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Senior Program Officer, Catholic Sisters Initiative
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Los Angeles, California
Date Posted 06/23/2022
Nonprofit-Program Management
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Senior Program Officer, Catholic Sisters Initiative

Full Job Description

International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world's largest, with approximately $8.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2.4 billion, $339 million worldwide in 2021. Please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org for more information.

**Cover letter required for consideration**

Job Summary

The Senior Program Officer (SPO) is a strategic leader and portfolio manager for the Foundation's Catholic Sisters Initiative and supports sisters' work globally. This role will advance the Foundation's mission of impacting those experiencing disadvantage, specifically supporting sisters to transform the lives of children, youth, families, and communities worldwide. As part of the new five-year strategy, we focus on sisters' formation, education, and care, supporting sisters in their ministries to develop human potential and building a global sisterhood. This work aims to restore the human dignity of the underserved through advocacy and action on behalf of integral human development.

The SPO is a Catholic Sisters Initiative's content expert and thought leader. This position provides creative thinking in both strategic directions and the day-to-day management of a strand of innovative, inclusive financing mechanisms, impact investing, social enterprises, and grantmaking.

The ideal candidate will partner with the Head, Catholic Sisters Initiative team to source private sector partners, review social enterprises, and leverage innovative financing mechanisms to advance the Initiative's goals. In addition, the SPO is responsible for guiding learning and evaluation efforts to inform strategy implementation, grant monitoring, management, integration across the portfolio, and future strategy development and supporting grantmaking to further goals at local, national, and global levels to build an international movement.

The SPO will initiate and sustain external partnerships with grantees, stakeholders, policy decisions, and other funders. This position reports to the Associate Vice President for Program Operations and Head of Catholic Sisters Initiative.


Strategic Planning and Implementation

  • Collaborates with Sisters Initiative staff in planning, developing, and implementing of Catholic Sisters Initiative Strategy.
  • Supports Head, Catholic Sisters Initiative in management of the Sisters Initiative portfolio.
  • Co-presents strategy and progress updates to the Board of Directors in coordination with the Head, Catholic Sisters Initiative.
  • Works with internal (SLED team) and external evaluators and research partners to track progress toward sub initiative goals.
  • Works collaboratively with a range of partners to share learnings and co-organize annual grantee convenings and periodic webinars.
  • Explores innovative new areas for grantmaking, inclusive financial models, and impact investing to achieve strategic goals.
  • Collaborates with Foundation staff to further advocate goals, including using the Foundation's influence and voice to encourage greater investment in Catholic sisters and their ministries.
  • Work with the Head, CSI team to engage with the private sector and financing experts to build and leverage innovative financing mechanisms to address Catholic sisters' elderly care, organizational sustainability, and social enterprises in the focus countries.
  • Conduct initial due diligence, including business plan review, and financial model analysis that support the work of sisters and their ministries.
  • Collaborate with the Initiative team to improve internal knowledge and skills about innovative financing, including blended finance mechanisms.

Grantmaking and Grantee Relations

  • Works in partnership with and leads the sub-initiative team in the following:
  • Identifies potential grantees and projects on inclusive financing projects.
  • Investigates and evaluates grant proposals and presents recommended proposals for funding at Board meetings.
  • Monitors and evaluates strategic delegated initiative and grantee performance.
  • Conducts site visits.
  • Conducts due diligence to assess grantee work.
  • Provides advice in the area of expertise.
  • Provides assistance to and maintains an open, ongoing relationship with grantees.
  • Nurtures partnerships among grantees and linkages to key stakeholders to promote systems change.
  • Experience in social entrepreneurship, blended financing models, impact investing, or other innovative development financing approaches.

Issues/Trend Analysis

  • Remains informed of current research, policies, activities, trends, and movements on issues related to Catholic sisters globally, Catholic church, equity, integral human development, social and inclusive finance, and the other related program priority areas of the Foundation.
  • Responds effectively to the broader knowledge in the field by aligning grantmaking with emerging learning and opportunities to strengthen the Catholic sisters field globally and integral human development issues in the specific geographic focus area.
  • Conduct initial due diligence, including business plan review, inclusive financial models, and social impact investing opportunities that support and advance in providing solutions to issues impacting sisters and their ministries.
  • Pursues and promotes learning throughout the field.

Thought Leadership and Coalition Building

  • Engages and develops relations to strengthen strategic coalition-building within the sector.
  • Convenes meetings of key government, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders to mobilize coordinated efforts and funding in strategic initiatives.
  • Represents the Foundation to various constituencies through verbal and written communications (annual reports, brochures, correspondence) and through participating in outside conferences and meetings.
  • Works with other leaders in the field to strengthen and further build the field.
  • Develops partnerships with parent-led community groups and organizations to ensure that their perspectives are heard.
  • Collaborates with other public and private funders to advance strategic priorities.
  • Works with the Sisters Initiative team and communications team to develop a communication strategy.
  • Writes blogs/articles for the website and supervises website content and updates.

Management of Team Relations

  • Builds collaborative and positive working relationships and effective communication channels with Catholic Sisters team members and staff from other departments.
  • Effectively manages direct reports and provides mentorship in developing professionally.
  • Partners with Catholic Sisters team to guide support provided by the Senior Advocacy Officer to further Sisters Initiative advocacy goals.
  • Collaborates with the Catholic Sisters team to guide support provided by the Strategy Learning and Evaluation Department (SLED) to further monitoring and evaluation.
  • Participates in team meetings to review grant recommendations, provide updates on grantee progress, determine technical assistance needs of grantees, plan convening, evaluation and communications activities, and share and reflect on experiences in the field and related program activity.
  • Identifies the need and scope of work for consultants within the specific issue areas and monitors work as required.



  • Graduate degree in Business Administration, Economics and development, Finance, public policy, theological sciences or related field.
  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in grantmaking and/or program development/management/ inclusive finance.
  • Demonstrated expertise and work experience with Catholic sisters in social ministries, inclusive financing, economic and development, integral human development and public policy levels.
  • Demonstrated experience working with multicultural and multidisciplinary teams to effect investments for social change.
  • Commitment and belief in strategic philanthropy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.
  • Knowledgeable of the systems that affect Catholic sisters' integral human development work and approaches to change these systems at national, regional and global levels.
  • Experience in social entrepreneurship, blended financing models, impact investing or other innovative development financing approaches
  • Experience, or relevant experience, in strategic planning and implementation and in coordinating public/private efforts for long-term, systemic social impact.
  • Demonstrated experience in driving proactive and innovative strategies to achieve results.
  • A passion for and a commitment to the Foundation's mission, social justice and support of Catholic sisters and their ministries.
  • Excellent written/oral communication, presentation and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to develop effective and professional relationships with internal and external colleagues and partners from the grassroots to the grassroots.
  • Strong strategic, conceptual and critical thinking abilities; capacity to navigate ambiguity.
  • Strong organizational, analytical, and time management skills with high attention to priority and detail.


  • Knowledge and experience working with Catholic sisters social enterprises is a plus.
  • A practical understanding of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.
  • Understanding of strategic grantmaking.
  • Work experience in a Catholic environment and understanding of Catholic Social Teaching principles.

About our Benefits

We value the health and well-being of our employees, some of the benefits we offer include:

  • Comprehensive and generous health and life insurance options
  • Relocation Pay
  • Fitness benefits
  • Paid holidays, time off, and parental leave
  • Flexible work schedules and technology benefits
  • Foundation funded retirement savings plan
  • Professional learning and development and educational assistance
  • Employee matching gifts to qualified non-profit organizations


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