Program Officer – Two Openings | Northwest Health Foundation

Founded in 1997, Northwest Health Foundation seeks to advance, support and promote the health of the people of Oregon and Southwest Washington. By providing grants, forming partnerships with health and community leaders, and advocating for policy change, we are furthering our vision of giving every person the opportunity to lead a healthy life.

NWHF seeks two full-time Program Officers to join our team of spirited and dedicated professionals to support the mission of the foundation and move funding and resources into communities. While each Program Officer will be assigned and lead in different program areas, the primary responsibilities, necessary skills and qualifications are the same. We will run one hiring process for both positions. All applicants will be considered for both roles and only need to submit one set of materials. 

A primary focus for Program Officers is the Justice Reinvestment Equity Program (JREP). JREP was established by Senate Bill 1510 during Oregon’s 2022 legislative session through advocacy of the Transforming Justice Coalition. JREP directs $10 million of State funds to Northwest Health Foundation Fund II, our 501(c)(3) organization to support a field of emerging and experienced culturally specific organizations and culturally responsive providers through grantmaking, technical assistance and learning with the goal of promoting racial equity and reducing incarceration. 

JREP envisions and strives for a community-directed public safety system that uplifts belonging, healing, individual and family stability and support networks to prevent and reduce the disproportionate imprisonment and recidivism and end racial disparities prevalent in Oregon’s criminal justice system. 

Program Officers work across all of the Foundation’s initiatives and focus areas including Civic Health, Advancing Disability Justice and other current and emerging projects. 

We are committed to an inclusive, equitable, and multicultural work environment and strongly encourage candidates from Black, Native American/Indigenous and other communities of color, immigrant, bilingual, and multicultural individuals; d/Deaf people and people with disabilities; LGBTQIA+ and gender non-binary people; and people with other diverse backgrounds and lived experiences.

These new, full-time exempt positions are based in Portland, Oregon and will require occasional weekend, evenings, and overnight travel across our region. NWHF is currently returning to on site work (as of April 4, 2022) at our offices with the expectation of 40-70% of staff time being spent in person. 


Program Officers collaborate across the Foundation to develop and implement programs and grantmaking. This includes a significant amount of community engagement, thoughtful relationship building, due diligence, and communications with community partners and grantees.  

NWHF’s programs and initiatives include multiple areas of work. These areas include, but are not limited to: racial equity and justice, transformation of the public safety and criminal justice systems, disability justice and inclusion, civic engagement, community organizing, policy advocacy, electoral organizing, leadership development and other strategies designed to build community power.

Program Officers are not expected to have content expertise in all of these areas and we often engage experts to provide capacity building and technical assistance to support grantees. But we do expect Program Officers to use their lived and work experiences and an interest to further their understanding in the areas of our work. 

NWHF prides itself on creating meaningful community-building opportunities through learning, convening and celebration. While all team members share in supporting these events, Program Officers are responsible for the coordination of program-related meetings including travel, lodging, agenda-setting and other logistics to make in person and virtual meetings successful.

Key Responsibilities

Community Engagement and Relationship Building 

  • Lead and conduct region-wide community engagement in order to share feedback, learn, and integrate community knowledge into programs
  • Build and nurture effective relationships with community leaders, organizational leaders, and funding partners to facilitate connections, build linkages and support community-led change  
  • Identify and build relationships with new and emerging organizations and groups 
  • Represent the Foundation to a diverse range of partners including grantees, community leaders, government officials, and other stakeholders 
  • Represent the Foundation at related meetings, events and conferences in the region and nationally  
  • Become a trusted presence in communities throughout the region

Program Development and Grantmaking 

  • Manage day-to-day communication with grantees and community partners and provide thoughtful and proactive support
  • Provide relevant and accessible assistance to applicants, grantees and community partners
  • Work closely with technical assistance and capacity building providers to develop program elements and supports for grantees 
  • Proactively communicate areas of work internally and externally. Work with the Public Affairs Manager to coordinate communications and public relations opportunities
  • Develop and deliver structures for shared learning, convening and peer support among grantees and partners with a focus on creating accessible and inclusive spaces for participation
  • Evaluate grant proposals and develop funding recommendations
  • Conduct site visits, monitor grants through reports, evaluation and learning
  • Collaborate with Grants Administrator on grant tracking, contacts and reporting
  • Produce memos and presentations in a variety of formats to engage a broad range of constituents (e.g., board members, community leaders, grantees, allied funders)
  • Convene and support stakeholder and advisory groups that support program development and grantmaking

Organizational Culture and Learning 

  • Participate in promoting a positive workplace culture of collaboration, innovation and respect in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment
  • Contribute one’s own ideas, perspectives, and lived experiences to the culture of the Foundation
  • Assume other responsibilities and explore new opportunities that arise with the evolving needs and aspirations of the Foundation
  • Engage actively in community life in the region
  • Engage meaningfully in equity trainings

Qualifications and Experience

These qualifications describe the primary experiences and skills needed in this position, but it is not required that you have all of them right now. If you like to learn and grow, and have most of these, we encourage you to apply.

  • Demonstrated understanding and willingness to advance the Foundation’s mission and commitment to equity and guiding principles 
  • Ability to authentically connect the Foundation’s initiatives and aspirations with one’s own personal experiences  
  • A deep commitment to working in a diverse and inclusive work environment that places a high value on equity, particularly racial equity
  • Demonstrated experience and a deep commitment to working with Black, Native American/Indigenous and other communities of color across Oregon and SW Washington 
  • A demonstrated understanding of the foundational role that racism, ableism, sexism, and other forms of bias and oppression play in perpetuating inequity
  • Substantial experience in the public or nonprofit sector, preferably in a capacity that involves deep partnerships with place- and/or identity-based communities
  • Grantmaking experience is not required, but experience with nonprofit fundraising and development and working knowledge of different types of nonprofit organizations is helpful 
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills with demonstrated success managing multiple projects and priorities in a team-based environment, as well as the ability to self-motivate and self-direct 
  • Willingness to share in both “big picture” thinking and administrative tasks.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships with diplomacy and discretion
  • Cultivate and maintain an open mind and open heart; seek out and engage different perspectives 
  • Demonstrated capacity for self-reflection, humility and curiosity
  • Strong verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills, including experience with meeting facilitation, combined with the ability to listen deeply and authentically
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Google Suite and ability to adapt to new technologies. 
  • Ability to and interest in meetings and events outside of core business hours
  • Enthusiasm for traveling throughout Oregon and SW Washington and engaging with communities that may be different from your own

Physical Demands/Work Environment 

The physical demands and work environment described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable  accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  

While performing the duties of this job, the employee will be frequently expected to use/operate a computer. The employee is frequently required to see, speak and hear, whether unassisted or through assistive devices, and to communicate in-person, by video, and by phone. The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet but can be bustling with large meetings. We strive to maintain a fragrance-free office.

Proof of vaccination against Covid-19 or qualifying medical or religious exemption and compliance with regular testing required.  


$90,000 – $100,000, depending on experience. Excellent benefits package with full medical and dental insurance for the employee and dependent children, flexible spending account (health care and dependent care), generous retirement contribution, long-term disability and life insurance, transportation stipend, paid family and medical leave, considerable PTO and holiday leave, and support for ongoing professional development.

To Apply

This search is being led by Melanie Damm of Equitable Hiring Group. Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter here:

Position will remain open until filled. For best consideration submit your application by Monday May 9, 2022 at 9:00 am. 

For more information about this position or the application process, please contact Melanie Damm at

About NWHF

Northwest Health Foundation exists to advance, support and promote the health of the people of Oregon and southwest Washington. Our foundation has been working since 1997, investing in programs and projects designed to improve the health of the people in Oregon, as well as Clark, Cowlitz, Pacific, Skamania, and Wahkiakum counties in southwest Washington. 

Northwest Health Foundation is unique among many foundations. A portion of our resources can be used to advance policies that improve the health of our communities through advocacy, legislative influence, and participation in political campaigns and elections. Many of the organizations we support address the root causes of health through community-driven solutions. NWHF is also actively engaged in advocating for policies that advance health.

Northwest Health Foundation believes that the staff and board of an organization should reflect the communities it serves. We also believe our cultural, linguistic and community identities make our organization stronger, smarter and more effective. We are a dynamic staff of eight across a range of identities. Our staff actively participate in our community including serving on boards, raising families and otherwise working to make our region a better place outside the workday. We are governed by an engaged, thoughtful board of nine directors. 

The Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and compliance with all federal, state and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. To this end, NWHF ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces.

To learn more about our work, our approaches and values, please visit 

Apply here!