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Program Officer - Andean Region

Ford Foundation

Ford Foundation

Operations
Bogota, Colombia
Posted on Thursday, February 8, 2024

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Deadline to apply: March 28, 2024

SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

The Ford Foundation’s Andean Region office seeks a dynamic, innovative Program Officer to be part of a team that is driving and shaping the foundation’s social justice work in the Andean region. Reporting to the regional director, the Program Officer will support the implementation of Ford’s Andean Region Office strategy and the broader social justice goals of the Foundation globally. The Andean Region strategy focuses on: natural resources and climate change, and peace and polarization. Geographically Ford’s focus is mainly on Colombia and Peru.

This role will primarily support the Foundation’s emerging work on the special initiative on peace and polarization, in close coordination with the global strategy of Civic Engagement and Government. The PO will also lead initiatives to establish multi-stakeholder protection efforts and resilience mechanisms for social justice leaders under threat and in danger; to contribute to peace building efforts; to enhance the rights to memory and truth of victims; and also to advance office and regional efforts on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Justice, contributing to foundation-wide efforts centering gender, as well ensuring an intersectional approach based on racial justice.

The ideal candidate should have extensive experience, knowledge and commitment to reducing social inequality and protecting civic space and social leaders in the Andean region, and bring an intersectional lens and gender analysis to this work–particularly around the rights and empowerment of Indigenous Peoples and Afro Descendants and protection of social leaders and civic space in the Andean Region. The ideal PO is strategic, possesses strong analytical skills and the ability to assess opportunities, challenges and institutions with which to engage–along with exceptional communications skills and leadership presence internally and externally.

BACKGROUND

Addressing inequality is a key focus of the Ford Foundation globally. The Andean region includes some of the most unequal countries in the world, which rely heavily on commodities for their economies, with a strong emphasis on extractive industries. This has caused a serious impact on equal access to wealth and the environment, considering that Colombia and Peru share a significant portion of the Amazon basin and extensive natural protected areas. Indigenous peoples face particular challenges in preserving their collective territorial rights, and together with Afro descendant peoples, have to endure a long history of racial and ethnic discrimination.

Colombia and Peru, and the surrounding region, also face acute problems of how to deal with a history of violence and neglect for marginalized communities. Both nations suffered the impact of internal armed conflict, and the continuing threat of transnational criminal actors and massive illegal economies, linked to mining, extortion, drug trafficking and, more recently, massive migration. After eight years, the peace process in Colombia, while it ended a historic war, has failed to produce the dividends for communities in order to sustain peace and prosperity. Peru suffers from one of its most acute political and social crises, aggravated by a dire polarization and one of the weakest political systems in the continent. Efforts to produce viable and meaningful dialogue are essential, but with a strong focus on how to expand the decision making processes and mechanisms to those who suffer from historic discrimination and neglect.

In all its programs, the Foundation strives to work with critical stakeholders and partners in government, civil society, private sector and the donor community including local philanthropies in the region.

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Program Officer is responsible for the development and implementation of a grant portfolio and ensuring all related activities (grant making, convenings, thought leadership, civil society strengthening, government relations) are designed to deliver on the Andean Office peace and polarization and CEG goals and strategies. They will assess and analyze the landscape of organizations and identify which actors to work with to shape agendas that would promote specific strategic outcomes and make grants to this end. The Program Officer shares lessons with Foundation colleagues worldwide; collaborates broadly with the Andean region office team; collaborates with other members of the global teams; and serves as a ‘connector’ of grantees. They work with leaders in a variety of sectors on issues of common concern to leverage resources towards common goals.

More specifically as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the Andean Region Program Officer will:

  • Manage, monitor and coordinate a grants portfolio, including: annual grant planning, identifying and working with the Foundation’s grantees to develop proposals for grant recommendations, undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees, performing grantee site visits, and reviewing financial and narrative reports from grantees.

  • Contribute to the ongoing development and implementation of team strategies, working to fulfill the Foundation’s Andean Region Office special initiative on peace and polarization and the international Civic Engagement and Government (CEG) program goals.

  • Develop grant making activities in a team-oriented way, that are aligned with global and local strategy goals, and designed to achieve significant and scalable impact.

  • Contribute to ensuring that intersectional programming is realized across all lines of work.

  • Develop and implement grantee convenings and reflections to strategize and review opportunities, challenges and advances.

  • Participate in the implementation of capacity building initiatives for all grantees of the Andean region.

  • Recommend and participate in learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work, promote exchange and strategic partnership.

  • Represent the Foundation and its work to the government, media, academia, business, philanthropic and civic leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings and interviews, with guidance from the Regional Director.

  • Play a leadership role within the team, working toward and influencing team collaboration, team building and team effectiveness, modeling these skills for the team.

  • Serve as a mentor and coach to Program Associate and Program Assistant.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Undergraduate degree (post-grad degree preferred) plus a minimum of 8 years leading impact-driven strategies and/or subject-matter expertise in a relevant thematic area, or equivalent combination of education and experience in the social justice arena.

  • Experience in the fields of civic engagement and protection of civic space and social leaders

  • Experience with peace building, reconciliation and dialogue initiatives

  • Extensive experience and deep knowledge of intersectional approaches on ethnic and racial justice and experience applying an intersectional lens and gender analysis to work

  • Strong knowledge on international human rights law, particularly in the rights of indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants.

  • Deep understanding of the social, cultural and political context of the Andean Region and the geopolitical landscape.

  • Demonstrated collaboration with civil society, and a perspective informed by the global context. Familiarity with civic engagement and government at the national, regional or global levels.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Spanish.

  • Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally.

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

  • Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to be a collaborative and productive member of a team, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in ongoing organizational development.

  • Ability to support, mentor and train other team members.

  • Ability to work well with colleagues, consultants, funders, and grantees across many diverse cultures and backgrounds.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

This position is primarily office based. It requires behind the desk administrative work related to grant making. 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 30%) to visit grantees and attend discussions, convenings, workshops, retreats and conferences.

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.

SALARY: Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity. A generous benefits package is provided.

LOCATION: Bogota, Colombia

TARGET DATE Late July/August 2024

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

Benefits

  • 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.