Middle East Media Initiative Program Specialist – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

Middle East Media Initiative

Program Specialist, Job Description

The Middle East Media Initiative (MEMI) is a fixed-term grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and produced at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.  The program is an innovative professional exchange and partnership between the American TV industry and counterparts in the Middle East to share industry best practices for creative storytelling and to create lasting professional networks.  Programming will include intensive workshops, mentoring, and cross-industry dialogues both in the United States and in the Middle East.  

The Program Coordinator will coordinate all aspects of the MEMI grant including workshop and conference logistics, international travel coordination and grant administration. The position will require working closely with MEMI’s Program Director and establishing and maintaining program workflow and processes.  Candidates should bring innovative ideas on ways to further the mission of the program. The Middle East Media Initiative is an ambitious program produced by a small team and requires flexibility, initiative, collaboration, independent thinking and attention to detail.

The grant term is scheduled to expire in December 2024.


  • Support MEMI Program Director in the day-to-day implementation of the program, working with Middle Eastern broadcasters, producers, screenwriters, American TV executives and creatives, and key Department of State officials.
  • Coordinate Middle Eastern and LA-based writing and producing workshops make logistical arrangements for job shadowing programs and Middle East-based mentor visits.
  • Assists in vendor contracts and grant administration. Monitors budgets, prepares and submits reports.
  • Coordinates travel, visas and accommodations for SCA staff, program instructors and international participants.
  • Interacts with university (USC) and school (SCA) business offices to coordinate instructor pay, process reimbursements and other financial management.
  • Assists in budget preparation, ordering materials and supplies. Tracks and monitors assigned budget expenditures and reports on variances. Provides projections as requested.
  • Manage student workers. Schedules, assigns or prioritizes workloads.

Required Skills and Qualifications:

  • Minimum Bachelor’s Degree
  • 3-4 years work experience in related fields including event management and/or logistical oversight
  • Exceptional writing, communication and leadership skills
  • Strong experience in balancing budgets and managing financial paperwork such as invoices and reimbursements.  Proficient in Excel.
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to prioritize and coordinate multiple projects daily with minimal supervision.
  • Adaptable, resourceful and calm in the face of unexpected problems
  • Outstanding people skills and ability to work with many types of individuals in diverse cultural settings
  • Strong ability to navigate university and U.S. government protocol

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Professional or personal experience in the Arab world
  • Professional experience working in scripted television, or entertainment industry
  • Strong network of Middle Eastern creatives or experience in the Middle Eastern film/TV industries
  • Proficiency in Arabic

The hourly rate range for this position is $30.27 – $34.31. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

The University of Southern California (USC), founded in 1880, is located in the heart of downtown L.A. and is the largest private employer in the City of Los Angeles.  As an employee of USC, you will be a part of a world-class research university and a member of the “Trojan Family,” which is comprised of the faculty, students and staff that make the university what it is.  The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education
Minimum Experience: 2 years
Minimum Field of Expertise: Directly related professional experience in program specialization, e.g., counseling or teaching.

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