03APR - Program Officer - NoVo Foundation - Deadline: 10APR




Organization Description
NoVo Foundation acts from the original meaning of philanthropy: the love of humanity. The Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a global social transformation away from current cultures of domination and their reliance on hierarchy, violence and the subordination of girls and women.

NoVo believes a new code of behavior is possible, where we are all linked and not ranked. We envision a balanced world that's governed by principles of mutual respect, collaboration and civic participation, and that our contribution is to help create the conditions for that new code to arise, and inspire others to join them. We seek pivot points in society – such as adolescent girls and local economies – where support and resources can have long-lasting and wide-ranging positive impact. We see violence against girls and women as a fundamental enforcer of oppression, and work to eradicate its presence.

The scale of these ambitions guides our investment strategies. Ours is both risk capital and patient capital; experimentation and new thinking are critical paths forward. Seeing the world as it is, and as it could be, inspires our voice. Through all of our activities we try to illuminate the possibility of a new paradigm, gather evidence of its existence and establish pathways for its manifestation. As our website states, we "are humbled and honored to contribute to building a world based on peace, compassion, justice and love."

Jennifer and Peter Buffett are the co-presidents of the Foundation and have articulated the vision and values that guide its work.

For further details about the mission and vision of the NoVo Foundation please visit www.novofoundation.org.

Location – 535 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Job Description
This position is housed within NoVo's Initiative to End Violence Against Girls and Women, which includes our efforts to end commercial sexual exploitation.

In our mission to create a world free of domination and exploitation, we seek fundamental change: all girls and women everywhere can live free of violence, poverty and discrimination. Violence against girls and women takes different forms. Many are readily apparent and broadly accepted as abhorrent—even if the political will to act is missing. Others are disguised and deliberately hidden from view because they are part of a deeply entrenched system that is driven by profit and power.

Commercial sexual exploitation is one such form of violence. The industry itself is a site of extreme violence, as described by girls and women inside it. For most, the path into the industry was shaped by poverty, trauma, violence, joblessness, homelessness and substance addiction – all driven by race, sex and other forms of discrimination. For that reason, our work here is about challenging the industry and its reliance on vulnerability and systemic discrimination.

In the near term, that means seeking decriminalization for those who sell or are sold for sex, the vast majority of whom are women and girls. We seek solutions led by those in the industry who share our goals, including alternatives to exploitation, access to the resources they need to remain safe, and the ability to exit the industry as they choose. We want legal, social and cultural systems to support them, not punish them. We also seek accountability for those who purchase sex or profit from sexual exploitation.

Over the long term: We work to shift economics so women and girls have real, meaningful choices and shift cultural norms of masculinity so that men and boys don't see human beings as commodities for sale.

This initiative focuses in four specific areas:

Promote the organizing and grassroots mobilization of those in the industry who share our goals of creating alternatives and pathways for marginalized girls and women, so that they themselves can lead efforts to create lasting change;

Shifting social and cultural norms, by raising awareness on the harms and realities of commercial sexual exploitation;

Foster long-term solutions for at-risk girls and women by focusing on the specific systems and inequalities that shape trajectories into exploitation; and

Shape policy and legal frameworks to ensure anyone selling or sold for sex is decriminalized, that economic and educational opportunities for those vulnerable to entering or already within commercial sexual exploitation are available, and that anyone purchasing sex or profiting from sexual exploitation is held accountable.

Across all areas of foundation we address the root causes of exploitation – including patriarchy, racism, transphobia, homophobia, as well as profound economic marginalization.

Our near- and long-term approaches are mutually reinforcing – and both are essential.

The Program Officer is a new position that will contribute to the development and ongoing implementation of this work, under the direction of the Initiative Director. In addition to the Initiative Director, the Program Officer will work closely with other program staff and the Director of Grants Administration. This role demands significant knowledge of -- and networks in – social justice work, especially within the field of women's and girls' rights.

Job Responsibilities


  • Manage implementation of all aspects of NoVo Foundation's work to end sexual exploitation;
  • Serve as a key thought partner to the Initiative Director and Communications Director in strategic planning and monitoring of programmatic, communications and budgetary progress;
  • Ensure this work remains connected and strategically aligned to other relevant NoVo initiatives (ie the rights of indigenous communities, trans girls and women, girls and young women of color, child sexual abuse, girls and migration);
  • Where appropriate, explore and implement new or different strategic approaches to social justice work;
  • Establish, maintain and manage productive relationships with important stakeholders such as fellow funders and public sector partners;
  • Remain up-to-date on trends, opportunities, strategies, funding and communications patterns and movement dynamics, specifically within sexual exploitation, and generally across women's and girls' rights community, nationally and internationally.


  • Shape NoVo's portfolio strategy to address multiple facets of this issue, in both the US and the global South. This includes the near-term needs of girls and women being sold for sex, a long-term and systemic vision of social norm change, and the importance of survivor-led and –informed approaches;
  • Manage NoVo's investments to be both responsive to the field while creating the conditions for new, previously unseen or overlooked solutions to surface and take shape;
  • Oversee all stages of grant-making, from solicitation (including RFP processes) through assessment, recommendation, and presentation to Grants Committee, as assigned by the Initiative Director;
  • Engage with Communications Director to build communications capacity in the field and amplify paradigm-shifting, authentic stories and voices;
  • Monitor designated approved grants through site visits and report on grantee progress to Initiative Director and NoVo Foundation Board of Directors.


  • Participate in, and report back from, events and activities such as conferences and affinity group meetings that will help strengthen and promote new trajectories for at-risk girls and women;
  • Represent and communicate NoVo's work and strategy to prospective and current grantee partners, other funders, and stakeholders in the field of women's and girls' rights who could advance this work. Participate in meetings and telephone consultations and report back to the Initiative Director;
  • Engage with the national and international community of donors and NGOs working to advance women's rights, in conjunction with Initiatives Director.


  • Recruit and manage external consultant resources while upholding NoVo's high values of collaborative relationships and trusted partnerships – whether managed by staff or external consultants.

Job Requirements

  • BA/BS required, Master's or professional degree strongly preferred.
  • 5+ years professional experience working on women's and girls' rights issues.
  • Must have deep familiarity with the challenges, dynamics, strategic questions and organizations involved in addressing sexual exploitation, at a local, regional, national and/or global level. Experience with more than one level is preferred.
  • Strong credibility as a social justice advocate, with a focus on the rights of girls and women and the intersections of race, class and gender.
  • Demonstrated commitment to NoVo's mission and an alignment with our organizational values.


  • Experience working on social change strategies from multiple perspectives (policy reform, litigation, counseling, community organizing);
  • Strong awareness and understanding of the intersection of race, class and gender;
  • Knowledge of philanthropy, with an emphasis on women's rights funders and NGOs;
  • Demonstrated initiative and strategic thinking.


  • Able to bring new approaches to grant-making to an organization;
  • Demonstrated research, writing and grant review experience.


  • Skilled at managing complex field dynamics, at both individual and organizational levels;
  • Able to create connections with diverse stakeholders across the field, including advocates, service providers, researchers, policymakers and funders.


  • Excellent judgment, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills;
  • Able to recruit and effectively manage consultant resources across a range of diverse workstreams;
  • Able to build strong internal relationships with NoVo colleagues responsible for associated initiatives, to ensure shared learnings and strategic alignment;
  • Proactive and self-motivated work style, with close attention to follow-up and detail and ability to manage several tasks simultaneously;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills required (in person, via e-mail, and on telephone), and ability to compose effective, thoughtful correspondence;
  • High proficiency in Microsoft Office, Mac OS, and databases. Experience with Salesforce a plus.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with complete discretion;

How to Apply
For employment consideration, the optimal way to contact us is via e-mail. We have engaged Héctor Cariño at People Architects Group, LLC to manage this search.

All applications must include:

  • Applications must include (all in PDF format):
    • Resume
    • Thoughtful cover letter (including how you became aware of this opportunity: job portal, referral, etc.)
    • Writing sample (between 5 to 7 pages)
  • All applications will be received via email. No phone calls or snail mail. E-mail applications to: hector@peoplearchitectsgroup.com
  • Subject Line: Program Officer/YOUR NAME

Deadline April 10, 2016 at 5:00pm