Troy, MI

Program Officer– Education Program, The Kresge Foundation

The Organization

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.6 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development efforts in Detroit.  In 2014, the Board of Trustees approved 408 awards totaling $242.5 million; $138.1 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, our Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $20.4 million in 2014.

For more information, please visit our website,

Position Overview

Kresge Foundation’s Education Program has an immediate opening for a program officer.  The Kresge Foundation Board of Trustees has recently refined the Foundation’s education programs to support efforts designed to support student-focused postsecondary access and success in cities, with a special focus on low-income, first generation and under-represented students.  The new Program Officer position will assist in the implementation of education programs within this overall new strategic direction.  The team seeks to support pathways to and through college for students, build the capacity of institutions that focus on low-income, first generation and under-represented students, and support and enhance local higher education ecosystems to improve postsecondary attainment.  While the bulk of the team’s work is domestic, it also oversees a small budget supporting postsecondary access and success in South Africa, which is Kresge’s sole international grantmaking area.

The Kresge Education Program uses the full array of tools available to foster change, including planning grants, project grants and general operating support, and it is exploring possible program-related investments for organizations whose work directly corresponds with our funding priorities.

The individual filling this position will report to the Education Team’s Managing Director and work in close partnership with a small team of program staff, as well as with the foundation’s grants management staff and with peer foundations promoting postsecondary access and success.  This position is based in metropolitan Detroit.

Primary responsibilities of the program officer position include:

  • With the Education Managing Director and team, contributing to grantmaking strategy implementation for the program.
  • Participating in funder and cross-sector collaboratives to achieve program objectives.
  • Contributing to the team’s development of criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the portfolio and participate in the evaluation of the results.
  • With other team members, sharing collective responsibility for reaching annual investment and grant targets.
  • Obtaining, maintaining, and sharing a high level of knowledge of the most effective strategies and current thinking in the education and social change fields – what works, what are the most effective and /or innovative ways to support the work, and how to implement strategies with partners.
  • Interacting with other education grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, and public and private sector stakeholders active in postsecondary access and success to assess developments in the field and strategic points for philanthropic engagement.
  • Preparing, individually and with other team members, strategy papers, grant recommendations and other written materials for the foundation’s management and Board of Trustees.
  • Identifying potential grant possibilities that advance the Program’s strategies.
  • Evaluating ideas submitted via in-person meetings, phone calls, letters of inquiry and/or grant proposals.
  • Analyzing grantee reports and updates.
  • With other team members, exploring the use of social investments tools, such as PRIs, to achieve program objectives.



  • Minimum of five years of experience and senior leadership in a relevant postsecondary or nonprofit education services fields.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in the postsecondary access and success field is required, 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 the nonprofit, private, and public sectors.


  • Excellent analytical and writing skills.
  • Effective time management skills, with demonstrated ability to manage a diverse and demanding workload in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong verbal communications skills and interpersonal skills, including the ability to speak publicly and work effectively as a member of a team.
  • 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.
  • Excellent project management skills and the ability to chart one’s own direction collaboratively.
  • Supporting the work of the Education Team
  • Ability to serve as an Ambassador for the Foundation externally, 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, South African higher education, and/or knowledge of our primary domestic focus states.


  • 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.
  • Commitment to low-income people and social justice.  
How To Apply
Please send cover letter and resume to by May 20, 2015.

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