Program Associate, Natural Resource Rights

New York, NY

Overview of AJWS

Inspired by the Jewish commitment to justice, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) works to realize human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS advances the health and rights of women, girls and LGBT people; promotes recovery from conflict, disasters and oppression; and defends access to food, land and livelihoods. AJWS pursues lasting change by supporting grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing supporters in the U.S. to advocate for global justice. Working together, the AJWS community strives to build a more just and equitable world.

About the Department

AJWS’s Programs Division works to build civil society in select countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean and Asia by supporting non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and other grassroots human rights groups and larger social change organizations that are advancing human rights. AJWS engages in U.S.-based advocacy and education on the issues it supports internationally. AJWS partners with organizations that work on four critical issues:

Sexual Health and Rights:
Advancing the Rights of Women, Girls and Sexual Minorities

AJWS works to increase access to services and end discrimination, violence and abuse of women, girls, LGBTI people and sex workers, so that they can access the full spectrum of opportunities in society and live in health, safety and dignity.

Civil and Political Rights:
Promoting Recovery from Conflict and Oppression

AJWS supports communities to speak out against injustice, demand accountability and create vibrant, democratic and peaceful societies that respect the rights of all citizens.

Natural Resource Rights and Climate Justice:
Defending the Right to Food, Land and Livelihoods

AJWS supports organizations that advocate for the rights of rural, indigenous and poor communities who are displaced from their land or prevented from earning a living because of mining, dams and other development that threaten their way of life.

AJWS’s Natural Resource Rights and Climate Justice (NRR & CJ) department currently focuses its efforts in Burma, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uganda, and consists of a mix of staff and consultants working around the world.

Disaster Response
AJWS supports communities affected by disasters through grants that support immediate relief and longer-term rehabilitation while simultaneously addressing the structural issues that perpetuate inequality. Examples of this type of grantmaking may include the distribution of food and medical supplies, psychosocial support, addressing the gender-based violence that becomes increasingly prevalent in the aftermath of a disaster, the reconstruction of earthquake resilient homes and the support of sustainable livelihood programs. As one of the only human rights organizations that responds to disasters, AJWS plays a unique and valuable role in the recovery and rebuilding process. We prioritize support to marginalized populations that are largely ignored by mainstream humanitarian responses.

Position Summary

AJWS’s NRR & CJ grantmaking department seeks an entry-level program associate to provide largely administrative and some programmatic support for the department. The program associate works with the director and program officers to collect and communicate key information about AJWS’s programs for internal and external use. The program associate also provides broader administrative and logistical support to the department and to the programs division, as well as works collaboratively with other divisions to support AJWS’s advocacy, communications and fundraising efforts.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Maintain overall administrative flow of the NRR & CJ portfolio (e.g. meeting internal deadlines for grant proposals and reports), and carry out administrative tasks related to the natural resource rights grantmaking program;
  • Steward the department’s budget by processing and tracking expenses, creating and maintaining budget tools, assisting director in budget oversight, and liaising with Finance and International Operations departments on all budget-related matters;
  • Provide assistance to program officers in processing grants for dockets, including inputting proposals into grants databases, updating the grants management tools, and assisting program officers with grant write ups for AJWS’s Board of Trustees;
  • Support coordination and communication between NRR and CJ team based in New York and program staff and country consultants based in the region;
  • Collect and aggregate grantee information for learning and evaluation, communications, fundraising and networking with peer donors and other allies;
  • Coordinate logistics related to key international events, retreats and advocacy spaces;
  • Draft, edit and review internal and external communications as needed;
  • Help translate information submitted by grantees in French/Spanish to English, when needed;
  • Participate in programmatic discussions and maintain a general knowledge of NRR & CJ work globally;
  • Collaborate with Program Officers and Strategic Learning, Research, and Evaluation staff to help complete grantmaking progress monitoring forms, and in some instances to conduct research relevant to grantmaking and organizational learning; and
  • Collaborate with NRR & CJ team members on development and articulation of global thematic grantmaking strategy.


  • BA/BS required;
  • Some experience having worked or interned at a community-based organization, foundation, international development or human rights organization;
  • Highly organized, with the proven ability to work independently, prioritize and complete multiple projects, meet deadlines and maintain consistent attention to detail;
  • Proficiency and comfort working with budgets and databases and with Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel;
  • Flexible work style and interest in being a part of a dynamic and evolving organization;
  • Self-starter and independent thinker;
  • Strong interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills;
  • Excellent writing, editing, research and proofreading skills;
  • Experience in research, monitoring, and evaluation;
  • Fluency in reading, writing and speaking Spanish and/or French preferred;
  • Working understanding of human rights norms and practices, global development theory and grassroots social movement building;
  • Experience with, and commitment to, social justice and human rights movements;
  • Ability to work in and with diverse communities;
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally once per year; and
  • Experience living and working abroad is an asset.

Additional Considerations:
People of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, trans and gender non-conforming people; women; and differently abled people are encouraged to apply. We also encourage applications from people of diverse religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds.

How to Apply

For immediate consideration, click on the link to apply below. Applications submitted without a resume and personalized cover letter will not be considered.

We thank you for your interest in career opportunities with AJWS. Due to high volume, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.