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Program Assistant, Public Understanding

Company Overview

Carnegie Corporation of New York, which was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding," is one of the oldest, largest and most influential of American grantmaking foundations.

Job Summary

We currently has an exciting opportunity for an individual who is passionate about education reform and thrives in a creative, team-oriented, and problem-solving environment.

The ideal candidate for the role of Program Assistant, Public Understanding, is someone who is proactive, has high initiative, is creative, energetic, well organized, and able to multi-task, prioritize, learn quickly, and has job experience and/or exposure to the education or communications sector.  The Program Assistant position will be responsible for providing programmatic and administrative support to the Program Officer in the Education Department who is focusing on Public Understanding.

The Education Program is grounded in a vision for student success that is, we believe, both forward-looking and consistent with the long-standing commitments of Carnegie Corporation of New York. For U.S. students to be successful participants in a robust democracy and an ever-evolving global economy, they need to attain deep academic content knowledge within and across the core academic areas and develop a broad range of essential skills and capacities, including the academic perseverance, mindsets, learning strategies, and social skills that lead to college graduation and long-term life success. Our strategy is based on the belief that all young people – regardless of race, economic background, or place of residence – are entitled to personalized, rigorous, and coherent learning experiences that ensure they meet this comprehensive and balanced definition of student success. Through our Education Program, we aim to serve as a catalyst in the field to inspire and enable students, families, educators, civic leaders, and other crucial partners to innovate, collaborate, and build knowledge in order to advance this vision.

A central component of the Education Program strategy is building public understanding, will, and demand for education reform that enables all students to build the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need for future success. We therefore approach our Public Understanding work both through topic areas related to our core portfolios in New Designs to Advance Learning and Teaching and Leading and by exploring different channels to reach key stakeholders.

The Public Understanding portfolio is designed to increase the engagement of students, families, communities, educators, policymakers, and the general public in supporting an expanded vision of student success and to build public demand for an equitable, high-quality education system.  Authentic engagement with families and communities in particular will be foundational, we believe, to transformative and sustainable change.  Parents in particular need better ways to understand and engage with educators about how their children are performing and what it will take for them to be college-ready.  Parents also need actionable tools and resources so they can help their children along this trajectory.

The Public Understanding portfolio pursues four major goals:

  • Supporting research on strategies that can drive parent and family engagement in education at the local level
  • Developing tools and resources to help parents understand and support the learning progress of children
  • Increasing productive dialogue about improving public education among parents, students, educators, and other stakeholders
  • Moving public discourse forward regarding important shifts in the educational landscape

Responsibilities and Duties

  • To sustain an accurate working knowledge of the current trends, professional practices, and developing policy issues pertinent to the program area.
  • For the investigative phase of the grantmaking process, conduct background research on prospective grantees and their capabilities, including on-site visits; to review and assess active proposals for consideration and to solicit proposal reviews from qualified scholars and experts when appropriate.
  • For the docket phase of the grantmaking process, to conduct negotiations with prospective grantees, review and approve budgets, compose and submit confidential staff evaluations of projects to the board, review and approve all relevant information corroborating the recommendation that is included in the docket.
  • Represent the Corporation at meetings and prepare meeting summaries.
  • Provide administrative support to Program Officer, and manage travel, expenses and scheduling.
  • Monitor active projects, communicate regularly with grantees, and assist active projects as needed, including appropriate on-site assessments of active projects; monitoring progress of grants; review and approve grantee requests for grant modification.
  • Draft correspondence and other miscellaneous duties as required.

Qualifications and Skills

A college degree and willingness to pursue an advanced degree.  Advanced degree a plus.  At least three years of full time work experience in the field of education.  Proactive, with strong presentation and listening skills, good planning and organizational skills, strong interpersonal skills, excellent writing ability, project management skills.  Exposure to grantmaking experience a plus.  Willingness to travel, savvy user of technology.

Benefits and Perks

Competitive salary and excellent benefit offering including medical, dental, life & long-term care insurance, contribution to a retirement savings account, flexible benefits, and a generous paid-time off policy.

Carnegie Corporation of New York is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversifying its workforce and is firmly committed to complying with all federal, state and local equal employment opportunity (“EEOC”) laws.  The Carnegie Corporation of New York strictly prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment because of the individual’s race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, height and weight, disability, and any other characteristic protected by law.  The Corporation abides by all applicable rules and regulations in its recruiting and employment practices, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state disability laws.


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