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Program Associate - China

Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation

Beijing, China
Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Deadline to apply: The closing date for applications is June 14th, 2024


The Ford Foundation is an independent, non-profit grant making organization working to address inequality. It has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, including China. (https://www.fordfoundation.org/our-work-around-the-world/china/)


The Ford Foundation China Office seeks a Program Associate (PA) to support the programmatic work and office strategy and learning for the China team. The Program Associate plays a key role in ensuring the successful running of the programmatic team. Reporting to the regional director, they will support the program team in grants portfolio strategy and management, ensuring effective implementation of team strategy and fostering learning across the team.

The Associate’s responsibilities are centered on the research, analysis, and coordination of programmatic activities with a primary focus on the portfolio of grants made to support the China team’s strategy. Program Associates also serve as a conduit for shared learning within the team and across programmatic teams at the Ford Foundation.The ideal candidate is someone with a proven record of successfully coordinating a team portfolio, including making comprehensive assessments of strategy performance, research and knowledge management, and ensuring team alignment on purpose and vision. They are an excellent communicator who is actively engaged in the evolving priorities of the team’s workflow and, therefore, able to problem-solve and work independently to meet the program team’s needs.

The foundation offers a hybrid work model, flexible work arrangements, a dedicated budget for professional development of staff, family and caregiver support, generous time off, as well as affordable and comprehensive benefits.


Grants Portfolio Strategy & Management:

  • Maps all grants so that the team can understand the totality of investments, fostering learning across the team.

  • Analyzes and creates periodic reports that summarize common themes across the portfolio of grants.

  • Creates, periodically, a summary analysis of how investments connect across the team’s portfolio, and linkages to the work of other programmatic or regional teams

  • Reviews grants’ proposals and prepares analysis that reflects grants’ outcomes and contribution to team’s strategic goals, for discussions with the responsible Program Officer and team.

  • In coordination with Program Assistants and/or Grants Managers, monitors grant coding draft. Ensures integrity and consistency of data entry.

Research, Analytics, Monitoring, Reporting and Knowledge Management:

  • Conducts research for the Director and team members using a variety of external and internal resources (e.g., commercial online subscription databases, other web-based reference sources, Foundation information systems, and Foundation archives); consults external experts or other resources as per the research protocol.

  • Supports the Director and team in analyzing data and identifying trends. Enters and compiles information for dashboards and specialized reports to support decision-making by the Foundation’s program staff and leadership.

  • Summarizes research findings in written documents, databases, presentations, or multimedia formats. Acts as the team’s “information architect and manager,” partnering with the Information Management department. Creates substantive materials for the team, collects and manages them according to Foundation protocols, and advises members of the team on how to access and use the information provided.

Grantee Relationship Management:

  • Under the guidance of the Director, follows up on leads and contacts generated through site visits and meetings and holds preliminary informational meetings with stakeholders.

  • Coordinates with relevant colleagues on the logistical arrangements for grantee and network convenings.

  • For convenings and site visits, develops and prepares background research and meeting materials.

Project and Meeting Management:

  • Working with the Strategy & Learning team, creates, implements and updates learning tools for team learning and to share with other programmatic teams.

  • Tracks decisions and follow-up items during meetings and calls and produces meeting summaries based on notes taken by oneself or another supporting staff member.

  • Curates and shares information and knowledge from the team.

  • Relationship Management: Develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders to facilitate the Foundation’s work. At the direction of the manager, attends relevant meetings/conferences to gather information and knowledge to advance the foundation’s work.

General Administration:

  • Assists team members in responding to requests for information or other documentation from the various departments of the Foundation and from others outside of the Foundation.

  • Serves as back-up to Program Assistant, Grants Manager, and other relevant colleagues as needed.


  • 4+ years of experience working in program-related support capacity in the social development sector.

  • Strong commitment to promoting social justice. Excellent written and oral communication skills in Chinese and English.

  • Strong proficiency with data collection, review, analysis and reporting. Strong proficiency with the use of software platforms and high degree of comfort with multiple technology applications, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint and databases. Exceptional organizational and communications skills.

  • Client-service orientation, Demonstrated ability to work successfully in a multi-faceted, multitasking environment. Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in ongoing organizational development.

  • Education: Baccalaureate degree in related field or relevant and equivalent experience.

SALARY: Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation's commitment to internal equity. A generous local benefits package is provided.

The appointment is available immediately. The closing date for applications is June 14th, 2024. Suitable candidates will be contacted by July 5th, 2024. Please do not call us. Applicants who haven't received a response by July 5th, 2024 should regard their application as unsuccessful.

TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter, resume, an analysis essay or research paper to ford-beijing@fordfoundation.org.

Alignment to Culture and Values

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency

  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor

  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues

  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law. The Ford Foundation does not discriminate against formerly incarcerated individuals.