Monday, May 17, 2021

Program Assistant Contract Position with the Smithsonian, Office of International Relations & Programs for May or Recent Grad

 he Contractor shall provide professional, technical, non-personal Program Assistance services to the Smithsonian Institution, Office of International Relations (OIR). The Smithsonian Institution is a global organization, working across art, history, culture, science, and education in more than 130 countries around the world. Whether assisting in the rescue of cultural treasures following a natural disaster or conducting cutting-edge scientific research for biodiversity conservation, our scholars and professionals are engaged throughout the world to explore, care for, and support our global cultural and natural heritage – all in the service of the Smithsonian’s mission: the increase and diffusion of knowledge.


OIR serves as the central point for Institution-wide advice, insight, analysis, and coordination of all international activities of the Institution. OIR is the central external representative of international programs for the Institution, and leads institutional relationships with US government and international organizations, including the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, foreign embassies, and other governmental and private organizations in the U.S. and abroad. With the mandate to build new opportunities to expand our international programs and reach, OIR works in concert with leadership of other museums and programs in setting international strategy for the institution, developing new programs, and communicating our impact.



The Contractor will provide technical and administrative programmatic support to OIR’s portfolio of international projects and operations as well as OIR’s opportunity development efforts. Current projects include:

·     The Global Activities Tracking Process, a new Institution-wide initiative to catalogue the international activities taking place across the Smithsonian.

·     The USAID-funded My Armenia Program, a six-year project that aims to build and strengthen cultural heritage tourism in Armenia through research, documentation, and storytelling.

·     General and to-be-determined Global Activity Operations support, as needed

·     Other general OIR support, as needed


The main areas of focus for the Contractor include:

·     Help to coordinate roll-out and implementation of a new process for tracking and cataloguing SI’s international work, including but not limited to:

o  Testing and assisting with implementation of a new online intake system for submission of new activities

o  Monitoring and tracking status of new and pending activity submissions; following up with OIR personnel for next steps as needed

o  Researching and testing platforms for a data dashboard and other trackers or data systems as requested by OIR

o  Drafting of basic email templates, internal and external (to OIR) communications, and other templates for future use

o  Updating and editing of existing informational materials, as needed

o  Assisting with scheduling meetings and other administrative functions as needed

o  Attending meetings and taking thorough notes for later distribution as requested by OIR

o  Initial drafting of memos which will be shared among multiple units as well as SI leadership

o  Following up on previously submitted activities to update status in trackers and/or dashboard, which may include liaising with other SI support units to request updates

o  Maintaining all electronic files in an orderly manner

o  Conducting desk research as needed

·     Provide ad hoc assistance with program management of the USAID-funded My Armenia Program (MAP), which may include:

o  Updating financial and budget monitors with extreme attention to detail and accuracy

o  Reviewing requests, memos, and other documentation and flagging issues for follow-up with Program Coordinator and/or Program Manager

o  Checking documents for clarity, grammar/spelling, formatting, and accuracy

o  Maintaining electronic file management systems

o  Providing logistical and administrative support for MAP as needed

o  Conducting desk research as requested by Program Coordinator and/or Program Manager

·     Global Activity Operations support

o  Supporting development of process documents and a mission statement for the nascent Global Operations team

o  Assisting with scheduling meetings and other administrative functions as needed

o  Attending meetings and taking thorough notes for later distribution as requested by OIR

o  Maintaining all electronic files in an orderly manner

o  Conducting desk research as requested by OIR

o  Other duties as assigned



·     Deliverables as required; in providing program assistance services for current and ongoing activities, the Contractor will submit deliverables as required

·     Monthly reports to project management staff for all current project in OIR’s portfolio



The Contractor shall generally provide the required services anytime between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for normal Federal Holidays and any office closures. Adjustments to hours may be made upon mutual agreement of OIR and the Contractor.


The Contractor shall provide their own work space and materials (computer, internet access, etc.). When the OIR office in Washington, DC reopens, the Contractor may elect to work from the office as agreed between OIR and the Contractor.



The estimated level of effort for the Contractor is between 20-30 hours per week, with the potential for an increase to up to 40 hours per week as agreed upon by the Contractor and OIR (via the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) and the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC)). The Contractor will bill SI only for the actual hours worked, with hours and tasks recorded on a timesheet to be submitted for approval and payment within five (5) business days of the end of each month. The Contractor will work on tasks as described above and as assigned by OIR, with no guarantee of minimum hours worked per week.



The period of performance for the Contractor will be for an initial one-year period with option to extend as work and budget availability allow.



·       Bachelor's degree, preferably in a related field

·       1-3 years experience in administrative, project management, or other relevant role

·       Experience and/or demonstrated interest in international work; strong cross-culture communication and sensitivity skills

·       Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and concisely in both verbal and written communications

·       Experience with data entry, filing, cataloguing, retrieving, and preserving records preferred

·       Ability to multitask with attention to detail, organization, and time management skills

·       Demonstrated resourcefulness in problem solving and initiative to learn new skills

·       Ability to work independently and as part of a team

·       Experience with Microsoft systems including Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Teams, and Lists

·       Experience with basic data analysis and/or software (such as Tableau) is a plus

·       Familiarity with the Smithsonian Institution is a plus

·       US citizenship and ability to pass a background check required

·       Active registration (or ability to register upon selection) in the U.S. Government's System for Acquisition Management (SAM)[1]


Application instructions

Please submit a cover letter of interest, current resume, salary/rate history, and a daily rate quote to by Monday, May 24, 2021. Please include “OIR Program Assistant Contract Submission” in the subject line.


[1] All contractors must be ACTIVE for ALL AWARDS in the U.S. Government’s System for Acquisition Management (SAM) For assistance with SAM, the following resources are available to vendors:

·       SAM User Help

·       Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

·       Dun and Bradstreet