Program Officer, Sustainable Environments
Location: New York, NY (Currently Hybrid due to COVID-19) Salary: $110,000 - $135,000 annually
Created by John E. Andrus in 1917, the Surdna Foundation has assets of approximately $1.3 billion and an annual grantmaking budget of $50+ million. The Foundation has a staff of 25, based in its Midtown Manhattan offices. Governed by a Board of Directors that includes fifth-generation family members, the longstanding values of the Andrus family – practicality, modesty, excellence, and an appreciation for serving those in need – underlie all the Surdna Foundation’s work. The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy and sustainable environments, inclusive economies, and thriving cultures.
Surdna’s theory of change is based on three beliefs:
As such, Surdna believes that we can achieve a more just and sustainable society by directing our grantmaking resources toward the building of wealth and power in systematically disenfranchised communities and investing in the capacity of communities of color and low-wealth communities to hold policymakers and institutions accountable to ensure all community benefits are shared equitably.
The Surdna Foundation is seeking nominations and applications for the role of Program Officer, Sustainable Environments. This new PO will join the Sustainable Environments (SE) team to maintain an annual $9.2 million grantmaking portfolio of partnerships that drive a nuanced investment in environmental, climate, and land justice, recognizing that these intersecting issues disproportionately impact communities of color and low- wealth communities at crisis levels.
Reporting to the Program Director and working alongside the Senior Program Associate, the new Program Officer (PO) will, first and foremost, listen to and learn from frontline and grassroots leaders who are advancing solutions that address the environmental, climate, and land crises at the intersection of racial, economic, and gender justice. The PO will nurture relationships with grantee partners in a way that builds trust and is
rooted in respect, transparency, accountability, and consent. They will also join the ongoing work of building out an ecosystem of people, movements, and organizations that the SE team can consider for funding in the future.
The Sustainable Environments team is committed to long-term partnerships, and as such, much of the work of the new Program Officer will emphasize nurturing existing grantee partner relationships. Internally, the new PO will also identify program goals and develop processes, actions, and timelines to meet those goals, as well as practices to evaluate the effectiveness of those processes. They will join the SE team to build robust, high trust, transparent relationships inside the organization to drive collaboration and mission alignment. They will also work across the philanthropic field to organize with peers to build more equitable practices that shift power and funding to frontline communities, grassroots organizations, and leaders.
The ideal candidate will have a clear alignment with the vision, goals, and values of the Sustainable Environments team. They will have at least 7 years of experience working deeply in and with communities of color and low-wealth communities, building programs, and navigating an array of movement perspectives and strategies that are sometimes in tension with each other. They will have background knowledge (lived experience, professional or academic) and a systems-level analysis of the root causes of the intersecting environmental, climate, and land crises. They will understand the connections between systemic racism and oppression, extractive economies, and how these root causes perpetuate climate change, environmental racism, gentrification, land loss, and the inequitable distribution of wealth and power. They will have experience cultivating relationships and using those relationships to drive collaboration, create critical feedback loops, and amplify the work of an organization. Additionally, they will have demonstrated the ability to articulate the vision and goals of an organization to a diverse set of stakeholders.
The ideal candidate will also be an experienced collaborator and leader with a proven commitment to the people and places most impacted by discriminatory (racist, sexist, xenophobic) responses to the environmental, climate, and land crises. They will have experience centering the expertise and voices of women, queer folk, people of color, and disabled leaders who have long been leading solutions, initiatives, and programs in community. They will bring an unwavering commitment to equity, justice, and liberation and to disrupting the impacts of white supremacy and white dominant culture – specifically on the work of leaders of color and on the way philanthropies hold power and operate. They will be an authentic and responsive interpersonal communicator who uses those skills to build relationships and collaborations across Surdna’s program areas. Moreover, they will be flexible, introspective, curious, and innovative. It is crucial that the new PO possesses an analysis about and understands the impacts of white dominant culture and join the SE team as it promotes workflow, communication styles, sector participation, and partner engagement that attempt to disrupt that culture. Black, Indigenous, Asian, other people of color, disabled people, queer leaders, and those from other marginalized communities are particularly encouraged to apply for this role.
About Sustainable Environments
The Sustainable Environments (SE) program seeks to advance racial justice and support communities of color and low-wealth communities to move the solutions they have been building, implementing, and dreaming of for decades. We trust and believe that the folks most impacted by intersecting, inequitable crises know the most about how we need to move collectively forward to address these crises. Moreover, we believe that by investing in the capacity of the environment and climate justice frontline and grassroots movements, particularly those led by people of color, and the capacity of communities to self-determine the ownership, control, and stewardship of land and infrastructure assets, these communities will begin to see more equitable environmental outcomes across racial lines that benefit and uplift all. We believe in supporting a just transition and reparations and we stand alongside our partners in advancing this work. And lastly, we support leaders and organizations who are building political, economic, and cultural power, holding people with power in private and public sectors accountable to marginalized communities, and building alternatives to our current extractive economy.
Opportunities for the Program Officer
The Program Officer (PO) works closely with the Program Director and Senior Program Associate on all aspects of the program, including day-to-day operations of the $9.2 million Sustainable Environments portfolio. More specifically, the new Program Officer will:
Ideal Attributes and Experience
The Program Officer (PO) for the Sustainable Environments team should have most of the following attributes and experience:
of community among grantees, staff and board.
The Program Officer (PO) position is a full-time position, and we offer a competitive and holistic compensation package that includes salary and benefits. The annual salary budget for this position is $110,000 - $135,000 and will be commensurate with experience. All full-time staff is eligible for our generous benefits package including:
The Surdna Foundation staff are mostly working remotely because of COVID-19, with its Midtown Manhattan office open for those who need or prefer to work there. The Foundation expects to move into a hybrid schedule while remaining flexible and responsive to public health conditions and the needs of its staff and partners. To learn more about the Surdna Foundation, please visit: www.surdna.org
Surdna Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQIA+ applicants.
Monday Morning Consultants is leading this search. For more details, please visit www.mondaymorningconsultants.com. To apply for the position, please submit a current resume to: [email protected]