Troy, MI

Detroit Program Officer, 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, our hometown of Detroit, and placed-based work in 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 which serves as a collaboration hub for our place-based teams.

Position Overview

The Program Officer will support the Detroit Program in advancing equity and justice through a program strategy that seeks to strengthen the social, economic, cultural, and physical fabric of one of America’s most iconic cities and create opportunities for shared learning with the national urban development community. The Detroit Program is the base for Kresge’s place-based work nationally.

This position will be a member of the foundation’s Detroit Team, a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team working proactively to advance equitable progress in Detroit’s resurgence and revitalization through a multi-faceted investment framework, entitled Reimagining Detroit.  This framework is rooted in expanding socioeconomic mobility and addressing the systemic inequities that prevent tangible, balanced, long-term results in the city’s neighborhoods while strengthening the citywide systems that ensure opportunity and quality of life.  Demonstrated expertise in addressing the nexus between sustainable urban development, inclusive growth, racial justice, and economic opportunity will be required in this position.

The Program Officer will report to the Managing Director and assume responsibility for managing the program’s racial justice portfolio of grants and support the economic mobility and community wealth-building portfolio. The Detroit Team is committed to the Foundation’s mission and core values. We work by encouraging a culture of trust, determination, shared accountability, and consensus. Team members demonstrate the personal qualities of humility, servant leadership, capacity for self-reflection, discretion, an adaptive approach, and a sense of humor. The Program Officer will work closely with members of the Detroit Program to contribute to the design and execution of other elements of the program’s grantmaking and social investing strategies.

This role is based in metropolitan Detroit.

We are most interested in applicants whose education and work experience have brought them extensive knowledge of community development and/or sustainable urban development, community engagement, and social and public policy. We seek applicants that have significant lived experience and a credible track record of working closely with communities that have been historically marginalized from the systems that affect their lives. Candidates must have a demonstrated dedication to and experience advancing racial equity and justice.

Primary Responsibilities

Program Strategy Execution

·       Executes and refines the grantmaking and social investment strategy for the racial justice portfolio and support the economic mobility and community-wealth building portfolio.

·       Contributes to the implementation of the team’s overall strategy and program priorities.

·       Obtains, maintains, and shares a high level of knowledge of the most effective strategies and current thinking in the urban development field – what works, the most effective and /or innovative ways to support the work, and how to implement strategies with partners.

·       Facilitates internal and external meetings with team members, stakeholders and other partners to design and implement collective efforts.

·       Prepares agendas, minutes, work plans, background memos, research, and other materials to support the execution of initiatives, internal and external meetings on behalf of the Program team.

·       Helps to manage engagement with external consultants supporting the team’s programmatic work.

Portfolio Management and Reviews

·       Performs grant review responsibilities for a combination of sourced and LOI-initiated grants.

·       Writes memos, strategy papers and straightforward and complex grant write-ups.

·       As needed, utilizes social investment tools to achieve program objectives.

·       With other team members, has collective responsibility for reaching annual grant targets.

Research, Evaluation and Learning

·       Champions a community of learning and practice among the organizations supported through the racial justice and economic security and community-wealth building portfolios.

·       Develops grant outcomes and evaluation criteria for one’s own grants; reviews reports and interprets results.

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

·       Within the team calendar, conducts site visits and takes part in professional development opportunities to keep abreast of new developments in the field.

·       Participates in research, values its application, and contributes to program development within the team.

Contributions to the Field and other Responsibilities

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

·       Maintains external involvement with other grantmakers, nonprofit leaders, and public and private sector partners active in urban development – as needed by the team.

·       Travels to conferences, convenings, and site visits with grantees and funding partners once coronavirus safety measures allow.

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

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

·       Performs other duties and special projects as requested.


  • Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to and experience advancing racial equity and justice.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is required in a field relevant to community development, public policy, sustainable development, public health, or economic opportunity and mobility is required.; completion of a Master’s degree is strongly preferred.
  • Minimum of five (5) years of experience and leadership on relevant policy and programmatic issues, including significant experience with demonstrable impact in historically disadvantaged communities.
  • Proven experience and substantive knowledge of building and cultivating networks for social and economic change, fostering communities of practice among grantee organizations, and supporting the leadership of nonprofit partners in ways that help them build greater power.
  • Ability to be adaptive, action-oriented, and entrepreneurial.
  • Ability to work in collaborative, cross-team partnerships with colleagues across the foundation.
  • Excellent analytical, writing, verbal, and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience in the development of strategies to affect systems change, including familiarity and experience working with equity concepts and frameworks.
  • Demonstrated ability to project manage a diverse workload and execute on strategies.
  • Familiarity and experience working with the nonprofit sector; must have strong interpersonal skills and experience working collaboratively across the nonprofit, philanthropic, private, and public sectors.
  • Must have proven experience building and maintaining strong and productive relationships.
  • Skill in working effectively as a member of a team.
  • Must be willing to travel once coronavirus safety measures allow.
  • Previous grantmaking experience, or experience with foundations, is preferred.

·       Willingness to relocate to the Detroit metropolitan area (at a time mutually determined to be safe given coronavirus concerns).

Physical Requirements

The Kresge Foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs, and operations. As part of this commitment, the Foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please contact our Human Resources Department.

Travel Requirements

This position requires travel for internal and external meetings. Domestic and/or international travel will be expected when it is safe to travel, approximately 20%; some travel is directly related to grantmaking, but also to attend team conferences, retreats, and meetings.

Compensation and Benefits 

Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity. A generous benefits package is provided.

Application deadline for this position is 11:59pm EST on June 12, 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.

How To Apply

Please click the link below to apply:

Detroit Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation


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