Program Director, Criminal Justice Program (PWF)

The Public Welfare Foundation, a private, national grantmaking foundation with assets of over $500 million based in Washington, DC, is seeking a Program Director who will oversee our grantmaking in the area of Criminal Justice. This position reports to the President & CEO.  


About us:

The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to advance justice and opportunity for people in need.  These efforts honor the Foundation’s core values of racial equity, economic well-being and fundamental fairness for all. The Foundation looks for strategic points where its funds can make a significant difference and improve lives through policy and system reform that results in transformative change. In its 70-year history, the Foundation has distributed more than $570 million in grants to more than 4,800 organizations. With current assets of more than $500 million, Public Welfare makes grants nationwide and focuses its grantmaking in some difficult, and often overlooked, social justice areas where it believes it can serve as a catalyst for reform. Its main programs are Criminal Justice, Youth Justice, and Workers’ Rights. For more information, please visit our web site at

About the position:


The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Program supports groups working to end the over-incarceration of adults in the United States. It also works to reduce racial disparity in the criminal justice system. The Program portfolio includes – but is not limited to – grants to groups that are working on state-based sentencing reform. The Program Director for the Criminal Justice program will be responsible for designing and implementing a grantmaking program that: significantly reduces incarceration in the U.S.; focuses on reducing racial and ethnic disparities; and holds formerly impacted people and communities at the center of all our work.


The Program Director will develop and maintain an in-depth knowledge of the field and design a strategy that sets out a programmatic direction for our grantmaking strategy. This process will be informed by conferring with criminal justice policymakers, experts in the field, scholars, advocates, and community level stakeholders to identify and assess opportunities for improvement in the grantmaking program and program guidelines. The Program Director will engage with current grantees and seek out other potential grantees, review and evaluate grant applications and recommend grant awards.


S/he will conduct site visits and hold meetings with grantees and potential grantees as well as hosts grantee related convenings on strategic matters of relevance to the field. S/he will perform periodic reviews and reports on the overall effectiveness of the program area as well as network continually and develop relationships with knowledgeable experts, other grantmakers, policymakers, and community-based advocates to help support productive, innovative, and promising reform work within the field.


Additional skills and qualities we seek in an ideal candidate are:


  • Significant work experience in the field of criminal justice, including proposing and launching new work
  • Superior analytic and strategic skills
  • Experience in program development and program assessment
  • An entrepreneurial approach, personal initiative and intellectual curiosity
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills, including the capacity to write clearly and succinctly
  • Experience and knowledge of conducting and executing complex strategic advocacy or system’s change related work
  • Graduate-level degree in an appropriate field
  • Legal or legislative experience
  • Willingness to travel (30 percent, on average)
  • Significant enthusiasm for working closely and collaboratively with other staff and outside contributors to the work of the Foundation
  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and values


We are an equal opportunity employer with competitive salary and excellent benefits.


Diversity and equal opportunity employment reflect the core values of the Public Welfare Foundation. Employment opportunities at the Public Welfare Foundation are based on individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, citizenship, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law. Furthermore, applicants who have been impacted by the criminal justice system may apply.


Interested candidates may apply by submitting a cover letter and resume to Human Resources, Public Welfare Foundation, 1200 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Applications are to be submitted via email only: [email protected].


The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, October 31, 2018.



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  • Biz Ghormley
    published this page in Job Board 2018-10-05 12:20:12 -0400