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Program Director, Human Rights and Democracy

The Overbrook Foundation
New York, United States
$160,000.00 - $215,000.00
Closing date
May 30, 2023

The Overbrook Foundation:

The Overbrook Foundation (the “Foundation”) is a family foundation that supports organizations advancing human rights, protecting American democracy, and conserving the natural environment.  Founded in 1948, the Foundation has a thirteen-member Board of Directors and a professional staff of seven. The Foundation awarded approximately $9 million in grants in 2022.


Position Overview:

Based in New York City, the Program Director, Human Rights and Democracy (the “Program Director”) will lead all aspects of the Foundation’s Human Rights and Democracy program (the “Program”), which focuses on protecting and promoting democracy in the United States, advancing reproductive rights, and supporting human rights defenders in Latin America. The Program Director will lead grantmaking for the Program, and will monitor and evaluate the progress and impact of individual grants and overall Program strategies, communicating frequently about them to the Board, grantees, and others interested in the Foundation’s work.  Principally, the Program Director will be responsible for identifying effective and impactful organizations and programs and managing the Foundation’s investment in them with the Foundation’s board and staff.

Entrepreneurial and driven to expand the impact of the Program and its grantees, the Program Director is a sectoral leader and will serve as an ambassador for the Foundation, seeking opportunities to build strategic partnerships, advance the field, and enhance the Foundation’s impact via program and sector leadership. An excellent writer and communicator, the Program Director will author and distribute content across a variety of mediums and platforms, speak publicly about the Program, and represent the Foundation at affinity groups and collaboratives. A seasoned professional, the Program Director will remain steady through challenges, and will directly supervise the Foundation’s Program Associate for Human Rights and Democracy.

The Program Director will be a strategic thinker and innovator with a commitment to the Foundation’s mission, and will serve as an essential thought partner and member of the Foundation’s leadership team. They will actively participate in strategic discussions, drawing on their curiosity and professional experience to provide informed and incisive perspectives to all manner of topics, from communications strategy, to peer organization outreach, to the Foundation’s culture, to partnerships with the Board.


Key Responsibilities:

Grantmaking and Strategy

  • Manage grantmaking process for the Program, including generating and evaluating proposals and prospective grantees, developing written funding recommendations and presenting them to the Board, and monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on grantee performance;
  • In close collaboration with the Foundation’s President, colleagues, and Board, evolve Program strategy and approach on an ongoing basis to best achieve the Foundation’s mission;
  • Serve as the primary point of contact with prospective and current grantees around all issues, identifying opportunities to provide them with technical assistance as appropriate;
  • Develop and maintain a robust pipeline of best-in-class prospective grantees for the Program so that the Foundation is always preparing for current and future grant-making cycles;
  • Develop, implement, and constantly improve a system for monitoring and evaluating grantee impact through solicitation of reports, meetings, calls, site visits, and other methods;
  • Support Board and family members with knowledge and expertise in their donor advised giving and other individual philanthropy;
  • Directly Manage the Foundation’s Program Associate for Human Rights and Democracy, providing her with mentorship and investing in her professional development; and
  • In general, collaborate with President and colleagues on all manner of organization-wide effort, from Board meetings to strategic planning efforts to organizational retreats and other events.


Field Leadership and Knowledge

  • Stay abreast of relevant issues, trends, and developments in the Program’s grantmaking areas, remaining current on fast-changing political and legislative developments and emerging funding needs and opportunities;
  • Prepare written and other communication as needed to educate colleagues and the Board on developments relevant to the Program and to share learning from our grantees and Programs;
  • Remain educated on best practices in philanthropy, in particular as they pertain to human rights grantmaking, and incorporate those best practices into the Program’s grantmaking;
  • Generally serve as an “ambassador” for the Foundation and its programs, representing it with affinity groups and donor collaboratives, and at conferences and other events; and
  • Leverage Foundation resources to develop funding pools and other partnerships with peer philanthropic organizations.



  • Minimum of ten years of professional experience working in the fields of not for profits, government, and philanthropy;
  • Strong familiarity with the issue areas of human rights, pro-democracy, reproductive rights and civic engagement in the United States, including an understanding of the key related issues and major players.
  • Masters degree or higher in a relevant area of expertise preferred;
  • Policy, organizing, and/or legal expertise or experience in reproductive rights and/or civic/democratic engagement preferred;
  • Exceptional research, analytical, and problem solving skills;
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills;
  • Ability to travel up to 10% time;
  • Spanish proficiency a plus;
  • Experience working with Board(s) of Directors required and with family Boards preferred;
  • Strong proficiency in the use of Google Suite, Zoom, and Microsoft Office computer applications, including Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;
  • Ability to structure documents clearly and concisely to communicate key points to a variety of audiences;
  • Proactive, curious, independent, and eager and able to solve problems and manage multiple complex projects simultaneously; and
  • Enthusiasm for working as a part of a highly collaborative and high performing small team, with a sense of humor, positive attitude, and a strong moral compass.


Salary and Benefits:

The Overbrook Foundation offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including a generous 401k plan, Paid Time Off, health, and dental insurance. Salary is expected to be approximately $145,000 - $175,000 but will be adjusted based on the candidate’s experience level.


How to Apply:

Interested applicants should e-mail a resume and cover letter to Please include “PROGRAM DIRECTOR – YOUR NAME” in the subject line.   In your short cover letter, please address why you are interested in working at The Overbrook Foundation. Due to a large volume of requests, we will not be able to confirm that we received your application. No phone calls please.

The Overbrook Foundation is an equal-opportunity employer and welcomes diverse applicants. Thank you in advance for your interest and work on this application!

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