Job Opening: Program Manager, Special Projects – Atlanta, GA

Job Summary

The Program Manager performs a significant role with the Institute for Capacity Building team, supporting and coordinating multiple projects and various stakeholders at UNCF Institute for Capacity Building (ICB). The Program Manager will have the principal responsibility for meeting the goals and objectives of applicable projects. This person is responsible for building strong relationships with ICB staff and UNCF executive leadership.

In addition to supporting and coordinating multiple projects, the Program Manager will help the Executive Director manage long-term programmatic goals for realistic projections. The position requires a highly motivated self-starter. S/he can work autonomously and have the capacity to collaborate when necessary. The Program Manager should be detail-oriented, communicate effectively, and have a strong understanding of program management. The Program Manager will report to the Executive Director.

Successful candidates will join the Institute for Capacity Building team, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to specific roles and responsibilities, ICB team members have proven to be successful when they:

  • Are driven to serve people and institutions that are often undervalued and overlooked;
  • Embrace collaboration as a critical value to ensure effective teamwork and adoption of best practices;
  • Seek out opportunities to innovate and improve upon conventional practices and procedures;
  • Take personal responsibility for executing key projects and developing relationships; and
  • Operate with a sense of mission and purpose.

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Conduct background research and analysis and prepare briefing and advance materials to support the Executive Director’s broad range of activities and engagements, both internally and externally. Projects and assignments will vary, and the capacity to be proactive, diligent, and thorough will be essential.
  • Support the Executive Director’s engagement with UNCF and external stakeholders by assisting with meeting material preparation, as appropriate.
  • Assist in brainstorming, design, and execution of new projects that could range across the portfolio of the Executive Director’s activities. These will be major projects as part of the Executive Director’s leadership agenda and could include support to improve the ICB’s Advisory Board’s functioning, improve the team’s effectiveness, or help with program strategy, evaluation, and execution.
  • Efficiently manage new or unplanned projects with agility and flexibility as they arise.
  • Help to manage the Executive Director’s stakeholder engagement plan. This will include creating and maintaining a list of important leaders to engage periodically, research on organizations and leaders, and support in meeting messaging and follow up.
  • Assist with drafting key communication products, especially those authored by the Executive Director, inclusive of social media. Work closely with the communications department on preparation for speeches, presentations, and other public materials. Support the Executive Director’s engagement with communications planning and strategy development and draft selected materials for the foundation website.
  • Remain abreast of key trends and developments relevant to the team’s key program areas and in the philanthropic sector to share key reports, articles, and sources with the Executive Director or other appropriate team members. At times, prepare summaries of key reports.
  • Serve as liaison between the Executive Director and key staff to ensure clear lines of communication, sharing of resources and information, and assisting with joint projects and initiatives as needed.
  • Support the Executive Director in his oversight and management of all aspects of team-wide planning.
  • Support the development of ICB’s network engagement strategy by building connections with HBCUs and other higher education institutions, educational intermediaries, funders, community organizations, and workforce stakeholders.
  • Assist with other duties and projects, as assigned by the Executive Director.


  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously, knowing how to prioritize and adjust timetables based on demand and other circumstances
  • Ability to absorb a high volume of information from a variety of sources and to synthesize the critical elements
  • Experience in using digital mediums and platforms to facilitate learning across multiple stakeholder groups
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to move deftly between big picture and details
  • Comfort with concurrently managing numerous ongoing projects in different phases
  • Superior organizational skills and ability to operate at the most detailed level
  • Thrives with the execution of deadlines
  • Strong multi-tasker and operates with a high degree of flexibility to adapt to changing needs and direction
  • High energy and a passionate commitment to the goals of ICB, its program areas, and the ability/willingness to adapt as those goals evolve
  • Collegial, team-oriented, willing to pitch in as needed and support challenges at all times with a high level of flexibility
  • Strong interpersonal skills to manage a broad range of relationships with care, to read situations well, and to treat others with respect and humility
  • Comfortable in an environment that is flexible and with circumstances that will require a high tolerance for ambiguity
  • Possessing superb judgment, impeccable integrity, and the maturity to handle sensitive information with care and confidentiality
  • Strong cognitive and emotional management (CEM) skills
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Complete discretion required
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred
  • 5-7 years of relevant work experience is required
  • Commitment to education and social justice
  • Additionally, the individual must be a self-starter, who is able to problem-solve and take on a wide range of tasks to deliver results; collegial and professional manner; excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Salary Range: $50,500.00 – 57,000.00


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About UNCF

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, has been an engine of minority educational achievement for more than 70 years. UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally recognized pipeline of black students who, because of UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates. In addition, UNCF ensures that its member institutions remain respected models of best practices in moving students to and through college. Since its inception in 1944, UNCF has raised over $4.5 billion in private support, distributed more scholarships to help minorities attend school than any entity outside of the federal government, and enabled more than 425,000 minority and low-income students to graduate from UNCF’s member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and launch professional careers. UNCF is committed to closing the educational attainment gap between African Americans and other populations by increasing postsecondary access and success for students from underrepresented groups, particularly low-income and first-generation students.

About ICB

Launched in 2006, UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) provides targeted capacity-building resources to help HBCUs improve their resilience. We define resilience as the institution’s ability to improve its operation today and future-proof them for tomorrow. ICB’s engagement equips UNCF member institutions and other HBCUs and PBIs, to provide high-quality educational experiences to their students and the broader Black community. ICB’s work focuses on three areas critical to HBCU success: institutional effectiveness, academic competitiveness, and financial viability. Beyond our strategic advisory and project management support, ICB serves as an innovation hub for Black colleges, connecting institutions to funders, best practices, resources, and subject matter experts both within and outside of UNCF.