Senior Program Officer, Mellon Programs #2020-2581
Senior Program Officer, Mellon Programs
The WW Foundation has long worked to bring greater diversity into higher education and to address structural racism as it affects faculty and graduate students, particularly in the liberal arts and social sciences. Through our past work, we have earned a reputation for supporting outstanding scholarship, encouraging the development of doctoral students and faculty, and creating a network of intellectual leaders and mentors for BIPOC, Latinx, and differently gendered scholars—part of a larger national network of Fellows bringing their talents to bear on critical national needs. WW has built a powerful platform to bring together partners who are pulling the academy forward and rethinking faculty development, equity in the academy, the importance of teaching, and even how we measure success.
This is an ideal time to join the organization. You will be well-positioned to promote more gender and racial diversity in American higher education faculty and expand communities of color on campuses nationwide. As the organization creates a new identity to align with our mission, values, and ongoing work, fast-moving new initiatives will broaden our reach and expand our impact.
As senior program officer for the Mellon Programs at the organization, you will lead a suite of initiatives funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, reporting to the vice president and supervising a team of two. Your initial focus will be on growing and enriching these programs, which support emerging scholars and junior faculty at critical junctures of their careers. By investing in these scholars through programs like the Mellon Mays Gap Assistance Program, the Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award, and the Career Enhancement Fellowships, we accelerate fellows’ scholarly and intellectual momentum and support retention. Several of these programs serve specifically, though not exclusively, as supports for scholars who have received Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships (MMUF).
Externally, you will be working closely with the powerful MMUF network, engaging with faculty nationwide (including MMUF coordinators in over 80 institutions). Internally, you will serve as a valuable thought partner to the president and vice president evaluating how to strengthen our support for junior faculty as they adapt to changing needs during this unprecedented time (i.e., teaching virtually, delaying tenure, balancing teaching with research). You will also serve as an advisor on several other WW programs in higher education beyond the Mellon Programs suite.
In this role, you will spend about half your time working with internal colleagues to oversee current programs, develop budgets, and evaluate impact. As a team leader, you will provide mentoring and professional development opportunities for two program associates. The balance of your time will be spent engaging externally, developing relationships with faculty, and working closely with funders, including senior management at the Mellon Foundation.
 The WW Foundation is currently in the process of changing its name. This summer, the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation voted unanimously to rename the organization and to remove Woodrow Wilson from its name. The Board took this action because the racist policies and beliefs of Woodrow Wilson are fundamentally incompatible with the Foundation’s values and work.
Our Core Values
- We are constantly learning and improving. We test and refine new ideas and learn from our mistakes. We dare to question old solutions. We seek opportunities to collaborate with our diverse team; different backgrounds, skill sets, and thinking styles give us valuable new perspectives. We share knowledge and insights with each other to help us grow as individuals and as an organization.
- We are gracious and grateful in all that we do. We invest in our relationships with warmth and a sense of humor. We express gratitude to all of our colleagues and stakeholders. While we strive for excellence, we recognize that no one is perfect. We give others the benefit of the doubt and act with kindness and integrity.
- We are attentive and intentional. We are aware of the needs of the world and those around us so that our work has a real impact. Our work is mission driven and we know the “whys” — both large and small — behind what we do. Recognizing that details matter, we are equally committed to quality.
- Lead the Career Enhancement Fellowship Program. Develop a project plan with deadlines, deliverables, and team members’ roles. Research and recruit committee members; confirm committee availability for the upcoming cycle; determine timelines; design applications; develop scoring and evaluation approaches. Ensure a strong annual recruitment plan. Facilitate selection calls and interviews. Lead the development of the Fellows’ Annual Retreat and ensure a strong mentoring program for Fellows. Develop and monitor a strong approach to internal evaluation, data collection, and tracking of Fellows’ post-program achievements. Ensure and document progress toward agreed-upon program goals. Provide general administrative oversight.
- Oversee the Mellon Mays Gap Assistance Program (GAP). Provide thought leadership for this program designed to support undergraduate and post-college transitions into Ph.D. programs and oversee the program associate in managing the GAP program. Give GAP recruitment presentations at two or more MMUF conferences each year. Attend and speak at GAP graduate school bootcamps. Provide support for GAP participants as needed.
- Oversee the Dissertation Support Program (including the Travel & Research Grants and Dissertation Grants Programs). Provide thought leadership and oversee the program associate’s management of these programs; support the selection process as needed.
- Support the Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders (MEFL) Award Program. Assist with pre-screen of applications and facilitate selection. Assist with grant proposal and report writing. On request, analyze data, conduct literature reviews, and identify thought leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. Recruit for MEFL at MMUF conferences.
- Lead funder/partner relations and ensure accountability. Serve as the primary point of contact for Mellon Foundation program leadership; represent WW at funder meetings and external conferences. Serve as lead on grant renewals for the Mellon Programs; draft, edit, and revise grant renewals. Advise the team on draft grant reports for GAP, Dissertation, and Travel & Research Grants. Review and revise draft grant reports in consultation with the VP and the budget officer; submit final reports.
- Conduct evaluation, monitoring, and research. Develop and implement an internal evaluation program consistent with the mission of both the Mellon Programs and the organization overall. As needed and appropriate, propose and conduct research, literature reviews, and market analyses to support the Mellon Programs. Create and oversee a strategy for thoughtful, comprehensive, accurate collection of data. Design and update surveys and progress reports to ensure the necessary information is gathered to assess the impact of our interventions. Provide research support to other programs on occasion.
- Lead and manage. Coach and mentor two direct reports. Coordinate weekly check-ins and team and project meetings to ensure that project deliverables are on track. Facilitate debrief conversations after major milestones in each project cycle.
- An advanced degree (required); a Ph.D. (strongly preferred), including a deep grounding in the liberal arts and/or social sciences.
- Higher education experience (required), including experience as or familiarity with university administration and faculty.
- Experience overseeing program administration (preferred), including staff management experience.
- Familiarity with the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program (highly desirable).
- Interdisciplinary and/or nonprofit experience (desirable).
- Demonstrated experience working with stakeholders at all levels.
- Proficiency in the use of professional technology including MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook). Professional familiarity/experience with social media.
- Mission-oriented. You are loyal and committed to the goals of the organization and the work we seek to accomplish through our programming.
- Communicator. You can deliver critical and complex information to a variety of audiences. You share information, coordinate effectively, and execute your responsibilities while working across stakeholders.
- Entrepreneurial. Smart and creative, you intuitively recognize opportunities and act, shaping answers to questions where no template exists and focusing resources to get the job done.
- Outcomes-oriented. You see the big picture, monitor your key performance metrics, and take the action necessary to produce results.
- Data-driven. You thrive in a highly analytic environment. You enjoy working with data, are comfortable managing information, and have a keen eye for detail.
- Organized project manager. You have strong organization skills and you effectively manage multiple projects and tasks at a time. You solve problems efficiently and effectively, taking the initiative to implement solutions independently.
- Rapport builder. You have an inclusive work style and coordinate effectively at every level, internally and with external partners. You share information, work cooperatively, seek out relevant information, decide appropriate steps, and facilitate to get results.
What’s Attractive to the Right Candidate?
- Your ideas will be heard—you can make a national impact. We have a powerful platform to bring together partners who can pull higher education forward. In this highly visible position, you will have the opportunity to develop new networks, both personally and professionally.
- You’ll be building on a legacy of achievement. Our organization has been a driving force in shaping generations of the American professoriate, meeting the emerging needs of women and people of color in the academy, and even building fields such as women’s studies. We understand the mechanics of how change happens in higher education.
- We’re an operating foundation—which means we seek out the resources to support programs. We embrace new approaches and welcome bold ideas. You will have backing and resources from senior-level leadership, working in close partnership with proven leaders in education and nonprofit management.
- You will have the opportunity to build a national network of people whose engagement has long-lasting, career-altering impacts on Fellows.
- You will like and respect your colleagues. We have a dedicated team with a high degree of communication, trust, and mutual respect.
Simply email your resume to Aileen Hedden at email@example.com with “WWF - Senior Program Officer #2020-2581 CP” as the subject of the email. Please include your resume as a Word or PDF attachment to the email and paste your cover letter in the body of your email.
Please note: our practice is to not disclose the salary ranges our clients would consider. Any salary information included in this posting was estimated without our input.
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