Program Officer, Maternal and Child Health (BF)

About The Burke Foundation

The Burke Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation in Princeton, NJ. The Foundation was established in 1989 by the late Jim Burke and his wife Diane Burke with the mission of improving the health and well-being of underserved children. It invests in the most promising initiatives narrowing developmental and health gaps in New Jersey.

We use rigorous research and human-centered design thinking to support and sustain long-term community partnerships that improve maternal and child health and early learning outcomes for low-income children and families. We have a special emphasis on the cities of Newark, Trenton, and Camden. Our grants are offered alongside technical assistance focused on data collection, outcomes, and the creation of results-oriented frameworks in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of our partners. In addition, we are partnering with other New Jersey-based foundations to implement a collaborative statewide effort to prevent, protect against, and heal the effects of childhood adversity and trauma. We are deeply committed to improving maternal-child health and have invested in community-led interventions that focus on strengthening systems of care to ensure that all families and children ages 0-3 in the state grow up healthy and thrive.

The Foundation has assets of approximately $100 million and operates with a small professional staff, as well as an active and committed Board of Trustees. For more information, please visit our website at

Overview of Program Officer Role

The Program Officer will manage a growing portfolio of maternal and child health grants, guiding the grantee identification, review, and evaluation processes and partnering with our leadership to ensure that we invest our resources into programs and policies that will have the highest positive impact on New Jersey’s children and families. The Program Officer will serve as a content expert and a key external representative, networking and collaborating with key stakeholders, including policymakers, other funders, and experts in the field. The Program Officer will be a key part of a nimble and ambitious staff team, working collaboratively to ensure our processes and systems support our desired impact.

This is a unique opportunity for an entrepreneurial individual who is motivated by the chance to work within an established foundation at an exciting moment of growth and change. The successful candidate will come to this role with a background in program, research, policy or grantmaking related to children's health and development and/or early childhood education, and will bring strong relationship-building, communication, and analytical skills.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage our maternal and child health grantee relationships, including responsibility for guiding the reporting process and providing strategic support to our grantees
  • Develop our pipeline of funding opportunities, identifying and cultivating relationships with organizations and initiatives that fit with our mission
  • Represent the Burke Foundation externally, participating in funder collaboratives, policy initiatives, and meetings or groups focused on children's health and early childhood education, positioning the organization as a thought leader
  • Evaluate grant applications, including due diligence and budget reviews
  • Present funding recommendations to the Board of Trustees
  • Work with our external evaluation partner and grantees to assess the impact of our funding
  • Manage research interns, providing direction and mentoring to ensure their effective contribution to our work
  • Collaborate with our staff to refine our RFP and grantmaking cycles and processes


  • You are a subject-matter expert in a field aligned with our work (e.g. public health, maternal health, early childhood development, public policy) and hold an advanced degree (Master's or Ph.D.). You are passionate about our mission of ensuring the healthy development of children and families.
  • You bring 5+ years of professional experience; this may include past success in policy, research, program management and evaluation, or philanthropic grantmaking roles.
  • You’ve managed efforts in maternal and child health grantmaking, programming or policy.
  • You are deeply curious, with an appetite for continuous learning and ongoing research to inform your work, and you have strong analytical skills, with the ability to evaluate quantitative, qualitative, and financial data.
  • You are a skilled relationship-builder, able to form and steward partnerships with stakeholders who bring a variety of perspective and priorities.
  • You possess excellent writing and oral communication skills. You are comfortable writing for and presenting to a variety of audiences.
  • You take initiative and can direct your own work flow, utilizing strong organizational skills, while also operating as part of a collaborative team.
  • You are excited to be part of an entrepreneurial and fast-paced organizational culture that prioritizes innovation, continuous learning, humility, partnership, and commitment to the communities we serve.
  • Comfortable working collaboratively as part of a small team.
  • Energized by attending site visits, stakeholder meetings, and knowledge-building events throughout New Jersey.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Competitive salary offered commensurate with experience.
  • Health insurance
  • 401k
  • Long-term and short-term disability
  • Work-from-home Fridays
  • Generous paid time off policy and company holidays including half-day Summer Fridays and a week-long holiday break in December

Application Process

Please send a resume, thoughtful cover letter, and a short non-academic writing sample as a single pdf attachment (filename: LastName_FirstName.pdf) with the email subject “Program Officer” to [email protected]. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Learn More About Us

The Burke Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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