Mar 23, 2018

Senior Program Officer, Catholic Sisters Initiative (Africa)

  • Conrad Hilton Foundation
  • Agoura Hills, CA, USA
Programs Foundations

Job Description

The Senior Program Officer, Catholic Sisters Initiative (Africa) is a new position that will play an important role in helping the Foundation grow and develop its grantmaking in key priority areas of the Catholic Sisters Initiative. Primary expertise and experience will focus on global Catholic Sisters, international and human development issues particularly in Africa. The Senior Program Officer will carry out grantmaking activities, contribute to the strategic development of specific funding portfolios, interface and support key grantees, and collaborate with program team to advance the mission of the Foundation in the Catholic Sisters Initiative. This person is a key member of the Catholic Sisters Initiative program team and reports to the Director of Catholic Sisters Initiative.

Key Responsibilities

Planning, Grantmaking and Implementation

  • Develop strategic grantmaking priorities for the sectoral area of Catholic Sisters Initiative, with a primary focus on Sub-Sahara Africa.
  • Implement grantmaking strategy in line with the goals of the Foundation and the Catholic Sisters Initiative.
  • Investigate and evaluate select grant proposals.
  • Produce grant-write-ups, periodic program reports and briefing papers for the Quarterly Board Docket and/or Board of Directors as requested.
  • Present grant proposals at Quarterly Board Meetings.
  • Identify potential grantees and projects and provide counsel to organizations invited to develop proposals.
  • Review proposals, and determine which ones be developed further and recommended for funding.
  • Provide primary program support for the maintenance of active grants including regular communications and problem solving with grantees and consultants, review of reports, data analysis and feedback.
  • Work with other program staff to further refine and build strategy.
  • Maintain an open, ongoing relationship with grantees and Program Director.
  • Collaborate with team to produce and execute plans for various projects, convenings, and program budgets.
  • Monitor progress and give updates and suggestions to Director in a timely manner for corrective actions.
  • Contribute to the overall health and growth of the Foundation.

Monitoring, Documenting and Reporting

  • Collaborate with Program Associate to ensure timely preparation and submission of grantee progress report updates.
  • Document good practices and synthesis of lessons learned and ensure these are incorporated into the grantmaking process.
  • Manage periodic evaluations of progress toward program objectives and develop recommendations to the Director, Catholic Sisters Programs for any appropriate strategic changes.
  • Interface with Monitoring Evaluation and Learning partner on salient issues and updates.
  • Conduct grantee site-visits, meetings and conferences and produce reports on the progress of projects.
  • Support the Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Officer(s) and grantees in obtaining and documenting success stories, new articles, inputs to newsletters, websites etc.
  • Identify the need for consultants within the program area; plan scope of work for contracts; develop terms of contract and monitor progress.
  • Monitor grants budgets and grantee expenditures, as well as organizational budgets, as appropriate.
  • Recommend for approval any deviations from approved plans and budgets, and ensure that such changes are documented.

Program and External Relations, Communication, and Research

  • Undertake local and international travel, site visits, and other outreach activities to meet and monitor grantees, enhance and sustain existing relationships.
  • Participate in conferences for professional development and remain abreast in the field.
  • Build collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with team, staff and stakeholders.
  • Organize, facilitate and attend meetings with funders, grantees, grantseekers and other constituents of the Foundation.
  • Develop and maintain a productive network of professional relationships with key government, philanthropic and non-profit leaders.
  • Coordinate regular communication with partners and grantees and provide timely reports on these communications.
  • Keep well-informed of current research, activities, and trends regarding issues related to the priorities of the Foundation.
  • Contribute to the Foundation’s international, regional and national events, and constituency building work.
  • Identify communications opportunities and strategies to raise awareness on global Catholic Sisters and their ministries.

Team Leadership and Relations

  • Network to strengthen relationships with other foundations, NGOs and conferences of women religious to develop grantmaking and program partnerships and collaborations.
  • Work with other program staff to refine and build the strategy, design and management of the Foundation’s various Catholic Sisters Initiative priority program areas.
  • Participate in Foundation meetings to review grant recommendations and provide updates on grantee progress.
  • Determine technical needs of grantees to help facilitate grant application process.
  • Plan convening, evaluation and communications activities.
  • Share and reflect on experiences in the field and related program activity.
  • Identify the need for consultants within the program area; plan scope of work for contracts; develop terms of contract and monitor progress.
  • Supervise Program Associate and provide support to complete tasks and activities on projects in a systematic, coordinated and sequential manner; provide with information on concept and approach of the projects; provide support in various aspects of grantees, research, maintenance of information and project implementation in the USA and Africa; ensure implementation of planned activities per the plans, delivery of grantee reports and monitoring information.

Special Projects

  • Undertake projects and other duties as assigned.

Core Qualifications

  • Graduate degree in human development, international development, public health, public policy, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated expertise and work experience in global Catholic Sisters, international education, health, youth and children, and related issues at program, research, and public policy levels.
  • Experience in strategic planning and implementation and in coordinating public/private efforts for long-term, systemic social impact.
  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in grantmaking and/or program development/management.
  • Minimum of 5 years of work experience in Sub Sahara Africa.
  • A practical understanding of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.
  • A passion for and a commitment to the Foundation’s mission.
  • Works well independently and within a team and demonstrates a high degree of initiative, flexibility, collaboration and cultural sensitivity.
  • Strong conceptual and critical thinking abilities.
  • Strong organizational, analytical, and time management skills with high attention to priority and detail.
  • Excellent written/oral communication, presentation and interpersonal skills.
  • Personal presence to represent the Foundation in diverse forums and organizational relationships.
  • Capability and willingness to travel nationally and internationally as needed.
  • Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and database experience.

Compensation: A competitive compensation package is available, including a salary and incentive commensurate with qualifications and experience, and a comprehensive benefits package.

To Apply: Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume by email to the Talent and Culture department at Please note “Senior Program Officer, Catholic Sisters Initiative (Africa)” in the subject line. No phone inquiries, please.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and we seek candidates from all backgrounds and experiences.

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