Program Officer

The Burke Foundation

Posted: 5/3/2019

Position Type: Full-Time (Paid)

Function: Programs

Primary domain: Foundation/Grantmaking

City: Princeton

Postal code: 08540

State: New Jersey

Country: United States

Organization Information:


$20M +


Mission statement:

The Burke Foundation invests in transformative early childhood initiatives to build a cycle of opportunity across generations.

Position Details:

Job Description:






Our Work

The Burke Foundation is a leading philanthropy in New Jersey, with a long history of supporting programs that create equal opportunities for all families and children. In 2017, we reimagined our grantmaking focus and strategy, identifying early childhood development as the area where our investments can achieve the greatest positive impact for New Jersey children and their communities.

Today, we partner with non-profits to identify, rigorously evaluate, and help scale programs and policies that foster the healthy development of children and families in New Jersey. Using an entrepreneurial, data-driven approach, we identify and support changemakers whose early childhood initiatives are transforming their communities and improving health and achievement outcomes for children and families. Our grantmaking is focused on supporting healthy pregnancies and births; healthy parent-child relationships; and high-quality early care and education. We are committed to effecting systems-level change, and we have been partnering with peer foundation and government at the state and local levels on shared priorities. Our funding supports both statewide initiatives and place-based projects in communities such as Camden, Newark, and Trenton.

Our Founders and Our History

The Burke Foundation was established in Princeton, NJ in 1989 by the late Jim E. Burke and his wife Diane ("Didi") Burke. During his 37 years with Johnson & Johnson, Jim Burke built a legacy of visionary leadership, and served as Chairman and CEO for the last 13 years of his tenure. Jim received the highest civilian honor in the nation in 2000, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was named one of history's greatest CEOs by Fortune magazine in 2003.

Throughout their life together, Jim and Didi shared a passion for improving the health and well-being of children, and from the beginning of their philanthropic journey, they chose to invest in tangible ways to help children and their families thrive. For over 25 years, The Burke Foundation has supported programming in fields including the arts, health care, education, and community revitalization, with an emphasis on creating equal opportunities for all families and children.

For more information on our work, please visit our website.

The Burke Foundation celebrates the diversity of our nation and community, and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity. We welcome and encourage all qualified applicants who share that same vision, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to our work and this mission. We encourage individuals of all ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds to apply for this position, and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law.



The Program Officer will manage a growing portfolio of 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. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Program Officer will be 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:

  • 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
  • Manage our grantee relationships, including responsibility for guiding the reporting process and providing strategic support to our grantees
  • 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



As the incoming Program Officer, you will possess many, though perhaps not all, of the following characteristics and qualifications:

  • You are a subject-matter expert in a field aligned with our work (e.g. public health, education, 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 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.



The Burke Foundation offers a competitive salary and benefits, commensurate with experience and skills.


$75k - 90k

Posting Expiration Date:


How to Apply:


The Burke Foundation has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume, addressed to Atiya Weiss, here. All inquiries should be directed to Koya Leadership Partners.


Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit 


Posted By: Koya Leadership Partners


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