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Program Officer, U.S. Transparent Effective Accountable Government (Democracy, Rights & Justice Program)

The Ford Foundation
Location: New York
Last Date: July 20, 2011


Program Officer
U.S. Transparent Effective Accountable Government
Democracy, Rights & Justice Program

SUMMARY DESCRIPTION: The Program Officer will work with our Director of Democratic Participation to develop and manage a portfolio of grants and related activities focused on government transparency, effectiveness and accountability in the United States. The goals of the portfolio are to ensure that federal and state governments effectively address the needs of the American people, especially the most vulnerable; that the public sector has adequate resources and revenue to accomplish this; and that government decision-making is open and accessible and encourages broad participation by the general public. With the United States experiencing the worst economic crisis in a generation, programming will address both the immediate and urgent debates the country faces on revenue and spending issues, as well as the longer term structural reforms required to ensure government is responsive and accountable to the priorities of the American people.

Informed by significant expertise in public policy and advocacy in the United States, the Program Officer will pursue grantmaking strategies to help build and strengthen a national infrastructure that will ensure public policies advance quality of life for low- and moderate-income people. S/he will have deep knowledge of federal policy and advocacy organizations working on budget accountability and transparency issues, as well as an understanding of the dynamics of state level budget work and state revenue coalitions. S/he will consider strategies for strengthening the links between these budget and policy groups and community organizing networks, issue-based advocacy organizations, and broader civic engagement efforts. S/he will also identify opportunities to incorporate new technologies in fostering greater transparency and accountability.

The Program Officer will provide input into existing lines of work; formulate grantmaking to execute the strategy; identify potential grantees; solicit, review and respond to grant proposals; monitor grants and other developments in the field; and prepare recommendations for Foundation funding. S/he will develop and maintain close working relationships with existing and potential grantees, and with relevant leaders in government, civil society and other funders, and promote coordination and cumulative learning among key stakeholders.

The U.S. Transparent, Effective, Accountable Government portfolio is part of the Foundationís Democratic Participation unit, which also includes initiatives on Strengthening Civil Society, Increasing Civic & Political Participation, and Promoting Electoral Reform and Democratic Participation. Joining a dynamic program staff working on a range of issues around the world, the Program Officer will collaborate closely with program officers working on transparency and accountability issues in eight overseas offices and also with staff across other program areas of the Foundation.

QUALIFICATIONS: Substantial professional experience working on government transparency and accountability in the U.S.; advanced training in law or public policy, or other relevant fields; experience working with a range of individuals in civil society, government and the private sector; familiarity with strategic communications and the use of new technologies to promote social justice; demonstrated experience working effectively as part of a team and with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and perspectives; excellent analytical, oral presentation, writing, and interpersonal skills; fluency in English. Also desirable are fluency in a second language and familiarity with philanthropy and nonprofit sector issues in the U.S.

Salary is based on experience and on the Foundationís commitment to internal equity. A generous benefits package is provided. The position is located in New York City.

To apply for the position please visit

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.



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