Program Officer, Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Helmsley Charitable Trust seeks a Program Officer (PO) to directly support the Vulnerable Children (VC) in Sub-Saharan Africa Program Director within an evolving grant portfolio that aims to identify health interventions to improve the livelihoods of children, their families, and their communities in target countries within sub-Saharan Africa. Helmsley’s Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa Program, which made its first grant in 2013, is committed to improving the lives of children in sub-Saharan Africa suffering from multi-dimensional deprivation by identifying interventions which have the highest probability of impact and long-term sustainability.  To date, the Program has made grants totaling more than $38 million. 

The PO will assist the Program Director with the continual development and implementation of a multi-million dollar annual grants program.  Primary responsibilities include:

  • Supporting the design and implementation of new projects and initiatives;
  • Sourcing new projects and facilitating due diligence;
  • Evaluating proposals;
  • Monitoring a growing program and grants portfolio;
  • Creating impact through dissemination of knowledge; and
  • Providing intellectual and organizational leadership. 

All work will be performed from the Sioux Falls office; telecommuting is not permissible.

  • Support the Program Director and Trustee with all aspects of developing and implementing the VC strategic plan;
  • Source new projects and potential grantees;
  • Prepare concise and analytical grant recommendations for Trustees;
  • Manage the program’s grants through each grant life cycle; which includes grant application, due diligence, implementation, evaluation, and providing technical support to applicants and grantees;
  • Work with grantees to track progress and outcomes;
  • Identify constructive solutions for grantees when challenges arise;
  • Work with program staff and grantees to identify funding partners and other sources of funds for technical assistance and program operations;
  • Assist the Program Director with identifying and managing external consultants and contracts as needed;
  • Effectively communicate information about the VC program and Helmsley’s mission to target audiences;
  • Contribute to program development by organizing site visits, meetings, and symposia that further the program;
  • Collaborate with colleagues in cooperative approaches to grantmaking; and
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Completion of an advanced degree (master’s degree or higher) in a development, health/medical, or related field;
  • Three to five years of relevant experience in a governmental, nonprofit, or philanthropic organization;
  • Experience working on international grants to African countries is preferred but not required;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills with the ability to translate concepts succinctly to diverse stakeholders and audiences;
  • Proficiency reviewing and managing budgets;
  • Must be detail-orientated and have strong interpersonal skills;
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, including the ability to manage priorities on projects with multiple collaborators;
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise independent judgement and initiative, prioritize, and accurately complete multiple tasks, and work under deadlines and changing priorities;
  • Able to maintain confidentiality of information;
  • Proven track-record of working effectively in a team-oriented environment; and
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.

The position is based at Helmsley’s office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Send resume (in Word or PDF format) and cover letter to Include “VC Program Officer” in the subject line. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.


The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $1.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Learn more about Helmsley at

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the incumbent(s) of this job.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and activities required for the position.  Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.