Jackson, MS

Program Officer, Mississippi, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Organization

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation with headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan is a leading philanthropic institution supporting thriving children, working families, equitable communities, and the dynamic connection between the three.

“The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.”

Position Overview

The Program Officer is responsible for identifying and nurturing opportunities for affecting positive policy and systemic change within communities and executing investments and collaborations that are aligned with the Foundation’s strategic priorities. The Program Officer will work closely with colleagues within the Foundation, philanthropy, and the field to ensure that the Kellogg Foundation leverages opportunities to open economic opportunity, address economic injustice, and advance economic mobility for working families in Mississippi with a specific focus on family economic security. The Program Officer will have the following responsibilities:

Enhance relationships among the Foundation, grantees, and partners

  • Maintain strong, authentic relationships with grant seekers and grantees, ensuring understanding of WKKF program direction, goals, and expectations.
  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships to leverage participation of other foundations, businesses, communities, governmental agencies, and other key decision makers in alignment with WKKF core values and program interests.

Drive place-based grantmaking strategies

  • Articulate explicit change strategies and convene key stakeholders and intermediaries as appropriate.
  • Contribute to the overall strategic direction for the organization and assigned core programming area and provide input into the development of programming efforts.
  • Work with key internal and external partners, identify and recommend grantmaking opportunities that leverage WKKF investments for maximum impact in creating systemic change.

Lead grant making, grant management, and grant program evaluation processes for portfolio

  • Screen and recommend grants for funding, prepare funding documents conduct site visits and manage and monitor grant portfolio.
  • Provide high level technical assistance to grantees, including consultation on model development, partnership negotiations, leadership capacity building, coaching, etc.
  • Incorporate assessment components into program efforts to measure progress and impact.

The Program Officer’s work and the work of the Program team at the Foundation ensures WKKF is distributing its funds efficiently and effectively to communities and organizations supporting the conditions for thriving children and families in areas of health, education, and economic security.


Success in the Program Officer role will require a passion to further the WKKF mission and a commitment to core values of diversity and inclusion, intercultural awareness, openness, collaboration, and stewardship. The ideal candidate will first and foremost be a:

  • Relationship Builder and Effective Communicator:  The Program Officer will have the capacity to have authentic dialogue around sensitive issues, have highly developed emotional intelligence and active listening skills, and the ability to use interpersonal and political skills in collaborative, diplomatic ways. They will have comfort with and the ability to work effectively within communities, including appreciating historical contexts, discerning nuances of relationships and power dynamics, and understanding racial/ethnic realities while centering community needs and desires.
  • Strategic Systems Thinker:  The Program Officer will have demonstrated institutional knowledge and sophisticated understanding of economic trends and knowledge of workforce and financial systems, labor and capital markets, and economic policy and practices that leverage diverse models and effective strategies for family economic security. They will understand disparities and opportunities in Mississippi and related systems and policy landscapes at the local, state, and federal levels to stimulate appropriate programming directions and capitalize on emerging opportunities. The Program Officer will have experience applying their understanding of broad social and economic forces that affect communities and families to shape programming efforts, including a familiarity with legislative and regulatory processes.
  • Networked Leader:  The Program Officer will bring strong networks in multiple sectors throughout Jackson, Mississippi, and Nationally. They will have significant experience with local, state, and national issues and systems related to workforce and enterprise development, job quality, worker rights, economic inclusion, and employment equity.

Additional skills and attributes that will be important to the Program Officer’s success include:

Professional Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in a field relevant to assigned area is required and an advanced degree is preferred.
  • Minimum five years of related work experience and demonstrated success in a field or fields relevant to assigned responsibilities. Significant relevant work experience with strong networks and contacts with deep and comprehensive understanding of program design and development, systems, networking, and community change is preferred.
  • Experience with state and local community organizing and policy advocacy on issues affecting low-income working parents with young children, and philanthropy’s role in affecting change.
  • Experience in the formation or management of effective strategic and operational partnerships with other organizations.
  • Understanding of and experience navigating political systems and processes.
  • Experience working with issues and communities relevant to the programmatic priorities of the foundation.
  • Experience working effectively on policy equity issues with persons from diverse cultural, social, economic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds.

Personal Attributes

  • Highly responsive; strong propensity to provide excellent customer service and support.
  • High tolerance for ambiguity and ability to adapt quickly to change.
  • Demonstrate agility in day-to-day work.
  • Demonstrated commitment to mindfulness, resilience, and ongoing personal development.

Salary range is $121,600 – $152,000. Actual starting salary of candidate will be commensurate with years, breadth, and depth of relevant experience, education, certifications, credentials, special skills, accomplishments, and other factors relevant to the position.

How To Apply

More information about the W.K. Kellogg Foundation may be found at:  www.wkkf.org

This search is being led by Katherine Jacobs and Sharon Gerstman of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity.

Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

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