Executive Vice President for Programs

Posted: Jun 19, 2012
W.K. Kellogg Foundation

United States

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) was established in 1930 by breakfast cereal pioneer W.K. Kellogg, who defined its purpose as “…administering funds for the promotion of the welfare, comfort, health, education, feeding, clothing, sheltering and safeguarding of children and youth, directly or indirectly, without regard to sex, race, creed or nationality.…”  To guide current and future trustees and staff, he said, “Use the money as you please so long as it promotes the health, happiness and well-being of children.”

 The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families, and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.


Over the years the Kellogg Foundation’s programming has continued to evolve, striving to remain innovative and responsive to the ever-changing needs of society. Today, the organization ranks among the world’s largest private foundations, awarding grants in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.


The essential concepts that make up the WKKF identity are four pillars:


  • Respectful Relationships: WKKF holds itself accountable to building respectful relationships as the organization engage with communities and all other stakeholders, both inside and outside the foundation.
  •  Vulnerable Children: The vision of social change is focused on vulnerable children and implemented in the context of community.
  •  Community Engagement with an Emphasis on Priority Places: Working in place, over time, in partnership with the community, helps to achieve the desired impact.
  •  Practical Application of Knowledge: The practical application of knowledge helps amplify the impact and transfer learning to and from communities for the benefit of all.



Leading Dialogue
WKKF is sponsoring dialogue in local communities and building national networks to help identify challenges, establish priorities, coalesce resources and help children succeed.

Sustaining Communities
WKKF supports hundreds of committed community-based and national organizations, focusing significant resources on three places where children face especially tough challenges.  The support of grassroots organizations in those locations can improve the lives of children.

Investing in Opportunity
WKKF supplements the grant-making with mission-driven investments that enable high-impact financial institutions to move capital into vulnerable communities. These investments generate both social and financial returns by helping leading community development institutions extend loans to small businesses, helping families secure loans for affordable housing and providing financial services to low-income residents.

Sharing Our Expertise
The philanthropic community is a powerful force for good, and WKKF join hands with other foundations by offering our knowledge, expertise, best practices, resources and influence to elevate the collective voice in support of causes shared.

Advocating Change
As WKKF works inside communities, it learns about the unique education, health and economic challenges children face, and lends its voice to local and national groups that promote change in public policies that impact children.

WKKF views the mission through the dual lenses of racial equity and civic engagement, and partner with those who embrace these ideals.

As a member of the senior executive team, the Executive Vice President of Programs for WKKF will be responsible for overseeing the development and execution of an effective domestic and international program strategy for the organization. S/he will foster teamwork, cultivate and maintain a great service culture, and integrate, align and monitor policies, philosophies and organization-wide systems to accomplish the programmatic mission of the foundation.

Additionally, s/he will provide leadership and guidance of the human and financial resources related to the domestic and international programming, and will work to establish evaluation processes to gather and monitor feedback from relevant data sources to measure and assess the impact of the foundation’s programs. Specific responsibilities include:


Leadership for Domestic and International Programming 

  • Provide executive leadership to ensure successful integration of the foundation’s strategic framework.
  • Serve as lead executive for communicating program activities, strategies and outcomes to the Board of Trustees, including ensuring coordination, integration, clarity and consistency in messaging with a focus on applied learning and results achieved.
  • Drive effective and efficient programming efforts through facilitating and managing the Program Leadership Council, including:
    • Contribute information and collaborate with others to make decisions around new initiatives, projects and long-range plans aligned with WKKF mission, overall strategic direction, vision, guiding principles and core values.
    • Ensure efficient and effective systems, processes and practices are in place to accomplish the goals and objectives of the foundation’s programming functions.
    • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with foundation board of trustees and staff, and with relevant external individuals and groups.
    • Take a leadership role in collaborating with other philanthropic and nonprofit organizations.
    • Champion efforts to address issues identified in the biennial grantee perception report and continuously improve the level of service provided to community partners and grantees.
    • Share information with staff, seek feedback, and encourage input.

 Human Resource Management 

  • As a member of the executive staff, propose, approve, and agree upon interpretation of organizational policies and philosophies and ensure they are consistently applied throughout organization.
  • Responsible for management of performance of all staff within areas of responsibility to include performance planning, coaching, dialog, performance feedback and development.
  • Provide organizational leadership for talent acquisition, development and management through participation in the Talent Board, including:
    • Ensure that the talent framework, design and processes (e.g., recruitment, selection, training, development, rewards and recognition, performance management, salary administration, position classification, and benefits) are consistent with the foundation’s values and make decisions that are focused on increasing the performance of the organization.
    • Take overall responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment which fosters a high performance learning culture, good employee morale, teamwork and effective talent management and utilization.
    • Provide leadership for maintaining a diverse workforce and ensuring a multicultural organization.

 Financial Management 

  • As a member of the executive staff, prepare and propose program annual operating budget and allocations to the President/CEO; responsible for allocations within areas of responsibility.
  • Responsible for overall direction, review, and approval of programming and other budgets within areas of responsibility.
  • Accountable for stewardship of resources by ensuring cost effective means to accomplish goals and objectives.
  • Partner with finance and accounting to develop annual budgeting process and define budget reporting needs.


  • Ensure all staff within areas of responsibility are informed of organizational and area mission, vision and overall direction, guiding principles, identity, goals, objectives, strategies and core values.
  • Communicate relevant information to all staff within areas of responsibility.
  • Be knowledgeable of and represent WKKF externally by interpreting policies, philosophies and organizational initiatives.
  • Facilitate open, honest communication, sharing of information, and conflict resolution both within areas of responsibility and across the organization.

The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge base and passion for education and a commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. S/he will have a minimum of 15 years senior-level experience in strategy, leadership and programming roles, within a dynamic non-profit or for-profit organization.

S/he will be an entrepreneurial leader who is energetic, enthusiastic, results-oriented and trustworthy. S/he will be visionary, with the ability to inspire a high level of confidence and work effectively with the senior executive team and external stakeholders. 

Additional qualifications include:

  • Recognized in areas of expertise through established networks, experience, and accomplishments.
  • Experience and outstanding abilities in strategic leadership, operational management/administration, managing collaboration and fostering teamwork, valuing of diversity, understanding of and commitment to racial equity, and budget and human resource management.
  • Commitment to collaboration and teamwork with executive and management staff.
  • High level of ethics and commitment to WKKF mission, vision and core values.
  • Sound, seasoned judgment and ability to provide values-based leadership, with particular attention to the foundation’s core values.
  • Outstanding leadership, management and financial skills capable of leading change where necessary.
  • Knowledge of international cultures, systems and an ability to build and maintain positive relationships and networks with people and organizations around the world.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build supportive relationships internally (board and staff) and effective collaborations externally (community partners).
  • Highly developed communications skills; ability to represent WKKF’s history, mission, vision, identity, core values, strategies and frameworks in manner that furthers WKKF’s credibility, reputation and desired impact.
  • Ability to work with an active and participative board of trustees.
  • Ability to manage and motivate staff through effective leadership, mentoring, communications, coaching, development, facilitation, evaluation and rewards.
  • Sensitivity to and support of diversity and multiculturalism.
  • Possess an appreciation for the history and legacy of the foundation.
  • Ability to travel when necessary on both a domestic and international basis as position responsibilities require.


Understanding Philanthropy

  • Knows the mission-critical technical and functional skills needed to do the job; understands various types of propositions and understands how the sector operates in general; learns new methods and technologies easily.

Getting Work Done Through Others

  • Manages people well; gets the most and best out of the people he/she has; sets and communicates guiding goals; measures accomplishments, holds people accountable, and gives useful feedback; delegates and develops; keeps people informed; provides coaching for today and for the future.

Being Organizationally Savvy

  • Maneuvers well to get things done; maze bright; knows where to go to get what he/she needs; politically aware and agile; knows what the right thing to do is; presents views and arguments well.

 Communicating Effectively

  • Writes and presents effectively; adjusts to fit the audience and the message; strongly gets a message across.

 Managing Diverse Relationships

  • Relates well to a wide variety of diverse styles, types, and classes; open to differences; effective up, down, sideways, inside, and outside; builds diverse networks; quick to find common ground; treats differences fairly and equitably; treats everyone as a preferred customer.

Inspiring Others

  • Is skilled at getting individuals, teams, and an entire organization to perform at a higher level and to embrace change; negotiates skillfully to achieve a fair outcome or promote a common cause; communicates a compelling vision and is committed to what needs to be done; inspires others; builds motivated, high-performing teams; understands what motivates different people.

An undergraduate degree is required; a graduate degree is highly preferred.


Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis. Korn/Ferry shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations in the performance of duties pursuant to this Agreement, including but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and local anti-discrimination laws to the extent applicable.

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