The Office of Challenge Programs provides national leadership and support for institutional development in the humanities. By offering matching funds, challenge grants and cooperative agreements help local, state, and national institutions secure their humanities resources and activities for the long term. The "multiplier effect" is crucial to achieving this goal: recipients of a challenge grant must match every federal dollar with three (in some cases, one or four) nonfederal dollars. Additionally, Challenge grants and cooperative agreements may also support long-term humanities projects with funds invested in a restricted, short-term endowment or other investment fund (or spend-down fund) that generate expendable earnings to support and enhance ongoing humanities activities. Eligible activities include the preservation and conservation of humanities materials, and the sustaining of digital infrastructure for the humanities.
The incumbent oversees a program which provides awards to organizations which enables them to increase their humanities capacity through capital expenditures to support the design, purchase, construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities for humanities activities, the purchase of equipment and software and performs the following:
Ensures that all grant and cooperative agreement applications are thoroughly and fairly evaluated in accordance with agency procedures.
Ensures that the Office's staff follows agency procedures for selecting review panels, conducting panel discussions, and preparing summary review materials with funding recommendations.
Identifies budget priorities and manages complex budgets for the Office.
Works closely with the Office of the Chairman of NEH to implement agency policy and ensure that Office staff follow such policies.
Stays abreast of developments in the humanities that may affect the operations of the Office.
Conveys information about the Office's programs to the public.
Supervises the preparation of notice of funding opportunities and other publications.
Supervises the work performed by a small professional staff by assigning duties and responsibilities; recommending recruitment, promotion, and reassignment; providing instructions, supervision, and coordination of assignments as necessary, and appraising performance.
Collaborates closely with the NEH Office of Grant Management in post-award oversight of the Office's grants and cooperative agreements