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Program Officer - Immigrant Rights

Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Ford Foundation.
New York, USA
Posted on Saturday, January 6, 2024

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Deadline to Apply: February 2nd 2024


The Ford Foundation’s Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice (GREJ) thematic area seeks a dynamic, strategic, collaborative Program Officer (PO) to help shape and implement its U.S. Immigrant Rights Portfolio. The long-term goal of our work in this area is to protect and expand the rights, safety, and overall well-being of all immigrants in the United States, enabling them to thrive and live free of fear, regardless of documentation status. Our current grantmaking strategy seeks to balance the long-term need to develop a more secure pro-immigrant base of supporters needed to achieve federal reform, through grassroots organizing, alliance building, and narrative experimentation; while in the short and medium term, investing in efforts to improve the lives of the millions of undocumented immigrants already here through state, local, and administrative policy interventions.

Reporting to the Director of the GREJ unit, the ideal candidate will:

  • Be a strategic thinker who is deeply knowledgeable about current immigration policies, systems, institutions, and practices.

  • Will have broad familiarity with the field of national and state organizations active on immigration policy and rights issues.

  • Understand the roles that policy advocacy, organizing, strategic communications and philanthropy play in advancing social change; and bring a strong understanding of the politics of immigration and their interplay with related interests.

  • Have a strong understanding of organizing and movement-building among communities directly affected by immigration policies, including undocumented migrants, immigrants involved in the US criminal legal system, and other communities of color.


The Immigrant Rights PO will:

  • Manage, monitor and coordinate a grants portfolio, including: long-term grant planning; identifying and working with prospective grantees to develop proposals for grant recommendations; conducting organizational assessments; undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees; and reviewing financial and narrative reports.

  • Contribute to the ongoing strategy development, refinement and implementation of the foundation’s Immigrant Rights line of work to scale impact.

  • Engage with grantees to review opportunities, challenges and advances, and encourage collaboration, learning, exchange, and strategic partnerships.

  • Work closely with other funders and with donor collaboratives to encourage philanthropic contributions and align giving to the immigrant rights field.

  • Collaborate broadly across GREJ and other thematic areas on issues relevant to the needs and perspectives of immigrants. Serve as an accessible resource for the field accordingly.

  • Represent the Foundation and its work in key venues with guidance from the GREJ Director and Ford’s Office of Communications.

  • Collaborate internally with other POs in cross-team working groups or committees.

  • Work closely with a grantmaking team of Grants Manager and Program Assistant to manage all aspects of grants processing and compliance.

  • Serve as mentor and coach to a shared Program Associate and directly manage a Program Assistant to ensure effective support to grantees and grantmaking processes.

  • Contribute to the thinking and work of colleagues in the GREJ team, the Foundation and the field of grant seekers and philanthropic peers overall.


  • BA/BS plus at least 8 years of immigrant rights experience in the United States or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Deep understanding of issues of immigration systems, institutions, movements, politics, and programs in the United States.

  • Close knowledge of the various mechanisms and venues for public policy change on immigration matters (organizing, legislative, legal, regulatory, applied research, strategic communications).

  • A strong understanding of how to apply intersectional analyses to the strategy, including gender, disability and racial justice.

  • Proven track record of working closely with communities that have been historically marginalized in systems that affect their lives.

  • Direct experience engaging in systemic change initiatives or campaigns, from the purview of government, non-profit advocacy organizations, public interest legal organizations, philanthropy, or the academy.

  • Exceptional leadership – internally and externally — and ability to lead high level engagement with donors and engage in strategic conversations throughout the field.

  • Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, excellent verbal and written skills.

  • Superb analytical skills and ability to strategize, plan, prioritize and identify/assess opportunities, challenges, and institutions with which to engage.

  • Proven ability to engage with a broad variety of stakeholders and in coalition with others, openness and curiosity about new approaches and different points of view.

  • Ability to navigate a large and complex institution; willingness to participate constructively on organizational priorities beyond the immediate focus of this portfolio; comfort with institutional change and periods of ambiguity.

  • Written and oral fluency in English; knowledge and/or fluency in Spanish a plus.

  • Familiarity with international migration organizations and trends is a plus.


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% of working time. Some travel is directly related to grantmaking, but also required to attend team conferences, retreats and meetings.

The Ford Foundation is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its programs, and operations. As part of this commitment, the Foundation will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application process, please contact, talentacquisitionhr@fordfoundation.org or call (212) 573-4627.

SALARY: The Ford Foundation is committed to practicing salary transparency. The minimum salary for this position is $165,000 and the maximum is $185,000.

LOCATION: This position is based in the foundation’s New York office. We operate in a hybrid model and require staff to be in the office three days per week.


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


  • Hybrid Workplace and Flexible Work Arrangement policies

  • 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)

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. The Ford Foundation does not discriminate against formerly incarcerated individuals.

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Ford Foundation.