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Chief Program Officer (CPO) at The Kenneth Rainin Foundation



The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a family foundation that collaborates with creative thinkers in the Arts, Education, and Health.  Founded in 2007, the organization believes in taking smart risks to achieve breakthroughs.  It supports visionary artists in the Bay Area, creates opportunities for Oakland’s youngest learners, and funds researchers on the forefront of scientific discoveries to cure chronic disease.  As such, the foundation acts as a catalyst for exploring new ideas that enhance life.

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation embodies an unusual combination of the strategic and creative.  While it engages in its three diverse program areas with a focus on long-term growth, it also allows for the innovation of its program staff to pursue the greatest possible paths to impact in their respective areas of expertise.  The result is a developing culture that is both unified and intentional.


This is a newly created position, and it marks the 10-year anniversary of an organization moving from highly successful early-stages to sustained growth, with a relentless pursuit of deeper impact. Working closely with and reporting to the CEO, this individual will support an exciting grantmaking portfolio, foster collaboration with communications and grants management, and keenly focus on evaluation and impact.

The role calls for a CPO with deep foundation experience, strength of character, energy, vivacity, and leadership ability, who takes a collaborative and supportive approach to working with Program Directors.  Focusing on strategy and impact, this position will not only allow the CEO to elevate her attention, but will also help to create a system of support and thought partnership to advance the work of the Program Directors.  This offers an incredible chance to help steer the Kenneth Rainin Foundation through its next phase of growth, and to have an active part in innovating and creating sustainable social change.


Program Leadership

  • Serve as a strategic thought partner to the CEO while providing guidance to program directors, communications director, and grants manager
  • Support program directors in setting specific priorities and goals, including achievement of quality metrics, identifying challenges, and developing solutions
  • Work closely with the finance department to budget and monitor programmatic operations to ensure sound fiscal and systems management and support approved growth strategies

Grants Management

  • Oversee grantmaking team and support further development of grant management functions
  • Provide guidance to program directors on grantmaking initiatives across a diverse portfolio
  • Support grants management team in setting specific priorities and goals, including achievement of quality metrics, identifying challenges, and developing solution

Evaluation and Learning

  • Ensure the delivery of qualitative and quantitative goals and outcomes of programs and services
  • Coordinate and analyze the appropriate data to inform the programmatic and operational decision making process
  • Leveraging the program directors’ expertise, develop an assessment protocol to determine the feasibility and sustainability of programs as well as lead to more effective and efficient service delivery
  • Analyze and assess programs based on data collected and implement corrective measures as required


  • Oversee the communications team and provide guidance in the development of the foundation’s communications strategy
  • Support communication activities that broaden programmatic reach, promote transparency, and deepen the foundation’s impact
  • Facilitate  collaboration with program staff, grants management, and senior leadership to support communications efforts

Organizational Leadership and Strategy

  • In partnership with CEO, provide leadership and direction in defining overarching organizational strategies as they relate to performance and growth
  • As a critical member of the senior leadership team, contribute to design of the Foundation’s strategic plan and devise programmatic strategies in collaboration with program directors
  • Responsible for ensuring program strategies align with organizational strategy, and providing guidance to  program directors to facilitate implementation of all programmatic work
  • Develop and implement new initiatives that amplify the organization’s mission
  • Promotes and embrace the Foundation’s core values:
    • Collaboration: Believing that synergistic connections will strengthen the work of the Foundation and the impact we have on society.
    • Leveraging of all assets: Providing grantees and partners with resources, ideas and challenges so they may thrive.
    • Innovation: Rewarding creative and risk-taking thinking and individuals.
    • Responsibility: Considering the social and environmental implications of our practices and those of our partners.
    • Equity: Approaching all dealings with honesty and fairness.


The successful candidate will have the following characteristics and competencies:

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating a diverse grantmaking and program portfolio
  • Demonstrated experience in developing and delivering successful program and grantmaking strategies and a variety of initiatives to drive social impact
  • Comprehensive knowledge of program planning, grantmaking, organizational structure, budgeting, and administrative operations
  • Experience working with and leading diverse program areas
  • Demonstrated leadership and management experience in a foundation setting
  • Experience with arts, education, and/or health programming is a plus, though not essential
  • Ability to perform all duties with compassion, respect, humor and joy

This is a full-time position with benefits. The salary range for this position is highly competitive with the industry and commensurate with relevant skills and experience.

The Kenneth Rainin Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and as such complies with federal, state, and/or local laws that prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, citizen or intending citizen status, disability, and veteran status. Information provided during the application or employment process will not be used to discriminate against any individual in any manner. The Company complies with ADA regulations as applicable.

Please refrain from contacting the Kenneth Rainin Foundation directly; all inquiries should be directed to Schaffer&Combs at We will be accepting applications on a rolling basis.

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