Program Associate

Creative Associates International


Creative Associates International is a dynamic, global development company that specializes in education, economic growth, democratic institutions and stabilization. Based in Chevy Chase, MD (metro Washington, D.C. area), Creative has programs in more than 30 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Founded in 1977, Creative is a minority-owned, mission-driven organization that has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.

We value diversity — in backgrounds and in experiences. We are deliberate and self-reflective about the kind of team and culture that we are building, seeking staff that are not only strong in their own aptitudes but care deeply about supporting each other’s growth. Our success depends on all our employees’ points of view, and the principle that inclusion is everyone’s responsibility

Position Summary:

Creative seeks a Program Associate for the Communities in Transition Division. The Program Associate (PA) works under regular supervision and performs a wide variety of responsible assignments within their project area by serving as a member of a Headquarters (HQ)-based team. The PA provides regular project backstopping support, travels internationally for field projects and reconnaissance activities and helps to ensure the successful and compliant implementation of assigned projects. The Program Associate serves as the primary financial, contractual, and program backstop for a specific project field team. This position works with senior project management staff to solve potential problems through professional project management and backstopping skillsets. The Program Associate provides operational, research and logistical support to project staff and consultants, and contributes drafting of relevant programmatic documents and reports. As part of the HQ team, the Program Associate works closely with the field team, and, as needed, contributes to technical aspects of program design and implementation. The Program Associate also assists with business development and proposal activities, as opportunities arise.

Reporting & Supervision:

Program Associates report to a Senior Program Associate or Project Manager and may have a dotted line to a Senior Project Manager.

Expected Outcomes:

Project Management:

PAs provide consistent and timely support to project teams during project ramp-ups, implementation and closedowns, contributing to meeting contractual obligations and fiscal targets and ensuring program compliance with client and Creative’s administrative, financial, procurement and operational procedures. Project staffing, project obligations, and reporting meet anticipated levels and high-quality standards and develop others’ knowledge and learning. PAs keep senior project leadership abreast of significant threats, project implementation deficiencies and opportunities.

Financial Management:

PAs help meet project performance targets and revenue projections based on hands-on project and financial management skills, active management of vacancies, non-billables, and foregone revenue. Projects requiring important course corrections or corporate support are elevated to senior management.

Staff Management:

(Sr.) and Program Specialists and (Sr.) and Program Assistants are tangibly supported technically and professionally; their professional objectives and personal needs are well understood, as are those of key staff in the field. Contributions to meaningful, constructive and timely performance reviews is key. Projects honor all aspects of programmatic and fiscal compliance and PAs work diligently to identify opportunities to enhance HQ and field coordination and communication.

New Business Development:

PAs make contributions to proposal development and business development efforts, as needed. Creative projects demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and seize opportunities in the local marketplace and pave the way for the realization of new business opportunities. PAs help Creative’s visibility before stakeholders.

Learning & Adaptation:

PAs assist in incorporating defined learning agendas as well as M&E and E and Knowledge Management (KM) plans into project strategy and program/project implementation from concept to closure. Project information, interventions and innovations are synthesized, shared, tracked and managed within KM plans. Learning events (i.e., Knowledge Share) capture salient programmatic aspects with potential for replication or scale up. Salient activities are celebrated and promoted through Creative’s Communications Department.


  • Backstops field projects on technical, financial and administrative tasks for assigned projects and provides financial and administrative support to the project team in the field;
  • Supports key personnel in the field, including mobilizing and demobilizing expatriate key personnel;
  • Supports project consultants by developing and monitoring agreements, coordinating travel and logistics, and facilitating payment requests;
  • Supports grant management by monitoring and facilitating payment for HQ-managed grants and subcontracts to international organizations;
  • Reviews and processes project-related documentation including invoices, ensuring program files and transactions are compliant, properly documented, and organized;
  • Assists in the preparation, tracking and realignment of the project budget and subcontractor budgets, and prepares quarterly financial reviews and projections;
  • Supports the development/submission of contractual requests to the Contracting Officer for all travel;
  • Contributes to weekly and monthly reports, project success stories and other deliverables as required;
  • Acquires intimate familiarity with contract requirements, deliverables and budgets;
  • Develops and maintains strong working relationships with partner and/or donor organizations;
  • Works closely with support divisions in HQ including HR, Contracts, Procurement, Field Operations, Communications, and Finance, to support complex project needs as they arise; maintaining solid knowledge of all administrative, financial systems, and operating procedures;
  • Directly manages and ensures the project’s timely development of quality products and knowledge-share events according to project KM plans in close collaboration with the KM team;
  • Directly manages and ensures the timely and accurate tagging, uploading and tracking of KM project products in coordination with the KM team;
  • Provides targeted product development authorship or leadership for KM as required;
  • Supports business development efforts by drafting proposal sections and budgets, assisting with proposal recruitment process, developing marketing materials, and researching topics as requested;
  • Supports planning of necessary reconnaissance and fact-finding trips in preparation for bids.

Qualifications– Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and four years of relevant experience, or a Master’s degree and two years of relevant experience;

  • Prior project backstopping experience for a USAID or Department of State project;
  • Prior experience in international development in a donor funded setting;
  • Prior experience in developing and monitoring proposal and project budgets;
  • Experience working with consultants and vendors;
  • Experience organizing and managing program/project knowledge/information;
  • Experience supporting small grants programs;
  • Strong knowledge of U.S. government donor regulations;
  • Strong writing and editing skills; excellent communication, organizational, and analytical skills;
  • Ability to work well in a team environment as well as independently;
  • Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines; ability to travel internationally on short notice; and
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, MS Project, etc.)

Completion of Trainings

  • Completion of all coursework and trainings required at the Senior Program Assistant, Program Specialist and Senior Program Specialist levels.

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Specified level of proficiency in a language other than English, Spanish preferred
  • One short term technical assignment and/or experience working in a developing country; and
  • Solid project backstopping experience for U.S. or other government funded projects.

The Salary Range for this position is expected to be: $ 55,800 – $ 68,300.

An employee’s pay position will be based on several factors including, but not limited to, relevant education, qualifications, certifications, experience, skills, seniority, performance, travel requirements, and business or organizational needs.

EEOC Statement: Creative is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, or other legally protected characteristics. Military veterans, Ameri-Corps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply. #LI-NB1

Accessibility Notice: If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process due to a physical or mental disability, please send an email to [email protected].

Please view Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision: Creative will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation. LI-IB#

Only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls, please.


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