Jobs Board

Program Officer, Racial Justice (Ford Foundation)

Company Name

Ford Foundation

Company City

New York

Company State


Job Location

New York, NY

Company Information

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with visionary people on the front-lines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has ten regional offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Job Description

The Racial Justice Program Officer (PO) will lead and coordinate the Ford Foundation’s efforts to advance racial justice across all of its U.S.-focused programs by supporting grantmaking portfolios to mainstream racial justice work, organizing learning opportunities, and taking responsibility for a number of core anchor grants. Reporting to the Director of the Office of the Vice President (VP) for US Programs, the PO will also manage external relationships, track needs and opportunities in the racial justice field and support convenings with grantee, funder and government partners.  In addition, the PO will  identify and foster intersectional connections, coordination, and education opportunities between racial justice, disability inclusion, and gender justice within the foundation.


Program Strategy & Management

  • Lead and develop Racial Justice grant-making strategies, in a collaborative team-oriented context, across multiple program area(s), regional strategies, and lines of work
  • Recommend, develop, and participate in strategy and learning activities to guide the evolution of the racial justice portfolio and of programmatic work
  • Co-manage the Racial Justice grants portfolio ($10-15M/year for 2023-2027), including annual grant planning, grantee site visits, reviewing financial and narrative reporting, preparing grant status reports and other key aspects of the grant life cycle
  • Assess challenges facing grantee organizations and networks, and ensure that the racial justice portfolio helps to meet those needs in areas such as leadership and governance, financial sustainability, racial/gender/disability justice practice, and cybersecurity, through convenings and other forms of technical assistance
  • Support grantees to advance outcomes through guidance on subject-matter, assessment of impact risk, and access to networks
  • Develop and implement convenings to benefit grantee partners and the field.
  • Recommend and participate in learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work
  • Work with and provide direction to Program Assistants and Grant Managers as needed, to advance the goals of the defined program and to ensure timely grant approval, payment and processing of grantee reports
  • Report regularly on the progress of the strategies and recommend strategy adjustments to deepen the impact of the Foundation’s social justice change effort

Program Leadership and Communication

  • Provide targeted content expertise to foundations and donors interested in centering racial justice analyses in grantmaking who are unaffiliated with existing efforts in the field
  • Collaborate with peers, Directors, and Officers of the Foundation to promote learning, exchange and strategic partnership
  • Provide support to Ford’s Board of Trustees in their ongoing work to deepen their understanding of racial justice in the context of social change, as requested

Internal Learning and Capacity Building

  • Manage and create strategic learning opportunities to sustain and deepen US Program’s staff’s understanding of what it means to embed a racial justice analysis and approach across issues and identities, as well as intersections with gender justice and disability justice in our grantmaking
  • Focus on building internal capacity towards institutionalization and sustainability of embedding a racial justice analysis within Ford

SALARY: The Ford Foundation is committed to practicing salary transparency. The minimum salary for this position is $165,000 and the maximum is $185,000.

LOCATION: This position is based in the foundation’s New York office. We operate in a hybrid model and require staff to be in the office three days per week.


  • Hybrid Workplace and Flexible Work Arrangement policies
  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
  • Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)

Job Qualifications


  • A minimum of 8 years leading social justice strategies
  • Racial justice subject-matter expertise and knowledge of how racial justice analyses connects with diverse social justice issues
  • Knowledge of racial justice advocacy across multiple identity constituencies
  • Deep understanding of organizational change and social change theory
  • Ability to work independently and to collaborate with a broad range of stakeholders in a participatory manner
  • Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally.
  • Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills, including experience in strategic communications for social impact
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in on-going organizational development.
  • A master’s degree in relevant field of study or BA and equivalent experience


  • Experience and knowledge of grantmaking, portfolio management and development of grantmaking strategy
  • A track record of donor advocacy including learning events and knowledge sharing and experience with events planning
  • Experience working in a similar advisory role with funders, nonprofits and other stakeholders
  • Fluency in a language other than English that is spoken by major racial/ethnic groups in the United States is a plus (e.g.Spanish, Arabic, Chinese)


This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer.

The Ford Foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs, and operations. As part of this commitment, the Foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please contact .


  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams

How to Apply

Apply online by Friday, May 26th.

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law. The Ford Foundation does not discriminate against formerly incarcerated individuals.

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