Program Officer, US Partnerships

Program Officer, US Partnerships

Wagner Foundation

Cambridge, MA   |   April 22, 2021

About the Wagner Foundation

The Wagner Foundation’s vision is a just and robust community where everyone is valued equally and has the ability to imagine, shape, pursue, and sustain the lives they wish to lead. In pursuit of this vision, the foundation’s mission is to confront the social and historical disparities that perpetuate injustice. We do this by accompanying organizations aligned with this goal, serving as advocates for change and convening thought leaders. Our focus on health equity and economic prosperity is balanced by a holistic approach which aims to develop and strengthen equitable systems throughout the world.

We work diligently to understand challenges, work within systems, and balance immediate and long-term needs. This work is built on our organizational values of accompaniment, striving for equality, building trust, conscious listening, creative change, and leading together.

Please visit to learn more about our work, methodology, and values.

The Opportunity

The Program Officer is a new position for the foundation and will work in strategic and creative partnership with the Founder, the Deputy Director, and other team members to shape and oversee a portfolio of domestic grants. In addition to supporting the grantmaking activities for both current and prospective grantees, the Program Officer will contribute to developing strategy, making connections, building partnerships, and seeking collaboration to support systems-level change. The Program Officer will build visibility for the foundation and our impact through strategic communications such as blog posts, social media content, public speaking, etc. Finally, because collaboration and knowledge sharing are critical to our internal culture, this position will work closely with the team across portfolios to keep abreast of the broader funding portfolio and seek opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences and strategies.

The ideal candidate is a holistic and strategic thinker with a commitment to confronting issues of social justice. They bring expertise in fields related to economic equity, focused on job creation and wealth accumulation, and some knowledge of US health systems. They should also have familiarity working with communities that have been historically marginalized, an understanding of the social drivers of health, and a track record of cross‐sector collaboration.

Reporting to the Deputy Director, this position is based in Cambridge, MA and requires some domestic travel. Currently, staff are working remotely, and all travel has been paused.

The specific duties and responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to, the following areas:


  • Work with the Deputy Director to develop domestic grantmaking strategies in service to foundation’s mission.
  • Effectively manage all aspects of the foundation’s domestic portfolio using an accompaniment method of grantmaking, which works in solidarity with grantee partners and collaborates to achieve their goals and objectives.
  • Perform initial screenings of potential grantee partners, analyze organizational budgets, participate in site visits, and conduct other due diligence as needed.
  • Articulate the foundation’s mission and priorities to potential grantee partners while evaluating and providing feedback to them.
  • Work with the Grants Administrator to regularly update GivingData, the foundation’s grants management software, with all grant-related activities.
  • Collaborate with the team to remain informed on the foundation’s broader funding portfolio and consider opportunities to learn from each other’s work.
  • Provide regular reports to the Deputy Director with updates on program work and proposal reviews.

Thought Leadership

  • Represent the foundation, our impact and our approach in a manner that embodies our core mission.
  • Attend events, conferences, and community meetings, with occasional speaking roles as appropriate.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with existing and prospective grantee partners as well as peer funders.
  • Encourage and drive knowledge sharing and collaboration opportunities amongst grantee partners and amongst peer funders to increase opportunities for learnings and partnerships.
  • Promote the digital presence of the Wagner Foundation as well as the work of current grantee partners by writing blog posts, updating social media accounts and other tasks as needed.
  • Collaborate with the larger foundation team to serve as an advocate for mission-aligned issue areas relevant to the work.


  • Cultivate relationships with our grantee partners that center their mission and needs by leading with trust, transparency, humility, and deep listening.
  • Identify opportunities to execute the foundations “Do, Learn, Share” methodology, which balances immediate action with ongoing study and communication.
  • Keep up with trends in philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, and developments in the foundation’s major focus areas.
  • Serve as a thought-partner to prospective and current grantee partners and community partners.
  • Act as a connector and collaborator for grantee partners to other organizations and other funders through a cross-sector and intersectional lens.
Candidate Profile

You will be a strong candidate for the Program Officer, US Partnerships if you possess many, though likely not all, of the following attributes and competencies:

  • A passion for the Wagner Foundation’s mission, a commitment to advancing its goals and embracing its approach
  • At least 4 years of relevant professional experience in the philanthropic or nonprofit sectors, preferably related to economic opportunity and systems change
  • Outstanding relationship management and interpersonal skills, including experience building strong and collaborative relationships with individuals from a diversity of backgrounds
  • Demonstrated capacity to take initiative and operate effectively at a strategic as well as a tactical level
  • Knowledge and familiarity with grantmaking processes and procedures is preferred but not required
  • Excellent verbal, written and presentation skills required; comfort with making presentations to large audiences as well as leading discussions with smaller audiences
  • Working knowledge of marketing and social media campaigns/strategies
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive and collaborative team member who thrives on sharing ideas and receiving feedback in a dynamic environment
  • Commitment to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and inclusiveness
  • Willingness and ability to travel domestically
Compensation & Benefits

The starting salary range for this role is between $70,000-$95,000. The compensation package includes medical benefits, professional development stipend, and a generous time off policy.

Wagner Foundation is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences. Wagner Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.

To Apply

Koya Partners has been exclusively retained to lead this search. To express your interest in this position, please submit a resume and compelling letter of interest here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part 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.

For more information about Koya Partners, visit