Troy, MI

Program Officer – American Cities Program, The Kresge Foundation

The Organization

The Kresge Foundation is one of the top 20 largest private foundations in the U.S. Our staff of over 100 employees works to expand opportunities in America’s cities for people with low incomes. We do this through grantmaking and social investing nationally in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and placed-based work in Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, and other parts of the country.

Our state-of-the-art headquarters maintains an array of energy-efficient, water-conserving and health-promoting features. The foundation also operates an office in Detroit’s Midtown district.

About the position

The American Cities Program Officer will be responsible for the 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 work is rooted in increasing socioeconomic mobility and addressing the systemic inequities in our society. The Program Officer will be a member of the foundation’s American Cities Program, a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team working proactively to advance 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 Program Officer will report to the Managing Director and work in close partnership with colleagues across the foundation.

This position is based in metropolitan Detroit.

 Primary responsibilities
Creates and executes strategy:

·       Contributes to and helps execute the program’s strategy related to national community development and place-based work.

·       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.

Stays current with effective and equitable strategies in the urban development field.

Project and program management:

·         Oversees 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.

§  Developing strategic objectives and associated work plans, strategy documents, and board materials

§  Coordinating internal and external collaboration through facilitating 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 sourced and unsolicited applications. 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 grants.

·       Contributes to evaluating the effectiveness of the team portfolio.

·       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 championing issues of inclusion and equity in cities.


·       Bachelor’s degree is required; completion of a Master’s degree is strongly preferred.

·       Five years of progressive work experience required. Experience related to community development, economic development, cross-sector collaboration, public policy, urban planning, nonprofit management, philanthropy, or related field is 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. (Staff will not be traveling or attending in-person meetings during this time in observance of coronavirus safety measures)

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

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

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

·       Demonstrated ability to master a diverse workload and execute on strategies.

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

·       Willingness to relocate to the Detroit Metro Area (at a time mutually determined as safe given coronavirus safety measures).

How To Apply

Application deadline for this position is 11:59pm EST on January 15, 2021


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.

Please note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all Kresge staff are working remotely, and our Troy and Detroit offices remain closed until further notice. Kresge staff will not be traveling or attending in-person meetings during this time. Thank you for your understanding.

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