Ford Foundation seeks a Program Officer (PO) to help shape and advance the Foundation’s work at the intersection of art and social justice. The PO assesses and analyzes the field of the arts to identify its key ecosystems and work with various actors to shape and influence agendas to address diagnosed problems and opportunities. S/he is expected to share substantive knowledge with Foundation colleagues, and collaborate broadly across the Program Division. In addition, s/he will also serve as a ‘connector’ of grantees, and work with practitioners, government officials, scholars, NGO and corporate sector leaders, and other donors on issues of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals. This job is based in our New York office.
Ford Foundation is focused on challenging inequality in all its forms. This goal is reflected in all seven of the Foundation’s program areas, and in all of the regions and places where it works. The work of Creativity and Free Expression (CFE) explores how cultural narratives affect and shape contemporary reality, and how the arts, journalism, and film can contribute to fairer and more just societies. The CFE team seeks to elevate voices that have been marginalized, distorted, or ignored. In addition, it supports the organizations and networks that best sustain a just and equitable arts, film, and journalism sector; that ensure the safety and security of artists, filmmakers, and storytellers and that enable these fields to thrive.
Program Officers (PO) are the primary staff members responsible for the development of grant portfolios and all related activities, based on the strategies and approaches defined in the foundation’s thematic areas and regional context. Working as a member of the CFE team and under the management guidance of the CFE director, this PO will work alongside another arts and culture PO to support the areas of arts funding under the CFE strategy and will develop the Foundation’s grant recommendations, establish and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework, and ensure shared learning across programmatic teams. The PO will play a leading role in shaping specific grant activities, ensuring all activities are designed to deliver the goals of the CFE thematic strategy.
The Foundation’s current goal for its work in the arts field is to empower artists, cultural organizations, and networks. In keeping with its commitment to challenge inequality , the Foundation is developing an integrated multifaceted strategy to address the structural drivers of inequality in the arts landscape. CFE carries out its work through grant-making; support for programs and convenings for the field; and research and learning.
The Program Officer should be dedicated to social justice, and must also be able to thrive within a large institution with internal demands and address organizational responsibilities with the same amount of care as those in the external field. He or she will have strong relationship management skills and organizational processing skills to manage a large volume of grants and constituent correspondence and advocacy; the ability to prioritize, write and communicate clearly and project manage are crucial. Additional responsibilities include:
ALIGNMENT TO THE MISSION AND THE CULTURE OF THE FORD FOUNDATION:
· Commitment to the Foundation’s social justice mission and core values of equity, inclusion, and diversity
· Personal qualities of humility, a sense of humor, open-mindedness, and flexibility
· Discretion to handle confidential issues and excellent judgment in handling challenging issues and situations
· Action-oriented, entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to work well independently and in teams
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