Program Officer

Economic Development

The Program Officer is a new position within the Foundation. The Program Officer will help facilitate the impact of the Foundation through interaction with public, private, and other civic leaders. The Program Officer should be an individual who inspires trust and who is dedicated to advancing the Foundation’s mission to address critical civic, cultural, human service, education, economic development, and conservation issues. The Program Officer must have the presence, grace and humility to work effectively and with a diverse range of people.

The Program Officer will advance the Foundation’s economic development portfolio. Moreover, the new Program Officer will support efforts, initiatives and organizations who are seeking to build the new economy. This will require a strategy that engages all levels of government and private industry. The Program Officer will be involved in areas like life sciences, robotics, artificial intelligence, advanced and additive manufacturing, startup communities, workforce development, and infrastructure (transit, startup coworking spaces) as critical building blocks of the new economy. The Program Officer will focus on innovative firms, advanced research institutions, and workers who will drive the new economy and the breakthrough technologies required for a sustainable future.

The Program Officer will help usher initiatives across all the Foundation’s grant programs to build new pathways of economic mobility for those living in distressed and transitional communities to find alignment with the new economy. Working with Foundation staff, the Program Officer will be asked to fulfill the following responsibilities:

  • Work closely with the Foundation staff to manage grant projects.

  • Assist in managing a portfolio of Program Related Investments (PRI) to support both nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

  • Assist in advancing new financial models for scaling economic development programs and investments through bonds, PRIs, and Opportunity Zones.

  • Conduct due diligence (i.e., review of proposals, site visits, grant reports).

  • Assist in the review and final preparation of materials and presentations for Trustee meetings.

  • Conduct research to explore ongoing community trends.

  • Participate in local and national educational events, training, site visits, and conferences on topics relating to the Foundation’s areas of grantmaking interests.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes

The Program Officer should possess the following ideal set of professional qualifications and personal attributes:

  • Ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas.

  • Ability to work across the Foundation’s grant programs to support collaborative projects and shared strategic priorities

  • Ability to work across the Foundation’s urban and rural funding geographies

  • Ability to travel nationally to conduct project site visits

  • Bachelor’s degree required in life or physical sciences, technology, or economics. Advanced degree is preferred.

  • A minimum of 10 years professional experience.

  • Background in finance, economics, urban development, databases/data mining, and capacity-building through past professional experience and/or education.

  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize, summarize, and analyze information.

  • A team-oriented attitude, willing to perform work that might not be part of your primary duties.


The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a salary that is commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Candidates should email a cover letter explaining how their background fits this position and a resume to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at Refer to Foundation/Economic PO in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. All correspondence will remain confidential.

Funding Priorities

The Foundation’s current giving priorities primarily serve southwestern Pennsylvania with a program focus on Regional Economic Development and Conservation, along with Education and Human Services and Nonprofit Capacity Building.

About the Foundation

For over 70 years the Richard King Mellon Foundation has invested in the competitive future and quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania, and in the protection, preservation, and restoration of America’s environmental heritage.