Program Associate

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
 New York, NJ

The Mellon Foundation

Program Associate

The Mellon Foundation (“Foundation”) believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. The Foundation makes grants in four core program areas (Higher Learning, Arts and Culture, Public Knowledge, and Humanities in Place). It seeks a Program Associate in the Higher Learning program.


The Program Associate assists in the review and preparation of materials in the grantmaking process. Responsibilities include providing various forms of support for the program officers in the grant-making process, monitoring and evaluating the progress of grant-funded activities, communicating with principal investigators and financial directors at grantee institutions, and assisting with preparation of documents for thrice-yearly board meetings. The Program Associate also contributes as needed to relevant research, evaluation, and planning efforts, as well as to various collective activities and special initiatives, and helps maintain an effective and collegial work environment.

The successful candidate will be thoughtful, highly motivated, able to anticipate and move forward with various aspects of the program’s workflow, solutions-oriented, collaborative, and congenial, with well-developed writing, communication, and organizational skills. This position combines independent work on grantmaking activities (such as corresponding with grantees about proposals, reviewing reports, and assisting with preparing recommendations and other materials for trustee meetings), research, and work with colleagues across the Foundation. The work is highly detail-oriented and requires consistent accuracy, the ability to anticipate outcomes, multi-tasking, flexibility, cool- headedness, self-direction, patience, efficiency, and discretion.

The holder of this position will report to the Program Director and work closely with the Senior Program Officers, Program Officer, Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Planning, Senior Program Associate, Program Associates, Program Assistants, and Executive Assistants.

Position Details:

Responsibilities may include, but will not be limited to the following:

  • Assist program officers with the development of new proposals for funding, including advising grantees in preparation and revision of the narrative and financial components of proposals.
  • Participate as needed in meetings with current and potential grantees; take meeting notes and maintain notes and records on grant and potential grant activities.
  • Assist in drafting thrice-yearly dockets of grant recommendations and other program-related materials.
  • Carefully review grant reports and requests for modifications, extensions, and transfers and take appropriate actions.
  • In accordance with program guidelines, and Foundation-wide policy and practice, keep grant records in Fluxx, the Foundation’s grants management system, up to date and complete.
  • Conduct research in connection with current and new program initiatives.
  • Assist in the preparation of special reports for Trustees, Officers and Executive Staff, and program staff regarding program activities.
  • Help plan and coordinate on- and off-site meetings.
  • Represent the Foundation at events as deemed appropriate to the needs of the program.
  • Collaborate with staff in other programs as required.
  • Work with external consultants and evaluators on an occasional basis.
  • Provide support to the Manager of Strategic Initiatives and Planning as necessary.


Graduate degree preferred. However, outstanding candidates without an advanced degree but who have at least several years of grantmaking experience will be considered.

  • Keen understanding of and interest in disciplines in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of organizational practices and field-wide trends in higher education.
  • Strong financial literacy. Ability to read and decipher budgets, spreadsheets, and balance sheets.
  • Experience with grants administration strongly desired.
  • Integrity, discretion, and attention to detail.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  • Ability to work with minimal direct supervision on multiple projects and matters at once, while being a committed team player.
  • 5–7 years of experience in program administration or management, or a related field.
  • Superior research and written communication skills.
  • Excellent analytical, critical thinking, and organizational skills with precise attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated computer skills, including mastery of Microsoft Office suite, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and familiarity with web-based technologies.
  • Knowledge of Fluxx is desirable.
  • Commitment to social justice and cultural equity.

The Mellon Foundation is committed to providing compensation that is competitive and equitable within the philanthropic sector. The estimated salary range for this role is $92,000-110,000. The amount of pay offered will be determined by a number of factors, including but not limited to qualifications, unique skills, credentials or experience that is expected to impact the candidate’s contribution to the role. We will also consider market data as well as the Foundation’s internal pay equity framework. Mellon is an equal opportunity employer and offers a generous total reward package that provides base salary as well as a comprehensive benefits program, and an excellent working environment.

Please note that Mellon maintains a hybrid work schedule, with three days/week in person at the Foundation’s Manhattan offices.

The Foundation will consider each response carefully, but only contact those individuals it believes are most qualified for the position.