Program Officer, JustFilms

The Ford Foundation seeks to hire a dynamic, strategic individual to serve as a Program Officer for its acclaimed JustFilms Initiative. 

Location: New York

Ford’s JustFilms Initiative is a global social justice effort that supports emerging and established film and digital artists whose work addresses the most pressing issues of our time. JustFilms also supports key organizations that explore and sustain the art of contemporary film and digital storytelling. The Initiative seeks to expand networks and resources for the community of independent makers around the world to increase their artistry and to maximize the impact of their stories.

Reporting to the Director of JustFilms, the Program Officer supports strategic planning, grantmaking, portfolio management and implementation of the JustFilms strategy globally. The position works as part of the JustFilms team, overseeing proposal cultivation, review and preparation as well as grantee relations as assigned. The Program Officer will play a leading role in shaping specific grant activities. S/he will participate as a member of cross foundation teams. 

Specifically, regarding grant portfolio management, the Program Officer will: review, identify and confer on strategic granting opportunities with the JustFilms Director; and, design and implement activities to monitor and guide grantee relations and success including helping determine project goals/activities/expected results, providing feedback on film cuts/works in progress/audience engagement strategies, and performing due diligence throughout the grant period. The Program Officer will also collaborate with other foundation staff to curate, plan and produce JustFilm events and grantee/field convenings; represent JustFilms at film festivals and events; and work with practitioners, government officials, scholars , other donors and NGO and corporate sector leaders on issues of common concern. The Program Officer will also prepare internal grant recommendations and reports on JustFilms strategy progress, impact and plan adjustments. 

The Program Officer is also expected to work closely with other program staff throughout the foundation, both in New York and Ford’s ten offices in Asia, Latin America and Central America, and Africa and the Middle East, to develop and implement JustFilms program strategies to achieve significant and scaleable impact on the foundation’s emerging ‘challenge issues’. As such the Program Officer will collaborate broadly and communicate with internal teams; work with staff to capture and share knowledge of the JustFilm Initiative’s learning and impact; and recommend/participate in learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of JustFilms programs and approaches.

• Self-starter who is also comfortable working as a team member. 
• Highly organized and comfortable interacting and navigating the field of grant seekers.
• Excellent critical thinking skills for analyzing grantee and field opportunities. 
• Displays high emotional intelligence and ability to collaborate and work with many different types of people.
• Lifelong learner; displays curiosity and openness to new ideas and ways of working.
• Demonstrates a passion for social justice and reducing inequities with cultural awareness and sensitivity to differences and disadvantages.
• Demonstrates a commitment to fiscal stewardship in grant making and administrative activities.
• Exemplary verbal and written communication skills, in English, and ideally another language. 
• Skilled public speaker and presenter.


  • Ten or more years of experience as a film producer, executive producer, commissioning editor or related profession;
  • Significant professional experience in documentary production and strong understanding and sensibility for all phase of film production, finance, distribution and impact—including experience in all phases of content product (pre-production, production and post production) and provision of editorial and strategic support;
  • Significant experience in the international and US domestic documentary field (nonprofit and for profit);
  • Knowledge of emerging digital and multi-platform storytelling practices globally;
  • Proven management experience in a fast paced environment; and,
  • Ideally, a graduate degree (MA, MFA or PhD) or equivalent years of experience.