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Position Overview

The Stanley Foundation seeks a program associate to join its Policy Programming Department. The chosen candidate will work with the foundation’s policy programming team and other staff to support the planning, implementation, and assessment of the impact of the foundation’s policy programming in pursuit of our mission, vision, and organizational goals. In particular, the program associate will work as a part of the climate change issue area team, while also supporting other foundation multi-issue programming and departmental efforts. The Stanley Foundation’s climate change programming currently focuses on engaging key stakeholders at multiple levels to determine and pursue transformational pathways necessary to reduce and remove greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 1.5°C and is driven by defined policy goals. Program associates are key team players working in collaboration with the Stanley Foundation’s strong program delivery team.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • An interest in gaining exposure to international policy, key players, and networks.
  • The ability to support the conceptualization and implementation of programming activities that will advance the foundation’s policy change goals.

About the Stanley Foundation

The Stanley Foundation advances multilateral action to create fair, just, and lasting solutions to critical issues of peace and security. Our work is built on a belief that greater international cooperation will improve global governance and enhance global citizenship. We value our Midwestern roots and family heritage as well as our role as a nonpartisan, private operating foundation. We do not make grants but rather carry out our own programming.

Foundation policy programming relies heavily on policy dialogues (involving US and foreign government officials, influential scholars, journalists, and nongovernmental experts). It also includes policy analysis and a wide variety of communication and advocacy activities to develop and build support for specific policy initiatives. Much of our programming activity is done collaboratively. More about the foundation and our work can be found at www.stanleyfoundation.org

Full Position Description

The policy program associate will contribute to the foundation’s policy advocacy work by supporting the conceptualization and implementation of programming activities to achieve the foundation’s policy change goals. The program associate will work in close collaboration as a part of a team responsible for climate change programming to develop and implement the foundation’s strategy around the climate change issue area and evaluate the relative success of its work. The program associate will also work in collaboration with all departments in the Stanley Foundation to deliver high impact programming.

Key Responsibilities

  • Program Support: As a part of the issue area team for climate change and the policy programming department, the program associate will work across foundation departments and with other organizations, to implement programming activities that will drive policy progress in targeted areas. The program associate may be required to attend events annually, run by the Stanley Foundation, its partners, or others. Responsibilities of the program associate include:
    • Substantive research in support of programming efforts and commissioned analysis.
    • Tracking developments in policy and with other organizations’ work related to the foundation’s defined policy goals.
    • On-site rapporteuring and writing of first drafts of policy dialogue publications.
    • Administering post-activity assessment surveys.
    • Working with outside partners on jointly developed documents (e.g., agendas, invitation lists), planning meetings, and other tasks related to collaborative activities.
    • Liaising with the Communications Department and others on publications in the editorial process and production associated with dialogue products.
    • Liaising with the Operations Department when organizing events, including managing invitation lists and meeting agreed-on schedules and deadlines.
    • Keeping others on the issue area team and in the policy programming department, as well as colleagues in other departments, well informed of developments and progress on assigned activities.
  • Learning: The program associate will participate in the learning process as it relates to the foundation’s role in future policy efforts. This includes working with others on the policy programming team to incorporate lessons learned from activity-specific evaluations as well as adjusting programming to reflect feedback from midterm and end-of-cycle evaluations. As a member of the foundation’s Policy Programming Department, the program associate will build subject matter expertise. This will include presence at numerous events annually, run by the Stanley Foundation, its partners, or others.
  • Networking and Relationship Cultivation: Because collaboration with other organizations is a key element of the Stanley Foundation’s work, the program associate will assist with networking and maintaining strong and supportive ties with key organizational partners. As a member of an institution with a strong vision for positive change, the program associate will display the determination and excitement of the mission through daily engaged and positive relationships with peers in and beyond the organization.
  • Team Contribution: As a member of the policy programming team, the program associate will contribute to cross-team learning for assessing broader organizational impact. The program associate will contribute to all internal reporting mechanisms and procedures and will utilize excellent communication and collaboration skills as a member of the Stanley Foundation team.


The ideal candidate will demonstrate an interest in international affairs, particularly subject areas related to climate change. In addition, a strong candidate should possess:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree with coursework in a relevant discipline (international relations, political science, history, area studies, or a related social science field with an emphasis on global and/or foreign policy issues).
  • An interest in gaining substantive knowledge in climate change and other policy issue areas.
  • Strong organizational and communication skills.
  • Strong analytical, research, and writing skills.
  • The ability to track details and manage multidirectional information flows in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated collaborative skills on behalf of shared goals in a team setting.
  • The ability to maintain poise under pressure.
  • The clear ability to connect larger ideas with the practical realities of their accomplishment.
  • Dynamic networking and relationship cultivation and maintenance skills.

Additional desirable traits include:

  • Project-implementation experience, including a proven capacity to set goals and meet deadlines and schedules.
  • Exposure to international policy work and a broad understanding of how policy change is created.
  • Experience tracking policy developments in an international issue.
  • Experience working with government and/or with international organizations, particularly in climate change policy.
  • Foreign language skills.
  • International study/travel/living experience.
  • Facilitation skills.

The program associate reports to the director of policy programming strategy.. The position requires frequent travel. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. The Stanley Foundation offers competitive salaries and a full benefits package.


This position is located at the foundation headquarters in Muscatine, Iowa, a community of 23,000 people on the Mississippi River. The area offers affordable housing, good schools, and a variety of recreational opportunities. Within commuting distance of Muscatine are Iowa City (population 70,000)—home of the University of Iowa—and the Quad Cities area—four communities spanning the Mississippi River, home of John Deere’s world headquarters, with a combined population of about 400,000. While on-site work in Muscatine is mandatory, the Stanley Foundation has telecommuting options.

Application Directions

Please send a letter of interest, résumé, references, and a writing sample that explains in a clear, direct way how a recent policy change came about and what the key levers were that facilitated that change to:

Mr. Dana Pittman
Human Resources Administrator
The Stanley Foundation
209 Iowa Avenue
Muscatine, IA 52761
Phone: 563-264-1500
Fax: 563-264-0864
E-mail: [email protected]

Deadline for application: This position will remain open until filled. 

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Posted: August 10, 2016