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Internal Application: Director of Project Planning, Humanitarian Programs

International Social Impact | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

Sesame Workshop is seeking an experienced Director of Project Planning, Humanitarian Programs. His/her work will focus on Sesame Workshop’s humanitarian initiatives, supporting programming for children and caregivers in the Middle East (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) and Bangladesh. The position is based in New York, NY, though occasional international travel may be necessary. The Director of Project Planning will be responsible for program planning and management for an outstanding, large-scale early childhood development program that leverages the power of play-based learning to achieve measurable outcomes for children. Primary responsibilities will include coordinating a multi-faceted planning process in the project startup phase.

The right candidate will have extensive experience in project planning and project management with a proven track record of building and managing large, multi-sector projects across several organizations.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Work closely with subject matter experts to coordinate revisions and updates of major project components, including significant budget, five-year work plan, critical project deliverables, narrative, and timeline
  • Perform critical path and dependency analysis of tasks during initial project startup phase and full five-year timeline
  • Establish and maintain project scope and changes
  • Establish and track tasks and deadlines, including communicating and coordinating across a large, multidisciplinary, distributed team; help to manage related communication with key contacts at organizational partners and project stakeholders
  • Establish initial risk assessments and mitigation plans
  • Create project plans, policies, and administrative processes (e.g. change management, staffing, and communications plans)
  • Provide ongoing quality control and issue resolution
  • Some Travel 15-20%



  • 5+ years of experience in complex project management, international development, education, and/or humanitarian response
  • Bachelor's degree in relevant field
  • Demonstrated ability to work in highly matrixed project team with a sense of urgency
  • Exceptional written and oral communication and relationship management skills
  • Superior process management skills, including exceptional time management and follow-through, experience with deadline-driven projects in a fast-paced environment, attention to detail
  • Excellent computer skills, including MS Office, file transfer and sharing technology, and web-based communication and call tools
  • Ability to work effectively in multi-cultural settings


  • PMP/PgMP certification or equivalent
  • Master’s degree in Management, Compliance, International Development, Education, or related field
  • Deep understanding of the non-profit sector, international development, and/or children’s education
  • Experience working in humanitarian settings (experience in Syria response region or Rohingya response region a plus)

Program Information

Sesame Workshop has been awarded a $100 million grant from the LEGO Foundation to support a new early childhood development initiative for millions of children affected by the Rohingya and Syrian refugee crises. The 5-year program will leverage the power of learning through play, providing communities affected by refugee crises access to vital early learning opportunities. Together with BRAC and the IRC, we will reach displaced and host community children and their caregivers in Bangladesh and the Syrian response region through direct services and mass media programming. The program will also include robust research and advocacy components aimed at identifying best practices for play-based learning in humanitarian response and encouraging sustainable investment in early childhood development.