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Program Assistant

Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation
New York
$65,000-$75,000 annually +benefits
Closing date
Jul 12, 2024

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Conservation science
Job Level
Entry level
Salary Type
Employment Type

The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation (LCAOF) is an invitation-only philanthropic foundation dedicated to community-based wildlife conservation. The Foundation seeks a Program Assistant to support the administration of its global grantmaking portfolio and operational needs of the organization. The Program Assistant will report to the Senior Program Officer and work in close collaboration with other members of a small New York City-based team including an Executive Director, Program Officer, Senior Program Associate, and Operations Manager.

For this role, LCAOF seeks an individual who is excited to assist with the administration of a global grantmaking portfolio focused on community-based conservation projects located in important wildlife landscapes. You will work closely with all members of the LCAOF team to ensure the Foundation’s grants management system and other internal processes run smoothly. The scope of the role is broad; as a member of a small team, the successful candidate will need to be adaptable and comfortable in a work environment with cross-cutting responsibilities. Comfort in ambiguity is important as is working in a fast-paced environment with shifting priorities and demands. We envision the successful candidate will spend approximately 75% of their time working on program-related needs and 25% of their time working on operational tasks, though this will be fluid depending on shifting needs and priorities throughout the year.

The ideal candidate has a proven ability to think critically, communicate effectively, independently prioritize projects, and manage their time wisely. The candidate must be excited to take on challenging projects with ambitious timelines. Experience completing technical/analytical work is valued as is the ability to communicate this work to any audience. This is a great opportunity for an early career professional looking for more experience in either philanthropic giving, conservation, or non-profit management.


Program (Approximately 75%)

  • Support the development of the Latin America/Caribbean, Continental Africa, and other priority grantmaking portfolios as assigned;
  • Organize, track, and update information in the Foundation’s grants management database ensuring informational accuracy and integrity;
  • Process grant proposals, progress reports, and final reports in our grants management database and write summary reports or memos for internal and external use;
  • Schedule meetings across international time zones, prepare grant award letters, issue payments, prepare mailings, and book conference rooms, among other administrative duties;
  • Maintain reference materials, budgets, and other accompanying documentation with the guidance and instruction of the Senior Program Officer and Program Officer;
  • Keep track of upcoming program deadlines, outstanding requests, and assist the Senior Program Officer and Program Officer with execution of internal and external program requests;  
  • Collect proposal feedback from the Foundation’s Advisory Board and coordinate grant transmittals for Trustee review; 
  • Directly engage with grantees and other stakeholders to respond to questions, and assist with any troubleshooting needs related to the grants management database;
  • Attend and draft minutes for semi-annual board meetings, investment committee meetings, and other meetings as assigned;  
  • Manage research projects on specific issues under the supervision of the Senior Program Officer and Program Officer;
  • Participate in occasional field visits and conferences to stay informed and up to date on latest sector news.

Operations (Approximately 25%):

  • Assist with complex coordination and planning needs of the biannual board meetings of the Foundation’s Trustees and Advisory Board under the supervision of the Operations Manager;
  • Work with the Operations Manager to maintain accurate financial records, including preparation of annual operating and program budgets, documentation of operating expenditures and program disbursements, and future disbursement projections;
  • Assist with other administrative duties related to meeting and/or field trip preparation and event planning as assigned; 
  • Be the primary point of contact for general inquiries to the Foundation.   


  • An undergraduate degree and a background in wildlife conservation, biodiversity conservation or related field with at least 2-3 years of relevant work experience.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work, listen and communicate tactfully with a wide range of non-profit, community, government and philanthropic leaders.
  • Cultural competence and the ability to partner effectively and respectfully in a wide range of professional settings. Fluency in other languages widely spoken in our priority landscapes, especially French or Spanish in addition to English, is a plus.
  • Strong analytical and financial management skills; ability to interpret and evaluate nonprofit financial statements and written reports.
  • Excellent creative thinking, problem solving and organization skills; strong attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to travel within the U.S. and overseas, and to work occasional evening and weekend hours.
  • Standard computer skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) are required. Experience working with databases is a plus.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, team-oriented, collegial, collaborative, diplomatic and flexible.
  • Knowledgeable, curious, and passionate about the Foundation’s mission.
  • Well organized, a self-starter with strong professional work ethic.


This position is based out of the Foundation’s office in New York City. LCAOF currently follows a remote-first, flexible hybrid schedule, with employees expected to meet in person at the Foundation’s office located in Midtown Manhattan as needed, but not on a regular weekly schedule. This arrangement may be subject to change in the future.

This position requires approximately 5-10% travel which may include domestic or international trips to attend meetings, conferences, and occasional grantee site visits.

The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position; rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. Job incumbents may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this description.


The salary range for this position is $65,000-75,000, and will ultimately be based on experience, knowledge, skills, education, or other factors directly related to the position. In addition, LCAOF offers employees:

Comprehensive employer-paid medical, dental and vision plans 403(b) retirement plan with 10% company contribution A minimum of 20 days paid time off per year Reimbursement for professional development along with 5 days paid time off to pursue these opportunities per year Disability and life insurance


Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume combined into one PDF or Microsoft Word document no later than July 12, 2024. Email your application to First round interviews will be scheduled via phone for selected candidates.

LCAOF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We welcome candidates of all identities, orientations, lived experiences and communities to apply.


The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation is dedicated to the survival of wildlife and wildlands and to the vitality of human communities with which they are inextricably linked. We support conservation work in a number of key landscapes around the globe with a total grant-making budget of approximately $12 million a year. We emphasize a community-based approach to conservation and support the use of good science to inform sound public policies.  We also emphasize the importance of collaboration and cooperation in crafting solutions to habitat protection, responsible natural resource management and sustainable economies.

The hallmarks of LCAOF grantmaking have been to make long-term investments in on-the-ground projects in important wildlife landscapes, following the practices of trust-based philanthropy; to respond quickly to unexpected community challenges or opportunities; to understand that outstanding leadership is critical to program success; and to recognize that a relationship does not end with a grant award but is the start of a continuing dialogue and partnership. The Foundation views its grantees as strategic partners and seeks to model relationships with them based on reciprocity, mutual respect and accountability.


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