The Ford Foundation China Office, based in Beijing, seeks a dynamic and innovative Program Officer to help drive and shape the foundation’s work in the critical areas of philanthropy (building the field in China and other parts of Asia), organizational capacity building for grantees, and broader social sector development. The Program Officer will support the strategy of the China Office and the broader social justice goals of the Ford Foundation.
The Program Officer should have proven experience in and knowledge of the philanthropy sector in China (including knowledge of the emerging sectors of social finance and impact investing) and the practice of capacity building in the social sector. The Program Officer will develop a strategy to engage, collaborate and otherwise partner with other philanthropies in China and the Asia region, and will bring a capacity building perspective to all our grant making as the team refines and implements the office strategy.
Promoting social equity and equality is a key focus of the Ford Foundation globally and in China. The overall goal of the office strategy is to support an inclusive society by promoting equitable urbanization, strengthening the philanthropy sector, promoting civic and legal culture, and supporting China’s engagement with the world. Across all the areas of work, the China office seeks to highlight women’s roles and to bring a gender analysis to all its work. The Foundation strives to achieve these goals by working with government partners, social organizations, academics and policy makers, business, and local philanthropists.
The Ford Foundation China office has historically focused mainly on China to address these priorities from a domestic (in-country) perspective. As China’s role in the world expands, particularly in the global South, the China office grant making will include both domestic and global perspectives. The Program Officer will be expected to bring a global perspective to her/his work.
The Program Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Regional Director for the China office, 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 China office goals and strategies. The Program Officer assesses and analyzes the fields in which the office is focused; identifies key organizational “ecosystems” or fields 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 worldwide; collaborate broadly with Ford’s China 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 issue of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals. More specifically, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the China Program Officer will:
Contribute to the ongoing development and implementation of team strategies, working toward the China office goals
Develop grant making activities in a team-oriented context that are aligned to the strategic goals of the office strategy and designed to achieve significant and scalable impact
Manage, monitor and coordinate a grants portfolio, including: annual grant planning; reviewing grants for strategic alignment; identifying and working with prospective grantees to develop proposals for grant recommendations (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
Develop and implement grantee convenings to strategize and review opportunities, challenges and advances
Recommend and participate in evaluation and other 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)
Represent the Foundation and its work to the government, media, academic, business, philanthropic, and civic leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings and interviews, with guidance from the China office Regional Director
Develop and implement grant-making approaches that support the use of strategic communications as part of the program strategy
A minimum of 8 years working within one or more of the following: the philanthropy sector; government departments specializing in philanthropy/social sector development; Chinese or international NGOs
A proven record of experience and knowledge working in the philanthropy sector
A proven record of experience and knowledge working in the field of institutional capacity building
An advanced degree in relevant field of study such as development studies, public administration, or a related field
Experience working with a range of actors: government, philanthropies, multi-lateral institutions, think tanks/ universities, social organizations, and the corporate sector, desired
Experience working in international organizations, desired
Deep understanding of the context of China, its cultures and economies, including geopolitical landscape
Fluency in English and Mandarin Chinese (both spoken and written)
Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally
Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills
Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in ongoing change processes and organizational development at the foundation
Due to restrictions on the number of expatriate visas the foundation is able to secure under applicable law, the candidate must be a Chinese national.
ALIGNMENT TO CULTURE AND VALUES:
Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, fairness, and diversity
Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
Action-oriented and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams
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, sexualorientation preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.