Program Officer

Program Officer

Ford Foundation

India, Nepal and Sri Lanka,


The Ford Foundation, India Office, based in New Delhi, seeks a dynamic, collaborative and innovative Program Officer to help drive and shape the foundation’s social justice mission in the Asia Region. The Program Officer should have proven grantmaking experience and knowledge, with a focus on philanthropy and strategic engagement in supporting institutional development and capacity building. Some prior knowledge and experience of working in equitable and inclusive technology systems and the future of work will be an advantage. The Program Officer will be required to work closely with the regional office as well contributing to global program teams. In addition, the Program Officer will work across the two areas of program focus for the New Delhi office: Civic Engagement and Government; Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice. The Program Officer will support the strategy of the India office and the broader global social justice goals of the Foundation.


Addressing inequality is a key focus of the Ford Foundation. The overall goal of the thematic area strategy is to make concrete gains towards full equality for all people regardless of their gender, caste, or ethnicity. The Foundation strives to achieve this by working with critical stakeholders and partners in government, civil society, private sector and the donor community including local philanthropies in the region. The Ford Foundation’s mission of social justice is advanced through working with organizations that are community-focused and those that work on rights and entitlements with the government. Other strategies to advance these goals could be the experience and ability to engage with different communication strategies.

The Ford Foundation India Office has a focus mainly on India with limited activity in Nepal and Sri Lanka. The Foundation tries to address these priorities from a local perspective, while also bearing in mind the importance of linking local challenges and interventions, to global trends and strategies. The Program Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Regional Director for India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and be part of our multi-disciplinary team.


Program Officers are responsible for the development of grant portfolios and ensuring all related activities are designed to deliver on the Regional office goals and strategies. The Program Officer assesses and analyzes the fields in which the Regional office is focused; identifies key ecosystems and opportunities to work with various actors to shape and influence agendas to promote social justice; and plays a leading role in shaping specific grant activities. The Program Officer strives to share substantive knowledge with Foundation colleagues; collaborate broadly with Ford’s India office team; and serve as a ‘connector’ of grantees. The Program Officer works with practitioners, government officials, scholars, NGOs, other donors and corporate sector leaders on issues of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals. More specifically as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the India, Nepal and Sri Lanka Program Officer will:

  • Contribute to the ongoing definition and development of team strategies, working toward the Regional goals;
  • Develop grant making activities in a team-oriented context that are aligned to the strategic goals of the regional strategy and designed to achieve significant and scalable impact;
  • Manage, monitor and coordinate a grants portfolio, including: annual grant planning; identifying and working with prospective grantees to develop proposals for recommending grants (including helping determine the goals for a grant, its activities, expected results, indicators of success and budget); conducting organizational assessments; undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees; and reviewing financial and narrative reporting from grantees;
  • Engage with grantees to review opportunities, challenges and advances and encourage collaboration, learning, exchange and strategic partnerships;
  • Recommend and participate in evaluation and learning activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work, working with the office team and the foundation’s Office of Strategy and Learning (at headquarters);
  • Work with various stakeholders, including the government, academic, business, philanthropic, and civic leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings and interviews, with guidance from the India, Nepal and Sri Lanka Regional Director and the Ford Office of Communications;
  • Develop and implement grant-making approaches that support the use of strategic communications as part of the program strategy; and
  • Work collaboratively with other team members to refine the focus of the global strategy aimed at advancing social outcomes of marginalized urban communities.


  • 7-10 years of experience of which at least seven years in positions of leadership, in civil society, academic institutions, social enterprises, government or consulting, or equivalent combination of education and experience in a related field;
  • An ability to grasp the ‘big picture’ to ensure high relevance of all action along with an ability to work on the ‘detail’ for greater effectiveness;
  • Fluency in English;
  • A master’s degree in a relevant field of study or equivalent experience;
  • An ability to be flexible, collaborative and team player;
  • Diversity of experience working for a range of actors: government, multi-lateral institutions, think tanks / universities, consultancy firms, civil society, NGOs, networks and the private sector;
  • Implementation and/or research experience in the thematic area related to advancing social outcomes of marginalized communities such as financial inclusion, gender equality and dignity, skills development, poverty alleviation, social development;
  • Knowledge of social networks and organizations in the Asia Region, particularly in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and ability to engage in a multicultural and diverse scenario.


  • Prior grant making experience;
  • Knowledge of national and sub-national policies/initiatives, which would be useful to advance both our Regional Office priorities and the more global priorities of the foundation, for example in its seven major thematic areas.


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, domestic/international travel will be expected, approximately 20%; some travel is directly related to grantmaking, but also to attend team conferences, retreats and meetings.


The Ford Foundation is deeply committed to the core values identified by the institution. These are:

  • Openness: we embrace honesty and transparency;
  • Collaboration: belief that the whole is better than the sum of its parts;
  • Trust: integrity is the cornerstone of our work;
  • Equity: we are committed to building a fair and just global culture;
  • Accountability: the understanding that serving as responsible partners and thoughtful stewards is a privilege;
  • Urgency: to demonstrate that in a rapidly changing environment we work earnestly and responsively.

In addition, the Program Officer would have:

  • Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills, high analytical ability;
  • People management skills, providing clear direction to team members, establishing annual performance delivery goals and conducting performance appraisals;
  • Demonstrated leadership skills on a team, working toward and influencing team collaboration, team building, and team effectiveness, modeling these skills for the team. Serving as a mentor to team members.

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.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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