Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Program Officer for Advancing Education, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

The Organization


LOCATED IN: Winston-Salem, North Carolina



Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is a statewide, private, family foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians. The Foundation was established in 1936 as a memorial to Z. Smith Reynolds, the youngest son of R.J. Reynolds. For more than 80 years, the Foundation has been engaged in forward-thinking philanthropy with contributions of $627 million in North Carolina.

The Foundation’s current All For NC Framework for Grantmaking and Learning includes the following strategies:

·         State-Level Systemic Change Strategy, to improve state-level systems and structures to remove barriers and create opportunities;

·         Community-Based Strategy, to leverage the unique assets, knowledge, experience and connections in communities to create meaningful change; and

·         An Exploratory, Visionary Ideas Strategy, to invest in the bold ideas of North Carolinians.

Alongside these three main strategies, the Foundation has also expressed its commitment to:

·         Augment its participation in its hometown of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County,

·         Use a racial equity lens to underpin all of its work, and

·         Continue to be a learning organization.

The intent of the Foundation’s Framework for Grantmaking and Learning is to provide different strategies that meet people and communities where they are, as well as to break down silos, allow more flexibility in our grantmaking, and provide multiple entry points for potential applicants. The Foundation recognizes that not all the work that is funded will fit neatly into these three strategies; rather, there is work that lives in between them. Therefore, the Foundation wants to remain flexible to foster those areas of intersection.

Position Overview


The Foundation is hiring a Program Officer to support the strategies set forward in this grantmaking framework.  An understanding of and experience working on education matters impacting North Carolina, particularly in the Foundation’s Advancing Public Education priority area of its State-Level Systemic Change Strategy (which is outlined below), is preferred.  The Program Officer role includes developing effective strategies for the Foundation to facilitate positive change, analyzing grant applications, helping develop organizational capacity, and evaluating the effectiveness of the Foundation’s past grantees.  The Program Officer’s work will help inform the final grant decisions made by the Foundation’s Trustees.

Advancing Public Education Priority Area

Consistent with the Foundation’s mission and core values, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes that children in North Carolina should have equitable, universal access to high quality public education that develops the full potential of each child. Access to high quality early childhood education and K-12 public education is a foundation block of democracy and is essential for the future economic sustainability, prosperity and ongoing vitality of our state and its communities. The Foundation further believes that children are best prepared to live, work and lead in our increasingly diverse state if schools are racially, ethnically and economically diverse and if schools value the individual experiences and contributions of each student.

Consequently, the Foundation supports efforts that: build the public will to support and strengthen North Carolina’s public systems of education, including early childhood education through high school*; build the capacity of these systems for continuous improvement; and advance educational equity.

*High school is intended to include dual-enrollment high school and college programs.


The successful candidate will be visionary, strategic, analytical, intellectually curious, resilient, detail-oriented and understand systems-change.  They must be adept at building relationships and understanding power dynamics and how they influence advancing change. The individual selected will possess facilitation, collaboration, convening, and project management skills and be able to bring various stakeholders with diverse backgrounds, opinions and experiences together. This individual will share the Foundation’s core values and commitment to racial equity.

A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required, and an advanced degree or equivalent experience is preferred. Five years of related work experience is desired.

Exceptional writing and communication skills are required, along with the ability to assimilate information quickly, work under pressure and meet deadlines. A fundamental knowledge of the State of North Carolina, humility, self-confidence and a sense of humor are helpful and preferred.

The position is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and requires extensive statewide travel. The Program Officer is not required to live in Winston-Salem but should be available to be present in the Winston-Salem office one to two days per week.

How To Apply


Armstrong McGuire & Associates, based in Raleigh, NC, is conducting this search in partnership with ZSR’s leadership team. To apply, click on the link to the Program Officer position profile at You will see instructions for uploading your cover letter, resume, and three professional references. Please provide all requested information to be considered. In case of any technical problems, contact

The salary range for this position is $80,000-$85,000, based upon the candidate’s level of knowledge, education, skill and experience. The Foundation provides an exemplary benefits package.

The deadline for applications is September 11, 2021 with final selection scheduled for November 2021.

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from people of all races, genders, religions, ethnicities, nationalities and sexual orientation.

Sign up