Detroit, MI

Program Officer Education Program, The Kresge Foundation

The Organization
The Kresge Foundation is metro Detroit’s largest private, national foundation, with more than $3.5 billion in its endowment, a growing staff of nearly 100 employees and a mission to expand opportunities in America’s cities for low-income people. We do this through grant making and social investing nationally in arts & culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. The modern LEED Platinum facility is anchored by a 19th century farmhouse and a new expansion that houses both a cafeteria and a convening center.

Position Overview
The Program Officer – Education Program position is based in metropolitan Detroit, reports to the Education Team’s MD and works with program and grants management staff, as well as peer foundations. The Education Program supports postsecondary access and success for low-income, first generation and under-represented students through three focus areas:  (1)    Pathways to/through college for low-income, first generation and under-represented students, especially African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, veterans and other groups.(2)    Capacity Building of institutions that focus on low-income, first generation and under-represented students, including community colleges, minority serving institutions and public regional institutions. (3)    Strengthening/Aligning Urban Higher Education Ecosystems to enhance college attainment in cities by working with cross-sector partnerships of business, nonprofit, government, philanthropic and higher education organizations.

Primary responsibilities of the Program Officer position include:


Collective responsibility for reaching annual investment and grant targets. Interact with other education grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, and public/private sector stakeholders active in postsecondary access and success to assess developments in the field and strategic points for philanthropic engagement. Identify potential grant possibilities. Evaluate ideas submitted. Explore the use of social investments tools, such as PRIs.


With the Education MD and team, contribute to grantmaking strategy implementation. Participate in funder and cross-sector collaboratives. Prepare, individually and collaboratively, strategy papers, grant recommendations and other materials for leadership.


Obtain, maintain, and share knowledge of the most effective strategies and current thinking in education and   social change. Analyze grantee reports and updates. Contribute to the team’s development of criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the portfolio and participate in the evaluation of the results.



•    Minimum of five years of experience and leadership in a relevant postsecondary or nonprofit education services fields.

•    Master’s degree and relevant credentialing preferred.

•    Previous grantmaking experience preferred.

•    Experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of strategies to affect change.

•    Experience working collaboratively across nonprofit, private, and public sectors.


•    Excellent analytical, project/time management, writing skills and ability to chart one’s own direction collaboratively.

•    Strong verbal communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to speak publicly

•    Demonstrated financial analysis skills, including the ability to analyze audited financials, balance sheets, and business plans of nonprofit organizations; facility with complex financial instruments desirable.

Supporting the work of the Education Team

•    Serve as an Ambassador for the Foundation including the ability to undertake extensive (~30% of time) domestic and, on occasion, international, travel.

•    Demonstrated familiarity with several of the Education Team’s grantmaking areas, including: minority serving institutions, community colleges, college access programs, state higher education systems, city-based efforts to improve local college access and success, higher education technology and productivity, counseling and advising, transfer and articulation, non-academic challenges to student success outside of the classroom, institutional advancement, data analytics, South African higher education, and/or knowledge of higher education issues in our primary domestic focus states (California, Michigan, Florida and Texas).


Commitment to the Foundation’s vision and its five values (stewardship, respect, creativity, partnership and opportunity) with the ability to demonstrate that commitment in daily interactions. Demonstrated commitment to low-income people and social justice.

How To Apply
For consideration or nominations please send cover letter and resume with salary requirements to by January 15, 2016.

The Kresge Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we welcome a diverse pool of candidates.  We offer a competitive total compensation package including Health, Dental, Vision, Long Term Disability, and Short Term Disability Insurances, generous paid time off, and a 401K employer contribution and employee match program. We also provide professional staff development and tuition reimbursement.

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