Program Officer, Andrus Family Fund

Program Officer, Andrus Family Fund

Surdna Foundation

New York, NY   |   October 30, 2019

About Surdna Foundation and The Andrus Family Fund

Created by John E. Andrus in 1917, the Surdna Foundation has assets of approximately $1B and an annual grantmaking budget of $40M. The Foundation has a staff of 27, who are based in its Midtown Manhattan offices. The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the US – communities guided by principles of social and racial justice and distinguished by healthy and sustainable environments, inclusive economies, and thriving cultures. Governed by a Board of Directors that includes fourth- and fifth-generation family members, the longstanding values of the Andrus family – practicality, modesty, excellence, and an appreciation for serving those in need – underlie the Surdna Foundation’s work.

Andrus Family Fund

The Andrus Family Fund (AFF) was designed to give Andrus family members between the ages of 25 and 45 an opportunity to learn about and participate in the philanthropy sector. AFF operates as a fund within the Surdna Foundation, and today, 12 fifth-generation Andrus family members and three non-family community members serve on the AFF Board, which works with AFF staff to jointly develop strategy for grantmaking and field leadership, set priorities, and recommend grant decisions. AFF builds on its history as a learning board. In January 2000, the Surdna Foundation Board launched the Andrus Family Philanthropy Program (AFPP) to engage a network of nearly 500 Andrus family members from eight family branches in philanthropy and public service, and AFF was its first program. Recently, Surdna Foundation has reintegrated AFF as a program and subfund, creating closer interaction between AFF and other Surdna programs.

AFF has earned a prominent reputation as a critical funder in the youth empowerment field and a leader on issues around youth justice, education justice, child welfare, and other related systems. AFF directly supports young people of color who have been impacted by “disruptive systems,” such as the foster care and juvenile justice systems. They also support organizations that provide direct service, engage in community organizing, advocacy, and/or capacity building to connect these youth to the positive support and resources needed for a long and successful life. AFF envisions a just society in which vulnerable youth have multiple opportunities to attain a good life and, to date, has awarded $63M toward this vision.

The Opportunity

The Surdna Foundation is seeking a collaborative and innovative Program Officer to join the AFF team in New York. Reporting to the Director of AFF and working in close partnership with the AFF Board and the Surdna Foundation staff, the Program Officer will be instrumental in supporting the Fund’s youth empowerment work and strengthening relationships in the field with a wide range of stakeholders.

The Program Officer’s responsibilities will include:

  • Helping to shape and manage AFF’s $4M grantmaking program, providing strategic leadership to advance social justice and improve outcomes for vulnerable youth
  • Partnering closely with AFF’s Director, Board, staff, grantees, and funder partners, helping to inform them of issues, innovative ideas, and best practices in nonprofits and philanthropy
  • Contributing programmatic ideas and impactful grantmaking by recommending exceptional organizations for grant funding
  • Managing SOAR (AFF’s capacity building program) and populating the monthly grantee resource newsletter
  • Strengthening AFF’s ability to measure and evaluate its impact
  • Building and reinforcing relationships and channels of communication between AFF and its grantee partners, guided by practices that are socially just and racially equitable
  • Developing thought leadership, communications, and field-building strategies with the AFF team to enhance the mission and the impact of its portfolio; representing AFF as a leader with diverse funder colleagues
  • Exhibiting exceptional communication skills through writings and public presentations; developing ideas for communications efforts, such as podcasts, blogposts, and amplifying grantee news and publications
  • Partnering on the curation of live and virtual events that leverage AFF’s impact and the impact of its partners, including AFF learning sessions and strategy meetings for grantee partners, funders, government officials, and Board members
  • Collaborating with the broader staff (President, program officers, program associates, directors, and administrative) to co-lead on Foundation-wide initiatives and joint grantmaking opportunities, and,
  • Supporting the management of AFF’s consultants, part-time staff, and program associate.
Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will be deeply committed to AFF’s mission and values, as well as align with the Surdna Foundation’s core vision and values, and will bring outstanding skills in communication and collaboration, along with creativity, strategic insight, and a humble partnership approach.

Desired qualifications include the following:

  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice, including work or lived experience with the vulnerable communities that AFF seeks to uplift
  • At least 10 years of experience in the philanthropic or social, economic, and racial justice nonprofit sector, with a strong background in issues of youth justice, criminal justice, child welfare, or related areas
  • Deep respect for the role of grantees as partners and autonomous social justice leaders, and a willingness to become actively engaged in bolstering their success
  • The ability to foster authentic relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, including several generations of Andrus family members, nonprofit leaders, youth, and funders
  • Impeccable integrity, honesty, and ethical standards; a strong sense of pragmatism and professionalism
  • A reputation for effective collaboration, the ability to bridge across divides, good listening skills, and a consultative approach to decision making and problem solving
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, including experience with social media
  • Cultural competence, and an approach that values diverse perspectives, including with regards to race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, and geography
  • Willingness to travel up to 30-50% of the time, and,
  • A graduate degree in a relevant field is preferred, but not required.

Surdna Foundation has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Molly Brennan here.

Surdna Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants. The Foundation also encourages applicants who have been directly impacted by the youth justice or child welfare system to apply.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy – The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World – guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit