Senior Program Officer – Health Program

The Kresge Foundation
February 13, 2023
3215 W Big Beaver Road, Troy, Michigan
Job Type


About the Foundation


The Kresge Foundation is one of the top 20 private philanthropic foundations in the United States and the only one focused exclusively on expanding opportunities for people with low income in American cities. With a $4.2 billion endowment and a staff of over 100 employees, the foundation deploys grants and social investments across arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development. The foundation’s state-of-the-art headquarters maintains an array of energy-efficient, water-conserving and health-promoting systems. The foundation also operates an office in Detroit’s Midtown district.


About the position


The Senior Program Officer reports to the Managing Director of the Health Program and shares responsibility for managing the team’s diverse portfolio of Health Program grants and social investments .


To advance the Health Program strategies under three focus areas, the Senior Program Officer’s experience and substantive knowledge must be demonstrated through a commitment to achieving health equity through community-driven solutions, supporting community wealth-building activities for achieving health and well-being, investing in community health ecosystems that promote health, and fostering communities of practice among partners. Candidates must be able to share tangible experience leading inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral local and national efforts aimed at improving health for all.


The Senior Program Officer works closely with members of the Health Program and contributes to the design and execution of other elements of the program's grantmaking and social investing strategies. The ability to be action-oriented, advance racial equity and racial justice, operate as a systems thinker, entrepreneurial, and collaborate in cross-team partnerships with colleagues across the foundation and in the field are key for this position. Additionally, demonstrating the ability to distinguish between technical and adaptive challenges in the field and support the development of strategy to address those challenges and apply systems thinking to ensure effectiveness.


Primary responsibilities


Program Focus Area and Strategy Execution

  • Operate in alignment with and contribute to grantmaking strategy development and continuous improvement for the program, and overall foundation vision.
  • Participate in funder, cross-sector, inter-disciplinary, and multi-level efforts to achieve strategy objectives.
  • Maintain individual and collective responsibility for reaching annual investment and grant targets and overall strategy goals. Actively source strategic investments and relationships.
  • Obtain, maintain, and share knowledge of effective strategies and current thinking in the field – what works, what are the most effective and /or innovative ways to support the work, and how to implement strategies with partners.
  • Participate in national networks, affinity groups, and other external efforts to advance the program’s strategies and the team’s standing within the field of public health and healthcare.
  • Collaborate with other public health and healthcare grant makers, nonprofit leaders, and public and private sector stakeholders to assess developments in the field and strategic points for philanthropic engagement.
  • Effectively partner with team members and other Kresge program teams.
  • Partner with the Social Investment team to evaluate the feasibility of alternative forms of capital support for public health and healthcare organizations and contribute to the program’s embrace of social investment tools.


Portfolio Management & Reviews

  • Develop diverse types of written materials such as commentaries, strategy papers and others for the foundation’s management and Board of Trustees.
  • Develop grant outcomes and measures of success for one’s own grants and other grants as needed; review reports and interpret results; reach annual grants target.
  • Evaluate letters of inquiry, concept papers, and grant proposals for alignment with program focus areas and strategies.
  • Assess grant and partner alignment on a continual basis to determine need for ongoing engagement or termination of relationship.


Learning and Evaluation

  • Prioritizes and facilitates a community of learning, practice, and action among partners.
  • Manages consultants and recommend research and reviews, as needed. Lead evaluation and program development, along with the Managing Director.
  • Ongoing assessment and recognition of the interconnections of focus areas and strategies to inform improvements and areas for further refinement and investments.
  • Operate in full alignment with the focus areas, strategies, and initiatives.
  • Lead and manage projects across the grantmaking portfolios.
  • Write and publish findings from grant investments and promote dissemination across multiple platforms.


Contributions to the Field

  • Maintain a high level of external leadership and engagement in service to focus area and strategy advancement and the foundation’s vision.
  • Strong commitment to the foundation’s vision and values with the ability to demonstrate that commitment in daily interactions.
  • Participation in conferences, convenings, and site visits with grantees and funding partners.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.




  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Demonstrated commitment to supporting communities and efforts for achieving health equity.
  • Master's degree or equivalent experience in a field relevant to public health, public policy, administration, nonprofit administration, or community development is preferred. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.
  • Seven years of demonstrated experience and leadership on relevant policy and systems change including significant experience with demonstrable impact in historically marginalized and oppressed communities required. 10 or more years of experience is preferred.
  • Previous grantmaking experience is required and can include experience in the philanthropic, public, and/or private sectors.
  • Experience working in an executive leadership role in the public, non-profit, and/or private sectors preferred.
  • Experience leading multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary initiatives and projects across public, non-profit, and/or private sectors.
  • Experience supporting an assets-based approach and embracing the importance of racial equity.
  • Strong strategic thinking skills and the ability to lead and contribute to critical conversations focused on advancing policy solutions and systems change.
  • Effective problem solving and decision-making skills and excellent analytical and communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Excellent interpersonal skills that demonstrate emotional intelligence and the ability to effectively partner with internal team members and external stakeholders.
  • Experience in the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies to effect change.
  • Ability to take initiative to achieve results and work in a high demand, fast-paced environment.


Travel Requirement


The ability to travel is an essential component of the Senior Program Officer role. During the year, it is anticipated the Senior Program Officer will travel approximately 30% of the time.


The Kresge Foundation COVID -19 Vaccination Policy requires all employees to be “up to date” on the COVID-19 vaccination. The Foundation defines “up to date” as having received two primary doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccine or one primary dose of the J&J vaccine and any booster dose(s) when eligible. Proof of vaccination must be provided on the first day of employment. If you believe you need a disability or religious accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the vaccination policy, you are responsible for requesting an accommodation prior to your first day of employment by notifying Human Resources. Employment will be contingent upon the outcome of the accommodation review process.


The application deadline for this position is Midnight EST on March 13, 2023. In addition to your resume, please include a cover letter. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

This position currently has a hybrid schedule with remote work from home up to 3 days per week.


Kresge is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability or other applicable legally protected characteristics.