Senior Program Officer, Mission Investments | Ford Foundation

Senior Program Officer
New York, NY


The Ford Foundation is one of the leading organizations in the world focused on advancing social justice.  Building on Ford Foundation’s long history at the nexus of business and society, the Mission Investments team was formed to help catalyze the impact investment market globally, and advance a more inclusive form of capitalism, in partnership with other funders, investors, and the public sector.  

The Mission Investments team successfully launched its impact investing and inclusive capitalism grants program strategy in 2016 dedicated to: 

Underpinning all Mission Investments activity is the fundamental belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion are necessary to achieve progress and innovation in business, society, the capital markets, and capitalism itself.


Reporting to the Director, Mission Investments (Director), the Senior Program Officer (SPO) will be the primary grant maker for the Mission Investments department, coordinating grant making efforts with mission related investment and program related investment activities.  The SPO will collaborate with philanthropic, private, and public-sector partners in advancing the impact investments field and helping improve capitalism. The SPO will also serve as the Foundation’s primary representative to the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance.

The ideal candidate possesses deep knowledge of the capital markets and the corporate sector and has a proven ability to think strategically, analytically and critically with agility to translate ideas and insights into action through coherent and viable program work. They are action oriented and entrepreneurial with strong convening and facilitation skills, the ability to build coalitions for change, and a commitment to shared learning. They have the organizational, collaboration and cross-cultural communication skills to facilitate getting the work done effectively, efficiently and with integrity. They are committed to the larger goal of the foundation --  to disrupt inequality in all its forms -- and have demonstrated experience working effectively as part of a team and with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.


Program Implementation and Leadership:

  • Implement the existing impact investing and inclusive capitalism strategy in consultation with external and internal partners. Among internal partners, collaborate, in particular, with program staff working to advance the field of philanthropy worldwide
  • Working closely with the Deputy Director, Mission Investments (Deputy Director), establish effective linkages between the Mission Investment department’s grant strategy and investment strategy
  • Consulting closely with the Deputy Director, provide staff support to the Foundation President in his role as Chair of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance
  • Initiate and foster strategic partnerships with thought leaders and key external constituencies in impact investing and inclusive capitalism – including governmental, philanthropic, media, academic, private investors and investor networks, and sovereign wealth and pension funds – to advance the strategic goals of the grant strategy and team, consulting closely with the Director and Deputy Director
  • Working closely with the Director and Deputy Director, represent the Foundation and its work to the government, media, academic, philanthropic, private investors and investor networks, and sovereign wealth and pension fund leaders relevant to the strategy through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings and interviews
  • Recommend allocation of the annual grant budget for approval by the Director
  • Working closely with the Director, continuously monitor and review the overall grant strategy, revising the strategy as needed based on learning from the grant monitoring and evaluation processes and other sources of evidence, and respond to new and promising opportunities in the impact investing area

Thematic Leadership, Collaboration Management and Team Building:

  • Share the vision, objectives, and desired outcome of the strategy with team members and build constructive dialogue and collaboration among team staff in refining the grant strategy over time

  • Build strong cross-disciplinary connections within and outside the foundation

  • Encourage and reinforce a feedback-oriented culture, specifically as related to the effectiveness of the grant strategy, collaboration across teams, and team and individual performance against the goals of the grant strategy

Internal and External Communications:

  • Develop external communications strategies to advance the social change goals within the grant strategy, working closely with the Director, Deputy Director, and the Office of Communications.

  • In consultation with the Director and Deputy Director, develop strategies for disseminating the impacts of the impact investment and inclusive capitalism strategy internally and externally

  • As appropriate, and in close collaboration with the Deputy Director, lead planning and execution of strategic convenings to advance the objectives of the impact investing and inclusive capitalism strategy

  • Collaborate with Regional Offices to help drive the impact investing and inclusive capitalism grant strategy globally

Shared Values:

  • Assess impact and strive for impact at scale.

  • Maintain a commitment to creating and reinforcing a transparent, safe, open, and mutually respectful work environment.

  • Foster the growth and development of staff and instills teams with a sense of shared commitment and purpose.


  • BA/BS plus 15 years’ experience and a strong interest in or experience with impact investing or equivalent combination of education and experience. Advanced degree in a field demonstrating impact investing knowledge is preferred

  • Passion for use of both market-based and public or nonprofit sector strategies to create positive social change

  • Knowledge of and comfort with accounting, corporate finance, financial analysis, and capital markets

  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively across organizational teams and offices

  • Demonstrated skill in independent thinking and problem-solving, with proven ability to manage a complex strategy

  • Demonstrated capacity to lead efforts to advance social change

  • The ability to effectively engage and work collaboratively with governmental and non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions, funding agencies, private investors, and other institutional partners in developing action strategies and representing the Foundation and the impact investing strategy and inclusive capitalism strategy to internal and external stakeholders

  • Ability to collaborate with others in designing a learning strategy for the impact investing strategy and to monitor and report to multiple audiences on the financial, social, and learning outcomes of the impact investing grant and investment portfolios as a whole

  • Excellent analytical, public speaking, writing, and conceptual skills. Ability to clearly communicate concepts, research findings, and data interpretations and to draw the implications of these analyses for program strategy


  • This position is primarily a sedentary role. However, the person in this position may need to occasionally move about inside the office to liaise with internal staff, access files, office machinery and a copy machine/printer. Additionally, the position involves significant travel.

Alignment to Culture and Values

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams


  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
  • Retirement savings account with matching company contributions of up to 13%
  • Three weeks’ paid vacation in first year of work; four weeks in subsequent years 
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Generous parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)


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

Click here to apply.

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.