GKI looking for Junior Program Officer

ImageThe Global Knowledge Initiative seeks a fearless, outgoing, intuitive person who wants to leave their mark on international development.

Our mission is to forge, optimize, and sustain knowledge partnerships between people and institutions of higher education and research.  Named one of the “top social innovations for the  next 100 years” (The Rockefeller Foundation 2013), GKI catalyzes purpose-driven networks to solve development challenges. We tackle challenges pertinent to science, technology, and innovation (STI) and that affect the lives of poor and vulnerable people.  We take a three-pronged approach to achieving our mission: (1) locating critical resources required for scientific research, teaching, and innovation to address shared challenges, (2) enabling partners to collaborate through competitions, trainings, and capacity building initiatives, (3) connecting resource seekers together with the global network of problem solvers to bring solutions to scale.  GKI is expanding its programs and services in East and Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, the US, and elsewhere.

The candidate we seek is a passionate and enthusiastic emerging leader who is keen to support international development through the application of science, technology, and innovation.  Our Jr. Program Officers are strategic thinkers who thrive in a diverse range of settings.  As comfortable performing political economy analysis as standing before a room of technical experts offering a training in collaborative innovation, Jr. Program Officers easily switch from macro to micro thinking, remaining focused, energetic, and empathetic in any scenario.


  1. Program Administration and Management

–       Grow the scope and impact of the organization’s university engagement portfolio, with specific emphasis on the US, Asia, and Africa

–       Perform analysis, monitoring, evaluation, and support functions for several university-centered networks organized around major development challenges

–       Identify resources—institutional, human, knowledge, technological—available globally to fill the needs presented by emerging problem-solving teams

–       Maintain regular contact with problem-solving teams and other partners, including consistent email/phone communication, visits, briefings / trainings, and other outreach as needed; this entails international travel

–       Actively maintain and improve knowledge management and information sharing within the GKI team, with its international teams, and with external audiences via press releases, website content, and social media

  1. Research and analysis

–       Perform rigorous analysis of the innovation assets and capacities of countries, institutions, and individuals

–       Analyze viability, feasibility, and desirability of specific innovations envisaged by problem-solving teams

–       Demonstrate above-average ability to identify contacts, experts, and ideas using various research methods

  1. Presentation and facilitation

–       Design and deliver creative and compelling presentations, workshop sessions, and/or training modules for high-level decision-makers from policymakers to university researchers

–       Facilitate intensive working sessions to enable groups to make decisions and/or achieve measurable progress toward their goals


A candidate for this position must be able to work in a varied, fast paced environment, both in a team and independently.  International travel will be required.  Additional necessary qualifications follow:

–       You are a superb communicator with great instincts about how to synthesize and tell a captivating story, build a deep rapport, and give honest feedback.

–       You have creative and exciting ideas for designing and administering programs on a startup budget.

–       You possess exceptional analytic, writing, and editing skills, demonstrated through a list of publications/presentations/web postings/videos/or other media.

–       You have applied your analytic and problem-solving skills to real-world challenges.  You are grounded in insights about challenges that communities face and have worked/studied internationally to acquire/demonstrate these insights.  Prior experience in a nonprofit, university, research institute, or social enterprise a plus.

–       You are facile with the principles of human centered design and collaborative innovation.

–       You are used to working across industries and disciplines and comfortable supporting and leading multidisciplinary teams.

–       You have 3-5 years of international experience (before, during, or after graduate school) and a Master’s degree in any of the following: international relations, public policy, design, engineering, or another innovation-related discipline.

–       You are fluent in Spanish or French and can run technical meetings, deliver briefings, etc. in one of these languages.

–       You are hungry for change and believe that you can make a difference.

To submit your resume, cover letter and references for consideration, please contact Andrew Gerard at andrew.gerard@gkinitiative.org. or call 1-617-755-3232 with any questions.


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