Position Announcement: Senior Program Officer

January, 2018

Through its grantmaking and participation in Chicago’s civic and cultural life, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation (the foundation) seeks to improve Chicago’s built environment, support cultural stewardship in the arts, strengthen democracy through investigative journalism, and advance economic opportunity for the working poor. The foundation grants approximately $5,000,000 a year to Chicago-area organizations through two funding programs: Driehaus Foundation Grants and The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

The foundation seeks a senior program officer to manage arts and culture grantmaking in both funding programs, sharing the MacArthur Funds grantmaking with the foundation’s other senior program officer. This is a full-time position, based in Chicago, and reporting to the foundation’s executive director.


  • With the other senior program officer, manage the Arts and Culture program: assign responsibility for proposal review, manage proposal-review consultants, oversee program budgets and reporting, and evaluate grantee reports and outcomes and the overall effectiveness of the Arts and Culture program.
  • Evaluate and recommend action on funding requests, including proposal review and communicating with prospective grantees; drafting and discussing initial recommendations with other foundation staff and the executive director; and preparing final rationale and recommendations to the board of directors.
  • Actively participate in the networks, partnerships, and relationships that drive positive change, focusing on the health of Chicago’s arts and cultural institutions; initiate new connections as opportunities arise.
  • Cultivate relationships with field experts, public sector partners, philanthropy colleagues, and others to both deepen the foundation’s understanding of, and to share learning with, the field.
  • Remain in touch with grantees and informed about each grant throughout the grant’s duration. Convene grantees to share best practices, encourage learning, and explore new strategies for sustainability.
  • Serve as an internal thought-leader on emerging issues, policy interventions, and best practices. Periodically share in re-assessing foundation strategy.
  • As a key member of a small staff, participate in the work of other program areas, and on special projects.


  • A minimum of 10 to 15 years’ relevant experience including grantmaking and not-for-profit experience and work in the arts and culture arena. Experience in architecture, planning, historic preservation, or other arenas concerned with the built environment strongly preferred. A graduate degree is required.
  • Excellent research, evaluation, and analytic skills. Successful project and budget management experience. Superb communication and interpersonal abilities.
  • Available for evening and weekend site visits and attending performances, and occasional travel.

Personal Qualities

The successful candidate will be a strong critical thinker and skilled listener who will welcome joining a small collegial team. She or he will be self-motivated, able to provide strategic leadership, and will combine the skills of a diplomat with an eagerness to participate in rigorous constructive conversation. She or he will be able to move frequently and effectively between the big picture and the detail-oriented work and follow-
through required by the position.

How to Apply

Those interested in this position may call The Himmelfarb Group at 708-848-0086 for additional information or e-mail a cover letter and résumé to the attention of Susan Himmelfarb at

The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer. A selection will be made in March 2018.

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