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Program Officer

The Robertson Foundation
Location: New York City
Last Date: October 20, 2010


The Robertson Foundation

Program Officer




The Robertson Foundation (the Foundation) is a private, family-led foundation established in 1996 by Julian H. Robertson, Jr. and his wife, Josie. By taking a targeted yet creative approach to philanthropy, Mr. Robertson, the Chairman of Tiger Management L.L.C., and his family seek to have a positive social impact and create a legacy that reflects the family`s values. The Robertson Foundation looks to maximize the impact of its efforts by making large, transformative grants that leverage the Foundation`s resources beyond the immediate funds committed, thereby reorienting the thinking, policies, and approaches of governmental entities and other philanthropic initiatives.


The Foundation currently seeks to make large-scale, high impact grants in four principal areas within the United States: medical research, education, environment, and religion. Other areas of interest have already and will continue to emerge over time, as the Foundation gains more experience. Cross-cutting principles that inform the work in each area include focusing on leadership, leveraging strategic opportunities, partnering with grantees and aligned funders, and developing measurable outcomes with intermediate and long-term impacts. The Foundations bias to respond quickly to societys most urgent concerns with solutions that yield meaningful results will remain a priority.

For more information on the Foundation and its work, please access . 


Organization Strategy


The Robertson Foundation takes a targeted, businesslike, results-oriented approach that is modeled more closely on private equity investing than on traditional philanthropic grant making. As a result, before the Foundation considers specific grants, its program staff, assisted by relevant experts, regularly conducts a data- driven scan of the area of interest to:

  • Develop an understanding of the issues that need to be addressed,

  • Survey the organizations that operate in the area,

  • Identify approaches being tried in the field and their degrees of success, and

  • Assess whether significant and measurable results can be achieved by the potential Robertson grantee.

Leadership at the grantee or partner organization plays a critical role. In every grant the Foundation makes, the implementation of the agreed-upon plan is monitored and the corresponding results are reviewed on a regular basis by the Foundation's program staff. 




The Robertson Foundation is at a unique point in its grantmaking history, and the Board has decided to expand the Foundations presence in their primary funding areas, i.e., environmental policy, education reform, medical research, and religion/spirituality. The Foundation will consider providing larger grants as investments in strategic initiatives designed to have a systemic impact on the Foundations funding areas. This Program Officer will be critical to that expansion, to further develop the Foundations grantmaking portfolio and to monitor and support the existing portfolio during growth.

The Program Officer will work directly with the advisory board, Executive Director, President and program staff and will play a substantive role in the Foundations work.  The Robertson Foundation seeks an individual with program management experience in the for-profit and/or non-profit sector with a demonstrated commitment to the nonprofit sector and passion for mission-based organizationsThe Program Officer will be a strategic thinker who thrives on working as part of a collegial team that is passionate about providing philanthropic support to key organizations.



Work with the Executive Director, President, program staff and advisory board to distribute new grants and also manage the existing grant portfolio.  Specifically, the Program Officer will:

  • Screen incoming proposals and analyze programmatic and financial information from nonprofit organizations across program areas of medical research, education, environment, and religion

  • Schedule and conduct site visits for prospective grant recipients

  • Provide written evaluations and recommendations for new grantees and renewals for presentation at Program Committee meetings

  • Work with the program staff and advisory board in establishing funding priorities and allocating annual budget among grant applicants

  • Participate in offering technical assistance to grantees in areas such as financial management

  • Participate in board meetings and Program Committee meetings throughout the year

  • Draft and send acceptance and declination letters where appropriate

  • Research, develop and present ideas for strategic initiatives designed to have a broader impact on the Foundations program areas

Grants Monitoring and Management

  • Manage ongoing correspondence with existing grant recipients, including necessary reports (interim and final)

  • Assist in preparation of materials for use in board meetings

  • Conduct periodic site visits to check grantee progress and identify areas for follow-up

  • Support relationships with Foundation advisory board members, including planning and attending advisory board meeting

  • Provide research on trends and opportunities in the Foundations funding areas in response to requests from the President, Executive Director and advisory board members

  • Assist in maintaining database of all proposals and grants

  • Respond to requests for information on the Foundation

  • Manage special projects as neede

Professional Qualifications

  • MBA or MPA (or equivalent experience) is preferred

  • Demonstrated interest and experience in nonprofit program management, ideally in the New York City area

  • Ideally, some experience assessing (either for-profit or nonprofit) grant, loan or finance requests

  • Outstanding analytical and critical thinking skills

  • Excellent written, oral communication and presentation skills

  • Cross-cultural relationship-building skills; able to partner effectively both with nonprofit leaders and with leaders from research institutions

  • Results-oriented with a respect for data-driven outcomes and comfort with quantitative analytics

  • Ability to evaluate and interpret nonprofit financial statements

  • Accustomed to high professional standards and expectations

  • Solid understanding of nonprofit organizational structures and challenges

  • Experience with and comfort using databases

  Personal Characteristics

  • Strongly team-oriented, collegial, collaborative

  • Willing to work behind the scenes; views success as a product of the team

  • Passionate about the nonprofit sector and the potential impact s/he can make, yet approaches partnerships with grantees with humility

  • Able to learn and embrace the Foundations grantmaking approach and areas of interest

  • Relationship builder and manager, strong communicator

  • Excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to use good judgment and problem-solve effectively

  • Flexibility, adaptability and a sense of humor

  • Well organized, able to work in a fast-paced environment and self-motivated with a strong work ethic



The position is full-time and based in New York City. The salary is commensurate with experience and a full benefits package is included. 


The Robertson Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages candidates of all backgrounds to apply for this position.  Applications should be submitted to MSalkin Associates by sending both a cover letter and resume via email to IIIn the cover letter, please indicate you saw the position on . The team at MSalkin Associates has substantial experience in serving mission-based organizations and expanding senior management teams within both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. No phone calls please.



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