Date Posted

Application Deadline

Until Filled


Bogota, Colombia

View all current openings
Summary Description

The Ford Foundation, Andean Region Office seeks a dynamic, innovative Program Officer to help drive and shape the foundation’s social justice work in the region. The Program Officer should have proven experience and knowledge in political and institutional economies, redistributive policies and public budgets. The Program Officer will bring this political economy perspective to grantmaking and the team as they implement the office strategy. The Program Officer will support the strategy of the Andean Region Office and the broader social justice goals of the Foundation.


Addressing inequality is a key focus of the Ford Foundation globally and in the Andean Region. The overall goal of the office strategy is to ensure equitable distribution of public and natural resources, driven by the people, especially indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants. The Foundation strives to achieve this by working with critical stakeholders and partners in government, civil society, private sector and the donor community including local philanthropies in the region. The office’s grantmaking will support efforts to:

  • Empower indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants to exercise effective agency in decision-making and agenda-setting at the local, national and global level
  • Reshape fiscal policy and practice redistribute resources, so that a wider base of the population thrives
  • Support new rules, institutions, practices and relations of power to enable people to protect, control, use, and benefit from natural resources
  • Given the opportunities presented by the peace process in Colombia, the work in this country will have a special emphasis around peace and post-conflict activity

The Ford Foundation Andean Region Office has a focus mainly on Colombia and Peru with limited activity in other countries in the region to address these priorities from a local perspective, while also bearing in mind the importance of linking local challenges and interventions to global trends and strategies. The Program Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Representative for the Andean Region, and be part of our team based in Bogota, Colombia.

Program Officer's Core Responsibilities

Program Officers are responsible for the development of grant portfolios and ensuring all related activities are designed to deliver on the Andean Region office goals and strategies. The Program Officer assesses and analyzes the fields in which the Region office 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. The Program Officer strives to share substantive knowledge with Foundation colleagues; collaborate broadly with Ford’s Bogota office team; and serve as a ‘connector’ of grantees. The Program Officer works with practitioners, government officials, scholars, NGOs, other donors and corporate sector leaders on issue of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals. More specifically as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the Andean Region Program Officer will:

  • Contribute to the ongoing definition and development of team strategies, working toward the Andean Region goals.
  • Develop grant making activities in a team-oriented context, that are aligned to the strategic goals of the regional strategy and designed to achieve significant and scalable impact.
  • Manage, monitor and coordinate a grants portfolio, including: annual grant planning; identifying and working with prospective grantees to develop proposals for grant recommendations (including helping determine the goals for a grant, its activities, expected results, indicators of success and budget); conducting organizational assessments; undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees; and reviewing financial and narrative reporting from grantees.
  • Develop and implement grantee convenings to strategize and review opportunities, challenges and advances.
  • Recommend and participate in learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work.
  • 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 form the Andean Region Representative.
  • Develop and implement grant-making approaches that support the use of strategic communications as part of the program strategy.
  • Qualifications
    • A minimum of 8 years leading social justice strategies and/or subject-matter expertise in the relevant thematic area, and/or demonstration of strong cross-cutting work in social justice arena
    • A proven record of experience and knowledge on political and institutional economy, redistributive policies and public budgets.
    • A master’s degree in relevant field of study such as economics, political economy, sociology or equivalent experience.
    • Knowledge of policies/initiatives to enable people to protect, control, use, and benefit from natural resources a plus.
    • Experience working for a range of actors: government, multi-lateral institutions, think tanks/ universities, civil society, NGOs and the private sector, desired.
    • Deep understanding of the context of the Andean Region, particularly Colombia and Peru, and their cultures and economies, including geopolitical landscape.
    • Fluency in English and Spanish. Portuguese is a plus.
    • Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally
    • 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 ambiguity, constructive participation in ongoing organizational development
    • Knowledge of social networks and organizations in the Andean Region, particularly in Colombia and Peru, and ability to engage in a multicultural and diverse scenario.
    Alignment to the Mission and the Culture of the Ford Foundation
  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, fairness and diversity
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-oriented and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams