Phillips Oppenheim

Program Officer, Family Economic Security Programs, Battle Creek, MI



The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.


The W. K. Kellogg Foundation seeks a Program Officer in Family Economic Security Programs with an expertise in workforce issues and a commitment to expanding access to quality employment. An additional expertise in small business development and/or asset development will enable the Program Officer to thrive in his/her position. He/she must have successfully designed programs and led initiatives, resulting in policy, systems and community change. An understanding of public and private sector systems, models and strategies that foster workforce mobility and financial stability is critical. The Program Officer will have a network consisting of leaders, experts and advocates in the family economic security field.


Serving under the direction of the director of or vice president for program strategy, the program officer is responsible for identifying and nurturing opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities, and executing programming efforts that are aligned with the organizational direction. The program officer will work closely with other staff to ensure integration and coordination of efforts. The program officer will be:

  • Provide leadership and oversight for on-the-ground execution of program efforts;
  • Screen and recommend grants for funding; prepare funding documents; conduct site visits; and manage and monitor grant portfolio;
  • Maintain strong, authentic relationships with grant seekers and grantees, ensuring understanding of WKKF program direction, goals, and expectations;
  • Provide high level technical assistance to grantees, including consultation on model development, partnership negotiations, leadership capacity building, coaching, etc.;
  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships to leverage participation of other foundations, businesses, governmental agencies, and other key decision makers in alignment with WKKF core values and program interests;
  • Understand and effectively communicate the foundation's mission, vision, core values and strategic direction to internal and external groups, including key stakeholders and intermediaries;
  • Articulate explicit change strategy(ies) and convene key stakeholders and intermediaries as appropriate;
  • Contribute to the overall strategic direction for the organization and assigned core programming area, and provide input into the development of programming efforts;
  • Working with key internal and external partners, identify and recommend grantmaking opportunities that leverage WKKF investments for maximum impact in creating systemic change;
  • Work closely with Learning and Impact to incorporate assessment components into program efforts to measure progress and impact;
  • Document and circulate lessons learned from grant investments, networking meetings, and other foundation-related activities;
  • Work jointly with the VP for Learning and Impact to identify and prioritize the highest value knowledge and learning from the foundation's grant investments and networking meetings;
  • Contribute ideas for how the foundation's highest value knowledge and learning could be packaged and disseminated to benefit nonprofit executives, business leaders, government officials, community leaders, parents, and other external stakeholders of the foundation;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.



  • Master's degree in a field relevant to assigned areas is preferred;
  • Minimum five years' experience in fields relevant to assigned responsibilities. Preference for significant relevant work experience (8+ years) with strong networks and contacts, as well as a broad, generalist background with deep and comprehensive understanding of program design and development, systems, networking, and community change;
  • Evidence of effective work beyond areas of relevant field of practice and technical skills in one or more core programming areas (family economic security; food, health and well-being; education and learning; civic engagement; racial equity, etc.) that support the goal area/regional strategy are essential;
  • Successful experience working as part of a multidisciplinary team and working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds.


  • Ability to represent WKKF to a variety of stakeholders and intermediaries in a credible and influential way, with a selfless manner focusing on values and the greater good;
  • Global thinker with demonstrated ability to develop and implement programs that have impact;
  • Must be beyond reproach in ethics and integrity. Violation of relevant policies could result in damage to WKKF's reputation and would be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination, as well as potential criminal prosecution.


  • Highly responsive; strong propensity to provide excellent customer service and support;
  • Strong relationship building and communication skills; ability to have authentic dialogue around sensitive issues including funding priorities, WKKF expectations and community concerns;
  • High tolerance for ambiguity and ability to adapt quickly to change;
  • Highly developed emotional intelligence skills;
  • Willingness to set aside personal agenda in favor of organizational and/or community goals and objectives;
  • Team effectiveness skills and the ability to use interpersonal and political skills in cooperative, collaborative, and diplomatic ways;
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in written and oral communication.


  • Comfort with and ability to work effectively within communities, including appreciating historical contexts, discerning nuances of relationships and power dynamics, understanding racial/ethnic realities, and respecting community needs and desires;
  • Accurate and current knowledge about trends, movements, and developing policy to stimulate appropriate programming directions and capitalize on emerging opportunities;
  • Understanding of broad social and economic forces that affect communities and families and shape programming efforts;
  • Ability to translate concept to action; entrepreneurial nature;
  • Problem solving skills, including the ability to develop novel approaches to generate solutions;
  • Sound judgment and the ability to make complex, multidimensional decisions based on both facts and experience;
  • Thorough knowledge and grasp of systems change and the ability to identify and orchestrate the levers of change;
  • Innovation orientation;
  • Organization, administrative and management skills;
  • Organizational savvy and constructive political skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to integrate knowledge and learning.

TRAVEL: Approximately 50-70 percent travel time required; varies according to work assignments.

Applications, including cover letters and résumés, and nominations should be sent to the attention of Paul Spivey at:

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