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Senior Program Officer, Special Projects

The Walton Family Foundation is seeking a skilled, highly-motivated, and entrepreneurial individual to join the foundation as a Senior Program Officer. This position would be located in Bentonville, Arkansas.

About the Position
A Senior Program Officer, under the supervision of the Director of the Foundation’s Special Projects team, will serve as a key point of contact for, and resource to, foundation staff in all areas. This will include grant making, communications, evaluation, etc., in support of Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation (CSF) based initiatives.


  • Manage geographic and/or topical categories of work, ensuring alignment of grants with the foundation’s mission and strategies. This includes working with the Special Projects Director and other senior staff to develop the foundation’s grant budget.
  • Help manage individual relationships with grantees and potential grantees. This will include performing due diligence on proposals, shepherding proposals through the foundation’s approval process in a timely manner, and monitoring grantee progress toward objectives.
  • Focus on the development and management of large grants by the Walton Family Foundation/ Special Projects team in support of the CSF. You will also complete other projects and assignments as requested by the Director of Special Projects.
  • Oversee progress of initiatives against milestones and evaluate effectiveness of grant activity.
  • Eventually oversee the work of a small team of program officers focused on CSF based initiatives. This will require supporting and developing direct reports and conducting periodic and annual feedback about performance.

Who we are looking for

Qualifications required for success

The position calls for a solid understanding of the higher education landscape and community foundations. The role requires self-direction and decisiveness combined with flexibility and a capacity to give and receive feedback graciously.

You are creative and passionate about facilitating large-scale, innovative programming in collaboration with academic and administrative leaders. You are relationship oriented and build effective connections and networks to achieve results.

Qualifications required for your success

  • Master’s degree required; terminal degree preferred
  • 10+ years of experience in a business, higher education and/or grant making organization
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Proven skills at organization and time management
  • Demonstrated capacity to work as part of a team, as well as independently
  • Intellectual agility and the ability to analyze, think critically, and understand emerging higher education issues
  • Ability to evaluate and monitor grantee proposals and processes
  • Willingness to travel up to 20% of time

Additional helpful experience includes

  • Non-profit and/or community foundation management
  • Grants management
  • Management/strategic planning consulting
  • Entrepreneurial experience
  • Higher Education teaching or administration

Personal attributes that support your success

  • Ability to act as a trusted advisor to principals and colleagues while demonstrating expertise and integrity
  • You are helpful, a team player, and show respect while collaborating with others
  • You are results oriented and exercise sound judgment in your work
  • A lifelong learner, who is inquisitive and solves problems with bold thinking and innovation
  • A visionary who plans for the future with imagination and wisdom
  • You are dedicated to achieving excellence and work with others to tackle the tasks at hand

How to apply:

About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta.

The Walton Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment of any kind. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.