Ford Foundation is continuing to hire for all open roles with all interviewing and on-boarding done virtually due to COVID-19. Everyone new to the team, along with our current staff, will temporarily work from home until it is safe to return to our offices.
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To be considered for employment at Ford Foundation, please complete our online employment application. Your application and all required attachments must be submitted for each individual job post for which you are interested in applying. If there is an application deadline, please ensure that your application is submitted by the deadline. Once you submit your application you will not be able to edit your application.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, September 24th
The Ford Foundation’s Future of Work(ers) (FOW) thematic area seeks a dynamic, strategic, and collaborative Program Officer (PO) to help shape and implement its strategy focused on building greater economic security, opportunity, and power for workers in the United States. This Program Officer would specifically lead a major grant making portfolio that focuses on policy change. This portfolio includes establishing and strengthening labor standards for workers in low wage sectors of the economy, reimagining labor law and policies that are designed to expand the bargaining power and voice of workers, and advancing social protections.
The Program Officer may also manage other grants or lead special projects that are related to the team’s broader impact goals around economic opportunity and worker power but do not fall neatly into one of these three categories. The ideal candidate will be grounded in the worker movement, economic justice, and/or future of work issues.
Addressing inequality is a key focus of the Ford Foundation. The opportunity for decent work and fair reward is an essential pillar of an inclusive economy, and expanding that opportunity is key to reducing inequality. The workplace is being transformed by globalization, changing power dynamics, the growing role of financial markets, and emerging technologies. While these changes mean new opportunities for some, many workers are contending with deep economic anxiety, exclusionary labor market policies, unpredictable work schedules, and more precarious working conditions.
We believe all working people are essential to building a just economy. Our Future of Work(ers) program is focused on ensuring that all workers, regardless of their status, have equal rights to labor protections, that social protections are guaranteed to all, and that workers shape the policies and economic systems that affect their lives. We work to build public will and reimagine labor and social policies based on worker priorities to make sure all work is valued and protected. To learn more about our priorities and strategy, please visit our website.
Working under the direction of the Director of the FOW program, the Program Officer will further develop existing grantmaking strategies; identify prospective grantees; solicit, review and respond to grant proposals; and prepare recommendations for Foundation funding. The Program Officer will also be expected to collaborate internally with other Program Officers throughout the Foundation and externally to provide intellectual leadership on future of workers issues. In addition, the Program Officer will work with practitioners, nonprofits, government officials, scholars, corporate leaders and other donors to leverage positive impact toward common goals.
Specifically, The Program Officer Will
- Lead the FOW team’s policy portfolio, which aims to support new policies and regulations at the federal, state, and local level that increasingly protect worker rights and advance social protections.
- Lead special projects that help advance the program strategy.
- Engage with grantees to review opportunities, challenges and advances and encourage collaboration, learning, exchange and strategic partnerships.
- Work with grantees to help promote their work and forge connections with other partners in philanthropy.
- Manage, monitor and coordinate grants portfolio of approximately $7 million annually, including: long-term grant planning; identifying new grantees and working with prospective ones to develop high impact proposals; conducting organizational assessments; undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees; and reviewing financial and narrative reports.
- Represents the foundation in funder affinity groups and national funder collaboratives.
- Foster a culture of learning – including learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work – seeking to continually ask hard questions, gather independent and rigorous data and evidence about effectiveness of the Foundation and grantees’ strategies, and help adapt practice as needed. Serve as an accessible resource for the field accordingly.
- Represent the Foundation and its work in key venues through participation in relevant meetings, public speaking, writing, speeches, briefings, blog posts, and interviews, with guidance from the FOW Director and Ford’s Office of Communications.
- Develop and implement grant-making approaches that support the use of strategic communications as part of the program strategy.
- Work closely with a grantmaking team of Grants Manager and Program Assistant to manage all aspects of grants processing and compliance. Serve as mentor and coach to a shared Program Associate and directly manage a Program Assistant to ensure effective support to grantees and grantmaking processes.
- Contribute to the thinking and work of colleagues on the FOW team, the Foundation and the field of grant seekers and philanthropic peers overall.
- BA/BS plus at least 8 years of experience in the field of economic justice, future of work, worker’s rights, policy, organizing and movement building or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Deep understanding of the labor market, movement based policy change, and power building at federal and state levels.
- Strategic thinker with an understanding of the various mechanisms and venues through which philanthropy and our grantees can affect change (e.g., organizing and movement building; policy change, including legislative, legal, regulatory, federal, state, and local; applied research; strategic communications and narrative strategies; business practice shift; and etc).
- A strong understanding of multi-racial coalition building and how to apply racial, gender, and disability analyses to strategy.
- Proven track record of working closely with communities that have been historically marginalized in systems that affect their lives.
- Exceptional leadership – internally and externally — and ability to lead high level engagement with donors and engage in strategic conversations throughout the field.
- Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, excellent verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills.
- Superb analytical skills and ability to strategize, plan, prioritize and identify/assess opportunities, challenges and institutions with which to engage.
- Proven ability to engage with a broad variety of stakeholders and in coalition with others; openness and curiosity about new approaches and different points of view.
- Direct experience engaging in systemic change initiatives or campaigns, from the purview of government, non-profit advocacy organizations, public interest legal organizations, philanthropy, or the academy.
- Openness to an integrated approach to grantmaking that mixes different approaches to social change, and a willingness to try new things.
- Ability to navigate a large and complex institution; willingness to participate constructively on organizational priorities beyond the immediate focus of this portfolio; comfort with institutional change and periods of ambiguity.
- Written and oral fluency in English.
- Legal background or a deep understanding of the impact of labor laws on low-wage workers and worker power
- Experience in the labor movement
- Understanding of collective bargaining
- Understanding or interest in the intersection of economy and climate
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, email@example.com or call (212) 573-4627.
MINIMUM SALARY : US$145,000
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.