Vice President of Programs

New Jersey, United States
Salary Not specified
Sep 18, 2020
Oct 17, 2020
Arts, Education
Employment Type
Full Time

Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

Vice President of Programs

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is a private foundation based in Morristown, New Jersey. Established in 1974, the Foundation supports arts, education, environment, informed communities, and poetry to connect communities and influence social change to achieve an equitable New Jersey.  Over the course of over 45 years, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation has distributed almost $500 million to nonprofits and currently has more than $300 million in assets.  It has nurtured leaders, ideas, and institutions that use creative problem-solving to promote a sustainable future.  The Foundation has a staff of 15 and is led by Tanuja Dehne, who joined the Foundation as its first woman of color President and CEO in 2019.

The Dodge Foundation seeks a visionary Vice President of Programs (Vice President) to serve as a critical leader at the Foundation during a period of organizational, programmatic, and culture change, providing oversight and management of all programmatic activities and ensuring alignment with Foundation goals and values.  Reporting to the President and Chief Executive Officer, the Vice President is a new leadership position created to lead the Foundation’s grantmaking activities as it transforms its program priorities to focus on equity, anti-racism, and justice.  The Vice President will infuse the Equity Framework in programmatic activities to ensure alignment with Foundation goals and values.  While most grantees operate in the State of New Jersey and are focused on issues and concerns specific to the State, the Vice President will be well-versed in issues of equity, justice, advocacy and organizing more broadly.

The Vice President’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Serves as an active member of the Senior Leadership Team
  • Acts as a close advisor and thought partner to the President and CEO
  • Under the advisement of the Board of Directors and in partnership with the President and CEO, Chief Financial Officer, and Vice President of People, Culture and Equity align program activities and priorities in accordance with the Foundation’s vision of an equitable New Jersey and commitment to anti-racism
  • Develop and implement new initiatives that more closely reflect the Foundation’s mission and new funding priorities, with attention to opportunities that go beyond grantmaking to expand the Foundation’s reach and impact towards equitable outcomes
  • Identify priorities, gaps, and trends in program areas and make recommendations accordingly
  • Identify and cultivate new relationships and networks that closely align with the Foundation’s desire to deepen the impact of the Foundation’s programmatic work
  • Lead the Program Staff by providing guidance, support, mentorship, and direct supervision of program directors, officers and associates; create opportunities for team members’ leadership and professional development and ensure that program team members are supported, valued, appreciated, and motivated to produce high-quality work
  • Work with Program Staff to set priorities including new program areas and determine what current work and grantees will need to be respectfully transitioned from the portfolio
  • Attract, develop, coach, and retain high-performance team members, ensuring they can elevate their level of responsibility, program priorities, and performance
  • Lead annual planning and budgeting for programs and projects and contribute to annual organizational planning and budgeting; work closely with the CFO to budget and monitor programmatic operations to ensure sound fiscal and system management
  • Imagine and create new and different ways to share power and decision-making
  • Design, develop and implement methodologies for measurement and evaluation towards measurable and additional equitable outcomes


While no candidate will meet every qualification, ideal candidates will meet the following criteria:

  • At least seven years’ experience with progressively more responsibility planning and leading multiple mission-driven programs in a philanthropic setting, with a preference for expertise in social justice grantmaking
  • Minimum of five years’ experience managing staff from diverse backgrounds, with strong experience in supporting staff development
  • Track record of effectively building strategic alliances and partnerships on behalf of an organization
  • Demonstrated experience in creative program design and implementation overseeing programs that successfully engage diverse communities with a strong understanding of best practices related to equity, anti-racism, community organizing, movement building and justice issues
  • Deep authentic knowledge of and experience working in the New Jersey philanthropic community is highly preferable
  • Experience and familiarity working with organizations in transformation and demonstrated ability to lead and manage major organizational change initiatives with tact, empathy, and alignment with the vision and values of the Foundation
  • Solid analytical, strategic thinking and problem-solving skills; ability to innovate, with capacity to create or seize opportunities to improve program effectiveness and organizational outcomes
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills, including confidence and comfort with communication (oral and written) for a variety of audiences
  • Ability to provide leadership in the face of challenges or changing priorities and guide a team accustomed to longstanding norms that are being significantly changed
  • Experience as a collaborative leader with the ability to drive simultaneous, complex projects to measurable success 
  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred (Open to consideration of robust and relevant work experience)


  • Deep passion for and a strong commitment to the vision and values of the Dodge Foundation
  • Transparent and collaborative leadership style with Board, staff, grantees, and other stakeholders
  • Displays sensitivity to how changing priorities will impact longstanding grantees and the Foundation staff who have nurtured these relationships over several years
  • Committed to leading with humility, empathy, and accessibility while demonstrating full alignment with the Foundation’s vision and commitment to anti-racism; serves as a leader in helping Foundation staff adjust to new opportunities and change
  • A creative thinker who encourages others to explore new ideas and perspectives and to adopt new approaches while implementing a shared vision
  • Deep passion for and commitment to honest and candid conversations and self-reflection about race, racial justice, privilege, social class and power dynamics, especially in the philanthropic context
  • Exceptional communication and conflict-resolution skills with experience navigating politically charged situations to resolve problems, build consensus, and reconcile competing interests
  • Ability to cultivate and sustain trust with colleagues, community partners, and stakeholders
  • Energetic leadership with high ethical standards and a commitment to bringing the best out in oneself and others, honesty, and integrity
  • The interpersonal strengths of an open-minded, curious, strategic, and creative thinker and active listener who can mediate diverse opinions to address shared needs
  • Strong relationship builder with the ability find common ground, build consensus and strengthen collaboration among diverse stakeholders
  • Conflict literacy and ability to receive critical feedback with compassion, curiosity and humility
  • Determination, drive, and results-driven mindset


For the Vice President of Programs position, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation anticipates an annual base starting salary of at least $160,000.  The Foundation is committed to supporting their staff with a competitive benefits package which presently includes 20 days of paid time-off plus holidays, professional development stipend, medical and dental coverage for staff and their families, and participation in a retirement savings plan, among other benefits.  All benefits are subject to modification by the Foundation at any time.  At the time of posting, consistent with the Executive Order in place in the State of New Jersey, all staff is encouraged to work remotely.  Policies regarding ongoing remote work options are under development.


Diversified Search and Koya Leadership Partners have been retained to assist in this search process.  Applications, nominations and further inquiries should be directed to   For best consideration, all materials should be received by October 23, 2020.  A full position description can be viewed at Dodge Foundation - Vice President of Programs.pdf.


We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We employ qualified people without regard to: race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; ancestry; disability; sexual orientation; pregnancy or breastfeeding; veteran or military status; marital status; civil union or domestic partnership status; arrest record; citizenship; credit history; genetic information; gender identity or expression; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law.


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