Careers: Manager, Programs and Special Initiatives

Dec 10, 2018

About the Peterson Foundation

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation (“Peterson Foundation”) is working to secure a healthy, growing economy by addressing America’s long-term fiscal and economic challenges. The Foundation partners with leading decision-makers in government, policy, academia, media, business and issue/constituent groups to build support for solutions to put America on a sustainable fiscal and economic path. As a non-partisan organization, the Foundation engages in grant-making, partnerships and research to educate and involve Americans from a variety of perspectives.

Position Summary

The Manager, Programs and Special Initiatives will play a critical role in supporting the development and execution of current and brand-new strategic initiatives and programs that support the mission of the Foundation and strengthen its impact and reach. These initiatives will address traditional and emerging issue areas for the Foundation and be cross-functional and interdisciplinary, involving a unique blend of grants, partnerships and internal efforts.

As the Foundation identifies and launches new initiatives and programs, the Manager will provide research, analytical, planning, and implementation support. Reporting to the Director of Communications and Initiatives, the Manager, Programs and Special Initiatives will work collaboratively across the organization. The Manager will also engage with external partners, consultants, and vendors, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the initiatives and projects this individual will support.

One particular initiative that the Manager will partner to execute is the Foundation’s signature millennial program, Up to Us, a leading nationwide, campus-based campaign focused on building a sustainable economic and fiscal future for America’s next generation ( Up to Us is on track to be on over 400 college and university campuses in 2019 and executing involves engaging with program grantees and partners, leading calls, tracking program deliverables, and coordinating communications.

Primary Responsibilities Include:

Project Management

  • Serve as the key project manager of the Foundation’s signature millennial program, Up to Us, by regularly:
    • Engaging with program grantees, partners and consultants;
    • Leading planning calls, setting and tracking program deliverables;
    • Helping develop and execute communications efforts for the program;
    • Directing and supporting the development of special events, content and products;
    • Managing grantee evaluations and administrative processes; and
  • Conducting research and analysis to support the continued development, growth and expansion of the program.
  • Develop and facilitate a process to meticulously track the status of various projects, internal and external partners involved, necessary follow-ups, and next steps.

Research and Implementation

  • Conduct thoughtful and comprehensive research and analysis on a variety of policy issues, organizations, individuals, movements, emerging trends, prominent projects, public debates, media coverage, legislative benchmarks, political developments, and events.
  • Proactively use information gathered to identify new opportunities for impact.
  • Track internal brainstorming and planning conversations and draft follow up planning documents, notes and memos concerning strategic recommendations, action plans, processes, and updates on a variety of initiatives and projects.

External Engagement, Relationship-Building and other Priorities

  • Provide support and counsel to Foundation principals regarding prospective and ongoing opportunities for external engagement including assessing and providing recommendations on personal meetings, speaking opportunities, engagements, etc.
  • Assess and provide recommendations on external requests for partnership engagements and grant support, including recurring requests from past grantees and unsolicited inquiries from other parties.
  • Assist Foundation principals and staff on various writing projects.

About the Successful candidate:

Professional Experience

  • Approximately three to seven years of experience in professional services, program or project management, strategy, or related experience; prior program or project design experience is strongly preferred.
  • Skilled in working independently and collaboratively as both a manager and part of a team. At least some experience managing individuals and/or teams is strongly preferred.
  • Experienced researcher with strong analytical skills and impeccable attention to detail.
  • Ability to synthesize complex information and transform complicated policy issues into generally understandable messages.
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines and have the organizational skills to prioritize and manage numerous projects at once as they evolve and change.

Personal Attributes

  • Demonstrated ability to be proactive, take the initiative, have a strong sense of urgency, and thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with clear, concise, and accurate writing, editing, and proofing skills.
  • Ability to coordinate and collaborate with multiple parties both internally and externally.
  • Openness to feedback, direction, and a desire to learn and grow.
  • Demonstrated interest in and knowledge of fiscal policy and public affairs.


  • Bachelor's degree required

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position.

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This election season is a critical opportunity for candidates to talk to voters about solutions to put us on a better path.


This series of infographics helps put some of today's most pressing fiscal debates in context.