Minneapolis, MN

Program Officer - International, The McKnight Foundation

The Organization
Background: Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota based family foundation has assets of approximately $2 billion and granted about $88 million in 2014. McKnight concentrates resources in the arts; early literacy; the environment; the region and communities; neuroscience and crop research; and select efforts in Southeast Asia and East Africa. McKnight subscribes to the Minnesota Council on Foundations’ “Principles for Minnesota Grantmakers.”

Position Overview
Position Purpose: The program officer for the International program reports directly to the program director.  The position provides operations, budget and project management for a global team of grantmaking and technical support consultants. Key to the position is the ability to link strategic program vision to the design and implementation of effective systems and procedures. Good communication and project management skills are essential. The position participates in assessment of grantee capacity for success and fit with funding criteria, including in the concept note, proposal review and reporting processes. Key to this work is to manage and maintain effective working relationships with consultants, grantees, key stakeholders, and other members of the Foundation staff.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Provide expertise in grantmaking and in the International program area (95% Collaborative Crop Research Program -CCRP, 5% Southeast Asia – SEA program)
  • Work with the Program Director to ensure that programs are aligned with the mission and program priorities established by The McKnight Foundation board.
  • Collaborate in review of concept notes, LOIs and grant requests within program area with consultant team.
  • Manage funding recommendations on grant requests within program area in collaboration with consultant team.
  • Monitor the progress of grantee organizations and integrate knowledge from grantmaking experience back into program activities in collaboration with consultant team.
  • Participate in grants administration by composing and processing grant-related documents and correspondence in a timely fashion, working with consultants to ensure their prompt and accurate compliance.
  • In consultation with Program Director, contract and manage consultants, to accomplish program area goals related to grantmaking, research, publications, reviews, and evaluations.
  • Foster working relationships with nonprofits, policy makers, funders, and other groups working on similar issues.
  • Nurture relationships with consultants and key grantees.
  • Model behavior that ensures that grantmaking principles and program practices align with Foundation values and operating principles.
  • Present information about McKnight’s International Program at selected gatherings that will advance the goals and objectives of the program.
  • Prepare grant- and program-related documents for quarterly board meetings and other communications needs.
  • Through close collaboration with program director and consultant teams, manage the various data collection and storage systems and help coordinate use of data and information for learning and credible influence (reports, website, written documents and presentations).
  • Manage and participate in program-related workshops and meetings.
  • Manage and participate in other program-related activities including: convenings, participation in grantee and funder networks, special events, and the commissioning of reports and publications.
  • Stay current on information about local, national and international activities related to the Foundation’s international grantmaking interests and areas of intersection with other program areas.
  • Project and Budget Management Review and verify monthly budget reports for the program.
  • Manage the budget and financial reporting process for Gates Foundation grant.Review and approve consultant invoices and grant payments for accuracy and adherence to budget, budget codes, and pay-out goals.
  • Management of priority projects, including program knowledge management.Communicate key issues and questions to program director, as needed.
  • Engage in activities outside the international program area.
  • Present information about McKnight’s International Program at selected gatherings that will advance the goals and objectives of the program.
  • Represent the Foundation in the community.

Minimum Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 years related full time professional work experience in a foundation, nonprofit, or government field working in an international context focusing on agriculture or economic/community development with 5 or more years of project and operational management experience, or a combination of equivalent experience and training. Master’s degree preferred. Foreign language proficiency – French or Spanish preferred. Experience working with a family foundation is desired.​*For more detailed information about the job, please see the job posting on The McKnight Foundation’s website.

How To Apply
If you are interested in this opportunity please go the Job Openings http://www.mcknight.org/about-us/job-openings portal on The McKnight Foundation website and submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume.

Competitive salary with excellent benefits.

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