MesoAmerican Reef Program Associate (TSF)

The Foundation

The Summit Foundation is a private family foundation founded in 1991 and located in Washington, DC. The Foundation advances its mission to create a world where people can thrive and nature can flourish by making grants in three main program areas: Equality for Women and Girls, Sustainable Cities, and the Mesoamerican Reef.

The Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) Program

The MAR Program seeks to protect marine biodiversity and promote ecosystem health and sustainable fisheries in the territorial waters of, and adjacent watersheds that drain into, the Caribbean Sea from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. After 20 years of successful grantmaking, the Program is currently refreshing its strategy, and will be working closely with existing and new partners to identify and implement the most effective grants and other activities to maximize the ability of the reef ecosystem to continue to provide essential ecosystem services.

Position Overview

The Program Associate supports the Program Director in working to meet program goals. Program goals are advanced through grantmaking activity and through the foundation’s direct engagement in appropriate initiatives and fora. The Program Associate provides essential strategic and administrative support for the efficient and effective operation of the program and its functions within the larger foundation. This is a full-time position based in the foundation’s offices in Washington, DC.

Internal Relationships

The Associate reports to the MAR Program Director and interacts with the Director of Grants Management and the Chief Financial Officer in the fulfillment of due diligence during grant review, processing, and reporting. The Associate also works closely with the staff of the other two programs (Equality for Women and Girls and Sustainable Cities) and with the Office Manager to help ensure the smooth operations of the office.  

 Selected Key Responsibilities

  • Works closely with the MAR Program and the Grants Management directors to support the grantmaking process, including communicating with current or prospective grantees and reviewing and refining grant applications
  • Helps maintain the MAR grants calendar and pipeline and tracks the grantmaking budget
  • Assists in preparing grant materials for internal review and ensuring timely completion of documents associated with approved grants, including grant contracts and reporting templates
  • Conducts initial review of grantee reports and helps assess grantee and project progress
  • Helps articulate, test and refine the program’s strategy, including identifying key program assumptions, gaps, and opportunities for increased program effectiveness
  • Helps identify and assess opportunities to increase program leverage or impact, including potential funding partnerships and external engagements (e.g., meetings, conferences)
  • Monitors developments in fields of relevance to the MAR Program, assesses their potential implications for the program, and researches specific topics or issues as guided by the director
  • Generates programmatic content, including for the foundation’s website
  • Participates in conference calls, webinars and other virtual meetings on program matters, and when requested, represents the foundation at external events
  • Helps manage the Program Director’s workflow and calendar, including planning/logistics for travel, calls and meetings, and assists in managing program correspondence
  • Helps to organize and maintain program files and other information, ensuring compliance with the foundation’s document retention policy and other requirements
  • Assists during Office Manager's absence in answering phones, greeting guests, vendor interactions, and other essential office oversight as requested

Qualifications and Attributes

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field and two years of relevant work experience, or equivalent training and experience in an area relevant to the program’s focus
  • Experience in the MAR region and/or specific areas of MAR programmatic focus preferred
  • Fluent Spanish a plus; strong Spanish language ability required, native Spanish speaker preferred
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to multitask and meet deadlines
  • Highly articulate communicator, with demonstrated excellence in oral and written domains
  • Track record of working successfully with people of different cultures, perspectives and priorities
  • Outstanding analytical and strategic planning skills in a relevant field
  • Team player with excellent interpersonal skills, including a good sense of humor, self-awareness, and openness to feedback
  • Ability to represent Summit with professionalism, discretion and diplomacy and to speak with credibility and authority on the MAR Program and its work
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite required
  • Experience in WordPress for website content management and other social media content-management software highly valued
  • Demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, Summit’s core values, mission and vision, and operating principles

Please note: At this time the Summit Foundation will not sponsor any visas. You must be eligible to work in the United States for any employer without visa sponsorship in order to be considered.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Summit Foundation provides health benefits and paid vacation time, has 403b and SEP IRA plans, and provides commuter benefits and a flexible spending account for health and dependent care. 

Application Procedures

Qualified individuals should submit a resume and letter of interest to apply@summitfdn.org. No phone inquiries. The position will remain open until filled.

Summit is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. We strongly encourage individuals of all cultures, backgrounds, communities, and experiences to apply. Summit considers qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, family responsibilities, political affiliation, disability, matriculation, genetic information, credit information, military/veteran status, or any other status protected by federal or District of Columbia law.


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