Program Assistant contract, Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institut

Program Assistant

Location: Center for Conservation and Sustainability, Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, DC

Duration: 6-month contract with possibility for extension

Compensation: $22,000 for 6 months

The Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation and Sustainability (CCS) is seeking a highly motivated bilingual program assistant to support activities related to its partnership with ITAIPU Binational, Paraguay.

About CCS:

CCS works with industry partners to evaluate and monitor the impact of infrastructure development on biodiversity and ecosystem services and to design and test best practices for biodiversity. CCS strives to (1) promote science-based approaches to sustainable infrastructure development through transformative partnerships; 2) leverage Smithsonian expertise; 3) transfer skills and knowledge to build capacity; 4) build and sustain the long-term presence in high-biodiversity land and seascapes that is required to institutionalize sustainable infrastructure practices.

In Paraguay, CCS has been collaborating with ITAIPU Binational since the 1990s. Located in the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest region of Paraguay and Brazil, it is the largest hydropower facility in South America and the second largest in the world. In 2017, this collaboration expanded into a new area: creation of an International Center for in-situ and ex-situ conservation of the region’s precious wildlife. Under this collaboration, CCS provides research and guidance in best practices to staff at ITAIPU’s Center for Wildlife Research, new zoological park, and network of protected areas. The incumbent’s work will focus on the CCS-ITAIPU project.

Duties to include:

• Prepare and transmit agendas and background materials and participate in meetings and appointments • Prepare for and attend meetings, coordinate and produce necessary briefing materials ahead of time, record minutes, note commitments made • Support planning and preparation for workshops and site visits and prepare follow-up reports • Prepare correspondence and other documents • Gather information on in-situ and ex-situ conservation such as education, animal husbandry, zoo safety, and other topics • Contribute to the development of presentations • Provide logistics support for travel and field programs


• Spoken and written fluency in English and Spanish and excellent communication skills in both languages • Bachelor’s degree required with major or strong interest in conservation, ecology, environmental studies, or related field; Master’s degree a plus • 3-5 years of experience in program management support • Well-organized, detail-oriented, and able to manage multiple tasks • Ability to work well both independently and with a team • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher

How to Apply:

Applicants should email: 1) a letter of interest detailing qualifications for the position, 2) a curriculum vitae, and 3) contact information for three professional references (institution, title, email address, phone number) to Ana María Sánchez-Cuervo: Please include “Program Assistant application” in the subject line of the email.

Deadline: December 1, 2019