The Bezos Family Foundation is helping young people realize their potential by championing the science of learning and its application in everyday life. They ultimately envision a world in which all young people reach their full potential and meaningfully contribute to society.
Founded in 2000, they pursue this vision by making grants and by operating their own programs in their mission to invest in the science of learning and the experiences that youth need from birth to high school to pursue their own path for success. Their grants support researchers, educators, nonprofits, and others who are expanding what we know about how children learn, or applying that knowledge with ingenuity, dedication, and passion. These grants focus on the most rapid periods of development: early learning and adolescence.
Through a diverse portfolio focused primarily within the United States, they seek to make thoughtful investments in people and programs ready to take their work to the next level by helping organizations grow and expand their reach. They aim to provide support where there is the most need, whether that means an underdeveloped strand of learning science or an under resourced community. They love to support changemakers taking innovative risks, and they strive to partner with organizations that reflect the communities they serve.
The Bezos Family Foundation is currently seeking nominations and applications for a Program Officer who will primarily focus on their Adolescent Learning Portfolio. Within this portfolio, they support research on learning and development in the adolescent years, with a focus on ages 9 to 18. The Foundation seeks innovative and catalytic investments that can help transform education systems, teacher practice, and school environments to best meet adolescent needs. The Program Officer will have the opportunity to help lead and shape the portfolio in meaningful ways. The Foundation also supports the dissemination of scientific insights to adults who engage with adolescent learners in school and beyond. They support a teaching workforce that reflects students’ communities and cultures, along with programs that recognize adolescents as co-creators of their learning and give them opportunities to practice leadership and contribute to effect change.
As a member of a team responsible for strengthening an established portfolio of grants, this person would help develop emerging investment areas of interest such as teacher preparation, support for rural districts, and youth/community-driven research; cultivate and steward new and existing grant relationships across a range of K-12 programs; and contribute to development and ongoing assessment of grant strategy. This position may also support a broad range of adolescent and early learning grant opportunities and partners as needed.
OPPORTUNITIES AND EXPECTATIONS OF THE PROGRAM OFFICER
- Oversee and serve as the primary relationship manager for a portfolio of grant partners.
- Understand partner organizations and their mission, context, goals, and programs
- Review partner reports and grant milestones
- Provide strategic support and thought partnership
- Identify and help address any challenges
- Share the partner’s work internally
- Conceptualize, cultivate, and bring forward new investment opportunities aligned with Foundation priorities.
- Develop investment approach and initiatives
- Source potential grant investments
- Conduct due diligence
- Guide organizations through the proposal process
- Make written and oral investment recommendations to Foundation leadership
- Partner with the Foundation’s grants team, communications team, program teams, and other Foundation staff to effectively support grant partners, grantmaking processes, and all Foundation efforts.
- Contribute to the development and implementation of grant investment strategy, goals, and priorities.
- Support grant strategy evaluation, analyzing investment impact and effectiveness, and driving ongoing Foundation learning and improvement
- Provide research, background information and analysis on sector trends, potential projects, prospective and current grant priorities and partners, and investment goals
- Cultivate and manage external relationships with experts, community leaders, potential grant partners, and colleagues in the field of philanthropy.
- Maintain knowledge of sector trends and innovations. Track current events, issues, and publications with particular focus on early childhood education.
The ideal candidate brings deep commitment to the Bezos Family Foundation’s mission. They will be detailed-oriented, willing to learn, and bring a collaborative style to the team.
Key Qualifications Include:
- At least ten years of demonstrated experience in the K-12 education field (e.g., teacher, administrator, school support, ed tech), with knowledge of classroom and district practices, teacher education pathways, and/or education policy at a local, state, or federal level preferred.
- A minimum of 2 years’ relevant experience with philanthropy or grantmaking.
- BA degree or comparable experience that includes the ability to read, analyze, and synthesize complex material including research, government reports, and environmental scans; ground a point of view with evidence; and prepare compelling written summaries and detailed recommendations. Advanced degree (MA, M Ed, etc.) is preferred.
- Ability to develop effective professional relationships with colleagues and partners across diverse settings.
- Experience in a community traditionally under-represented in nonprofit leadership roles, and an understanding of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities, especially as it pertains to K-12 education.
- Successful experience working on teams, seeking and integrating feedback, and flexibility to shift one’s point of view.
- Demonstrated ability to work with budgets and measurement frameworks.
- Comfort using technology, including mastery of Microsoft Office suite and database management experience. Salesforce experience is a plus.
- Ability to effectively prioritize projects and optimize resources.
Key Characteristics Include:
- Possesses a strong work ethic with the ability to deliver results.
- Takes a positive, professional, and proactive approach, particularly related to problem solving.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with strong presentation skills.
- Demonstrated ability to build trust with external partners and strong cross-functional relationships across an organization to achieve common goals.
- Sound business judgment and a skilled collaborator.
- Ability to maintain the highest levels of confidentiality.
- Unwavering integrity, ethics, and comfortable with an open and transparent work environment.
- Innovative, resourceful, and conscientious of organization’s brand and assets.
- Strategic thinker, ability to map daily responsibilities to the organization's overall mission and goals.
- Ability to work collaboratively and take initiative to support changing needs of the team.
Education, Foundation/Grantmaking, Youth Development
More information about the Bezos Family Foundation may be found at: www.bezosfamilyfoundation.org.
This search is being conducted with assistance from Katherine Jacobs and Rachel Burgoyne of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest and qualifications, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.
The Bezos Family Foundation believes all children are born with potential and deserve the experiences and environments needed to learn and thrive. In honor of these beliefs, we are an equal opportunity employer and committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and accessible environment within our Foundation and with those we serve.