The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (STBF) is now seeking nominations and applications for a Senior Program Officer, Service Provision in its Patients and Access portfolio. STBF is a private grant-making Foundation with a U.S. home office in Omaha, Nebraska, and a global office in Kigali, Rwanda. With annual spending in excess of $500 million, it is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. The Foundation has only two main areas of grant making: 1) supporting efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy and access to safe abortion for women in the U.S. and around the world and 2) to enable low-income students in Nebraska to attend and succeed in college. The Foundation currently employs 43 staff across 14 states in the U.S. and 7 staff in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Senior Program Officer in the Patients and Access (P&A) portfolio will draw upon their deep experience and knowledge in the provision of abortion and contraceptive care in free-standing outpatient settings to effectively lead and manage work within the portfolio. They will co-develop strategy and workplans that deliver upon STBF’s goals and ensure the work’s successful implementation through effective leadership and management practices with their team. They will bring strong relationship-building skills in their role as grantmaker and to a variety of stakeholders in the field. They will uphold high standards for stewarding the Foundation’s resources, including budgeting, grant monitoring, and compliance. Additionally, in keeping with the values of STBF, they will collaborate across colleagues and join a diverse team of people deeply committed to equitable practices and reducing disparities in the workplace as well as in the field. This position reports to the Director of US Programs.
About US Programs
The US Programs (USP) division of STBF, led by the Director of US Programs, manages the Foundation’s grantmaking to ensure just, available, and supported access to abortion and contraception in the United States. The unit supports numerous organizations in two main areas of the reproductive health, access, and justice movements: 1) direct access to abortion and contraception through support of individuals, health centers, clinicians, training facilities, and related research and 2) supporting organizations focused on building longer term systems change through increasing social support for abortion addressing public policy advocacy, communications and messaging, movement building, and litigation. Each team is co-led by two Senior Program Officers and staffed by Program Officers and Program Associates. A small cross-portfolio Operations team supports the administrative needs of the entire unit. The unit is currently 15 people strong, based in Omaha and remotely, with plans to grow steadily in the coming years to meet the evolving and rapidly changing realities of abortion and contraception access in the US. Most of USP’s current staff come to philanthropy directly from the reproductive health, rights, and justice fields and have a wide background of subject matter expertise, which they contribute to the team’s collaborative work.
The Foundation is intent on safeguarding the values Mrs. Buffett lived by: respect, integrity, authenticity, humility, compassion, kindness, humor, curiosity, and, most importantly, love for humanity. The Senior Program Officer will need to have a genuine understanding of, and appreciation for, the significance of these values and aspirations and how they are operationalized in the work the Foundation undertakes. Finally, the candidate will need to be aligned with STBF’s progressive values, including unambiguous support for individual’s reproductive freedom.
The Senior Program Officer will be a knowledgeable, collaborative, and proactive leader in the abortion and contraceptive care space who is capable of setting strategy, holding strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders, and effectively leading and managing a team towards STBF’s goals. They will serve as a careful steward of the Foundation’s resources and actively participate in building and strengthening team culture.
Co-Develop Portfolio Strategy and Workplans to Meet USP’s Goals and Strategic Objectives
The Senior Program Officer plays an important role in developing portfolio strategy and workplans for USP strategic initiatives, using their deep knowledge and experience in the field of abortion and contraceptive care, specifically within free-standing outpatient facilities. The Senior Program Officer will create and share the strategic vision for the Patients and Access (P&A) portfolio work. They will ensure alignment among grantees’ work so that it is interconnected and meets the team’s strategic objectives. They will develop and manage workplans for the P&A portfolio or USP strategic initiatives, which could include setting learning agendas, managing budget priorities, and advising others about challenges with grantees. They will also ensure workplan implementation that serves USP’s goals, including identifying gaps or liabilities in movement work, securing internal or external stakeholder buy-in, seeking out new grantees, and ensuring that grants are shepherded through the proposal and reporting processes. They will advocate for approaches and practices that are appropriately aligned to grantees’ size, infrastructure, history, systemic challenges, and organizational capacity.
Demonstrate Skilled Management Practices and Actively Contribute to a Strong Team Culture
The Senior Program Officer will provide leadership across the Patients and Access (P&A) portfolio team and demonstrate proactive and skilled management of those they directly supervise, while working across STBF to build and exemplify a strong team culture. As part of the Leadership Team, they will engage in decision-making, vision setting, and management of processes and structures of the USP unit. They will work directly with the Director of US Programs to ensure effective staffing, policy setting, and team member accountability. They will manage and supervise staff, which includes providing and seeking feedback, measuring progress and managing accountability, supporting employee development, and recognizing achievement and lessons learned. They will appropriately delegate tasks to others on the team to ensure the work’s efficiency. Beyond their direct management and supervision duties, they will actively meet and participate with colleagues at all levels, offering thought partnership across portfolios, proactively identifying opportunities, and offering suggestions for improving STBF’s collaborative work environment. They will lead unit-wide working groups, including cross-functional strategic initiatives, STBF’s teamwide inclusion and racial equity committee, race-based caucuses, ad hoc planning committees, and other groups.
Serve as a Partner and Relationship-Builder with Grantees, Other Funders, and Stakeholders
The Senior Program Officer will bring a deep spirit of humility, honesty, and collaboration to the role of grant maker, managing complicated grants within the portfolio, which they co-lead alongside a fellow colleague Senior Program Officer. They will conduct site visits to stay up to date on portfolio grantees’ work and attend or convene meetings as necessary to bring additional expertise to bear that informs USP’s work. They will contribute to reports for the STBF Board and develop or maintain relationships with other funders in the movement.
Steward the Foundation’s Resources through Budgeting, Grants Management, and Compliance
The Senior Program Officer will be a careful steward of the Foundation’s resources, which includes working directly with the Director of US Programs on annual budgeting and with their team members on grant review and monitoring. The Senior Program Officer will routinely track and forecast portfolio budgets in conjunction with Program Officers. They themselves and in partnership with Program Officers will ensure careful and objective grant monitoring, including communicating routinely, providing both encouragement and constructive feedback, while assessing progress towards project goals. They will also review grant proposals, budgets, and reports for both clarity and strategic alignment.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE IDEAL CANDIDATE
While no one candidate will embody all the qualifications enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:
Abilities and Attributes
Seek input from and value the uniqueness of people from different groups and identities. Work effectively with individuals of diverse cultures, interpersonal styles, abilities, motivations, or backgrounds. Challenge practices or policies that may be exclusionary. Demonstrate a proven commitment to race equity.
Develop and maintain effective leadership relationships with team members, internal and external partners, and others using strong interpersonal skills. Practice kindness, authenticity, and optimism when working with others.
Demonstrate expansive knowledge of tools, methods, and resources in the area of reproductive health access or social narrative, advocacy or policy development in the context of the movement systems and politics.
Ask good questions and probe all sources for answers; see underlying or hidden patterns; look beyond the obvious and not stop at the first answers. Use rigorous logic and methods to learn, analyze, and understand why problems occur; generate and implement creative, cost effective, and realistic solutions.
Look for new or alternative ideas from a wide range of sources. Consider future consequences and trends while considering future possibilities.
Communicate effectively both in writing and verbally. Listen carefully and seek mutual understanding in daily interactions.
Be comfortable in situations of conflict. Demonstrate an ability to say “no” when necessary and appropriate and have the confidence to choose the correct answer over the popular one. Show tolerance for ambiguity and be very comfortable with constant change brought on by internal and external pressures or expectations. Understand the value of flexibility and adaptability.
Background and Experience Qualifications
Strong knowledge and experience of the provision of abortion and contraceptive care in a free-standing outpatient setting and managing other people, projects, or initiatives. Specific knowledge of the non-profit work environment is highly valued; understanding of both direct patient care and organizational business considerations is also necessary.
Demonstrated knowledge in one or more of the following areas: abortion and contraceptive methods, reproductive health care workforce issues (education, training, retention, etc.), health care financing, causes and remedies of health disparities, health care delivery systems, barriers to reproductive access, reproductive and/or primary care clinical operations, health care quality standards, healthcare consumer/stakeholder engagement and patient experience, state and/or federal programs and policies that impact reproductive health care, or other relevant topical expertise.
Preferred: Bachelor’s degree in health care related field, political science, public health, gender studies, advocacy etc. OR professional experience of 10 years or more with increasing responsibility directly related to the role, will be considered.
Preferred: Certification as an Advanced Practice Clinician, RN or PA.
Minimum 10 years of experience with the provision of abortion and/or contraceptive care or other related health care including at least mid-level management responsibilities.
Minimum 7 years of direct experience managing other people, relationships, projects, or processes.
Travel Requirements: If working remotely, travel will be required to Omaha, Nebraska monthly, and to other places for site visits 4-6 times per year.
Hiring Requirements: As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check and proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses, subject to applicable laws.
Compensation: Compensation for the Senior Program Officer role starts at $150,000. The Foundation also provides comprehensive benefits.
This search is being led by Cara Pearsall and Stephanie Guidry of NPAG. Due to the pace of this search, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply by December 7, 2022. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
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