Program Associate

SUMMARY:

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation (CGMF) is a mission-driven, grantmaking foundation that seeks innovative, sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems. The foundation funds high impact projects in Texas at the nexus of environmental protection, social equity, and economic vibrancy. Since its incorporation in 1978, the CGMF, along with the late George P. Mitchell and Cynthia Woods Mitchell, has distributed or pledged more than $400 million in grants to numerous causes, programs, and institutions. The foundation’s grantmaking currently focuses on initiatives related to water, clean energy, shale sustainability, and sustainability education. George Mitchell passed away in July 2013, leaving a substantial bequest to the foundation that will be fulfilled over the next few years. The CGMF Board of Directors expects the endowment of the foundation to grow significantly with a fully built-out foundation launching in 2018.

POSITION:

The Program Associate’s (PA) primary responsibility is to advance the mission of the Mitchell Foundation in coordination with the Vice President of Sustainability Programs (VP) through the execution of grants and program- and operations-related support. The PA will report to the Vice President and be based in Austin, Texas. The PA is responsible for working across the organization, with grant administration, program, and executive staff to ensure that communication, operational, and program activities are carried out professionally and smoothly.

The PA will review grant proposals and reports, administer the grants management database (Fluxx), monitor the budget and grant cycle, write program reports and updates, undertake program-related research, and communicate with grantees on a variety of needs and issues. The PA is expected to manage these tasks independently for the four grantmaking programs including Shale Sustainability, Clean Energy, Water, and Sustainability Education. The PA, in coordination with the President and VP, will also manage key operational issues related to program execution associated with the expected growth of the foundation over the next few years. The PA will oversee the Administrative Assistant (AA).

As part of a small office, the PA is considered a key representative of the Mitchell Foundation and, as such, this position requires the ability to work independently and exercise initiative, critical analysis, discretion, and judgment to ensure informed decision-making related to the core responsibility of executing and managing grants.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

• Screen prospective grantee inquiries to determine fit with CGMF priorities

• Review grant proposals and reports and ensure content is appropriate and all necessary documents are included

• Coordinate and assist grantees with the Foundation’s grantmaking process by requesting additional information when needed, responding to questions, notifying them of the status of their grant, etc.

• Manage rejected proposals

• Process incoming grants and grant reports by entering all required information into the Fluxx grants management system

• Administer the Fluxx grants managements system in coordination with other staff

• Monitor budget targets, reconcile program budgets, and keep VP informed of budget status

• Monitor spending and deadlines for consulting agreements and foundation initiated projects

• Create consulting contracts in consultation with appropriate legal and executive staff

• Assign work to consultants, and follow up on the work through regular contact;

• Supervise Administrative Assistant

• Represent the Foundation by participating in meetings with grantees, collaborators, and consultants

• Draft reports for Committee and Board meetings

• Draft quarterly newsletter and updates for the Board of Directors

• Draft annual report and other communications materials

• Stay current on latest sector news and information through contact with grantees and other experts and by reading reports, press releases, articles, etc.

• Research specific topics and prepare reports and visual aids

• Manage key operational issues associated with the transition to a fully built-out foundation expected in 2018

This job description reflects the assignment of essential functions; it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

 

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:

• Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, plus three years work experience in the fields of energy, climate change, environmental studies, philanthropic management, or public policy; or equivalent combination of education and experience

• Knowledge of and experience with key environmental issues in Texas, particularly related to energy, water, and shale sustainability

• Ability to read and analyze professional journals and technical procedures; ability to write reports and business correspondence; ability to effectively respond to questions from grantees

• Strong organizational skills and experience with operational needs of a foundation are valued

• Proficiency with Microsoft Office programs, especially Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in a Mac environment

• Experience using database software

• Strong interpersonal skills that have been demonstrated in a professional setting

• Demonstrated research and writing skills

• Ability to prioritize and juggle diverse tasks while maintaining attention to the details

• Ability to travel as necessary for 2–3 business days at a time

• Proven ability to work well under pressure, take initiative, and be a creative problem-solver

• Capable of working in a quiet, small-office environment

 

SUCCESS FACTORS:

• Interest in and dedication to the foundation’s mission

• Takes initiative and willing to pitch in when necessary

• Positive attitude and a good sense of humor

• Adaptable, flexible nature

• Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team

• Strong interpersonal skills

 

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle or feel; reach with hands and arm; climb stairs, balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; talk or hear. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. This position requires the frequent use of computer office software and databases. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

The CGMF is located in the Carillon Building in Austin, Texas. The office environment is a typical small office with low noise levels, shared kitchen facilities, and a collegial atmosphere. Ample parking is available, and the office has access to public transportation. On occasion, there are activities or events after work hours. Occasional travel is required.