to preparatory summer programs, regional conferences, and internship opportunities, all of which are designed to cultivate an international community of open society leaders.

Job profile

We are looking for a Program Administrative Assistant to join our team based in New York.   The successful candidate will provide skilled administrative support for Scholarship Programs’ activities across two office locations (New York and London) by supporting daily operational work. The Admin Assistant will work collaboratively with both the New York and London teams and will be responsible for completion of administrative tasks and duties in accordance with established procedures and direction from the supervisor.  The position reports to the Deputy Director in New York.

We are interested in candidates with demonstrable skills and experience in assisting with complex administrative and operational processes.  The successful candidate will have the opportunity to improve and develop their administrative skills in a complex and fast paced environment.  

Essential duties and responsibilities will include:

  • Assisting with logistics for the recruitment and selection of the Scholarship Program’s grantees, including coordinating online application process, answering general program inquiries, processing applications for review, and tracking associated results.
  • Updating  program guidelines and policies, processing grant agreements  and  grant payments, arranging grantee travel. 
  • Handling logistics for regional conferences and staff meetings, liaising with vendors and consultants and assisting with compliance and procurement processes.
  • Providing administrative support for financial activities, drafting contracts, processing invoices and payments to vendors and consultants.
  • Coordinating departmental calendar and meetings, arranging staff travel, and submitting travel authorizations, administering/processing expense reports and invoices, handling intake and appropriate routing of calls/emails, and dealing with public inquiries.
  • May assist with production and launch of publications and keeping track of/creating publication mailing lists.
  • Updating the Open Society website and KARL as required, highlighting appropriate material to be posted on the website, and uploading new material. May assist in day to day maintenance of a central contact database, including organizing information, creating mailing lists, and working with programs to keep contacts current.
  • Ad-hoc responsibilities: May be asked to take on substantive responsibilities or projects, such as assisting in communications-related projects;  may occasionally be involved in conducting basic research; reviewing grantee reports; collecting, compiling, and analyzing data in support of strategy and program evaluation; and other similar tasks.

Candidate Profile

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and two to three years of relevant experience similar to the duties described above.
  • Fluency in both written and spoken English is essential.
  • Demonstrated administrative experience; experience working across multiple locations will be an added advantage.
  • Highly proficient in the use of Microsoft Office suite. Must be comfortable learning new proprietary software systems.
  • Proficiency in using data management and visualization platforms and databases (e.g. Salesforce, NetSuite, Foundation Maps). Ability to present data and information using graphs and tables will be an added advantage.
  • Experience administering travel and expenses, maintaining calendars, record keeping, budgeting management, and finance administration.
  • Capacity for multi-tasking and working independently on complex administrative tasks.
  • Ability to focus and exceptional attention to detail.
  • Proven ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrably advanced organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience working in a team environment.

We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences