Program Officer, Indigenous Communities Initiative

NoVo Foundation | Brooklyn (or Remote), New York


NoVo Foundation acts from the original meaning of philanthropy: the love of humanity. The Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a global social transformation away from current cultures of domination and their reliance on hierarchy, violence, and the subordination of girls and women.

NoVo believes a new code of behavior is possible, where we are all linked and not ranked. We envision a balanced world that’s governed by principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation, and that our contribution is to help create the conditions for that new code to arise and inspire others to join them. We seek pivot points in society – such as adolescent girls and local economies – where support and resources can have long-lasting and wide-ranging positive impact. We see violence against girls and women as a fundamental enforcer of oppression, and work to eradicate its presence.

The scale of these ambitions guides our investment strategies. Ours is both risk capital and patient capital; experimentation and new thinking are critical paths forward. Seeing the world as it is, and as it could be, inspires our voice. Through all of our activities we try to illuminate the possibility of a new paradigm, gather evidence of its existence, and establish pathways for its manifestation. As our website states, we “are humbled and honored to contribute to building a world based on peace, compassion, justice, and love.”

Jennifer and Peter Buffett are the founders and co-presidents of the Foundation and have articulated the vision and values that guide its work.

For further details about the mission and vision of the NoVo Foundation, please visit .

Job Summary

The Indigenous Communities Initiative is growing and NoVo Foundation is seeking to expand its team. The Program Officer, Indigenous Communities, will work under the direction of the Senior Director and alongside a Program Officer to develop and implement the foundation’s Initiative to fund an intergenerational Indigenous movement pointing the way toward transformative change that is deeply rooted in Indigenous thinking and ways of life. This role demands significant knowledge of and experience working with Indigenous Communities, as well as passion for NoVo Foundation’s mission to foster a transformation from a world of domination and exploitation to one of collaboration and partnership.

The Program Officer may work remotely, or in our Kingston, NY or Brooklyn, NY offices, and will travel frequently on site visits, as well as to our offices for meetings.

Reports To

Senior Director


The Program Officer will work in partnership with another Program Officer to:

  • Serve as a thought partner to the Senior Director and Indigenous Communities Initiative team on strategy, program progress, and budget.
  • Generate creative solutions to grantmaking challenges that ensure program goals are met and that budgets are allocated as planned.
  • Manage the programmatic and administrative aspects of a portfolio of grants including cultivation, letter of inquiry, solicitation, assessment, recommendation, and presentation to Grants Committee.
  • Support development of learning and evaluation systems. Monitor approved grants through site visits and report on grantee progress.
  • Establish and nurture productive relationships – alongside the Senior Director and other staff – with important stakeholders, including public sector partners and the domestic and international community of donors and NGOs working to advance the rights of Indigenous peoples and women and girls.
  • Remain up-to-date on issues, strategies, and funding partners and patterns within the Indigenous Communities Initiative’s geography of North America (especially Canada) and internationally.
  • Represent NoVo Foundation at conferences, affinity group meetings, and other events that help strengthen and promote the goals of the foundation.
  • Manage projects, conduct research, and complete reports.
  • Work collaboratively with, and delegate tasks to, Assistants and Associates as necessary.
  • Interface with Director of Grants Administration and other Initiative staff on best practices and other grants management matters.



  • BA/BS required, Master’s or professional degree strongly preferred.


  • 5+ years’ professional experience working in Indigenous communities required, with at least some involving work in Canada and elsewhere globally.
  • Direct experience with Native communities (reservation-based, urban, or rural) strongly preferred.
  • Experience in philanthropy preferred; experience working with public charities, regrantors, and intermediaries is ideal.
  • Demonstrated commitment to NoVo’s mission and an alignment with our organizational values.

Core Competencies

  • Strategic thinking and creativity.
  • Experience working on social change through multiple strategies (e.g., leadership development, policy reform, litigation, counseling, community organizing).
  • Strong awareness and understanding of the intersection of settler colonialism, race, class, and gender.
  • Knowledge of philanthropy, with an emphasis on Indigenous communities and NGOs.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and transfer this talent into the building of relationships between grantee partners and fellow funders.
  • Demonstrated research and grant review skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills required (in person, via e-mail, and on telephone).
  • Close attention to detail and ability to manage several tasks simultaneously.
  • Excellent judgment, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills.
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Office, Mac OS, and databases. Experience with Salesforce and Concur a plus.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion.
  • Spanish language fluency a plus.


NoVo offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, generous vacation, and a pleasant working environment. The foundation employs a small staff and is dedicated to promoting an environment of collaboration and workplace flexibility.

How to Apply

  • All applications should be submitted via email. No phone calls or snail mail.  E-mail applications to [email protected] with subject line: Indigenous Communities PO/YOUR NAME.
  • Applications must include a thoughtful cover letter and resume in .pdf format. Applications received without a cover letter will not be considered.
  • Application Deadline: 1/18/19.
NoVo Foundation


Organization: Foundations