Organization: The Kresge Foundation

Location: Troy, MI

Express Interest


The Kresge Foundation is metro Detroit’s largest private, national foundation, with more than $3.5B in its endowment, a growing staff of nearly 100 employees and a mission to expand opportunities in America’s cities for low-income people. The Kresge Foundation does this through grant making and social investing nationally in arts & culture, education, environment, health, human services, as well as community development in Detroit. Kresge’s Detroit Program is one of the foundation’s signature efforts, reflecting its commitment to work in one of America’s most challenging and dynamic cities and belief in strategic, interdisciplinary, collective, and innovative approaches to urban revitalization.

The Kresge Foundation seeks a mission-driven and collaborative Senior Program Officer to join its Arts & Culture Team.  The Senior Program Officer will work as part of a creative team charged with building and implementing a bold, entrepreneurial and innovative program aimed to integrate arts, culture and design into community development practices.  The Senior Program Officer will work with national, state, municipal and county leaders to support the creation of tools and strategies that inform, equip, and empower decision makers. Moreover, the Senior Program Officer will strengthen the capacity of place-based entities, community leaders, and anchor organizations working to improve life circumstances of low income residents and develop field-bending tools for full adoption of creative placemaking across sectors. In addition, the Senior Program Officer will capture and share learning distilled from grantees and others to inform the field of practice nationally.  They will also create and provide intellectual support to networks of individuals and organizations working to embed creative placemaking theory and practices.

Reporting to the Managing Director of Arts and Culture, the Senior Program Officer will work in close partnership with other members of the Arts and Culture Team as well as with other staff across the Kresge Foundation.  A spirit of, and commitment to, collegiality and collaboration is an essential core value in the Kresge Foundation and within the Arts and Culture Program.

This is a full-time position in Troy, Michigan.  For more information about the Kresge Foundation, please visit

Candidate Profile:

The Senior Program Officer of Arts & Culture will be responsible for the following:

  • Shapes grantmaking and investment strategies within the Arts and Culture Program, particularly with respect to community-engaged design, systems integration and comprehensive community development
  • Prepares, individually and with other team members, complex strategy papers, grant recommendations, other written materials, and verbal presentations for the Foundation’s management and Board of Trustees.
  • Identifies, conducts due diligence on, and recommends for support, those grants and social investments that advance the Program’s strategies.
  • Assesses the merit of potential grant and investment opportunities and monitoring active grants and investments through review of written materials, conversations by phone, and in-person site visits.
  • Analyzes grantee reports and updates to determine progress toward expressed outcomes, and contributing to the team’s learning and evaluation efforts.
  • Represents the Foundation professionally to external entities.
  • Represents the Team on internal Foundation working groups and committees.
  • Identifies and conducts due diligence on, recommends for support, those grants and social investments that advance the Program’s strategies.
  • Convenes, on occasion, grantees, external funder and cross-sector collaboratives to achieve the Program’s
  • Participate in national networks, affinity groups, and other external efforts to advance the program’s strategies and the team’s influence within the field.
  • Operates in full alignment, with high initiative, effectively leads and manages initiatives and projects across the grantmaking strategy.


The ideal candidate for this position will possess many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications, competencies and personal qualities:

  • Commitment to using arts, culture or community-engaged design as a comprehensive community development solution. Experience using this practice in an urban context is preferred.
  • Working knowledge of community development activities – affordable housing, transit oriented development, and social change – in urban areas is preferred.
  • Experience in the arts, culture, community development or community-engaged design field.
  • Grantmaking expertise or experience with other forms of investment designed to positively impact communities.
  • Experience working with racially and ethnically diverse and low-income communities.
  • Experience in the development and implementation of strategies to effect change and in promoting and contributing to a strong learning culture.
  • Experience in project development, development of budgets and work plans, project management, and negotiation of contracts.
  • Experience using non-grant forms of capital (e.g., debt, equity, and program related investments) in the nonprofit sector.
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills, including the ability to listen well, convey thoughts clearly, speak in public, and work effectively as a member of a team.
  • Experience working in, or in close partnership with, the philanthropic sector is preferred.
  • Personal creativity and strategic vision, coupled with an ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas – a sense of inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity.
  • Strong commitment to the Foundation’s vision and its five values (i.e., stewardship, respect, creativity, partnership, and opportunity) with the ability to demonstrate those values in daily interactions.
  • An entrepreneurial, creative spirit along with a willingness to challenge conventional wisdom; eagerness to embrace new ideas and perspectives.
  • An interest in working as a member of a dynamic team.
  • A demeanor that demonstrates both confidence and humility.
  • A sense of optimism and humor.
  • Ability to travel (primarily within the U.S.) approximately 25%-35% of work days.
  • Minimum of seven years’ work experience in arts and culture, community development, community engaged design, economic development, community health or other related field; ten or more years preferred.
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field of study is preferred. Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study is required.


The Kresge Foundation has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. To apply, please submit a compelling letter of interest and resume to Erin Reedy here.

The Kresge Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women and LGBT applicants.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit