Abt Associates

Program Specialist

Abt Associates

Job Description


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 worldwide. 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 https://www.usip.org/about/careers.

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 (PS) provides overall support to all the USIP Sudan and South Sudan Program, by providing program/project management implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and day-to-day programmatic and administrative support for the program. Develops and updates informational material, conducts research, maintains program databases, and supports budget and Contract Management activities. This position is based in Washington D.C. and reports to the Senior Program Officer (SPO).


Grade 10- $68,000 - $70,000 The Institute uses the General Schedule salary tables for administering compensation. Offers are determined based upon candidate qualifications, related experience, internal equity, and the amount budgeted for the position.


Program Management and Support: • Supports program management work to ensure a complex suite of projects in Sudan and South Sudan are planned and implemented successfully and on time.

• Support and lead, where applicable, the drafting and timely planning and execution of program strategy and plans.

• Coordinating in-country project implementation and partner engagement on select small projects.

• Assists in the overall program and project development, management, monitoring evaluation, and learning.

• Support and lead, where applicable, monitoring and evaluation efforts of the program.

• In collaboration with the team, develops, edits, and updates concept notes, proposals, program and project reports, and informational items for internal USIP staff members and external audiences (e.g., progress reports, web content, project pages, special reports, fact sheets, etc.).

• Conducts program-related research and writing as needed by the SPO.

• Assists the program staff in setting up administrative procedures for projects by designing or optimizing filing systems, tracking systems, mailing lists, etc.

• Schedules meetings and activities and follows up on action items to ensure their completion.

• Assists and guides with tasks and work of program team, including HQ-based staff and staff based in Sudan and South Sudan as requested.

• Updates program policies and procedures for compliance.

Procurement, Finance, Budget, and Travel Support:

• Generates routine budget and financial reports, and analyzes the program budget (e.g., monitors expenditures, schedules payments, and reviews budget reports) in order to develop recommendations for the SPO and Program Leadership on budget-related matters.

• Helps reconcile the budget of the program by ensuring obligations are expended, processing travel vouchers and reimbursements, and tracking the budget using financial software.

• Coordinates and optimizes contract management and execution support, including drafting contracts and budgets, and processing and tracking requisitions, receipts, and invoices. This is done in collaboration with HQ-based staff.

• Provides technical advice to program staff on contract-related requirements.

• Ensures administrative travel processes for domestic and international travel.

Events and Publications Support:

• Manage the development and execution of event and publication strategies in collaboration with the team and under the guidance of the program leadership.

• Coordinates all logistical arrangements for program events, including reserving rooms, developing invitations, monitoring RSVPs, ordering food and supplies, arranging room set-up, and serving as the main point of contact for attendees.

• Develops promotional and informative descriptions of events for internal USIP staff members and external guests.

• Coordinates domestic and international travel and overnight accommodations for event participants.

Knowledge Management:

• Responsible for building and maintaining project databases with after-action reporting, quarterly and final reporting, tracking of programmatic decision-making, correspondence with U.S. Government partners, and ensuring the capture of institutional knowledge and lessons learned within the database.

• Ensures that program databases, files, and contacts are organized and maintained.

Performs other duties as assigned.


• A Bachelor’s degree with four (4) of experience in peace/conflict, International Relations, or related fields is required.

• A Master’s degree with three (3) years of experience in peace/conflict, international relations, business Administration, or related field is preferred.

• The ability to anticipate program needs and challenges and, more importantly, develop options for addressing those needs and challenges is required.

• Project planning and management, proposal writing, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, and writing skills are required.

• Excellent written and oral communications skills are required.

• The ability to travel to Africa is required.

• Written and spoken proficiency in Arabic is required.

• Knowledge of East African history, culture, and politics, especially Sudan and South Sudan is preferred.

• Ability to work as a team player.

• Experience with budgets and cost management.

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

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

• Experience organizing conferences and meetings, making domestic and international travel arrangements preferred.

Performs other duties as assigned.

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

Following the Federal mandate, USIP will require USIP employees and contractors to be fully vaccinated (except for religious and health exemptions). The vaccine mandate applies to employees and contractors with building access regardless of telework or remote status.


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 recruitment@usip.org. 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.

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