Troy, MI

Program Officer – American Cities Program, The Kresge Foundation

The Organization

The Kresge Foundation is one of the top 20 private foundations in the United States and the only one focused exclusively on expanding opportunities for people with low income in American Cities. With a $3.8 billion endowment and a staff of over 100 employees, the foundation deploys grants and social investments across arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development. The foundation’s state-of-the-art headquarters maintains an array of energy-efficient, water-conserving and health-promoting systems. The foundation also operates an office in Detroit’s Midtown district.

Position Overview

About the position

The American Cities Program Officer will be responsible for the creation and implementation of a program strategy that builds upon the foundation’s national and on-the-ground experience in Detroit to strengthen the social, economic, cultural and physical fabric of other cities. The Program Officer will be a member of the foundation’s American Cities Program team under the Place-Based Practice, a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team working proactively to advance real progress in the resurgence and revitalization of cities across America. The Program Officer will manage and evaluate a portion of the program’s portfolio of grants, represent the American Cities team and the Kresge Foundation at public forums, collaborate with partners at national and local-levels, design and implement grantmaking initiatives and lead select bodies of work associated with the program’s strategic priorities:

·  Fostering cross-city exchange of knowledge between community development practitioners through research, publications, and convenings;

· Seeding and scaling innovative approaches to community development by funding and supporting national multi-city initiatives; and

· Stewarding the foundation’s place-based grantmaking in Memphis, New Orleans, Fresno and a growing number of other cities.

The work is rooted in the goal of decreasing poverty and increasing social and economic mobility in American cities, recognizing the racial, cultural and social context of systemic inequities in our society.

The Program Officer will report to the Managing Director and work in close partnership with other members of the Place-Based Practice, other Program teams, as well as with the foundation’s Program Operations and Information Management team, Communications team and Social Investment Practice.

This position is based in metropolitan Detroit.

Primary responsibilities

Creates and Executes Strategy

·         Contributes to the program’s strategy development, including strategies related to national community development and place-based

·         Shares collective responsibility for achieving strategic objectives in cities.

·         Manages creation of strategy documents such as board materials, board advisory committee materials, and working group materials.

·         Obtains, maintains, and shares knowledge of the most current, effective and equitable strategies in the urban development field – acting
as a subject matter advisor externally and with internal teams.


Project and Program Management

·            Oversees portions of the program’s convening, research, and knowledge exchange related to equitable development and inclusive growth.

  • Manages the Program’s place-based work in select cities including:
  • Managing relationships with key national and local partners– advising, managing and supporting their work.
  • Developing strategic objectives and associated work plans.
  • Facilitating meetings.
  • Maintaining and supporting internal collaboration through meetings, site visits and ongoing information exchange.
  • Managing external requests for proposals and open calls for grant applications including RFP development, publication, review and communications.

Conducts Grant Reviews and Serves as Point of Contact for Grantees

·         Manages a portfolio of select grants across national community development, multi-city initiatives and place-based work in cities.

·         Performs end-to-end grant review responsibilities for a combination of sourced and unsolicited applications.

Develops knowledge and supports the team’s use of program-related investment (PRI) and innovative capital tools to achieve program objectives, as needed.

Contributes to Research, Evaluation and Learning

·         Works with the Managing Director to develop grant outcomes and evaluation criteria for one’s own grants.

·         Contributes to the development of criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the team portfolio and participates in the evaluation of the results.

·         Conducts research, site visits and contributes to program development.

·         Partakes in professional development opportunities.


Contributes to the Field and Performs other Duties to Support the Foundation:

·         Represents the foundation publicly, sharing program approaches and grant making outcomes.

·         Participates in funder and cross-sector collaboratives to achieve program objectives, as needed.

·         Develops and maintains external involvement with grant makers, nonprofit leaders and public / private sector stakeholders active in urban development, as needed.

·         Works collaboratively, supporting and encouraging all members within and across teams.

·         Demonstrates a strong commitment to the foundation’s mission and values and demonstrates that commitment in daily interactions.

·         Demonstrates a strong commitment to pragmatically championing issues of inclusion and equity in American Cities.

·         Acts as liaison to other Kresge departments.

·         Conducts other duties and special projects as requested.


·         Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in community development, economic development, cross-sector collaboration, public policy, urban planning, nonprofit management, philanthropy or related fields is required; completion of a Master’s degree is strongly preferred.

·         Five years of progressive work experience; experience with relevant policy and programmatic issues preferred.

·         Demonstrated interest in the public, nonprofit, civic or social sectors.

·         Demonstrated leadership potential.

·         Willing to travel extensively. Local, regional and national travel requirements vary by quarter.

·         Strong communication, writing and verbal including the ability to speak publicly.

·         Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to successfully interact and work across teams, function and sectors.

·         Demonstrated ability to effectively develop and manage strong and productive working relationships with internal and external partners.

·         Previous experience synthesizing large amounts of information and the ability to execute on strategies.

·         Demonstrated ability to master a diverse workload.

·         Previous experience in consulting/analysis, project management, strategy (for-profit, non-profit or public sector) or operations is preferred.

How To Apply

Application deadline for this position is midnight EST on March 24, 2020

Kresge is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBT applicants. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

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