Program Officer – Special Initiative

Title: Program Officer – Special Initiative
Reports to: Senior Program Officer
Supervisees: None
Status: Full-time
Start date: Position to be filled as soon as possible
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Irving Harris Foundation Overview

The Irving Harris Foundation (Foundation) enhances the quality of life for children, families and communities by advancing human potential, social justice and equity, and creative experience and expression. The Foundation is a strategic grantmaker, investing approximately $15 million annually in the fields of early childhood development, reproductive health and justice, arts and culture, violence prevention, environmental justice, civic engagement, and Jewish values in the U.S. and Israel. The Foundation’s grants aim to address root causes, leverage public and private resources, provide technical assistance and foster collaboration through public-private and funder partnerships.


We are looking for a colleague who has experience developing a program to scale and is strategic, thoughtful, and committed to systems change with a lens to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The Program Officer – Special Initiative will expand the reach and expertise of the Harris Professional Development Network (PDN), a group of international grantees committed to cross-discipline training and leadership development, the development and replication of innovative best practices, systems integration, and informing and improving policy. The Program Officer will deepen the PDN’s current work, enhance the Network, and think strategically to forge partnerships that leverage the PDN’s expertise for broader field influence. The Program Officer will develop programs and initiatives that will help grantees leverage, deepen, and expand their work and impact, forge strategic partnerships with grantees in order to test ideas, develop innovative solutions, and scale best practices.

Position Responsibilities

Position Requirements and Qualifications

Candidates with high levels of integrity, thoughtfulness and sense of humor will be prioritized.


The position is based in Chicago, Illinois. The Program Officer may travel 3-4 times per year.


A comprehensive salary and benefits package will be offered commensurate with experience.


Interested individuals should submit a cover letter, resume and two to three page writing sample to gro.n1537248960dfsir1537248960rahgn1537248960ivri@1537248960sboj1537248960 with email subject line: Application for Program Officer – Special Initiative.

The Irving Harris Foundation is committed to an inclusive, fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team. The Foundation values and actively seeks diversity in its workplace. The Foundation’s inclusive and equitable practice is embedded in recruitment, hiring, training, promoting persons in all job classifications. The Foundation does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment based on that individual’s race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, childbirth, medical condition, marital status, military service or veteran status, sexuality or status in any other group protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Foundation administers all personnel decisions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, returns from layoffs, etc. in accordance with the principles of equal employment opportunity.