Job Opening: Senior Project Manager

Posted: 12/2/2020

MIT Job#: 19139

Visa sponsorship available: No


Position Overview

The Senior Project Manager will be responsible for the overall management, operations, strategic planning, and implementation of the USAID BRIDGE-Train Award, which is estimated to be a $15M award over five years to build the innovation and research capacity of higher education institutions in Guatemala and neighboring Central American countries. The Department of Mechanical Engineering and MIT D-Lab will implement the project in partnership with collaborators in Latin America.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities (Essential Functions)

The Senior Project Manager will be responsible for the overall management, operations, implementation, and coordination of the Award. This includes the following responsibilities:

  • Develop and manage strategic and operational plans and systems to ensure project operations are effective and efficient.
  • Collaborate with PIs to produce the project’s annual workplan for submission to USAID. Operationalize the project’s annual workplan and manage its implementation.
  • Manage the production of all required project reports and deliverables to USAID.
  • Manage project activities, implementing principles and practices of effective project management, to ensure that the program team meets its objectives and deliverables within budget and project timelines.
  • Manage project finances including developing and managing the annual budget.
  • Manage project personnel on the MIT team; ensure that the project workplan is operationalized within individual staff workplans, allocate and re-allocate work as needed among staff to accomplish project objectives, provide frequent feedback to staff and staff oversight to ensure that the project is on track.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact with the project manager and project teams at up to three institutions receiving sub-awards (including one Guatemalan university).
  • Establish and manage relationships and formal engagements with project partners, including Sub-awardees, Contractors, and professional service providers.
  • Serve as the project’s primary point of contact and liaison to USAID. This includes responsibility for regular check-ins, coordination, and formal and informal reporting as needed, throughout the project period.  
  • Incorporate results of the project’s monitoring, learning, and evaluation activities, which will be conducted by the MEL position under this position’s supervision, evaluate the effectiveness of the project’s operational processes, and develop recommendations for improvements as needed. If changes to the project’s strategies, major activities, or scope are approved by USAID, manage the implementation of these changes.
  • Develop and execute communication strategies for the project, with the support of a part-time Communications Coordinator who would be under the direct supervision of this position.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Supervision Received

The Senior Project Manager will report to the Principal Investigator, Professor Dan Frey (MIT D-Lab Faculty Director for Research).

Supervision Exercised

Supervise staff members on the project team.


  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree strongly preferred) in international affairs, public administration, public policy, or a project-related technical field is required.
  • Minimum 5 years of administration or operations experience and/or project/program management required.
  • Minimum of one (1) year of experience leading and/or managing projects of similar size and scope to this Award.
  • Prior management/supervisory experience preferred.

Key Capabilities

  • Excellent project management skills demonstrated through successfully managing projects with multiple implementing partners to achieve project objectives on time and within budget; experience managing sponsored research projects within a university setting strongly preferred.
  • Prior experience with capacity-building projects in the context of international development related to research, training, entrepreneurship, and/or innovation is strongly preferred. Experience with projects that build capacity at higher education institutions is preferred.
  • Experience working and/or living in Guatemala or neighboring Central American country preferred; experience working or collaborating with higher educational institutions (HEIs) in Central and/or South America strongly preferred.
  • The ability to write and speak clearly, succinctly, and effectively in English and preferably in Spanish as well, including when doing so for non-technical audiences.
  • The ability to create and maintain rapport and effective working relationships with a diversity of people occupying positions at different levels of authority within consortium and collaborator institutions.

Note: The funding for this project has not been awarded yet. If the team is successful in the proposal process, it is anticipated that the award will be made in March 2021. An offer for the senior project manager role will be dependent on receiving the award.


MIT Careers website, job number 19139