Ballmer, the wealthiest living native of the city, announced in September 2016 that he and his wife planned to donate a large part of their fortune to address intergenerational poverty in Detroit. News of the office was announced in a job posting for an executive director "with established roots in the Detroit community, strong networks within and across the public, private, and social services sectors, and a deep knowledge of the local context, neighborhoods, and key players."
According to the job posting, the executive director will be tasked with developing a strategic plan that advances the Ballmer Group's philanthropic investments in Detroit and aligns that work with its regional activities in Los Angeles County and Washington state; managing the full grant process for the region and generating collaboration opportunities; and recruiting and managing talent as the office expands "to accommodate anticipated growth in investments and related activities."
The foundation — which in April launched USAFacts, a website that presents federal, state, and local government data related to revenue, spending, balance sheets, public-sector employment, and government-run trust and pension funds — takes a data-oriented approach to identifying and leveraging interventions in low-income communities. "Because the conditions of poverty are complex, no single intervention or philanthropic investment will solve them," the foundation states in the posting. "We fund proven interventions for children and families at various life stages, including early childhood, school entry and progression, healthy adolescence, and stable family formation."