Battle Creek, Michigan

Program Officer, Family Economic Security, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Organization

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a leading philanthropic institution helping communities create the conditions children need to thrive, is seeking nominations and applications for the position of Program Officer for Family Economic Security. Reporting to the Director of Family Economic Security, Jonathan Njus, the Program Officer will identify and nurture opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities, and executing programming efforts that are aligned with the organizational direction. S/he will join a team responsible for grantmaking nationally, specifically to advance key campaigns for Family Economic Security, including but not limited to, employment equity, workforce development, community development, and economic development.

Position Overview

The Program Officer will provide leadership and oversight for on-the-ground execution of program efforts. S/he will screen and recommend grants for funding; conduct site visits; and manage and monitor a portfolio of grants and collaborate with the other Foundation program staff to maintain an interdisciplinary approach to grantmaking. The Program Officer will maintain strong, authentic relationships with grant seekers and grantees, and act as a spokesperson for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, effectively communicating the Foundation’s goal of working with communities to improve the lives of their children.

The new Program Officer will bring deep experience partnering with national and local leaders to support workers as they build power in the workplace and within systems. Furthermore, s/he will lead efforts to build coalitions between nonprofits and employers who are committed to creating equitable and sustainable environments for low-wage workers, women, and persons of color. The new Program Officer should bring a critical awareness to the often adverse relationship between technology and the low-/midwage workforce. S/he will be guided by answering such questions as: How can we more effectively engage the private sector to support workers, families and communities? How can we utilize technology to better serve working families? How can we address persistent bias and discrimination in labor, capital and financial markets? How can we leverage grantmaking partnerships to promote income stability and workforce mobility for families, ensuring that all children thrive?

The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree and substantial work experience in fields related to Family Economic Security as well as a national network of contacts and a deep and comprehensive understanding of program design and development. S/he will have expertise and experience in economic development, job creation, workforce development, employer engagement, job quality, worker organizing, and labor policy. S/he will have the capacity, skill and passion to assume leadership and management of a large body of work.


The ideal candidate will be first and foremost committed to the Foundation’s mission and will have a current understanding of broad social-economic, systemic forces affecting the economic wellbeing of children, their families and their communities. S/he will be distinguished as a leader in the broad field of economic security, with a strong team orientation, a high tolerance for ambiguity, the ability to adapt quickly to change. S/he will also be a successful relationship builder in diverse cultural, social, and ethnic environments.

The ideal candidate will possess many, if not all, of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:  Master’s degree and significant work experience (8-10 years) in fields relevant to the responsibilities outlined above, with strong networks and contacts, as well as a broad background with deep and comprehensive understanding of program design and development, systems, networking, and community change;

  • Accurate and current knowledge about trends, movements, and policy development to stimulate appropriate programming directions and capitalize on emerging opportunities; an entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to translate concept to action;
  • Sound understanding of social justice and family economic security fields and theory, and the ability to develop program ideas and strategies and to communicate the conceptual framework for the programs effectively to grant-seekers and trustees;
  • Knowledge of financial systems, capital markets, and economic mobility policy and practices that leverage diverse models, global perspectives, and effective strategies for economic security;
  • Ability to forge public and private partnerships with corporations, nonprofits, governments and foundations;
  • Expertise and sensitivity to low-income families and communities of color and experience working in diverse communities;
  • Expertise in workforce and community development and the variety of philanthropic innovations [e.g., program-related investments (PRIs)];
  • Comfort with and the ability to work effectively within communities, including appreciating historical contexts, discerning nuances of relationships and power dynamics, understanding racial/ethnic realities, and respecting community needs and desires;
  • Strong relationship building and communication skills; the 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 and political skills in collaborative, diplomatic ways;
  • Thorough knowledge and grasp of policy and systems change and the ability to identify and orchestrate the levers of change; sound judgment and the ability to make complex, multidimensional decisions based on both facts and experience;
  • Excellent writing, editing, analytical, and oral communication skills including the ability to collect, review, synthesize, and present information and findings;
  • Ability to multitask and meet deadlines within designated timeframes, and demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and implementing goals and objectives. Strong organizational skills and exceptional attention to detail with the ability to work both independently and collectively without close oversight, take initiative, and contribute ideas for enhancing impact;
  • An optimistic outlook and the humor, integrity, and patience necessary to work within a transformative environment; and
  • The ability and willingness to travel.

How To Apply

For more information about the W.K. Kellogg Foundation may be found at
The search is being led by Allison Kupfer Poteet and Erica Nicole Griffin of the national search firm NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent to: In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are
to apply.

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