Senior Program Officer, Early Childhood Development | US

Senior Program Officer, Early Childhood Development | US

Senior Program Officer, Early Childhood Development | US 150 150
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
May 4, 2021
Westlake Village
Job Type


International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to improve early childhood development outcomes, support older youth as they transition from foster care, ensure opportunity youth can access career pathways, prevent homelessness, identify solutions to safe-water access, help integrate refugees into society and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world's largest, with assets recently growing to approximately $7.5 billion. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2 billion, $207 million worldwide in 2020. Please visit for more information.

Job summary

The Senior Program Officer (SPO) is a strategic leader and portfolio manager for the Foundation's Global Early Childhood Development – U.S. Sub-Initiative – which is part of the Global ECD Initiative that also includes work in East and Southern Africa. This role will serve to advance the Foundation's mission of impacting those experiencing disadvantage, specifically by supporting efforts aimed at improving the developmental outcomes of young children (from birth to age three) and the lives of their caregivers with a focus on young families. This is a new sub-initiative that will begin in 2021 in Los Angeles County with a second US location to begin in 2022 following a situation analysis during 2021. Grantmaking will seek to further goals at local, state, and national levels and will contribute to building an international movement.

The SPO for the Global ECD-U.S. Sub-Initiative is the content expert and thought leader on early childhood development and two-generation approaches to serve young parents within Los Angeles County and the U.S., and s/he provides creative thinking in both strategy direction and in the day-to-day management of the sub-initiative portfolio. In addition to strategic leadership and portfolio management, the SPO is responsible for supporting the management of the eventual 3-person team while providing guidance on learning and evaluation efforts that will inform strategy implementation, grant monitoring, management, integration across the portfolio, and future strategy development.

The SPO will initiate and sustain external partnerships with grantees, stakeholders, policy decision-makers, and other funders.

This position reports to the Director, Global ECD Initiative.


  • Plan and develop strategy and leads implementation of the Foundation's Global ECD – U.S. Sub Initiative
  • Present strategy and progress updates to the Board of Directors in coordination with the ECD Director
  • Work with internal (SLED team) and external evaluators and research partners to track progress toward initiative goals
  • Work collaboratively with a range of partners to share learnings and co-organize annual grantee convenings and periodic webinars
  • Explore innovative new areas for grantmaking in order to achieve strategic goals
  • Work in partnership with and leads the sub-Initiative team
  • Identify potential grantees and projects
  • Investigate and evaluate grant proposals and develops compelling grant writeups with the sub-Initiative team
  • Monitor and evaluate strategic sub-initiative and grantee performance
  • Conduct site visits
  • Conduct due diligence to assess grantee work
  • Provide advice/area expertise assistance to and maintains an open, ongoing relationship with grantees
  • Nurture partnerships among grantees and linkages to key stakeholders to promote systems change
  • Stay abreast of research, policy, activities, and trends in the issues related to early childhood development, racial equity, and two-generation approaches as well as the other related program priority areas of the Foundation
  • Respond effectively to the broader knowledge in the field by aligning grant making with emerging learning and opportunities to strengthen the early childhood field both within the U.S. and globally
  • Pursue and promote learning throughout the field
  • Form and foster relationships to strengthen strategic coalition-building within the sector
  • Convene meetings of key government, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders to mobilize coordinated efforts and funding in strategic initiatives
  • Represent the Foundation to various constituencies through verbal and written communications (annual reports, brochures, correspondence) and through participating in outside conferences and meetings
  • Work with other leaders in the field to strengthen and further build the field
  • Develop partnerships with parent-led community groups and organizations to ensure that their perspectives are heard
  • Collaborate with other public and private funders to advance strategic priorities
  • Work with communications team to develop a communication strategy for the ECD-U.S. Sub-Initiative
  • Write informative and engaging blogs/articles for the website and supervises website content and updates
  • Build collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with team members and staff from other departments (to include other initiatives that are also working in Los Angeles)
  • Effectively manage direct reports and provides mentorship in developing professionally
  • Guide support provided by the Senior Advocacy Officer and Strategy Learning and Evaluation Department (SLED) to further monitoring and evaluation of the sub-initiative
  • Participate in team meetings to review grant recommendations, provide updates on grantee progress, determine technical assistance needs of grantees, plan convening, evaluation and communications activities, and share and reflect on experiences in the field and related program activity
  • Identify the need and scope of work for consultants within the sub-initiative and monitors work as required


  • Graduate degree in public health, public policy, social welfare or a related field
  • 10+ years of relevant experience in grantmaking and/or program development/management
  • Demonstrated expertise and work experience with approaches to improving early childhood development at program, research, and public policy levels
  • Commitment and belief in strategic philanthropy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally
  • Knowledgeable regarding the systems that affect young children and their caregivers and approaches to foster systems change and greater equity at local, state and national levels
  • Experience, or relevant experience, in strategic planning and implementation and in coordinating public/private efforts for long-term, systemic social impact
  • A passion for and a commitment to the Foundation's mission, social justice, and the development of young children
  • Excellent written/oral communication, presentation, and public speaking skills
  • Ability to develop effective and professional relationships with internal and external colleagues and partners from the grassroots to the grasstops
  • Strong strategic, conceptual and critical thinking abilities; capacity to navigate through ambiguity
  • Strong organizational, analytical, and time management skills with high attention to priority and detail
  • Work well independently and within a team and demonstrates a high degree of initiative, flexibility, collaboration, and cultural sensitivity
  • Strong managerial skills and ability to professionally develop team members
  • The personal presence to represent the Foundation in diverse forums and organizational relationships
  • A practical understanding of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector


  • A practical understanding of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector
  • Understanding of strategic grantmaking

About our Benefits

We value the health and well-being of our employees, some of the benefits we offer include:

  • Comprehensive and generous health and life insurance options
  • Fitness benefits
  • Paid holidays, time off, and parental leave
  • Flexible work schedules and technology benefits
  • Foundation-funded retirement savings plan
  • Professional learning and development and educational assistance
  • Employee matching gifts to qualified non-profit organizations

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