Program Officer, Family Economic Security
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) is pleased to invite nominations and applications for the position of Program Officer, Family Economic Security on the national team. The foundation’s national team focuses on advancing systemic and policy change efforts in promoting thriving children, working families, and equitable communities. The foundation has made a commitment to systemic grantmaking and thought leadership in family economic security, early childhood education, and food, health, and well-being that advances the vision of a future in which every child thrives.
The new program officer will report to Erin Currier, co-lead of the national team. The program officer will contribute to advancing the strategic objectives of the Foundation focused on family economic security and will also be a member of the Employment Equity Chapter led by Jonathan Njus. The program officer will be a senior leader with extensive experience and thought leadership in critical economic security, employment equity, and low-income workforce issues and policies. They will also be a systems thinker, strategic communicator, and partnership-builder who has achieved notable success in the field. In this role, they will be responsible for recommending and approving grants, upholding grantee partnerships, and leveraging the foundation’s role in supporting equitable labor markets and workforce systems. The program officer will bring excellence in their grasp of the systemic factors and market trends that impact economic mobility, workforce development, and job access; the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who are critical to that work; and the flow of federal and state resources toward that end. They will have a deep understanding of the systemic and racial barriers that working families face in both the formal and informal economy, the structural and historic challenges of generating income and building wealth, as well as innovative and promising opportunities to remake the economy so that it includes and benefits all families.
The ideal candidate will have a broad network and connections to leaders and influencers on economic, employment, and worker issues at the national and/or state levels. They will also have a deep knowledge of the policy and systems changes needed to ensure the economic security of our nation’s most vulnerable children and families, with a particular focus on working parents of color. Moreover, they will understand the importance of both high-level policy advocacy and community-level worker organizing in policy and system change efforts. The program officer will serve as a credible representative for the foundation, demonstrate willingness to set aside a personal agenda in favor of the foundation’s and community’s goals and objectives, and strategically communicate WKKF direction and funding interests to various audiences. They will understand how to realize and drive toward social change, not only as a partner with grantee organizations, but also as a leader in philanthropy.
The ideal candidate will be first and foremost committed to the foundation’s mission and will have a current understanding of broad socio-economic, policy and systemic forces affecting the economic well-being of children, their families, and their communities. They will be distinguished as a leader in the economic justice and workforce field, with a strong team orientation, a high tolerance for ambiguity, and the ability to adapt quickly to change.
While no one person will embody all the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
- Ten to 15 years of significant relevant national systems experience in economic mobility, employment equity, and workforce development; Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree in a field relevant to the portfolio is preferred.
- Track record of successfully leading and developing others and comfort within highly-collaborative organizations and cross-functional teams.
- Expertise in using philanthropy as a tool to leverage public-private partnerships and equitable policy and systems change.
- Strong networks nationally and locally, and the ability to influence national leaders and public dialogue, connecting grantee partners to national and state advocacy opportunities, and public and private sector resources.
- Sophisticated understanding of national, regional, and state economic disparities and trends, e.g., related to technology and/or organizing, as well as systems and policy landscapes at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels.
- Ability to successfully navigate the different sovereign, social, and political forces at the local, state, tribal, and federal levels.
- Knowledge of workforce and financial systems, labor and capital markets, and economic policy and practices that leverage diverse models and effective strategies for family economic security, particularly among underserved communities.
Policy and Partnerships
- Skilled understanding of philanthropy’s role in supporting community organizing and policy advocacy to leverage current trends, movements, and opportunities.
- Experience leading efforts to build coalitions between government, nonprofit, and business leaders who are committed to creating equitable and sustainable environments for low-wage workers, women, and people of color.
- Demonstrated flexible, multidisciplinary thinking required to further economic development and justice, and the drive to shape and inform the work based on immediate issues and emerging opportunities found in communities; understanding of the broad social and economic forces that affect communities and families and shape strategy and programming efforts.
- Capacity to develop and implement impactful investments and effectively communicate strategic frameworks to grant-seekers, stakeholders, and collaborators; deep and comprehensive understanding of community engagement, policy advocacy, program design, policy and systems change.
- Strong relationship building and communication skills; mastery of another language is welcomed; demonstrated success in forging and stewarding partnerships with the private sector, tribal governments, and/or federal government agencies; track record in convening diverse coalitions of foundations, policymakers, and stakeholders engaged in workforce development, job quality, and economic and small business development work, all in support of low-income working families.
- Critical consciousness to effectively work with and support vulnerable communities including appreciation for historical context, discernment of relationship nuances and power dynamics, and understanding of cultural, racial, and ethnic realities.
- Holistic and multi-dimensional approach to leadership development, organizational change, and community transformation; ability to think globally while working locally, representing WKKF to a variety of stakeholders and intermediaries in a credible and influential way and with a selfless manner.
- Demonstrated ability to have authentic dialogue around sensitive issues including funding priorities, WKKF expectations, and community concerns; highly developed emotional intelligence and active listening skills, and the ability to use interpersonal skills in collaborative, diplomatic ways.
- Successful experience working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, racial, and ethnic backgrounds; willingness to set aside a personal agenda in favor of organizational and community goals and objectives.
- An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, and patience necessary to work within a changing and transformative work and community environment.
- Excellent writing, editing, analytical, and oral communication skills including the ability to collect, synthesize, and present learnings and findings.
- Ability to multitask and meet deadlines within designated timeframes, as well as demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities for oneself and the team; strong organizational skills and exceptional attention to detail with the ability to work both independently and collaboratively, to take initiative and contribute ideas.
- Ability to travel approximately 50 percent is required (depending on the foundation’s post-COVID emergence plan); regular attendance on-site at the Battle Creek headquarters to facilitate interaction and alignment with other grantmaking teams and programs is required.
For the full position description and to apply, please visit: https://recruitcrm.io/apply/25201496
More information about the W.K. Kellogg Foundation may be found at: https://www.wkkf.org
This search is being led by Paola Peacock-Villada and Andres Marcuse-Gonzalez of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s candidate portal.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.