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Programme Officer–Learning Differences Programme

Oak Foundation ( supports civil society as a pillar of democracy and justice and nurtures innovation and visionary leadership within it. We value diversity both within Oak and among our partners; we seek to be inclusive, flexible and engage with different points of view. We pursue rights-based approaches, gender equality and partnership with organisations we fund. We believe that the best grant-making reflects both careful due diligence and the willingness to take risks. We make grants to organisations in approximately 40 countries worldwide across the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. Oak has approximately 85 staff with most of them located in Geneva, London and Chapel Hill (NC).

The Oak Foundation’s Learning Differences Programme believes that together we can build a world in which schools unlock the creativity and power of every young person and equip each one to shape more just and equitable communities. We believe that every student should benefit from engaging and rigorous educational opportunities regardless of personal and social identifiers that privilege some students and marginalise others.  In our work, we are particularly focused on efforts that support students with learning differences who experience additional marginalisation due to racism and poverty. Our grantee partners rethink ways learning happens for students and better prepare adults to engage and support all students, particularly those with learning differences. We support research, the translation of research to educator practice and systems change efforts that promote more equitable learning outcomes for students with learning differences. Please visit the Oak Foundation website ( for a description of the programme’s strategy and current portfolio of grantees.
Job description:
Position Description 
The Foundation is recruiting a Programme Officer for the Learning Differences Programme. Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (United States), the Programme Officer will:
  • Make and manage a portfolio of grants including conducting extensive outreach and rigorous due diligence to identify and prepare recommendations for funding. In addition, the programme officer will support grantees by: providing on-going contact and consistent communications; organising site visits; monitoring progress; and supporting adaptations to achieve desired impact. This also includes reviewing grantee budgets and financial statements.
  • Identify and establish partnerships within non-profit, policy and philanthropic sectors to inform grant-making. This includes staying up-to-date on relevant emerging issues, trends and research. This also includes participating in and/or helping to organise meetings of external stakeholders when needed, including grant recipients, subject matter experts, co-funders and others.
  • Contribute to the learning processes of the programme by supporting grant recipients to monitor and track the impact of projects funded and helping plan and facilitate learning opportunities for grant recipients.
  • Contribute to programme communications both internally at Oak, with grantee partners and the education field more broadly by assisting with the preparation of relevant reports, such as monthly, bi annual and annual reports and newsletters, and coordinating and/or leading webinars to share grantee efforts and promote learning.
  • Travel regularly for site visits, field meetings and grant development (approximately 25% of time); some international travel may be required.
Knowledge, Skills and Values
  • A combined ten or more years of relevant education and/or experience
  • Knowledge of, prior experience with and/or commitment to helping students with learning differences realise their full potential
  • A track record of experience in one or more of the following areas: educator development/learning; measurement, evaluation and learning; educational equity; education research and policy; and/or classroom teaching with students with learning differences
  • Commitment to the vision of more equitable education systems, including willingness to examine the role of structural barriers, bias and inclusion in changing the trajectories of students with learning differences who are furthest from opportunity
  • Prior experience with and/or knowledge of education grantmaking desired
  • Excellent critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Excellent written, verbal, presentation and communications skills and the ability to communicate with diverse audiences in diverse contexts
  • Excellent project management and organisational skills; self-driven to meet deadlines and pursue multiple projects simultaneously
  • Approaches challenges with flexibility, resourcefulness and a positive outlook
  • A participatory, transparent and inclusive work ethic
  • Commitment to individual and team growth, learning and development
  • Demonstrated commitment to the values of Oak Foundation
  • At ease using contemporary IT software
  • US citizenship or valid work permit is required
Chapel Hill, NC
A competitive package of remuneration and benefits will be provided including relocation to the Chapel Hill area, if needed.

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