Program Officer, Service Provision
The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (STBF) is now seeking nominations and applications for a Program Officer, Service Provision in its Patients and Access portfolio. STBF is a private grant-making Foundation with a U.S. home office in Omaha, Nebraska, and a global office in Kigali, Rwanda. With annual spending in excess of $500 million, it is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. The Foundation has only two main areas of grant making: 1) supporting efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy and access to safe abortion for women in the U.S. and around the world and 2) to enable low-income students in Nebraska to attend and succeed in college. The Foundation currently employs 43 staff across 14 states in the U.S. and 7 staff in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Program Officer will draw upon their deep experience and knowledge in the provision of abortion and contraceptive care in free-standing outpatient settings to work within the Patients and Access portfolio. They will serve as a skilled strategic thinker, co-creator, and implementer of portfolio workplans that serve STBF’s goals. They will bring strong relationship-building skills to their role as a grantmaker, developing trust-based and collaborative partnerships with portfolio grantees. They will uphold high standards for stewarding the Foundation’s resources, including budgeting, grant monitoring, and compliance. Additionally, in keeping with the values of STBF, they will collaborate across colleagues and join a diverse team of people deeply committed to equitable practices and reducing disparities in the workplace as well as in the field. This position reports to the Senior Program Officer, Service Provision.
About US Programs
The US Programs (USP) division of STBF, led by the Director of US Programs, manages the Foundation’s grantmaking to ensure just, available, and supported access to abortion and contraception in the United States. The unit supports numerous organizations in two main areas of the reproductive health, access, and justice movements: 1) direct access to abortion and contraception through support of individuals, health centers, clinicians, training facilities, and related research and 2) supporting organizations focused on building longer term systems change through increasing social support for abortion addressing public policy advocacy, communications and messaging, movement building, and litigation. Each team is co-led by two Senior Program Officers and staffed by Program Officers and Program Associates. A small cross-portfolio Operations team supports the administrative needs of the entire unit. The unit is currently 15 people strong, based in Omaha and remotely, with plans to grow steadily in the coming years to meet the evolving and rapidly changing realities of abortion and contraception access in the US. Most of USP’s current staff come to philanthropy directly from the reproductive health, rights, and justice fields and have a wide background of subject matter expertise, which they contribute to the team’s collaborative work.
The Foundation is intent on safeguarding the values Mrs. Buffett lived by: respect, integrity, authenticity, humility, compassion, kindness, humor, curiosity, and, most importantly, love for humanity. The Program Officer will need to have a genuine understanding of, and appreciation for, the significance of these values and aspirations and how they are operationalized in the work the Foundation undertakes. Finally, the candidate will need to be aligned with STBF’s progressive values, including unambiguous support for individual’s reproductive freedom.
The Program Officer will be a knowledgeable, collaborative, and proactive leader in the abortion and contraceptive care space that can identify, build buy-in for, and implement strategic opportunities and partnerships to advance STBF’s goals. They will demonstrate fluency in relationship-building and communications and will serve as a steward of the Foundation’s resources and collaborative team member.
Co-Develop and Manage Goal-Oriented Portfolio Work Plans for US Programs
The Program Officer plays an important role in developing and managing workplans for portfolios or USP strategic initiatives, using their deep knowledge in the field of abortion and contraceptive care, specifically within free-standing outpatient facilities. The Program Officer will co-develop and then take responsibility for implementation of workplans that serve STBF’s goals, including identifying gaps or liabilities in movement work, securing internal or external stakeholder buy-in, seeking out new grantees, and shepherding new and existing grants through the proposal and reporting processes. Managing goal-oriented work plans may additionally entail setting learning agendas, preparing grants for approval by Senior Program Officers, making budget recommendations, and communicating grantee progress or challenges to others.
Serve as a Partner and Relationship-Builder with Grantees, Applicants, other Funders, and Stakeholders
The Program Officer will bring a deep spirit of humility, honesty, and collaboration to the role of grant maker. Their relationship-building skills will allow for collaborative, responsive, conscientious, and expert thought partnership with their grantees. They will conduct site visits to stay up to date on portfolio grantees’ work and attend or convene meetings as necessary to bring additional expertise to bear that informs USP’s work. They will contribute to reports for the STBF Board and developing or maintaining relationships with other funders in the movement.
Steward the Foundation’s Resources through Budgeting, Grant Monitoring, and Compliance
The Program Officer will be a careful steward of the Foundation’s resources by working alongside team members to conduct budgeting, grant monitoring, and compliance. The Program Officer will routinely track and forecast portfolio budgets in conjunction with Senior Program Officers. They will conduct careful and objective grant monitoring, including communicating routinely with grantees, providing both encouragement and constructive feedback, while assessing progress towards project goals. They will also review grant proposals, budgets, and reports for both clarity and strategic alignment. With the support of Program Associates, they will ensure grants are processed correctly, reports are filed, and all documents are reviewed for compliance with both IRS regulations and USP guidelines and procedures.
Collaborate Internally to Advance Collective Work and to Uphold a Strong Team Culture
The Program Officer will manage grants within their assigned portfolio while also actively seeking opportunities to work with others on the team. They will actively meet and participate with colleagues at all levels, offering thought partnership across portfolios, proactively identifying opportunities, and offering suggestions for improving STBF’s collaborative work environment. They will also participate in unit-wide working groups where appropriate, including cross-functional strategic initiatives, STBF’s teamwide inclusion and racial equity committee, race-based caucuses, ad hoc planning committees, and other groups.
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
Abilities and Attributes
- Seek input from and value the uniqueness of people from different groups and identities. Work effectively with individuals of diverse cultures, interpersonal styles, abilities, motivations, or backgrounds. Challenge practices or policies that may be exclusionary. Demonstrate a proven commitment to race equity.
- Develop and maintain effective working relationships with team members, internal and external partners, and others using strong interpersonal skills. Work effectively with people outside formal authority to accomplish goals. Practice kindness, authenticity, and optimism when working with others.
- Demonstrate expansive knowledge of tools, methods, and resources in the area of reproductive health access or social narrative, advocacy or policy development in the context of the movement systems and politics.
- Ask good questions and probe all sources for answers; see underlying or hidden patterns; look beyond the obvious and not stop at the first answers. Use rigorous logic and methods to learn, analyze and understand why problems occur; generate and implement creative, cost effective and realistic solutions.
- Look for new or alternative ideas from a wide range of sources. Consider future consequences and trends while considering future possibilities.
- Communicate effectively both in writing and verbally. Listen carefully and seek mutual understanding in daily interactions.
- Be comfortable in situations of conflict. Demonstrate an ability to say “no” when necessary and appropriate and have the confidence to choose the correct answer over the popular one. Show tolerance for ambiguity and be very comfortable with constant change brought on by internal and external pressures or expectations. Understand the value of flexibility and adaptability.
Background and Experience Qualifications
- Strong knowledge and experience of the provision of abortion and contraceptive care in a free-standing outpatient setting and managing other people, projects, or initiatives. Specific knowledge of the non-profit work environment is highly valued; understanding of both direct patient care and organizational business considerations is also necessary.
- Demonstrated knowledge in one or more of the following areas: abortion and contraceptive methods, reproductive health care workforce issues (education, training, retention, etc.), health care financing, causes and remedies of health disparities, health care delivery systems, barriers to reproductive access, reproductive and/or primary care clinical operations, health care quality standards, healthcare consumer/stakeholder engagement and patient experience, state and/or federal programs and policies that impact reproductive health care, or other relevant topical expertise.
- Preferred: Bachelor’s degree in health care related field, political science, public health, gender studies, advocacy etc. OR 7+ years professional experience with increasing responsibility directly related to the role will be considered.
- Minimum 5 years of experience with the provision of abortion and/or contraceptive care including some management responsibilities.
- Minimum 3 years of direct experience managing other people, relationships, projects, or processes.
- Preferred: Experience working in an environment with colleagues across multiple locations.
Travel Requirements: If working remotely, travel will be required to Omaha, Nebraska monthly, and to other places for site visits 4-6 times per year.
Hiring Requirements: As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check and proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses, subject to applicable laws.
Compensation: Compensation for the Program Officer role starts at $120,000. The Foundation also provides comprehensive benefits.
This search is being led by Cara Pearsall and Stephanie Guidry of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply by November 30, 2022. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
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We are committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. This includes not only creating a diverse team where everyone feels represented, respected, and included, but also embedding these values across our work and practices. All applicants who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.