Program Officer

Ford Foundation

Jakarta, Indonesia


The Ford Foundation, Indonesia Office seeks a dynamic, innovative Program Officer to help drive and shape the foundation’s social justice work in the region. The Program Officer should have proven experience and knowledge of the arts and culture sector, issues related to freedom of expression, and the promotion of social inclusion. The Program Officer will bring a cultural pluralism perspective to grantmaking and the team as they implement the office strategy. The Program Officer will support the strategy of the Indonesia Office and the broader social justice goals of the Foundation.


Addressing inequality is a key focus of the Ford Foundation globally and in Indonesia. The overall goal of the office strategy is to support and develop an inclusive society by promoting equitable and fair access to public and natural resources, expanding political participation, and advancing respect for diversity and cultural practices. The Foundation strives to achieve this by working with critical stakeholders and partners in government, civil society, private sector and the donor community including local philanthropies in the region. The office’s grantmaking will support:

  • Promoting greater recognition of diverse voices and cultural pluralism
  • Empowering marginalized communities -- especially women -- to manage land, forest and other resources more productively and sustainably
  • Supporting women and marginalized groups to have increased income through self-employment and receive improved public services and a greater share of development programs

The Ford Foundation Jakarta office has a focus mainly on Indonesia to address these priorities from a local perspective, while also bearing in mind the importance of linking local challenges and interventions to global trends and strategies. The Program Officer will work under the direct supervision of the Regional Director for the Indonesia office, and be part of our multi-disciplinary team based in Jakarta.


Program Officers are responsible for the development of grant portfolios and ensuring all related activities are designed to deliver on the Indonesia office goals and strategies. The Program Officer assesses and analyzes the fields in which the office is focused; identifies key ecosystems and opportunities to work with various actors to shape and influence agendas to promote social justice; and plays a leading role in shaping specific grant activities. The Program Officer strives to share substantive knowledge with Foundation colleagues; collaborate broadly with Ford’s Jakarta office team; and serve as a ‘connector’ of grantees. The Program Officer works with practitioners, government officials, scholars, NGOs, other donors and corporate sector leaders on issue of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals. More specifically, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, the Indonesia Program Officer will:

  • Contribute to the ongoing definition and development of team strategies, working toward the Indonesia office goals
  • Develop grant making activities in a team-oriented context that are aligned to the strategic goals of the regional strategy and designed to achieve significant and scalable impact
  • Manage, monitor and coordinate a grants portfolio, including: annual grant planning; identifying and working with prospective grantees to develop proposals for grant recommendations (including helping determine the goals for a grant, its activities, expected results, indicators of success and budget); conducting organizational assessments; undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees; and reviewing financial and narrative reporting from grantees
  • Develop and implement grantee convenings to strategize and review opportunities, challenges and advances
  • Recommend and participate in learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work
  • Represent the Foundation and its work to the government, media, academic, business, philanthropic, and civic leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings and interviews, with guidance from the Indonesia office Regional Director
  • Develop and implement grant-making approaches that support the use of strategic communications as part of the program strategy


  • A minimum of 8 years leading social justice strategies and/or demonstration of strong cross-cutting work in social justice arena
  • A proven record of experience and knowledge working in the arts and culture sector, on promoting social inclusion and/or cultural pluralism
  • A master’s degree in relevant field of study such as the creative arts, sociology, development studies or related field
  • Knowledge of the role that artists and cultural practices play in promoting social justice, and shaping how cultural narratives affect and shape contemporary reality
  • Experience working for a range of actors: cultural institutions, government, multi-lateral institutions, think tanks/ universities, civil society, NGOs and the private sector, desired
  • Deep understanding of the context of Indonesia, its cultures and economies, including geopolitical landscape
  • Fluency in English and Bahasa Indonesia
  • Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally
  • Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, constructive verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in ongoing organizational development
  • Knowledge of social networks and cultural organizations in Indonesia, and ability to engage in a multicultural and diverse scenario


  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, fairness, and diversity
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-oriented and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams

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