Project Manager, Economic Growth

Closing date:


Position Location: Washington, DC


Creative Associates International is a dynamic, fast-growing global development firm that specializes in education, economic growth, governance and post-crisis stabilization. Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. Since its founding in 1977, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.

Position Summary:

Creative seeks a Project Manager (PM) for the Economic Growth Division. The Project Manager (PM) works under general supervision and performs a variety of complex work assignments within their project area with a project implementation focus. The Project Manager may assume responsibilities for projects typically of $3M in funding, depending upon variables such as the complexity, projected timeline of the projects, and geographic location of the work. Work involves guiding activities through work plans from concept to closure, working with multiple teams and ensuring coordination and collaboration between HQ and the field. The Project Manager may oversee junior staff providing project backstopping support for financial, contractual, and programs. The Project Manager travels internationally for field projects and reconnaissance activities and contributes to the successful and compliant implementation of assigned projects. This position identifies and helps resolve potential project implementation problems. The Project Manager drafts programmatic documents and reports; coordinates operational, research, and logistical support to project staff and consultants. As part of the HQ team, the Project Manager works closely with field teams and contributes to technical aspects of program design and implementation, as well as business development and proposal activities.

Reporting & Supervision:

PMs report to a Senior Project Manager or Project Director. PMs may supervise junior level project management staff.

NOTE: Different projects require different levels of project management leadership skills based on their strategic importance, project profile and complexity, specificity, scope, and geographic location. Creative formally sanctions, and reserves the right to modify, the skill and position level(s) needed for each project.

Expected Outcomes:


Projects under PM oversight receive support in all facets of project ramp-ups, project implementation and project close-downs. Projects are managed purposely, cohesively and efficiently. Project objectives are clear strategically, tactically and operationally. Challenges and potential implementation issues are preemptively identified and proactively addressed. PMs keep senior project leadership abreast of significant threats, implementation deficiencies and opportunities.

Project Management

Projects under PM oversight meet contractual obligations and fiscal targets in line with client and Creative’s administrative, financial, procurement and operational procedures. Projects are well-planned and human resource deployments, STTA, procurements are timely and effectively supported by HQ. Project staffing, project obligations, and reporting meet anticipated levels and high-quality standards and develop others’ knowledge and learning.

Financial Management

Projects under PM oversight meet performance targets and revenue projections. PMs proactively manage vacancies, non-billables, and foregone revenue. Projects requiring important course corrections or corporate support are elevated to senior management.

Staff Management

Junior project staff are tangibly supported technically, managerially and professionally; their professional objectives and personal needs are well understood, as are those of key staff in the field. Performance reviews of are meaningful and constructive and are administered timely. Projects honor all aspects of programmatic and fiscal compliance and lead efforts to enhance HQ and field coordination and communication.

New Business Development

PMs play a key role by making contributions to proposal development and business development efforts. Projects under PM oversight demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit; they are able to seize opportunities in the local marketplace, and to position the company and pave the way for the realization of new business opportunities. Opportunities for new business generation are created and nurtured. The company is visibly represented before stakeholders. Specific new business pursuits are well planned and timely executed. Activity design is conducted with insight and intellectual curiosity.

Learning & Adaptation

Projects under PM supervision have a heightened awareness of the value of learning and adaptation. PMs play a key role in project strategy and program/project implementation from concept to closure. Projects have explicitly defined learning agendas, M&E and Knowledge Management (KM) plans that track progress towards learning, and course corrections that are informed by data. Project interventions and innovations are well documented and catalogued. Learning events (i.e., Knowledge Share) capture salient programmatic aspects with potential for replication or scale up. Salient activities are celebrated and promoted through Creative’s Communications Department.


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Oversees assigned project management staff;
  • Ensures that Projects under PM oversight achieve contractual deliverables with technical distinction, meet fiscal targets, are well planned, resourced and properly tracked;
  • Tracks aspects of project performance; oversees project implementation of approved activities, monitoring timelines, tracking budgets, and supporting subcontract performance and financial management;
  • Represents Creative before projects; communicates with client representatives, i.e. CORs and AORs as well as other partners;
  • Resolves issues in project start-up and close-down; manages project backstopping, key field personnel support, consultant agreements; processing of project finance transactions, invoices, approval and handling of program files, transaction files, etc.;
  • Provides/backstops field projects on technical, financial, and administrative tasks, as assigned;
  • Supports key field personnel; may coordinate mobilizations and demobilizations of expatriates and TCNs;
  • Develops and monitors consultant agreements, assures coordination of travel and logistics, and oversees the facilitation of payment requests; may handle grants management activities, as needed;
  • Recommends improvements to project management standard operating procedures;
  • Ensures compliance of project-related documentation including work plans, staff records, communications, and transactions ensuring they are properly documented, including reviewing project-related invoices;
  • Participates in pertinent new business development endeavors; contributes to proposal preparation in technical/geographic areas closely connected to projects in the portfolio, including participating and/or leading reconnaissance and fact-finding trips in preparation for bids;
  • Elevates risks and opportunities to senior project management;
  • Reviews, and may prepare, project reports, and other material such as success stories, interventions and innovations;
  • Participates in project learning and data driven adaptation;
  • Directly manages and ensures the project’s the timely development and implementation of quality products and knowledge-share events according to project KM plans in close collaboration with the KM team;
  • Directly manages and ensures the timely and accurate tagging, uploading and tracking of KM project products in coordination with the KM team; and
  • Provides targeted product development, authorship or leadership for KM as required, and
  • Serves as a liaison with Creative’s support units, including HR, Finance & Contracts, Procurement, Field Operations, Communications, etc. Qualifications

Minimum Skills & Qualifications:

NOTE: Your job title is based on the role you perform and you must meet the minimum qualifications for that job title. Greater (higher) education and experience than minimum qualifications do not automatically classify you into a higher-level job title/position.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and eight years of relevant experience, or a Master’s degree and six years of relevant experience;
  • Short term technical assignments totaling at least four months of field time;
  • Experience supervising the work of junior staff members;
  • Considerable skill and experience in U.S. government donor regulations;
  • Experience in an international development donor funded setting and interacting with client representatives and other project stakeholders;
  • Experience in writing reports; developing and monitoring proposal and project budgets;
  • Experience in procuring goods and services and working with consultants and vendors;
  • Experience organizing and managing program/project knowledge/information;
  • Strong writing and editing skills; excellent communication, organizational, and analytical skills;
  • Ability to assume responsibilities for project of approximately $3M in funding;
  • Ability to work well in a team environment as well as independently;
  • Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines; ability to travel internationally on short notice; and
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft programs (Excel, PowerPoint, MS project, etc.).

Completion of Trainings:

  • Completion of all coursework/trainings required for project management positions at prior levels;
  • Knowledge of USAID Programs and Regulations and U.S. government donor regulations;
  • USAID Rules and Regulations training;
  • Project Procurement Review training; and
  • Project Budget Analysis and Budget Realignment training.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Specified level of proficiency in a language other than English, as assigned by project requirements.


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