Program Assistant #16-173

Posted by: International Food Policy Research Institute

Washington, DC, US

Job Summary

HarvestPlus seeks a highly-motivated Program Assistant to join our team. The successful candidate will be mission-driven, versatile, and able to perform a range of administration duties in a dynamic and innovative environment. This non-exempt position is a one year, renewable appointment and is located at HarvestPlus headquarters in Washington, DC.


HarvestPlus improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals while providing global leadership on evidence and technology. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by its 15 research centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

HarvestPlus is managed in a complex international context. It currently operates across the financial management, accounting and contracting systems of several independent CGIAR centers. A joint venture agreement between IFPRI and CIAT provides an overall research-based framework, and memoranda of understanding allow for the operation of nine semi-independent offices in eight countries under various CGIAR centers.

Essential Duties

Specific duties include but are not limited to:

Travel and Meeting/Event Administration

  • Assist staff and collaborators with international travel arrangements. This includes arranging itineraries, purchasing air tickets, preparing visa applications, performing travel-related research, booking accommodation, drafting visa letters and invitations, and processing and tracking post-travel paperwork and payments.
  • Serve as logistics point person for meetings and events. This includes reserving meeting rooms, ordering catering services, liaising with Facilities Services and IT Services for room setup and IT needs, compiling/printing meeting handouts, taking minutes if needed, and communicating logistics information to participants. Support for meetings based outside the US includes selecting appropriate venue/hotel and negotiating contract inclusive of meeting support services to be provided by venue staff.
  • Coordinate arrangements for visitors to DC headquarters such as office reservation, keys, hotel accommodation, and travel arrangements if needed.

Program and Office Administration

  • Assist with the development and coordination of a wide range of organizational projects and initiatives aimed at enhancing staff engagement and improving internal communication and coordination.
  • Regularly update and maintain administration databases, staff records, and online staff resources.
  • Provide office support as needed, including ordering/organizing office supplies, preparing international shipments, reporting and following up on maintenance and/or IT issues, processing invoices and credit card bills, editing/formatting documents, purchasing workplace materials/equipment, etc.

Required Qualifications

  • High school diploma and one year of relevant administration work experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English.
  • Exceptional organizational skills, with a proven ability to manage multiple competing priorities and keep track of many details.
  • Must be able to effectively communicate with all levels of the organization and a wide variety of internal and external contacts.
  • Strong interpersonal and collaboration skills; proven ability to be flexible in a team-oriented environment with diverse groups of people.
  • Must be highly motivated and efficient while maintaining good customer service skills as a representative of HarvestPlus to donors, board members, collaborators, and other external contacts.
  • Highly proficient with computers and related software, including Microsoft Office.
  • Excellent typing skills required: 50-65 wpm preferred.
  • Ability/willingness to travel internationally if needed.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Proficiency in a language other than English.

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