The Ford Foundation seeks a dynamic, innovative Senior Program Officer to join the International Programs team to help drive and shape the foundation’s work around international cooperation and global governance. The Senior Program Officer should have proven experience and knowledge of global systems and institutions, U.S. foreign policy, international cooperation and a strong racial and gender justice perspective.
The ideal candidate will be knowledgeable about topics at the intersection of international cooperation and social justice, and understand the roles that policy advocacy, organizing, research, narrative shifts and philanthropy play in advancing social change. They will build a grantmaking portfolio that seeks to define and help foster a more just, inclusive and sustainable international order.
The international systems of global governance clearly outlived their post-World War II origins and are in the midst of transition, grappling to meet the global challenges that include shifting power dynamics among countries and regions, dangerously high levels of inequality globally, crises of the commons (climate change, human migration, pandemics) and the need for wholly new global governance systems to manage 21st century issues such as technology.
The Ford Foundation’s unique aspiration in all its work is to disrupt inequality in all its forms not just as an economic problem but rather as a structural problem that impacts the political, social and cultural systems too. Therefore, we believe that a transformed system of global governance requires an integrated approach that breaks down the silos between geopolitics, geo-economics, technological and social and cultural forces that transcend national boundaries.
In practice, this means bringing together ideas, institutions, and individuals from varied disciplines to advance a shared vision. The foundation strives to achieve a just and inclusive global order as an antidote to inequality by working with critical stakeholders and partners in government, civil society, private sector and national and international philanthropies.
The grantmaking and professional work of the Senior Program Officer will support efforts to:
Support institutions, individuals, and ideas that envision and promote democratic values, justice, and inclusivity as core principles in foreign policy and in global governance systems
Support the active inclusion of social justice perspectives--including perspectives related to race, gender and ethnicity--in discourse and practice on the transition of the global order
Identify and inform specific global institutions, actors, processes and approaches (including campaigns and advocacy efforts) that are/could be instrumental to addressing inequality through strengthening inter-governmental and/or non-governmental institutions and mechanisms
Work to increase trust in global organizations and in the idea of a global community with shared, concrete and cooperative problem-solving approaches
Foster dialogue and strategic alliances among INGOs and governments
The Senior Program Officer will be based in Ford Foundation’s headquarters in New York City and report to Ford Foundation’s Program Vice President of International Programs.
Senior Program Officers are responsible for the development of grant portfolios and ensuring all related activities are designed to deliver on the international program goals and strategies. The Senior Program Officer assesses and analyzes the fields in which the program is focused; identifies key ecosystems and opportunities to work with various actors to shape and influence agendas to promote social justice; and plays a leading role in shaping specific grant activities. Senior Program Officers are network weavers and partnership builders--striving to share substantive knowledge with Foundation colleagues; collaborate broadly with Ford’s international and US programs; and serve as a ‘connector’ of grantees. The Senior Program Officer works with practitioners, government officials, scholars, NGOs, other donors and corporate sector leaders on issues of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals.
More specifically as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the Senior Program Officer will:
Develop grant making activities that are aligned with global strategy goals and designed to achieve significant and scalable impact.
Manage, monitor and coordinate a grants portfolio, including: annual grant planning, identifying and working with the Foundation’s grantees to develop proposals for grant recommendations; undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees, performing grantee site visits, reviewing financial and narrative reporting from grantees.
Develop and implement grant-making approaches that support the use of broad coalitions and strategic communications as part of the program strategy.
Develop and implement grantee convenings and reflections to strategize and review opportunities, challenges and advances.
Identify ways to support grantees in the portfolio to become more durable, more resilient and more effectively networked with each other. This includes support for strategic vision, leadership, management systems, financial stability, and organizational diversity, equity and inclusion.
Develop and implement grant-making approaches that support the use of strategic communications and narrative change as part of the program strategy.
Recommend and participate in learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work, promote exchange and strategic partnership. Learn from and collaborate with key stakeholders inside and outside the Foundation.
Represent the Foundation and its work to the government, media, academic, business, philanthropic, and civic leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings and interviews, with guidance from the Vice President.
Play a leadership role working toward and influencing team collaboration, team building and team effectiveness, modeling these skills for the team.
A minimum of 12 years leading social justice strategies and/or subject-matter expertise in U.S. foreign policy, international cooperation, global governance and demonstration of strong crosscutting work in the social justice arena.
Experience and knowledge on issues regarding inequality, racial justice and gender.
Deep understanding of international systems and understanding of the roles that policy advocacy, organizing, research, strategic communications, narrative shifts and philanthropy play in advancing social change.
A master’s degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally.
Superb analytical skills and ability to strategize, plan, prioritize and identify/assess opportunities, challenges and institutions with which to engage.
Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills.
Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of change, constructive participation in ongoing organizational development.
Willingness to work to a flexible schedule, including occasional travel within the U.S. and internationally.
This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer. Additionally, domestic/international travel will be expected when it is safe to travel, approximately 20% of working time. Some travel is directly related to grantmaking, but also required to attend team conferences, retreats and meetings.
The Ford Foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs, and operations. As part of this commitment, the Foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 573-4627.
MINIMUM SALARY: US$206,000
Alignment to Culture and Values
- Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
- Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
- Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
- Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams
- Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
- Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
- Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years
- Tuition Reimbursement
- Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
- Professional development initiatives for growth
- Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)
Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.