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New York, USA

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Summary Description

The Ford Foundation has launched a new program called BUILD, which aims to support and develop robust, effective and sustainable organizations addressing inequality around the world; we're hiring a Program Officer to join the BUILD team. In the next five years, the Foundation will invest approximately $1Bn in a limited number of organizations, providing them with flexible operational and organizational strengthening support.

By strengthening organizations that are core to the social justice infrastructure, the Foundation aims to ensure BUILD organizations have the stability it takes to drive change over the long term and in turn achieve greater impact. BUILD grants will be fully integrated into the grant making of our seven thematic areas.

The newly created BUILD team at the Foundation focuses on helping BUILD grantees across the globe become stronger, sustainable, more effective organizations and networks. The BUILD team will do this by both serving as a resource to Foundation program officers and providing thought leadership on organizational development both within and outside the Foundation. The BUILD team will support grant-makers in 11 offices across the globe. This is an entrepreneurial opportunity, and the Program Officer will help build a new program at the frontier of knowledge, contributing to learning among Ford Foundation grantees while advancing the state of philanthropic practice.

The Program Officer will act as a key leader on the global BUILD team. S/he will use problem-solving and coaching skills to both support foundation staff in strengthening their portfolio of BUILD grantees and in many cases, directly strengthening these organizations and networks. In concert with Ford Foundation program officers in our seven thematic areas, the PO will work with the CEOs, COOs, Heads of HR, and other key individuals at grantee organizations to support them in strengthening their strategy, management, leadership, staff and board engagement, financial practices, and use of evaluation, data and technology in their organizations. The PO also will play a key role in shaping and implementing a learning strategy to benefit grantees and the field, and in strategic communications about the initiative. This position will report to the BUILD Director.

The PO, BUILD’s primary responsibility is to support teams in their strengthening of the operational areas of their grantees in order to increase impact. Activities will include:

  • Virtual and in-person coaching of Ford staff and grantee CEOs and senior staff, to help grantees create and implement organizational strengthening plans that will increase their resilience and effectiveness (45%)
  • Designing and implementing learning experiences that advance the skills, knowledge and mindset of BUILD grantees, Ford staff, and potential other stakeholders (i.e., convenings, video conferences, webinars, direct connections, etc.). Leveraging opportunities and resources for BUILD grantees working in close collaboration with teams from around the world (25%)
  • Designing, supporting, and learning from experiments in NGO institutional strengthening to benefit Ford Foundation grantees, program staff, and NGOs in the U.S. and around the world (15%)
  • Creating resources and tools that can be used by grantees and Ford staff to assess organizational and network performance, develop and implement organizational strengthening plans, and evaluate their progress (10%)
  • Providing thought leadership and guidance both within and outside the Ford Foundation regarding effective institutional strengthening for NGOs in the U.S. and around the world (5%)

  • Exceptional reasoning and strategic problem solving abilities, and proven track record of success in solving complex and dynamic problems
  • Deep understanding of the needs of NGOs in the U.S. and around the world in key areas of organizational and network effectiveness, including strategic and business planning, management, and leadership development
  • Familiarity with organizational and network development concepts, frameworks, and tools, and willingness to adapt capacity building approaches to each unique grantee; not wedded to any single model or approach
  • Familiarity and experience working with social justice concepts and frameworks such as racial equity, economic justice, intersectionality, or structural bias
  • Ability to develop strong relationships and partnerships with diverse individuals remotely and in-person
  • Strong skill in coaching and developing others, including peers, without having a direct management relationship
  • Experience and expertise in developing high quality adult learning experiences and knowledge resources
  • Commitment to personal learning and development and openness to feedback
  • Adaptability and flexibility, with ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced, results-oriented culture with limited guidance
  • Demonstrated cultural competence and sensitivity; ability to work well across all types of difference
  • High degree of emotional intelligence; excellent listening and communications skills
  • Responsive, service-oriented attitude
  • Qualifications
    • BA/BS plus a minimum of 7 years' full time work experience, including several years of experience successfully managing projects and teams
    • Advanced degree in a related field such as public policy, law, business, organizational development or equivalent experience, strongly preferred
    • Demonstrated commitment to the Ford Foundation’s mission and the goals of the BUILD initiative
    • Prior experience working in nonprofit organizational and network development, as senior management (e.g., CEO, COO) of an NGO, or as senior staff in a capacity-building intermediary
    • Knowledge and past experience with nonprofit financial analysis strongly preferred
    • Knowledge of multiple languages strongly preferred
    • Experience working and/or living in one of the Ford Foundation’s regions, strongly preferred
    Alignment to the Mission and 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-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams
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