Senior Grants and Contracts Manager

Helen Keller International

Senior Grants and Contracts Manager
New York, NY

Established in 1915 with Helen Keller as a founding trustee, Helen Keller International (HKI) works to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.  Headquartered in New York City, HKI offers programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia as well as in the United States.  The organization combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research.  Each year, their programs directly benefit millions of people, and children are a primary concern.  HKI programs address malnutrition, cataract, trachoma, onchocerciasis, refractive error and diabetic retinopathy.  HKI has over 700 staff and a worldwide annual budget of over $50 million.  The headquarters office is recruiting a Senior Grants and Contracts Manager.

Position Overview:

The Senior Grants & Contracts Manager will:

  • Manage the Grants and Contracts unit to support project teams throughout HKI’s programming areas at all stages of the grants and contracts life cycle by advising on proposal strategy, ensuring sound grant and contracts management, timely financial reporting, and oversight of sub-grant awards as well as analysis of agreements and contracts with a varied portfolio of donors including USAID, CIDA, Gates, DFID, EU, etc.
  • Manage a collaborative effort with CFO and senior field staff to develop and oversee policies and procedures supporting HKI’s administration and management of grants, sub-grants and contracts; and the implementation of grants management operations to ensure compliance with legal and donor requirements across programs.
  • Provide expertise, advice and training to program and technical staff to build their understanding of the terms and conditions of grants and contracts to ensure that programs are delivered with minimized compliance risk; and work collaboratively with regional office staff to train and build capacity of local national staff.
  • Administer the Project Database and oversee the integrity of the data that provides budget and grant award information to the organization’s management staff at Headquarters, Regional and country office locations for the effective management of approximately $50 million in grants and contracts funding. 

Scope of the Position:

Standards and Systems Development

  • Collaborate with colleagues to develop, refine and implement guidelines, procedures, standards, work processes, manuals, metrics and methodologies for a successful and comprehensive grant management system.
  • Lead the development of toolkits to ensure effective and efficient operations in the areas of procurement, solicitation, budget preparation, contracting, and award administration (grants, cooperative agreements and contracts).

Proposal Development and Support

  • Provide and oversee unit’s input to formative discussions with other HKI units on proposal strategy with focus on agreement mechanisms, pricing methodologies, compliance issues, and sub-award management.
  • Ensure review of proposal budgets for cost realism, regulatory compliance, invoicing implications, and business risk.
  • Coordinate review and negotiation of awards, including budget, payment provisions, reporting requirements and general terms and conditions.

Donor Agreement and Subaward Management

  • Oversee technical, legal, financial, and administrative components of grant management for the organization.
  • Coordinate and oversee launch of new awards with all agency stakeholders to ensure a common understanding of all the elements of compliance.
  • Maintain grant oversight by recording the status of grants, forecasting and tracking grants and program budgets.
  • Develop and oversee standard terms and conditions for grant award letters, agreements and contracts.
  • Write and review memoranda of understanding, teaming agreements, contracts, and sub-agreements, and contracting officer approval letters.
  • Ensure that sub-grant agreements are developed according to donor requirements and HKI policies and procedures and are being effectively monitored.
  • Monitor ongoing business risks.
  • Assist in trouble-shooting issues as they arise; respond to questions/inquiries from donors.
  • Manage and oversee the close-out of completed projects.


  • Develop and deliver on-site and off-site training (formal and informal) of HKI staff in HQ and field offices.
  • Travel to Africa and/or Asia (2-3 times per year) to train and support colleagues and monitor compliance.

Unit Management

  • Propose HKI’s annual C&G unit plan and budget, and oversee implementation of the plan and expenditures in collaboration with CFO
  • Appoint, lead, evaluate, and manage C&G staff and manage relationships with all unit vendors and consultants.


  • Minimum 7-10 years relevant work experience plus Master’s Degree in business administration, grants/contracts management, finance, accounting, public administration or related field; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of five years experience with donor-funded programs in developing countries, preferably with USAID; experience living and working overseas supporting grant and/or financial management responsibilities for a field office strongly preferred.
  • Solid knowledge of administrative regulations applicable to assistance and acquisition including OMB CircularA-122; USAID Standard Provisions; 22CFR 226; 22CFR228; AADPS.
  • Solid knowledge of other donor regulations including other foreign government development agencies, and other multilateral development agencies.
  • Certificate in Grants and Contracts Management is a plus.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the synergy between the programmatic, operational and financial components of public health initiatives.
  • Proven ability to create and maintain effective systems for managing information, and tools for making information accessible and understandable to a broad audience.
  • Ability and willingness to work in a decentralized organizational structure with a highly collaborative approach, and in a headquarters culture that sees itself as “of-service” to the field.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including active listening skills, the ability to communicate effectively across cultures, to negotiate effectively with internal and external colleagues and to manage conflict.
  • Experience managing staff and mentoring colleagues
  • Ability to explain complex legal, regulatory, budget and financial information to a broad range of individuals from various backgrounds.
  • Experience conducting trainings for field office staff and in-country partners with a wide range of skills and prior knowledge.
  • Highly computer literate including very strong Excel skills, and solid knowledge of database management.  Experience in the use of various financial software packages and/or manual accounting systems a strong plus.
  • Willingness and ability to undertake field travel (approximately 2-3 trips per year).
  • Oral and written proficiency in French is strongly preferred.
  • Residence in or willingness to relocate to the NY metro area.

To Apply:

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the position title in the subject line.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.