Program Officer

Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation

New York , New York

The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation is a leading philanthropic supporter of wildlife and community based conservation work, with a long history of grant making in Sub-Sahara Africa, Madagascar, the Northern Rocky Mountains, Asia and Latin America.

Now, with an increasing endowment, the Foundation seeks a Program Officer to help shape and manage its growing, ‘invitation-only’ grants budget.  Based in New York City and reporting to the Executive Director, the Program Officer will work as part of a small team, with broad responsibilities for management and monitoring of the Foundation’s grantmaking programs.


  • Participate with the Executive Director, Trustees and Advisory Board in refining the Foundation’s grantmaking goals, priorities, strategies and practices.
  • Identify and invite grant proposals from current and potential grantees, and work with them to refine proposals with clear objectives, qualitative milestones and metrics for Foundation consideration.
  • Prepare proposal evaluations, solicit and follow up on feedback from Advisory Board members and outside experts; make recommendations to the Executive Director for Trustee approval of grants.
  • Monitor approved grants through careful review of narrative and financial reports, personal communication and site visits; review and approve grant modifications as needed.
  • Assist with preparing annual operating & program budgets.
  • Manage and track annual grants budget and spending.
  • Prepare materials, participate in and make presentations at biannual meetings of Trustees and Advisory Board.
  • Represent the Foundation to the public and in professional meetings, conferences and workshops and stay abreast of developments in the wildlife conservation field.
  • Build collaborative strategic relationships with other philanthropic funders, public agencies and non-profits to advance the Foundation’s goals.
  • Participate in the development, planning and organization of program-related events and initiatives.
  • Develop informational materials regarding the foundation’s work and priorities.
  • Perform occasional special assignments, including potential supervision of program interns or volunteers.


  • At least 5 years of professional experience in wildlife conservation or related field, with relevant academic background. A mix of field work and management experience in a non-profit organization is highly preferable.  Experience in grantmaking is helpful but not required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work, listen and communicate effectively with a wide range of non-profit, community, government and philanthropic leaders.
  • Excellent writing, verbal, public speaking and presentation skills in English. Fluency in other languages a plus.
  • Strong analytical and financial management skills; ability to interpret and evaluate nonprofit financial statements and written reports.
  • Excellent creative thinking, problem solving and organization skills; strong attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Experience developing and managing partnerships and complex programs, working both independently and with teams.
  • Ability to travel within the U.S. and overseas, and to work occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Standard computer skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) are required.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, team-oriented, collegial, collaborative, diplomatic and flexible.
  • Knowledgeable and passionate about the Foundation’s mission.
  • Sets high standards, yet works with grantees with respect and humility.
  • Strong relationship builder across all sectors.
  • Well organized, a self-starter with strong professional work ethic.
  • An outgoing, open, and even-keeled personality. Tenacity, pragmatism, patience, and good humor.           

The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation offers employees a supportive, team-oriented environment with competitive salaries and benefits, including comprehensive medical and dental plans, a 403(b) retirement plan with company contribution, disability and life insurance.


Interested applicants should submit the following to Lori Cohen at no later than February 13, 2018:

  • A current resume / CV;
  • A brief cover letter outlining your experience and interest in this position;
  • Salary requirements.
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