The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation
Program Officer — Global Programs
The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (STBF) is a private grantmaking foundation based in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. We work towards a world in which every person controls their reproduction and all reproductive decisions are treated with dignity and respect. Toward this end, our core mission is to prevent unintended pregnancy and ensure access to safe abortion.
Position Title: Program Officer
Reports To: Senior Program Officer
Job Location: Kigali, Rwanda or Omaha, NE, US
Background | STBF’s Global Programs (GP) strategy invests in sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world. At the core of our strategy is the central tenet that our funding will lead to permanent change: We want our funding to help build the systems, organizations, and institutions that will outlive our grantmaking, so that women and girls will continue to receive services when our funding comes to an end. In order to deliver on this ambitious strategy, the GP team is expanding thoughtfully, adding strategic and grants management capacity in key areas. Compared to the size of its grant-making, the GP team is small in staff size, though growing globally. We aim to identify opportunities for impact by questioning, piloting, reflecting, learning, and putting learned information to effective use. We are not afraid to fail or change our approach in light of new learnings. We regard our investments as partnerships and regard our grantees as our partners.
Position Description | The primary role of the Program Officer (PO) is to work closely with and under the guidance of the Senior Program Officer (SPO) to manage a dynamic portfolio of grants. The PO will play a critical role in taking on end-to-end grant management which will enable the SPO to focus more fully on strategy research and development. The role of the PO is also to provide appropriate thought partnership and support in ongoing strategy development and implementation. They will demonstrate nimbleness, able to pivot and adapt easily to play a continually integral role on a dynamic global team. They will work in alignment with SPO(s) on all aspects of work, demonstrating strong judgment and trustworthiness in stewarding grantee and other relationships on behalf of the foundation. The PO sees themselves as a leader who embraces the opportunity to positively contribute to the team — through curiosity, humility, empathy, and humor — in all facets of their work.
The Ideal Candidate | This position is right for you if you are:
● Adaptable with a good sense of humor | You keep sight of the end-goal but are flexible in how that is achieved, understanding where there are limitations and finding creative approaches to surmount them. You aren’t out for ownership and credit, but to facilitate a smooth and results-driven workflow to serve the mission. You are skilled in managing up and sideways and do so with ease. You see yourself in service to the mission always, and as part of a team working to realize an ambitious vision.
● Thrive in complexity and ambiguity | You are comfortable in the grey, and can find ways to take meaningful steps forward toward clarity amidst a changing backdrop. You seek clarity and guidance when needed, yet remain solutions-oriented and self-directed. You aim to create clarity, not add to complexity. You respond easily to changes in direction, and you even anticipate them.
● An effective communicator | You take the time to listen actively and understand the value of diverse ideas and opinions. You know that individuals give and receive messages differently and, therefore, adjust your communication tactics — regarding content, technique, and tone — to land your ideas effectively in a global and remote team. You are committed to transparency and visibility to ensure alignment with the SPO and other team members as needed, and to support an effective, collaborative team. You remain aware of cultural context and power dynamics, thoughtfully communicating to bring others in and along — even in hard conversations.
● A strategic, critical thinker | You are able to adjust your lens of analysis based on strategic priorities as directed. You are able to keep the big picture in mind, but bring a critical analysis lens to assess how a particular investment or approach maps to it. You are able to break down a complex vision into actionable steps, translating strategy into grants management and coordination. You balance your bias for action with a need for reflection time to consider how to maximize the opportunity before you.
● A leader | You are self-aware — embracing continuous learning and leveraging your ability to influence. You understand that energy — positive and negative — is contagious and work to consciously create collaborative and inclusive working dynamics. You seek feedback from others and look for opportunities to develop yourself, as well as coach and mentor others.
Responsibilities | Primary responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:
● Coordinate administration of grants in alignment with STBF policies and bring a highly organized, proactive systems approach to tracking and managing grants
● Manage ongoing grant performance through conversations, review of progress narratives and budgets, and in-person visits (as applicable), and communicate aligned guidance and feedback on behalf of the foundation
● Provide range of flexible and responsive support to current and prospective grantees through thoughtful, timely communication
● Represent the Foundation thoughtfully to past, present, and potential grantee partners, and other donors and stakeholders, both internally and externally
Support Strategy Implementation
● Collaborate and support on ongoing development, management, analysis, and refinement of strategy across the advocacy portfolio as needed
● Participate in introductory and scoping calls with other donors, external partners, and potential grantees to undertake due diligence or scoping
● Exhibit a growth mindset, bringing positivity, creativity, and a commitment to continuous learning to the team
● Enthusiasm for collaboration and shared learning, mentoring and being mentored
● Humility in commitment to leveraging your unique strengths and insights toward a greater vision for impact
Qualifications | Skills and knowledge the candidate must possess:
● ~5-10 years of relevant professional experience
● Strong background in global health and development, preferably sexual and reproductive health and rights, in low-resource settings
● Excellent relationship manager, with a track record of fostering and maintaining trusting relationships with a wide range of stakeholders
● Excellent communicator who is responsive, thoughtful, culturally humble, and able to convey complex content in clear ways to a range of audiences
● Highly-organized systems thinker with ability to synthesize complex information in an orderly and efficient manner using tools such as Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
● Ability to work independently and creatively to solve problems, with limited context
● Proven commitment to reproductive justice, as well as power shift within the global health and development field, including in philanthropy
● Patience, flexibility, adaptability, and a sense of humor
● Ability to travel up to 50% of the time (dependent on COVID-19 pandemic)
Education and Experience | A range of professional experiences or educational preparation will be considered. A background in SRHR or philanthropy is helpful, but not critical. Rather, transferrable experience working in a dynamic, global setting adapting to competing needs and priorities of a range of stakeholders is more critical. An unapologetic commitment to reproductive justice is non-negotiable.
Benefits and Compensation | The annual salary range for this position is competitive and will be commensurate with experience. The Foundation offers a full and generous benefits package, including medical/dental insurance and a retirement program.
Application Process | Send cover letter and CV to email@example.com with subject line Program Officer. Applications without a cover letter will not be reviewed. References and other information may be requested.
The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.