ICE Program Officer (WF)

Job Summary

The International Children’s Education (ICE) Program Officer works with the Program Director, the Senior Program Officer, a Program Associate, and other Wellspring staff on an international grantmaking program that works to transform basic education in Africa to ensure a relevant, high-quality primary and secondary education for all children within more equitable and accountable educational systems. The program includes thematic concentrations on evidence-building and accountability for the right to education. 

The work of the Program Officer will consist of staying abreast of relevant issues, trends, and policy developments; managing part of the program’s grants portfolio, to include monitoring and evaluating existing grants and soliciting and recommending new or continuing grants; building and maintaining relationships with other donors; building and maintaining new and current grantee relationships; and participating in funder collaboratives, among other things. Additional responsibilities include mentoring junior staff, participation in cross-programmatic and foundation-wide activities, and development and implementation of funding strategies and grantmaking best practices.

It is envisioned that the new Program Officer’s onboarding will include significant overlap with the Senior Program Officer who currently manages ICE grants.

Key Responsibilities


  • Under the guidance of the Program Director and in collaboration with the Senior Program Officer, develop, refine, and implement grantmaking priorities and strategic approaches consistent with the program’s current multi-year work plan, proactively researching grantmaking opportunities and challenges.
  • Work with the Senior Program Officer to refine the theory of change logic and tactics for the Evidence-Based Practice and Policy and Accountability for the Right to Education themes.
  • Monitor developments in the field to identify emerging needs, gaps, and opportunities in alignment with approved program strategy.
  • Attend conferences, funder collaborative meetings, and other learning-focused events on field-specific issues.
  • Engage with the community of donors, NGOs and others working in the areas of Wellspring’s approved strategy for this program.
  • Engage in creative use of convenings, co-funding, partnerships, pooled funds, and other tools alongside other partners to promote a common grantmaking agenda to advance the strategy, field learning, and leadership.
  • Oversee regional and thematic knowledge-exchange convenings to promote learning among grantees                                  


  • Co-Manage an extensive existing grant portfolio from solicitation through assessment, recommendation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Conduct and maintain due diligence in sourcing, screening, selecting, evaluating, and strengthening existing and potential grantee partners
  • Manage grantee relationships, conduct site visits, maintain regular contact with grantees about programming, solicit and develop funding proposals, determine appropriate funding levels (in compliance with Wellspring guidelines), and prepare grant recommendations.
  • Ensure adherence to internal grantmaking processes via appropriate documentation, grant budgeting, and reporting.
  • Write and edit grant summaries and other materials for official approval.
  • Review progress reports, conduct evaluations of grantee programs, and monitor use of grant funds.
  • Advise grantees, especially start-ups, on best practice approaches and tools, as well as information on organizational growth and development, managing leadership and staff transitions, and multi-year strategic planning as appropriate.
  • Meet with current and potential grantees and conduct site visits internationally, including travel to remote areas.

Other Responsibilities

  • Educate Wellspring’s donors and engage in learning with team members on issues related to education quality and the right to education.
  • Write and edit overview materials customized for internal Wellspring use, for donors, and for a public audience.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and external parties to help guide a learning initiative for Wellspring grantees.
  • Recommend and supervise consultants for specific projects as needed.
  • Participate in the advancement of organization-wide initiatives at Wellspring, including internal committees or task forces.
  • Initiate and lead institutional discussions as needed, assigned, or desired.
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

Knowledge and Skills Requirements/Qualifications


  • Excellent research and writing skills, including the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively with people outside the field.
  • An open, analytical, critical thinking mindset, and a keen interest in learning.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain close, collegial, respectful, and effective working relationships with colleagues and grantees of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Close attention to follow-up and detail, including the ability to manage time effectively and to manage several tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion.
  • Ability to understand and manage the power differential in the funder-grantee relationship as well as the ability to handle all relationships with humility and respect.
  • Initiative, resourcefulness, and flexibility
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Desire and ability to work as part of a small team in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Ability and desire to travel extensively, including to remote locations in East Africa.


  • Graduate degree in education, organizational leadership and development, international development, child development, or other related field - or equivalent experience.
  • Strong background with/in educational implementation or advocacy, community-based organizations, organizational development, organizational capacity building, and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning.
  • Experience or knowledge around life skills, youth development, education for marginalized groups, education in emergencies, or the right to education required.
  • Experience working in Africa, or in partnership with African institutions.
  • Minimum of five years’ experience in education, child rights, or child-oriented development in sub-Saharan Africa and five years’ experience doing direct grantmaking in education, child rights, or development.
  • Familiarity with the NGOs, researchers, and funders working in this issue area, including groups based in Africa, the US, and Europe.
  • Cultural competency in engaging with colleagues and grantees.
  • Familiarity with trends in public, private, and philanthropic investment in education, child rights and child development in Africa. 


Salary range: $110,000 – $120,000 based on experience. Wellspring offers a very generous benefits package including payment of 100% of the health insurance premiums for employees (and 80% of the premiums for spouses, domestic partners and qualified family members). Wellspring also offers other benefits including life insurance, long‐term disability protection, a group 401(k) retirement plan (with an employer match), support for continuing education, and is committed to providing transgender‐inclusive healthcare.


Wellspring Philanthropic Fund is a private grantmaking foundation dedicated to advancing the realization of human rights and social and economic justice for all people. Wellspring has offices in New York, NY, and Washington, DC.

Wellspring’s work is rooted in respect for the dignity and worth of every human being and is informed by the following beliefs:

  • Social institutions and structures should promote the full realization of human rights and human potential, and should be accountable to these ends.
  • The rights of all people are advanced when the rights of the most marginalized and vulnerable peoples are protected.
  • Social justice movements should employ means that are consistent with their ideals, and should give agency to the people whose interests they seek to advance.
  • As responsible stewards, we must strive to maximize the impact of our charitable investments.

As a private foundation, Wellspring’s key functions are to conduct research and education tailored to our mission; manage a grantmaking portfolio of various programs, administer grants and monitoring grantee performance; and work to promote the effectiveness of programs that receive donor funding. Wellspring Philanthropic Fund hires, promotes and retains employees based on their professional qualifications, demonstrated abilities and work performance, as well as on the degree to which these qualities are required in the employment positions made available by the Firm’s service needs and business requirements. Wellspring welcomes candidates with diverse experience backgrounds and strongly encourages people of color to apply.

All personnel decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, assignment, training, promotion, discipline and discharge, are made without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital or familial status, domestic partner status, veteran or military status, sex, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law (each a “protected characteristic”). This policy also bans discriminatory harassment. Qualified candidates for employment having records of arrest or criminal conviction will be considered.


For employment consideration, please submit application to [email protected] Subject Line: “[Your name]— ICE Program Officer.” All applications must include:

  • a resumé;
  • a thoughtful cover letter, including how you became aware of this opportunity (i.e. job portal, referral, etc.) and salary requirements (must specify actual amount and range); and
  • one writing sample (no less than 3 and no more than 5 pages, attached in PDF format).

No phone calls please.

NOTE: At this time our preference is that applicants have work authorization to work in the United States. If you need sponsorship, please let us know in your cover letter.

The application deadline is February 23rd, 2018.


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