Program Officer, Food Systems – Mississippi & New Orleans Programs
Location Flexible in Southeastern United States
To read the full position description and review application instructions, click download.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), a leading national philanthropy helping communities create the conditions children need to thrive, is seeking nominations and applications for a Program Officer for its U.S. Southern Programs, serving communities in Mississippi & New Orleans. In recent years the foundation has sharpened its focus on improving conditions for vulnerable children, concentrating on three key factors of success and their intersections: education and learning; food, health and well-being; and family economic security. WKKF partners closely with community stakeholders and policy makers to co-create a network of organizations working together to advance economic stability, racial equity, and community and civic engagement, while increasing access to quality education, healthy food, and medical care for children and families in need.
Working in partnership across the two team offices for U.S. Southern Programs led by Director Rhea Williams-Bishop and with WKKF national staff, the Program Officer will provide leadership and oversight for on-the-ground execution of program efforts that nurture opportunities for achieving positive systemic change for better education, health, and economic outcomes for children and their families throughout Mississippi and in New Orleans. The Mississippi & New Orleans team works from base offices in Jackson and New Orleans and is a critical place-based team at the foundation for the region. Particular areas of interest for this role include economic development along the Gulf Coast; food systems, food access, and food entrepreneurship in rural and urban communities; and how these focus areas intersect with local industries (e.g., shipping, chemicals, energy, tourism, and seafood), environmental concerns, local entrepreneurship, and employment equity. The new Program Officer will leverage deep expertise in food systems and economic equity to screen and recommend grants for funding, conduct site visits, manage and monitor a portfolio of grant programs aligned with the foundation’s strategic framework, and collaborate within the programs team and across the foundation to develop a more interdisciplinary approach to grantmaking. The Program Officer will maintain strong, authentic relationships with grant seekers and grantees and act as a spokesperson for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, effectively communicating the foundation’s goal of partnering with communities to improve the well-being of children and their families.
The ideal candidate will be committed to the values and mission of the foundation and have expertise and leadership experience in food systems, policy, and/or economic development. She/He/They will be knowledgeable about the intersections between food systems and food-based entrepreneurship, labor markets, and workforce development. The Program Officer will also have an understanding of and appreciation for the impact of the private sector and the role of the public sector in alleviating racial and economic disparities in urban and rural economies. Familiarity and experience with grantmaking is a plus, but is not required. She/He/They will have a deep and comprehensive understanding of program execution and development. The Program Officer will have both cultural fluency and networks in the Deep South, the Gulf Coast, the Delta region, and on the national level. The Program Officer will curate a portfolio that is reflective of, and responsive to, the needs of communities and grassroots leaders along the Gulf Coast, including Biloxi and New Orleans, and in rural areas in Mississippi and Louisiana as well. She/He/They will possess a strong team orientation, a high tolerance for ambiguity, the ability to adapt quickly to change, and a record of success in working effectively with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
This search is being assisted by Katherine Jacobs, Erica Nicole Richardson, and Courtney Thomas of NPAG. Due to the pace of the search, candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word or PDF format) and where you learned of the position should be sent to: WKKF-POFS@nonprofitprofessionals.com. In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
Katherine Jacobs, Ph.D.
As a trained psychologist, teacher, researcher, and consultant with twenty years of experience both in the U.S. and abroad, Katherine guides organizations through change with particular expertise in founder transitions, facilitation of Board and executive level decisions, and the implications for growth and strategic talent development.