Philadelphia, PA

Program Officer, Great Learning, The William Penn Foundation

The Organization

The William Penn Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that increase educational opportunities for children from low-income families, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. Since inception, the Foundation has made nearly 10,000 grants totaling over $1.6 billion. In 2015, the Foundation made grants totaling over $100 million and held assets of over $2.3 billion.
The Foundation’s three core priorities are to:
• Increase the number of children from low-income families in Philadelphia receiving a high-quality education.
• Ensure clean water by protecting the Delaware River watershed.
• Foster a vital and diverse cultural region by investing in the health and sustainability of arts and cultural organizations and in great public spaces.

The Foundation believes that strategic grantmaking in these areas is critical to the success of the region and seeks candidates who will operate with a sense of urgency and leadership in advancing this work.

Position Overview

Position Summary
The Program Officer will be a member of the Great Learning program team, playing a key role in supporting the team’s goal of increasing the number of children from low-income families in Philadelphia who experience academic success from early childhood through high school.

The Program Officer will be the lead individual responsible for managing and developing a portfolio of grants to expand access to high quality early childhood education centers. The individual will identify opportunities to expand high quality centers, improve the quality of existing centers, and support the development of the necessary systems that enhance and maintain quality in programs that serve young children from low-income families.

In addition, the Program Officer will have leadership responsibility for a portfolio of grants that seeks to build a continuum of model programs that prepare early childhood educators to deliver high-quality instruction. This will include identification of the strongest preparation programs, supporting leadership opportunities for educators, and identifying opportunities and barriers to improvements in teacher preparation.

Overall, the Program Officer will be expected to serve as a key source of expertise within and outside the Foundation for knowledge and information about the elements of high quality early childhood education programs and systems.

Finally, the Program Officer will support the Great Learning team in other areas of work focused on supporting the learning and development of children up to age 8. This may include efforts related to early literacy instruction, family engagement, and other areas of Foundation investment.

The duties include, but are not limited to:
• Manage strategic groupings of Great Learning grants that support improvements to early childhood education, school readiness, and early literacy skills.
• Maintain and build relevant content expertise by staying abreast of current research and data at the national and local levels, and by participating in related convenings and conferences.
• Identify evidentiary and dissemination needs that support expansion of high quality early childhood programming.
• Facilitate project planning, coordination, reporting, monitoring, and communication among grantees to ensure successful completion of the work.
• Participate in education program team meetings, planning, and goal setting.
• Create annual and multi-year plans to support progress toward the Foundation’s objectives, and identify and track gaps and needed adjustments.
• Prepare written materials for internal and external audiences that summarize active and potential grants and effectively communicate the Foundation’s objectives.
• Represent the Foundation in diverse communities, including speaking engagements, and participate in key internal and external meetings.
• Communicate regularly with grantees, project partners, and potential funders of efforts aligned with Foundation goals.
• Develop specific grants and initiatives to advance coordinated education issue-focused advocacy campaigns.
• Provide leadership on projects related to early learning and literacy in formal and informal settings.

Education, Training, and Experience
• Advanced degree in early childhood education or related field preferred
• Bachelor’s degree required
• A minimum of eight years of relevant work experience
• Experience with early childhood education and child development
• Experience with and knowledge of Pennsylvania regulations and systems related to early childhood education and quality metrics
• Understanding and experience with multiple modes of educating diverse constituencies about complex issues
• Demonstrated commitment to improving opportunities for young children
• Experience setting priorities in dynamic environments and working under tight deadlines
• Experience developing, managing, and implementing multi-party projects with defined objectives, deliverables, monitoring, and evaluation of results
• Experience developing strategy
• Experience with evaluative research methods preferred
• Proficiency with MS Office including PowerPoint and other presentation skills

Required Competencies

Strategic Agility and Ability: Ability to see risks and opportunities and design innovative approaches backed by strong analysis, planning, and problem solving. Quickly able to adapt to changing environments.

Outcomes-Focus: Results-driven approach, supported by a focus on quality and strong project management skills, deadline management, sense of responsibility and accountability and the ability to effectively multi-task. Ability to quickly understand information, analyze data, synthesize findings, and make recommendations.

Demonstrated ownership: Track record of strong ownership of work, active self-management, taking initiative, identifying opportunities for enhancements, and implementing process improvements. Capable and willing to do work at all levels, including thinking strategically and performing administrative tasks. Strong work ethic.

Attention to detail and timelines: Excellent organizational skills with attention to detail, ability to manage time effectively with multiple projects on different time frames, and excellent ability to collaborate with colleagues to complete tasks.

Partnership and Relationship Building: Strong professional representation, interpersonal relationship abilities, intercultural knowledge and appreciation, strategic partnership building. Operates with poise, humility, diplomacy, and tact.

Communications: Strong interpersonal and communication abilities; exceptional writing, oral, and listening skills; ability to communicate technical concepts to technical and non-technical audiences.

Openness and Curiosity: An awareness that excellent ideas come from many sources.

Physical Demands/Work Environment
The physical demands and work environment characteristics described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to walk, bend, sit, talk, lift, or hear. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk, and use hands and arms to operate general office equipment (personal computer, telephone, file cabinet, copier, printer). The employee may occasionally lift and/or move up to ten pounds. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

How To Apply

The William Penn Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and considers applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation. All who believe they meet the stated qualifications are invited to apply.

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter to

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