Program Officer (Education)

Tinker Foundation | New York, New York


The Tinker Foundation is a private foundation whose mission is to promote the development of an equitable, sustainable and productive society in Latin America and to enhance understanding in the U.S. of Latin America and how U.S. policies may impact the region.  The Foundation was founded in 1959 and has granted nearly $107 million to organizations throughout the Americas.  It has also endowed Tinker Visiting Professorships at five major universities in the United States.

The Program Officer will have responsibility for the Foundation’s education grants portfolio.  These are focused on secondary or vocational public education aimed at “at-risk youth.”  Students could, for example, be young people returning to school after being demobilized or live in remote regions that lack educational facilities.  Proving and scaling successful interventions are key goals for the education program, where scale can be defined at the local, regional or national level.  Funds may be used to test innovative concepts, develop new programs, conduct applied research and evaluations that will facilitate replication or adoption of successful programs by policy makers, or to generate public and policy debate on the topic.

This is a full-time position located in New York, New York with a full benefits package, including medical coverage, an employer-provided 401(k) plan and paid time off for vacation and holidays.  The Program Officer will be expected to participate in and represent the Foundation at pertinent meetings and on site visits, which entail travel in the U.S. and abroad.  Professional development and engagement will also be enhanced by membership in relevant organizations.

Job Summary

The Program Officer will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the program and budget.  She/he will help identify new opportunities and build on current initiatives.  The candidate will need to communicate effectively, be comfortable developing new relationships and provide analytical feedback on proposed ideas.  A successful candidate will network with people from many backgrounds, have the ability to think across the boundaries of sectors and institutions, and encourage collaboration.  Strong writing and analytical skills, critical thinking, and knowledge and experience of Latin America’s political, economic and cultural realities will characterize a successful candidate.

Reports To

Associate Director


Core Responsibilities

  • Source new projects and facilitate due diligence; evaluate proposals; monitor the grants portfolio
  • Set goals for the program and each grant and measure progress and achievements against those goals
  • Lead communication and dissemination strategy discussions for the program’s products and develop and review grantee products
  • Identify opportunities to convene experts and stakeholders
  • Represent the Foundation at external conferences and meetings
  • Identify strategic next steps as well as opportunities for funding
  • Travel to and in Latin America for the purposes of developing new contacts, gaining a fuller appreciation for extant conditions, and conducting site visits to prospective and existing grantees
  • Participate in meetings of the Foundation’s Board of Directors to discuss and present proposals for funding


  • At minimum, the candidate will have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in education, or Latin American area studies, and experience working in/on the region
  • A minimum of five years or equivalent grant-making experience in a foundation or non-profit organization is required
  • Exposure to grant-management system(s)
  • Demonstrated research and analytical skills, strong communication and writing abilities
  • Fluency in Spanish and/or Portuguese
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status


  • Commitment to the mission of the Tinker Foundation, a strong sense of personal integrity, and professionalism
  • Outstanding conceptual and analytic abilities
  • Knowledgeable about and interest in Latin American political, social and cultural issues
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in the context of a small-office setting

How to Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter in English to Susan Vega, Director of Finance and Administration ( with your full name and position in the subject line of your email, e.g., J.J. Doe – Program Officer.

Tinker Foundation