Program Associate, Sexual Health and Rights

New York, NY. AJWS is temporarily remote until September 30, 2021.

Overview of AJWS

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to promote human rights and end poverty in the developing world. AJWS advances the health and rights of women, girls and LGBTQI+ people; promotes civil and political rights; defends access to food, land and water; and aids communities in the aftermath of disasters. We pursue lasting change by granting investing approximately $40 million annually in our grantmaking and social change strategies. We support to more than 500 grassroots and global human rights organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and by mobilizing mobilize our community in the U.S. to advocate for global justice. Working together, we strive to build a more just and equitable world.

Overview of Department

AJWS’s international programs division works to build civil society in select countries in Africa, the Americas and Asia by supporting non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) that are advancing human rights. AJWS partners with organizations that work on three critical issues:

Land, Water & Climate Justice: Defending the Rights to Food, Water, 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.   

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 recover from conflict and oppression, speak out against injustice and create vibrant, peaceful, societies that respect the rights of all citizens.

Humanitarian Response:

AJWS prioritizes support for local, grassroots groups that work to meet the unique needs of historically marginalized communities in the wake of disasters so that they can recover fully and become more resilient to future crises.

AJWS’s Sexual Health and Rights (SHR) Department currently focuses its efforts in eight countries of the 18 countries that AJWS works in. These countries are Kenya, Liberia and Uganda in Africa; Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua in Latin America and the Caribbean; and India and Thailand in Asia.  Across all these geographies, we have a feminist focus and prioritize communities affected by gender inequality. Therefore, the SHR portfolio strategically prioritizes rights-based organizing of lesbian, bisexual and queer women, trans and intersex (LBQTI) communities within the broader LGBTQI+ social justice movements, adolescent girls and young women’s organizing within the broader social movements for gender equity; and the organizing of sex workers of all genders within the broader sexual health and rights movements. Our team consists of a mix of staff and consultants working around the world.

Position Summary

AJWS’s Sexual Health and Rights (SHR) 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 ensure key organizational data bases are managed and processes are adhered to so that programs team can effectively and efficiently get grants to our partners. The Program Associate will help maintain systems to ensure that grants received by the SHR department are spent down in a timely manner and get information needed to Program Officers and the Director to enable timely and strategic decision making.  The Program Associate will also support the collection of budget and program data and communicate key information about AJWS’s programs for internal and external use. The Program Associate 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:

Team Administration (Approximate percent of time of this position: 40%)

  • Maintain overall administrative flow of the SHR portfolio (e.g. supporting the team to meet internal deadlines for grant proposals/docket, Program Division-wide processes and assignments, requests from other AJWS divisions, etc.).
  • Serve as the team’s point person for providing assistance with Foundation Connect, the grants management database.
  • Provide oversight and other assistance to Program Officers and Director in processing grants for dockets, including but not limited to:
    • Provide oversight over the docket process workflow within Foundation Connect;
    • Ensure that the SHR grants on the docket are complete and meet submission requirements; follow up with Program Officers, Director and Grants Management where necessary;
    • Assist POs and Director in drafting the write-ups (time permitting and as requested).
  • Work in close collaboration with the Program Director in scheduling team meetings, developing agendas for them, stewarding the grants and travel budgets (see below), and supporting additional administrative tasks as needed.
  • Support coordination between SHR Team and acts as the key point person for other divisions at AJWS to ensure that requests from these divisions are responded to in a timely and efficient manner and systems are working effectively together.
  • Support coordination and communication between SHR team based in New York and program staff and country consultants based in the region.
  • Coordinate logistics related to AJWS retreats and key international events such as funder conferences and advocacy spaces in which AJWS staff and/or grantee partners may participate.
  • Help translate information submitted by grantees in Spanish to English, as needed.

Budget Stewarding (Approximate percent of time of this position: 40%)

The Program Associate will steward the department’s budget, in consultation with the SHR Director. Specifically, the PA will:

  • Track the SHR country grant budgets in Foundation Connect (including understanding the restricted funds that the SHR team has).
  • Coordinate with other divisions and departments such as IOPS, Development, and Finance and Administration to monitor the spend down in partnership with the Director.
  • Create and maintain budget tools for tracking team travel expenses.
  • Assist the SHR Director in yearly grants and travel budget planning process and ongoing oversight.
  • Attend Restricted Fund Launch Meetings with staff from other Divisions in charge of spending down restricted funds.

Programmatic (Approximate percent of time of this position: 15%)

  • Share relevant award nomination deadlines with SHR team, and support POs to draft nomination write-ups on an as-needed basis.
  • Help POs draft proposal submissions for panels and workshops at conferences.
  • Help to draft, edit and review communications materials about the SHR portfolio, for both internal and external audiences (e.g. blogs, PowerPoint presentations or brief background documents about the SHR work, etc.
  • Collaborate with team members on refinement of global thematic grantmaking strategy through coordination of, and participation in the bi-annual OMF reflection process.
  • Collaborate with Director to support administrative tasks related to docket process for the SHR global thematic strategy grantees, including but not limited to sending grant invitations, reviewing applications for completeness, coding the grants in Foundation Connect, and supporting follow up to get reports and close of grants as needed.
  • Provide limited administrative support to the Sex Work Donor Collaborative.

External & Cross Divisional (Approximate percent of time of this position: 5%)

  • Participate in internal working groups to further AJWS initiatives in service of strengthening its organizational capacities and programmatic work.
  • Represent AJWS and the Sexual Health and Rights team in external events, meetings, and civil society spaces relevant to the program’s strategy.


  • BA/BS or at least three years of relevant experience required;
  • Some experience having worked or interned at a community-based organization, foundation, international development or human rights organization;
  • A strong desire to contribute their skills to the social justice mission of AJWS through the Sexual Health and Rights Team;
  • Highly organized, with the proven ability to work independently, and effectively support the team coordination of internationally based colleagues working across various geographies and time zones;
  • Proficiency and comfort working with budgets and databases and with Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel as well as aptitude to learn grants management databases such as Foundation Connect and budgeting software such as Abila MIP;
  • Passion for numbers, budgets and working with grantmaking and budget management databases;
  • Strong interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills;
  • Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills;
  • Fluency in reading, writing and speaking Spanish preferred;
  • Working understanding of human rights norms and practices, international development theory and grassroots social movement building;
  • Experience with, and commitment to, social justice and human rights movements with comfort and knowledge on sexual health and rights issues related to LGBTQI+ communities, adolescent girls and young women, and / or sex workers;
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally once per year once COVID restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so again;
  • Committed to AJWS’s mission and values of advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion across the organization;
  • Experience living and working abroad is an asset.

Compensation and Benefits Information:

  • Competitive compensation commensurate with experience and the market;
  • Paid Time Off: 15-21 Federal and religious holidays off each year in addition to generous vacation and sick days;
  • Full health benefits coverage with minimal contribution by employees;
  • 403(b): 4% company match (safe harbor);
  • Flexible Spending Account and Commuter Benefits;
  • Workplace flexibility and generous leave policy.

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.

Authorization to work in the US is required.

How to Apply

For immediate consideration, 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.