Program Assistant via Idealist

The Summit Foundation

Washington, DC, US


The Summit Foundation is a Washington, DC-based, private foundation whose mission is to promote the health and well-being of the planet — its people and its natural environment — by achieving gender equality, protecting the Earth’s biodiversity and making cities livable. It currently invests in three program areas: (1) Empowering Girls; (2) Conserving the Mesoamerican Reef; and (3) Sustainable Cities. Its website is


The Summit Foundation seeks a Program Assistant to provide programmatic, editorial, and administrative support primarily to senior staff of two of the foundation’s program areas – Empowering Girls and Sustainable Cities. S/he will be an integral member of the Foundation’s small and collegial staff and will provide research, writing/editing, outreach/communications and administrative support for the two program staff, and will also assist with general administrative and office support to ensure the smooth running of Summit’s operations.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Program Support

  • Help monitor developments and provide research support in two fast-moving fields – urban sustainability and adolescent girls’ empowerment, including youth sexual and reproductive health and rights. Be attuned to developments that may advance program priorities from current and prospective Summit grantees and stakeholders from government, private sector, academic, non-profit, and community-based sectors.
  • Assist program staff with grantmaking process, including outreach to current or prospective grantees, and review of proposals; drafting and editing of materials for Summit’s Board of Trustees; and other internal or external correspondence, presentations or documents.
  • As requested, schedule, provide administrative support for (such as agenda, logistics and background materials), and prepare notes of events, meetings and phone calls with grantees and/or colleagues of program staff, including when senior program staff is unable to attend.
  • Make and coordinate travel arrangements (transportation, lodging, logistics) and schedule meetings during travel of program staff.
  • Draft program-specific website content.
  • Organize and coordinate logistics and briefing books for occasional Board site visits in the U.S. or abroad.
  • Assist program staff in vetting and replying to event invitations, speaking requests, and participation in program related activities.
  • Prepare travel and expense reimbursements in a timely manner.
  • Create and maintain program-related electronic files and maintain and update program contacts.

Office Administrative Support

  • Coverage in office manager’s absence, including phones, greeting guests, vendor interactions, and essential office oversight, as needed.
  • Take minutes at Board meetings, as requested.
  • Other administrative duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in a relevant field.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and/or the environment, preferably interest or experience in one or more of the following: sustainable development, city sustainability, women’s rights, or sexual and reproductive health and rights; multi-cultural experience and sensitivity are highly valued.
  • Minimum two years’ work experience since graduation, including administrative tasks.
  • Thorough, resourceful, independent researcher.
  • Excellent communications skills (writing, editing, proofreading, and listening); experience writing for external audiences a plus.
  • Attention to detail, including all written products, and superior organizational skills.
  • Ability to represent the organization with appropriate professionalism, discretion and diplomacy.
  • High-level proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint; experience with document lay-out, iMovie or other video editing software, and WordPress for website content management and other content-management systems for social media preferred.
  • Spanish language skills a plus – reading, writing and/or oral.
  • Flexibility and dependability; team player capable of prioritizing competing demands and projects and meeting deadlines; comfortable with executing administrative tasks; self-starter who needs minimal supervision, but knows when to ask questions; open to challenges. A whatever it takes attitude.
  • Understanding of, and commitment to, Summit’s core values, mission and vision, and operating principles.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience. Actual salary will depend on qualifications and anticipated contribution to the Foundation. The Summit Foundation provides excellent health benefits and paid vacation time, has 403b and SEP IRA plans, and provides commuter benefits and flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care.