Program Assistant, National Security Language Initiative (Youth Program) – American Councils for International Education – Washington, DC

Position description

Based in Washington, DC, the Program Assistant will assist in the administration and daily operation of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth. The NSLI-Y Program is a critical component of a multi-agency federal initiative to increase U.S. citizens’ capacity to engage foreign governments and peoples through the critical language of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. NSLI-Y is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and American Councils acts as the prime grantee collaborating with other partner organizations. NSLI-Y provides merit-based scholarships for eligible U.S. high schools students to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. To learn more about the program, please visit the NSLI for Youth website

FLSAClassification: Non-Exempt

The NSLI-Y Program Assistant will report to the NSLI-Y Program Manager.


  • Assists in development and implementation of the NSLI-Y program;
  • Assists in daily operation of the NSLI-Y program by addressing administrative needs;
  • Handles inquiries about the NSLI-Y programs from the general public, prospective applicants and their families;
  • Coordinates participant language testing and measures for tracking progress of participants;
  • Coordinates the enrollment of all NSLI-Y participants in supplemental travel insurance;
  • Contributes to the promotion of NSLI-Y online networks and electronic resources;
  • Assists with student recruitment and outreach, program publicity, application processing, participant selection and alumni activities;
  • Assists in operation of program databases, including collecting and organizing participant data in accurate reporting;
  • Communicates with applicants and their families to secure missing or incomplete application materials;
  • Assists in the annual process of preparing for the new application cycle;
  • Communicates with partners and government funders;
  • Assists processing various program related invoices;
  • Assists in supervising program interns; and
  • Assists with additional duties as necessary.


  • Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Education, Area Studies, one of the targeted languages, or related field;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Strong abilities in Microsoft Office Suite including Microsoft Excel;
  • Ability to handle high volumes of communication with a variety of individuals effectively and professionally;
  • Experience and interest in international education, study abroad, or federally funded programs for cultural exchange;
  • Strong ability to multi-task and work as part of a team;
  • Outstanding organizational and time-management skills; and
  • Previous experience working with students strongly preferred.

Application instructions

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY – American Councils for International Educations does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.


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