We are building a world-class team of professionals to honor and extend the legacy of William Davidson through the practice of thoughtful, intentional, inclusive philanthropy.
PROGRAM OFFICER, ISRAEL INSIGHTS
The William Davidson Foundation, a private family foundation, dedicated to advancing the economic, cultural, and civic vitality of Southeast Michigan, the State of Israel, and the Jewish community, is seeking nominations and applications for the position of Program Officer, Israel Insights.
The Foundation is committed to honoring and carrying forward the philanthropic legacy of its founder, William Davidson, who served as Chairman, President and CEO of Guardian Industries, Corp., one of largest manufacturers of flat glass in the world. In Southeast Michigan, Mr. Davidson was well known as a civic leader, philanthropist, and the owner of professional sport teams, including the Detroit Pistons. The priorities that shaped his life now inspire the work of the William Davidson Foundation. The Foundation works with partners to stimulate innovation, develop leadership, sustain valuable programming, and tackle critical problems in four focus areas: Jewish Life, Economic Vitality, Cultural and Civic Vitality, and Education.
The Program Officer, Israel Insights will play a key role in the strategic development and stewardship of grants across the Jewish Life portfolio through relationship building, grants management, and identifying new opportunities to impact the field of Israel advocacy, education and research. S/he will manage a portfolio of grants dedicated to experiential learning and thoughtful policy analysis, working both within and outside Israel to further the democratic and pluralistic values that are central to the State of Israel. Additional investments seek to nurture the connection between the American Jewish community and the State of Israel.
The ideal candidate will bring a keen understanding and depth of experience on issues of impact to the modern State of Israel. S/he will be a collaborative leader internally and externally with the ability to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with a broad and diverse constituency. The Program Officer, Israel Insights will be an effective communicator and spokesperson on behalf of the William Davidson Foundation. S/he will be a thoughtful contributor to the strategic advancement of the Foundation’s work in Israel, and will help the organization to articulate and focus its investments to maximize outcomes while identifying new areas for extending impact.
S/he will have a thorough and abiding appreciation of the challenges, opportunities, and key developments in the field of Israel advocacy, education, and research. The Program Officer, Israel Insights will independently oversee a portfolio of active grants, screen organizations and projects aligned with the Jewish Life portfolio, and develop progress reports and materials for review and discussion by the grants committee and board.
This is a new, full-time position reporting to the Senior Program Officer, Jewish Life and is located in Troy, Michigan, with frequent travel expected to Israel, New York City, and Washington D.C. This search is being conducted by Katherine Jacobs and Mira Kline of the national search firm NPAG. Application instructions can be found at the end of this document.
Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Program Officer, Israel Insights
Work in close partnership with senior leadership and program staff to refine, expand upon and implement the strategic direction for a portfolio dedicated to advancing, understanding, and furthering personal connections to the State of Israel. Specifically, the Program Officer, Israel Insights will:
- Articulate and build programming around the William Davidson Foundation’s Jewish Life strategy with a particular focus on the modern State of Israel, lead and contribute to the development and refinement of programmatic strategies and plans
- Identify and assess outcomes and evaluation criteria for grants within the Jewish Life portfolio, help manage and oversee the program budget
- Engage senior leadership and other staff in program development.
Lead grantmaking efforts including managing and stewarding relationships with grantees and identifying new opportunities for partnership. Specifically, the Program Officer, Israel Insights will:
- Oversee a portfolio of active grants through clear and consistent communications and high-quality interactions with potential and existing grantees including ensuring appropriate review, documentation and reporting to ensure legal and programmatic compliance
- Identify and cultivate relationships with partner organizations, potential partners, external coalitions, and grantees to drive programming that contributes to the program’s desired impact
- Build opportunities for greater collaboration
- Represent the William Davidson Foundation externally among community partners, grantees, co-funders, relevant policymakers and other critical stakeholder audiences
- Sourcing and conducting preliminary screening and in-depth due diligence of relevant organizations and projects.
Develop internal and external communication materials to position the William Davidson Foundation as a strategic contributor to advancing, understanding, and furthering personal connections to the State of Israel. Specifically, the Program Officer, Israel Insights will:
- Prepare and commission briefs, presentations, and other syntheses on key topics related to the Foundation’s programmatic operations and areas of interest within the Jewish Life portfolio
- Write clear, concise, and insightful summaries of inquiries, proposals, and progress reports and provide further analyses and funding recommendations for review and discussion by the grants committee and board
- Develop resources and drive convenings that contribute to the Foundation’s desired impact
- Provide leadership in the field through public speaking engagements, writing, panel discussions and other activities that contribute to the Foundation’s mission.
Qualifications of the Ideal Candidate
The ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes and experiences:
Professional Experience & Education
- Bachelor’s Degree required, Master’s Degree preferred
- Minimum of seven to ten years experience in relevant field with a preference for individuals who bring significant expertise in understanding and depth of experience on issues of impact to the modern state State of Israel and a personal and/or professional background in relevant areas
- Experience as a grantmaker or grantseeker preferred
- Hebrew language proficiency (both written and spoken) preferred.
- Commitment to the Foundation’s mission to honor William Davidson’s memory and to continue his philosophy of giving by: supporting projects that will have a significant, long-term impact on the lives of the participants; collaborating with organizations and individuals that are creative, visionary and transformational; leveraging resources to work with other organizations and grantors; and encouraging a spirit of entrepreneurship
- Ability to learn quickly; demonstrate integrity/ethics beyond reproach; strong interpersonal skills and experience building positive collaborative relationships; willingness to “pitch in” and assist on any project – big or small; sufficient comfort with ambiguity and change to succeed within an evolving and entrepreneurial environment; be well organized and detailed-oriented
- Ability to travel including grantee site visits and serve as a representative of the Foundation at external meetings.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
The William Davidson Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
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