Jobs Board

Program Officer, Education Leadership (Wallace Foundation)

Company Name

Wallace Foundation

Company City

New York

Company State


Job Location

New York, NY

Company Information

About The Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national philanthropy based in New York City that traces its origins back more than half a century to DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of The Reader’s Digest Association. Their work is grounded in their mission to foster equity and improvements in learning and enrichment for young people, and in the arts for everyone. The core values of the Foundation guide how they work together and with their partners: they create an engaging and inclusive work environment based on mutual trust and respect, and driven by equity, diversity, transparency, collaboration, and continuous learning.

Philanthropic Approach

The work of the Foundation is centered on three focus areas: the arts, education leadership, and youth development. The Foundation funds the development of long-term, inquiry-led approaches to creating a more equitable society by working in partnership with grantees and others, locally and across the fields they serve, to explore and document innovative approaches to important problems of practice. They take the lessons and evidence from this work and disseminate them to support the spread of evidence-based improvements in policy and practice nationwide.

Interdisciplinary Team Structure

The Wallace Approach is carried out in an interdisciplinary team-based structure with three disciplines: program, communications, and research. The foundation seeks employees who are highly skilled in their professions, able to work collaboratively across disciplines to capture the synergy of diverse experiences and ways of thinking, think analytically, and communicate clearly the rationale for recommendations. They value the flexibility to adapt to change, a desire to learn, and the ability to work productively both on one’s own and with colleagues inside and outside the foundation.

Learn more about The Wallace Foundation at

The Wallace Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to maintaining a diverse workplace where differing perspectives are a source of strength.

Job Description

The Opportunity

Designed to address critical issues in school leadership, Wallace’s comprehensives are rooted in research and informed by real-world practices. With an unwavering focus on equipping leaders with the skills, knowledge, and support necessary to understand and center the diverse needs of individual school districts, the Education Leadership team supports a thriving portfolio of grantees in driving meaningful, systems-wide change.

Using a multifaceted approach that incorporates research findings, publications, and actionable resources, Wallace offers invaluable guidance on cultivating effective leadership qualities and implementing strategies for transformative change at the district level.

The next Program Officer will join Wallace at an exciting time, which aims to address gaps in the skills and dispositions of school leadership by cultivating a diverse pipeline of aspiring leaders, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. Through targeted programs and supports, the initiative seeks to empower aspiring leaders with the skills, resources, and opportunities essential for thriving in educational leadership roles. By prioritizing equity in education leadership development, the Equity Centered Pipeline Initiative endeavors to foster more inclusive and equitable school environments, ultimately enhancing outcomes for all students.

As a vital member of Wallace’s Education Leadership team, the Program Officer will leverage their extensive field expertise to drive strategy design, manage grantee projects and relationships, and advance the overall goals of the Education Leadership to share knowledge and promote equity and social justice for all.

Core duties of the Program Officer include:

Grants/Contracts/Partnership Management:

• Act as responsible steward of the foundation’s resources to ensure that the funded work of initiatives reflects Wallace’s “dual goals:” benefits for the foundation’s partners and those they serve, and benefits for the broader field through the creation and dissemination of knowledge.

• Manage the work with grantees to advance the overall goals of the initiative.

• Fulfill stewardship responsibilities by ensuring grantee budgets reflect the agreed-upon scope of work and deliverables; monitoring spending, and reviewing financial reports to inform future funding;

• Maintain an up-to-date grantee record, including report reviews and feedback, conversations with grantees, and budget discussions to ensure the integrity of the foundation’s grants management database.

• Use feedback skills effectively to build a relationship of trust, candor and transparency with grantees so that discussion of challenges and problems leads to shared problem-solving and resolution, and that progress and success is recognized and built on.

• Prepare timely analysis of funded work to inform the discussion of strategy, initiative goals, and implementation in the team and unit. The analysis includes strengths and challenges in fulfilling scope of work, options with pros/cons, and a recommendation.

• Fulfill lead role on “strands” of work within an initiative—e.g., Professional Learning Community, conference planning, field data collection—to meet agreed-upon goals.

Participation in Teams

• Actively contribute to building high-performing teams to improve how they work together, build trust, develop strategy, design initiatives, manage implementation, and make course corrections to advance Wallace’s mission.

• Fulfill individual responsibilities and commitments as assigned within the team and/or unit.

• Work collaboratively to advance the work by contributing your own perspective and listening to understand the perspectives of all members of the team.

• Demonstrate an approach to shared problem-solving that is grounded in advancing the work, assumes good intentions, demonstrates respect, and welcomes diversity of perspectives.

• When presenting analyses and recommendations for grants/projects/strands of work to the team allow for all voices to be heard, consideration of options, and discussion of pros/cons to lead to a consensus.

Knowledge-sharing to Catalyze Broad Impact:

• Contribute to sharing what we learn to support the foundation’s mission to catalyze broad impact in their fields of interest.

• Participate in staff review of draft reports and knowledge products to ensure final copy reflects their commitment to ‘only say more as we know more,” and is respectful of the grantees whose work is presented in the report.

• Drawing on message maps and other resources, share what they are learning at conference presentations, in the local communities of their grantees, and in other venues.

• Cultivate relationships and participate in external networks, such as funder collaborations, “grant-maker” organizations, and professional associations.

Compensation & Benefits

The salary for this position is $157,000. The foundation’s regular in-person schedule is Tuesday-Thursday with the flexibility to work remotely on Monday and Friday.

A snapshot of the foundation’s generous benefits package includes a choice of health insurance plans and a healthcare reimbursement account, 403(b) retirement plan with 15% employer contribution upon eligibility, and a community service matching gifts program recognizing employee volunteer hours with a financial contribution to a qualifying non- profit organization.

Job Qualifications

Candidate Profile

Wallace recognizes the wide range of experiences that will set candidates up for success in this opportunity. They welcome candidates from district, state, policy, or education nonprofit backgrounds who possess a commitment to exploring evidence-based solutions that improve education leadership’s impact on students, families, and their communities. While candidates may come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, the successful candidate will bring the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Appreciation for the Mission

Deeply committed to Wallace’s approach and core values, the Program Officer honors and values the important role that philanthropies play in forging progress in a democratic society. A champion of the mission, they steward the Foundation’s values by inspiring and motivating others both within the Foundation’s ecosystem and the country’s education systems. They lead with humility, strive for excellence, and recognize that success is a long-term effort that requires the Program Officer to be a co-creator in the success of the Foundation’s initiatives, grantees, and the communities that they serve.

Expertise in Education Leadership

An experienced practitioner, the Program Officer brings a profound understanding of the complexities inherent in our public school districts and a dedication to identifying and promoting long-term systemic changes in education. They understand and appreciate the vital role effective education leadership plays in advancing equity and improving outcomes for all students. They exhibit an appreciation for the challenges faced by school leaders, districts, and policymakers in navigating the constantly evolving education landscape. By prioritizing equity-centered initiatives and structural reforms, they use their expertise to develop meaningful, sustainable change and recognize the interconnected nature of education leadership and systemic reform.

Systems Thinking

A holistic thinker, the next Program Officer is drawn to Wallace’s approach of pursuing long-term systemic change to foster equity within both individual school districts and the broader education landscape. They demonstrate strong systems thinking abilities and change management skills, enabling them to navigate complex state, local, or national education systems and facilitate impactful changes that benefit diverse student populations and demographics in a wide variety of political and cultural contexts. An experienced leader, they effectively leverage their expertise to address systemic challenges and promote equitable outcomes for all students.

Collaborative Leadership and Project Management

Naturally curious, open to new ideas, and proficient in managing short-term projects alongside long-term initiatives, the Program Officer adeptly balances competing deadlines within a consensus-driven environment and adapts their leadership to support internal partners and external collaborators. They thrive in fostering a supportive team environment, co-creating solutions with partners and key constituents, and cultivating collaborative relationships within their communities. They value continuous learning and interdisciplinary collaboration, embodying a commitment to developing and testing innovative approaches to education leadership.

Equity-centered Leadership and Cultural Competence

Throughout their career, the Program Officer has prioritized equity in their work with schools, teams, partners, and their communities. They bring a proven commitment to promoting equity within complex educational systems, considering the diverse needs of students, schools, and districts. Their career trajectory reflects a deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), a heightened sense of cultural competency, and an understanding of systemic factors in DEIB in education, and its influence on students and their communities. As a leader and practitioner, they are committed to crafting education solutions that are deeply attuned to the diverse cultural context shaping schools and districts across the nation.

Relationship Management and Communication

A collegial and adaptive colleague, the Program Officer possesses strong verbal and written communication skills that adeptly convey complex concepts to diverse audiences. They bring substantial experience in fostering relationships with a variety of districts, grantees, and other community partners. They communicate nimbly and adeptly to facilitate understanding, build trust, and encourage collaboration and co-creation with school partners. By leveraging effective communication and relationship management skills, they build strong partnerships and work collaboratively towards shared goals. They excel in building relationships, co-creating solutions through feedback, dialogue, and discourse, and fostering trust and mutual respect across a range of disciplines and audiences.

In addition, strong candidates will offer:

• Exceptional project management skills, with the ability to effectively manage multiple projects and competing priorities.

• Multiyear organizational/system-level education experience, either in a program management or policy development role in the non-profit or public sector, strongly preferred.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this engagement, which is being led by Malissa Brennan. Express interest in this role? All inquiries and discussions are strictly confidential.

Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email . If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

About Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group

Koya Partners, a Diversified Search Group company, is the nation’s premier search firm dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Since its founding in 2004, Koya has had an exclusive focus on mission-driven clients and was founded on the belief that the right leader can transform an organization and have a deep and measurable impact on our world. Koya works with nonprofits & NGOs, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

Diversified Search Group is consistently recognized by Forbes on its top 10 list of “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms” and is an industry leader in recruiting transformational leaders for a changing world. The firm is deliberately different in its approach, with best-in-class teams who have decades of experience in cultivating inclusive leaders, understanding the dimensions of diversity, and building equitable teams.

Learn more about Koya Partners l Diversified Search Group.

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