Program Officer

Program Officer

Santa Cruz, California map
Santa Cruz, California
Position Type
Organization Type
Professional Level
Non-Competitive Eligibility
Advanced Degree Required

Contact Resources

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Program Officer
Firelight Foundationl

Job Posting Date August 23, 2014
Application Deadline September 12, 2014


Firelight is launching a five-year Resilience initiative, which will provide focused to support organizations in Kenya, Lesotho, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The focus is to create a protective environment where children fulfill their rights and reach their potential in a safe, caring, and nurturing environment. The initiative will build CBO capacity in child rights, child protection, psychosocial support (PSS), and community mobilization. In addition, partners will strengthen their linkages with district governments to advocate for child rights and build capacity to track the welfare of children. Finally, the partners will benefit from support to build their capacity in organizational management and sustainability.

Firelight seeks a Program Officer to manage the resilience portfolio. In that role, the Program Officer will operationalize the resilience strategy to achieve set outcomes. The individual will be responsible for evaluating proposals and making funding recommendations to the Board of Directors. In addition, he or she will work with Program Consultants and Lead Partners to build the capacity of grantee partners using learning circles, which provide opportunity for training, mentoring, peer learning, and guided inquiry. The Program Officer will collaborate with the Senior Learning and Evaluation Officer to develop a learning and evaluation plan to document outcomes, capture effective models, and synthesize lessons learned. This individual will also be responsible for maintaining relationships with donors, while collaborating with the Institutional Partnerships Officer to inform proposals and reports related to resilience. In order to execute their responsibilities effectively, Program Officers must maintain an in-depth knowledge of the priorities, strategies, and funding criteria for the Foundation’s grantmaking, organizational learning and advocacy programs.

• Develop, plan, and manage implementation of initiatives focused on resilience of children, including child rights, child protection, and psychosocial support.
• Guide review and evaluation of funding inquiries and proposals to build portfolio of grantee-partners that deliver on objectives of initiative.
• Manage ongoing relationships with grantee-partners, including review of final reports and renewal proposals and making funding recommendations to the Advisory Council and Board of Directors.
• Manage the work of Program Consultants and Lead Partners in the assessment of partner capacity and in providing technical assistance to grantee-partners.
• Work in collaboration with the Senior Officer for Learning and Evaluation to develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation plan, including development of frameworks, guiding the data collection, and data analysis.
• Document best practices and outcomes of the initiative and interpret data analysis findings. Facilitate application and external sharing of knowledge generated.
• Manage donor relationships, including ongoing communication as well as collaboration with the Institutional Partnerships Officer on proposals and reports.
• Maintain and develop relationships with peer foundations and other key constituencies as necessary to support partners and support the goals of the Foundation.
• Lead special projects or take on additional tasks as assigned.
• Supervise Program Associate as assigned.


• Bachelor’s Degree or Masters’ degree in social services or other relevant field.
• Competency in project management, including planning and managing implementation to achieve objectives.
• Strong time management skills with ability to effectively multi-task and prioritize to meet deadlines.
• Insight and sound judgment in evaluation of leadership, organizational capacity, and program design of grassroots organizations.
• Ability to maintain timely and meaningful communication with a wide range of grantee-partners and other collaborative partners.
• Excellent written and oral communications skills in English.
• Intellectual curiosity complemented by sound analysis and critical thinking skills.
• Excellent interpersonal and team skills.
• At least 5-7 years work experience with progressive responsibility in program management.
• Authorization to work in the United States.

• Background or work experience in child rights, child protection or psychosocial support programs in Africa.
• Knowledge and understanding of key issues facing vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa.
• Ability to maintain fairly rigorous schedule during Africa travel; ability to travel up to 20% of time.
• Familiarity with Mac applications, and relational databases, such as Filemaker Pro.
• Strong work ethic.
• Good sense of humor.

Additional Information

Advanced Degree Required


Commensurate with experience. Full benefits include: medical/dental/vision/acupuncture/chiro/IRA

Location Details

Office in Santa Cruz, California

Application Instructions

Additional Application Materials:

Send updated CV, cover letter, and writing sample by September 12, 2014 to or by fax to 831-429-2036 (e-mail submissions preferred). Please note “Program Officer” and your full name in subject line of e-mail or fax. Firelight Foundation does not provide visa sponsorship for this position. Only persons short-listed for interviews will be contacted. No phone calls please.

The posting employer has certified that this announcement complies with Peace Corps' Equal Opportunity Employment policy:

The Peace Corps is committed to providing equal opportunity to all employees, Volunteers, and applicants for employment and volunteer service. Peace Corps policy prohibits discrimination and harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or over), disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, parental status, political affiliation, union membership, genetic information, or history of participation in the Equal Employment Opportunity process, grievance procedure, or any authorized complaint procedure.

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