Civic Engagement and Government Program Officer

Ford Foundation


  • Location: New York
  • Closing Date: 08/07/2016

The Ford Foundation’s Civic Engagement and Government (CEG) thematic area seeks a thoughtful, curious and engaged Program Officer to help shape and drive the foundation’s social justice work globally. The Program Officer should have proven experience and knowledge in civic engagement and government in the Global South, particularly issues of transparency, participation and accountability and, ideally, global taxation. The Program Officer will offer these perspectives to support the CEG thematic area strategy and grantmaking, including Ford’s Regional Offices and the broader social justice goals of the Foundation.

Addressing inequality is a key focus of the Ford Foundation. The overall goal of the CEG thematic area is to make civic engagement more strategic and powerful, and government more representative, responsive and accountable. The Foundation strives to achieve this by working with critical stakeholders and partners in government, civil society, academia, private sector and funders to expand participation, promote equitable resource governance, and build powerful engagement with government.

The Program Officer will particularly inform work globally on encouraging development of greater transparency of public matters; promoting more progressive tax and budget systems; reducing global tax avoidance and evasion; and respond to the challenge of closing civic space by strengthening legitimacy of civil society in their own communities. The Program Officer will work on developing, testing and demonstrating models of powerful civic engagement with government that build long-term strategic civic capability, achieve policy outcomes, help make government more responsive and, over time, increase trust in government. These goals will be pursued in collaboration with key partners and funder collaboratives such as the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (T/AI).

The Program Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Director of Civic Engagement and Government, and be part of the CEG team. The Program Officer will help assess the CEG field globally, identify its key ecosystems and work with various actors (including especially Ford’s Regional Field Offices) to analyze challenges and opportunities, seek rigorous evidence, identify levers of change, and play a leading role in shaping specific grant activities. The Program Officer will share substantive knowledge with Foundation colleagues; be a connector of grantees; support learning to connect regional and global programming; and collaborate broadly across CEG and other thematic areas. The Program Officer will work with practitioners, government officials, scholars, CSOs, other funders—particularly through global platforms-- to leverage positive impact toward common goals—and in a manner which emphasizes voices and perspectives from the Global South.