Program Officer, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

  • Full-time

Company Description

Title:                    Program Officer, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Reports to:          Program Director, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Status:                 Full-Time

Apply by Date:    January 20, 2023

Salary Range:      $105,000 - $110,000 with an annual performance bonus between 3-7%

Location:              Preferably Chicago, IL but open to candidates who live elsewhere



The Irving Harris Foundation (Foundation) enhances the quality of life for pregnant and birthing people, infants, young children, families, and communities by advancing human potential, social justice and equity, and creative experience and expression. The Foundation is a strategic grantmaker, investing approximately $13 million annually in the fields of infant and early childhood mental health, early childhood development, reproductive health and justice, arts and culture, and Jewish values in the U.S. and Israel. The Foundation’s grants aim to address root causes, leverage public and private resources, provide technical assistance, and foster collaboration through public-private and funder partnerships. Rooted in the Jewish tradition of giving back to communities, and our deep and historic commitment to Tikkun Olam (repair the world), the Irving Harris Foundation envisions a world where all people are treated with dignity and are not discriminated against based on their religion, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, gender identities, sexual orientations, education levels, and abilities.

The Foundation has embraced and worked to advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in our philanthropic efforts. For the foundation, DEI is not a goal to be accomplished, but a reflective, intentional journey in which we are consistently striving toward more equitable policies, systems and communities. We continue to lean into the commitments we made as a Foundation in solidarity with Black Lives and the Foundation’s decision in 2021 to center intersectional racial equity. This includes internal work to deepen our efforts to be an antiracist organization including racial equity and culture change training, strengthening our policies and procedures, and new grantmaking practices. Externally we are centering racial equity in our grantmaking, field leadership, and special initiatives which includes increasing the amount we invest in Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) led organizations, exploring how to lift-up parent voice, focusing on community driven solutions and using our grants and field leadership to support efforts designed to dismantle systems of oppression that have and continue to cause harm.

Job Description


The Program Officer (PO), Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH), is part of our diverse team dedicated to supporting equitable care and outcomes for pregnant and birthing people, infants, young children, and families; and working with partners to advance community-driven solutions, build movements and power for systemic change, address racial, gender, and economic disparities, and cultivate and support BIPOC leadership in the fields in which we work. Reporting to the Program Director, Infant Early Childhood Mental Health, the Program Officer, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health works to advance the vision, goals, and objectives of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Program area. The PO will work closely with the Program Director (PD) and the Associate Program Officer (APO) to implement an array of grantmaking, capacity building, grants management, technical assistance, evaluation, communication and funder and stakeholder organizing efforts, while supporting and fostering key relationships within the Foundation and with our external field and foundation partners. In particular, the PO, IECMH works to enhance the current work of the Harris Professional Development Network (PDN), and strategically forge partnerships to leverage the PDN for broader influence in the field. The PDN is the Foundation’s largest special initiative and is a robust, innovative network of IECMH grantees and partners from 12 states and Israel. Finally, the Program Officer, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, works collaboratively with the full program team, staff, and Board to advance an intersectional approach across our work and deliver on the goals and objectives of the Foundation.


Strategic Grantmaking and Support

  • Lead and actively advance a portfolio of IECMH grants and program initiatives through a Trust-based philanthropy approach focused on relationship building, oral reviews and reporting, due diligence, and project and committee management
  • Manage a portfolio of grants including but not limited to the 19 existing Professional Development Network’s (PDN) grantees and expanding the reach and impact of the PDN
  • Collaborate and establish trusting relationships with grant partners to respond appropriately to grant partners’ needs and challenges, provide technical assistance when requested, and facilitate thought partnership and learning that can inform our strategy and ensure that we are responsive to our field partners in our grantmaking approach
  • Stay abreast of developments, challenges, and opportunities in the field to identify new grant opportunities and, advance the foundation’s IECMH program strategy based on listening to and learnings from the field to ensure our approach is aligned with what communities and leaders on the ground are prioritizing and identifying
  • Conduct landscape and/or field analyses to develop strategies in new areas of grantmaking within the IECMH portfolio as appropriate (e.g., BIPOC leadership, Power Building, Illinois and national IECMH systems change, etc.)
  • Advance diversity, equity, inclusion and racial equity across the PDN and other program and field facing work

Field Leadership and Strategic Initiatives

Harris PDN Initiative – Network Strengthening and Committee Management

  • Co-lead the design, implementation, and refinement of a vision and strategies for enhancing the growth and impact of the PDN with all stakeholders with the Program Director
  • Partner with stakeholders to execute vision and strategies including:
    • Design and implement new grant initiatives to support BIPOC leadership
    • Collaborate with grantees to develop strategies to deepen, elevate, and expand their work
    • In partnership with the PD and PDN partners, manage and support the production of products and tools
  • Provide strategic and tactical oversight when convening PDN members/grantees
  • Manage and support PDN committees and Advisory Board with the PD and APO
  • Meet with colleagues at other foundations to engage in strategic dialogue and idea generation
  • Actively engage in philanthropic networks to promote infant mental health, birth justice, reproductive justice, and the powerful work of grantees
  • Collaborate and organize with colleagues and other foundations to engage in movement building, strategic dialogue and idea generation

    Research, Evaluation and Learning

    • Track developments in the field – including policies, best practices, model programs, advocacy and organizing campaigns, trends in funding and movement needs
    • Work with the APO and PD to research, analyze and synthesize trends and opportunities in the IEMCH and related fields to translate into potential opportunities for action and investment
    • Lead the tracking of outcomes and metrics for the IECMH program area including the PDN
    • Conduct research, literature reviews and prepare summaries and analyses when needed
    • Engage in professional development and continuous learning including participating in conferences and meetings, involvement in fellowships, funder networks and other field building/professional development opportunities that will enhance leadership development 

    Board and Committee Management

    • Support planning and preparation for board meetings, including material development, identification of speakers, agenda setting, etc., that supports reflection, learning, and strategic planning conversations that help advance the foundation’s programmatic work

    Program Administration, Reporting and Communication

    • Collaborate with the Grants Manager to ensure IECMH grantmaking and reporting are managed effectively
    • Contribute to the Foundation’s ability to track and communicate the Foundation’s work, investments, and impact across different strategies in IECMH internally and externally
    • Help create and develop reports, narratives, slides and visual materials that highlight the Foundation’s initiatives, field leadership, and grantees for internal use for Board meetings and for external use
    • Manage scheduling and calendar maintenance for the IECMH and PDN Initiative

    Overall Foundation Effectiveness

    • Collaborate and engage across the four Programs areas and the Foundation overall to help advance the vision, mission, internal and external goals, and overall effectiveness of the Foundation
    • Support updates and revisions to grantmaking processes as we continue to advance our commitments to Trust Based Philanthropic practices

    Foundation Organizational Culture and Internal Leadership

    • Support Foundation-wide efforts to build a thriving and supportive organizational culture that is joyful, inclusive, equitable and trusting
    • Support the Foundation’s commitment to live into its values of becoming an anti-racist organization 
    • Assumes internal leadership roles and participates in committee work as appropriate opportunities arise
      • Engage and participate in workshops and consultation on racial equity including activities of the Equity Belonging and Transformation Committee
      • Participate in Foundation wide strategy development


    • Commitment to Irving Harris Foundation's mission
    • Team member who values diversity, equity and inclusion and takes pride in working with and collaborating on a team that brings together diversity of thoughts, perspectives, and expression
    • A minimum of five to seven years of work experience in a related field 
    • Bachelor’s degree required and master’s degree preferred in a related field such as infant mental health, public policy, early childhood, child development, education, social justice, public health, maternal child health, psychology, community development, social work, journalism, and/or humanities
    • Knowledge of issues related to early childhood, maternal and child health, organizing and movement building, policy, advocacy and systems-building, and racial, gender and economic justice
    • Demonstrated passion for advancing social justice and equity through community driven approaches and solutions
    • Independent and highly motivated
    • Strong project and time management skills
    • Strong interpersonal skills, and leadership experience including communicating and working with internal and external stakeholders to build successful partnerships/collaborations and motivating groups around shared interests
    • Ability to meet deadlines, independently conceptualize and manage project plans, and work on several projects simultaneously
    • Ability to be flexible, adaptable, and to think conceptually, strategically, and learn quickly
    • Demonstrated problem-solving and strong analytical, written, and verbal communication skills
    • Experience with reviewing and understanding organizational budgets and financial statements
    • Tech savviness - able to creatively navigate multiple platforms from Microsoft Office to survey tools, basic web-design/updating, databases, social media platforms, video conferencing software (Zoom), etc.
    • Showing high levels of integrity, thoughtfulness, curiosity around creating equitable and just internal processes
    • Show strong growth mindset, receptivity to feedback, and the ability to learn from successes and challenges and be adaptable


    Additional Information


    The Foundation offers a competitive salary/benefits package and the opportunity to work with a small, collaborative, and dedicated team.

    • Competitive Fulltime Salary – salary range $105,000 - $110,000 commensurate with experience
    • Annual performance-based bonus, 3-7%
    • Professional Development Opportunities
    • Tuition Reimbursement
    • 401(K) contributions of 15% after 1 year (no match required)
    • Generous employer paid Health, Dental and Vision package
    • Vacation accrual of 3 weeks in year one, increasing in year 2
    • 13 PTO days (up front) upon hire
    • Bank Holidays plus 3 floating holidays
    • Closed the week between Christmas and New Year
    • Work week 4 ½ days per week
    • One in-person collaboration day a week and access to an office at any time

    Preferably this position is based in Chicago, but we are open to candidates who live elsewhere. The Program Officer may be expected to travel between 10%-20% of the time annually.


    All staff are required to be fully vaccinated upon hire with the Foundation as of their first day of employment with the Foundation. Upon hire, all are expected to provide a photocopy of their vaccination card during the onboarding process.

    Equal Employment Opportunity: The Irving Harris Foundation is committed to an inclusive, fair and equitable workplace where everyone is a respected and valued member of the team. The Foundation values and actively seeks diversity in its workplace. The Foundation’s inclusive and equitable practice is embedded in recruitment, hiring, training, and promoting persons in all job classifications. The Foundation does not discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment based on that individual’s race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, childbirth, medical condition, marital status, military service or veteran status, sexuality or status in any other group protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Foundation administers all personnel decisions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, returns from layoffs, etc. in accordance with the principles of equal employment opportunity.

    All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

    Apply by Date:        January 20, 2023