The Ford Foundation’s Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice (GREJ) thematic area seeks a dynamic, curious and collaborative Program Officer (PO) to help shape and implement the Foundation’s work to advance social justice with a focus on criminal justice reform. Based in New York, the Program Officer will support the GREJ thematic area strategy and grantmaking, specifically mass incarceration reform, and will work collaboratively with colleagues in other funding institutions to advance GREJ goals.
Reporting to the GREJ Director and working with a multidisciplinary team of Program Officers, the PO will be responsible for recommending grants to advance criminal justice reform and play a leading role in shaping specific grants and other initiatives, ensuring all activities are designed to deliver the goals of the thematic strategy. The PO will work collaboratively to develop the Foundation’s grant recommendations, establish and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework and ensure shared learning across programmatic teams. In addition, they will serve as a ‘connector’ of grantees, and work with practitioners, government officials, scholars, NGOs, corporate sector leaders and other donors to leverage positive impact toward common goals.
The ideal candidate will be deeply knowledgeable about mass incarceration and the criminal justice reform movement and understand the roles that policy advocacy, organizing, social services and philanthropy play in advancing social change. They will be well networked in the justice field and have the respect of the criminal justice reform community and its allies in the civil society sector. The ideal PO will also have excellent communication skills, deal well with change, enjoy developing junior staff, and demonstrate leadership inside and outside of the organization.
Addressing inequality is the core focus of the Ford Foundation. The overall goal of the GREJ thematic area is to make concrete gains toward full equality for all people, with a focus on reducing mass incarceration and advancing reproductive and gender justice and immigrant rights.
The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country in the world - mainly minorities and poor people. Ford’s strategy will include support to strengthen public education and advocacy for sentencing reforms aimed at reducing prison populations, and redirecting funds into crime prevention and other initiatives that foster the success of people in neighborhoods hardest hit by crime and incarceration. We also support the replication of a limited number of innovative alternative-to-incarceration models. And we support communications initiatives that push back against the narrative of incarceration as an answer to public safety.