Education Program Officer (TF)

The Tinker Foundation is a private foundation whose mission is to promote the development of an equitable, sustainable and productive society in Latin America.  The Foundation was founded in 1959 and has granted nearly $108 million to organizations throughout the Americas.  It has also endowed Tinker Visiting Professorships at five major universities in the United States and supported thousands of scholars to travel to Latin America for field research.

The Program Officer will have responsibility for the Foundation’s education grants portfolio – an extraordinary opportunity to shape and lead Tinker’s grant making on one of the region’s most pressing issues.  Currently, this portfolio focuses on secondary or vocational public education aimed at reaching and ultimately ensuring better outcomes for at-risk youth in Latin America.

Proving and scaling successful interventions are key goals for the education program, where scale can be defined at the local, regional or national level.  Funds may be used to test innovative concepts, develop new programs, conduct applied research and evaluations that will facilitate replication or adoption of successful programs by policy makers, or to generate public and policy debate on the topic.  A successful candidate will be a “systems thinker” who can envision how Tinker’s funding of specific interventions and organizations could help catalyze impact for youth at greater scale.

In addition to the grants described above, the Program Officer will be responsible for overseeing the Tinker Visiting Professor and Field Research Grants programs.

This is a full-time position located in New York, New York with a full benefits package, including medical coverage, an employer-provided 401(k) plan and paid time off for vacation and holidays.  The Program Officer will be expected to participate in and represent the Foundation at meetings and on site visits, which entail travel in the U.S. and abroad.  Professional development and engagement will also be enhanced by membership in relevant organizations.

Job Description

The Program Officer will be responsible for developing and managing all aspects of the program and budget.  She/he will help identify new opportunities and build on current initiatives.  The candidate will need to communicate effectively, be comfortable developing new relationships and provide analytical feedback on proposed ideas.  A successful candidate will network with people from many backgrounds, have the ability to think across the boundaries of sectors and institutions, and encourage collaboration.  She/he will demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a deep willingness to learn.  Strong writing and analytical skills, critical thinking, and knowledge and experience of Latin America’s political, economic and cultural realities will characterize a successful candidate.

Core Responsibilities

  • Develop and operate with a robust program strategy for the education portfolio rooted in the Foundation’s approach to achieving impact through its grants and other activities
  • Source new projects and facilitate due diligence; evaluate proposals; monitor the grants portfolio
  • Set goals for the program and each grant and measure progress and achievements against those goals
  • Lead communication and dissemination strategy discussions for the program’s products and develop and review grantee products
  • Identify opportunities to convene experts and stakeholders and to support grantees using the full range of Tinker’s resources
  • Represent the Foundation at external conferences and meetings
  • Travel within Latin America for the purposes of developing new contacts, gaining a fuller appreciation for extant conditions, and conducting site visits to prospective and existing grantees
  • Participate in meetings of the Foundation’s Board of Directors to discuss and present proposals for funding


  • At minimum, the candidate will have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in education, Latin America area studies, or a related field
  • Experience working in/on the region
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in a foundation, non-profit or other relevant setting; grant-making experience a plus
  • Demonstrated research and analytical skills
  • Exposure to grant-management system(s) preferred
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status


  • Committed to the Foundation’s mission with a strong sense of personal integrity and professionalism
  • Resourceful and entrepreneurial; willing to take judicious risks and explore new opportunities
  • Knowledgeable about and interest in Latin American political, social and cultural issues
  • Self-directed and comfortable working independently, including seeking input and guidance when needed
  • Open to feedback and committed to personal and collective professional development
  • Able to work collaboratively in the context of a small-office setting and eager to contribute to the success of the Foundation beyond the education program

To Apply:
Please submit a resume and cover letter in English to Susan Vega, Director of Finance and Administration ([email protected]) with your full name and position in the subject line of your email, e.g., J.J. Doe – Education Program Officer.





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