Program Associate/Senior Program Associate, Economic Growth Division

Closing date:



Creative Associates International is a dynamic, fast-growing global development firm that specializes in education, economic growth, governance and post-crisis stabilization. Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Since its founding in 1977, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.

Position Summary:

Creative seeks a Program Associate or Senior Program Associate (PA/SPA) for the Economic Growth Division. The PA/SPA works under regular supervision and performs a wide variety of responsible assignments within their project area by serving as a member of a Headquarters (HQ)-based team. The PA/SPA’s primary focus will be on business development efforts that leverage Creative’s pioneering work in co-investment grants, blended finance, trade, and private sector engagement. Business development efforts include, but are not limited to, researching countries of interest, conducting competitor analysis, participating in design sessions, liaising with partners and stakeholders, and writing sections of proposals. Over time, the PA/SPA may take on more responsibilities in program management and support. When supporting existing or newly awarded projects, the PA/SPA serves as the primary financial, contractual, and program backstop for a specific project field team. This position works with senior project management staff to solve potential problems through professional project management and backstopping skillsets.

Reporting & Supervision:

Program Associates/Senior Program Associates report to a Project Manager or designee.

NOTE: Different projects require different levels of project management skills based on their strategic importance, project profile and complexity, specificity, scope, and geographic location. Creative formally sanctions, and reserves the right to modify, the skill and position level(s) needed for each project.

Expected Outcomes:

New Business Development

PA/SPAs make contributions to proposal development and business development efforts. Creative projects demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit and seize opportunities in the local marketplace and pave the way for the realization of new business opportunities. PA/SPAs help Creative’s visibility before stakeholders. Specific new business pursuits are well planned and timely executed.

Project Management

PA/SPAs support project teams in all facets of project ramp-ups, implementation and closedown, contributing to meeting contractual obligations and fiscal targets in line with client and Creative’s administrative, financial, procurement and operational procedures. Creative projects are well-planned and human resource deployments, STTA, procurements are timely and effectively supported by HQ. Project staffing, project obligations, and reporting meet anticipated levels and high-quality standards and develop others’ knowledge and learning. SPAs keep senior project leadership abreast of significant threats, project implementation deficiencies and opportunities.

Financial Management

Projects meet performance targets and revenue projections based on hands-on project and financial management skills where PA/SPAs proactively manage vacancies, non-billables, and foregone revenue. Projects requiring important course corrections or corporate support are elevated to senior management.

Staff Management**

Junior project staff are tangibly supported technically and professionally; their professional objectives and personal needs are well understood, as are those of key staff in the field. Contributions to meaningful, constructive and timely performance reviews of junior project staff is key. Projects honor all aspects of programmatic and fiscal compliance and PA/SPAs work diligently to identify opportunities to enhance HQ and field coordination and communication.

Learning & Adaptation

PA/SPAs assist in the development of project strategy and program/project implementation from concept to closure. Projects have explicitly defined learning agendas, M&E and Knowledge Management (KM) plans that track progress towards learning, and course corrections that are informed by data. Project information, interventions and innovations are synthesized, shared, tracked and managed within KM plans. Learning events (i.e., Knowledge Share) capture salient programmatic aspects with potential for replication or scale up. Salient activities are celebrated and promoted through Creative’s Communications Department.


Primary Responsibilities

Business Development (primary role)

  • Research countries of interest to be used for business development efforts;
  • Conduct competitor landscape analyses and partner mapping exercises;
  • Supports project consultants by developing and monitoring agreements, coordinating travel and logistics, and facilitating payment requests;
  • Participate in technical design sessions, capture learnings, and disseminate information to the team;
  • Contribute to strategy and go/no-go decision presentations;
  • Liaise with partners, stakeholders, and clients;
  • Document strategic decisions, win themes, and technical approaches;
  • Draft pre-teaming and teaming agreements;
  • Manage capture and proposal budgets;
  • Drafts proposal sections and budgets and assists with proposal develops marketing materials;
  • Draft job descriptions and support recruitment efforts for capture and proposal efforts; and
  • Support planning of necessary capture and fact-finding trips in preparation for bids.

Program Management (secondary role)

  • Backstop field projects on technical, financial and administrative tasks for assigned projects and provides financial and administrative support to the project team in the field;
  • Support grant management by monitoring and facilitating payment for HQ-managed grants and subcontracts to international organizations;
  • Review and process project-related documentation including invoices, ensuring program files and transactions are compliant, properly documented, and organized;
  • Assist in the preparation, tracking and realignment of the project budget and subcontractor budgets, and prepares quarterly financial reviews and projections;
  • Contribute to weekly and monthly reports, project success stories and other deliverables as required;
  • Acquire intimate familiarity with contract requirements, deliverables and budgets; and
  • Work closely with support divisions in HQ including HR, Contracts, Procurement, Field Operations, Communications, and Finance, to support complex project needs as they arise; maintaining solid knowledge of all administrative, financial systems, and operating procedures.**Qualifications**

Minimum Skills & Qualifications:

NOTE: Your job title is based on the role you perform and you must meet the minimum qualifications for that job title. Greater (higher) education and experience than minimum qualifications do not automatically classify you into a higher-level job title/position.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and four to six years of relevant experience, or a Master’s degree in business, economics, finance, international development, international relations, political science, or other related field, and two to four years of relevant experience;
  • Experience in co-investment grants, blended finance, trade, and private sector engagement;
  • Experience adapting technical approaches to support marginalized/underserved groups, such as women, youth, ethnic or religious minorities, populations living in rural areas, etc.;
  • Prior experience in international development in a donor funded setting;
  • Prior experience in developing and monitoring proposal and project budgets;
  • Experience working with consultants and vendors;
  • Experience organizing and managing program/project knowledge/information;
  • Strong knowledge of U.S. government donor regulations;
  • Excellent writing and editing skills;
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, organizational, and analytical skills;
  • Solution-oriented and mission driven;
  • Ability to work well in a team environment as well as independently;
  • Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines;
  • Ability to travel internationally on short notice; and
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, MS Project, etc.).

Desired Skills and Qualifications

  • Prior project backstopping experience for a USAID or Department of State project;
  • Working proficient written and spoken language skills, with a preference for French, Spanish, Arabic, or Swahili;
  • One short term technical assignment and/or experience working in a developing country; and
  • Solid project backstopping experience for U.S. or other government funded projects.

Only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

Creative Associates International Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer (gender/race/disability/veteran) and provides equal opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state, federal, or local law.

Please view Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.


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