Program Officer for Arts & Cultural Heritage

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (“the Foundation”) is a not-for-profit organization that makes grants and supports research in three core program areas: higher education and scholarship in the humanities; arts and cultural heritage; and scholarly communications. Reporting directly to Program Director Emil Kang and managing a small team, this person contributes to the overall strategic direction of the Foundation and shapes and directs the Foundation’s grantmaking in the visual arts sector including conservation/preservation, museums, contemporary arts centers, and other cultural and higher education institutions. The ideal candidate will be an experienced and recognized leader in the field and a strong collaborator who possesses a broad and extensive network.

  • Know, research, and strengthen the tenets and actions that encourage an artist-centric society.

  • Serve as an informed thought partner and problem solver with peers, reports, Foundation leadership, and grantees to shape and improve Mellon’s programmatic impact.

  • Foster and strengthen personal and professional networks that enable Mellon to leverage its and its partners’ best efforts to realize results; wield the wisdom, gravitas, and, when necessary, credentials to lead around pressing issues in society, arts, and culture.

  • Represent the Foundation in meetings with current and prospective grantee organizations, Foundation partners, and professional organizations in the field of arts and cultural heritage.

  • Track from a position of informed passion issues, needs, and opportunities in the arts overall.

  • Manage and monitor all program activity, grantmaking budgets, related special initiatives, and the grants portfolio.

  • Invite and evaluate proposals and prepare docket recommendations.

  • Oversee the review and reconciliation of grant narratives and financial reports.

  • Consider and treat Mellon grantees as equals, partners, and fellow agents.

  • Recruit, cultivate, mentor, and supervise a collaborative program staff that endeavors and excels together.

  • Proactively engage with other program officers to advance aspects of the Foundation’s mission, such as the enhancement of diversity in arts organizations and the effective use of digital technology in art history and cultural heritage scholarship and practice.

  • Identify, develop, and design opportunities for leveraging efforts through effective internal and external collaboration.

  • Attend quarterly meetings of the Board of Trustees and succinctly present grant recommendations.

  • Seek to undermine through effort, teamwork, and example the perception of detached entitlement many ascribe to those working within foundations.

  • Perform additional duties as the ACH program may require.

  • Minimum of seven to 10 years of experience in the visual arts, art museum, and conservation sector.

  • Intellectual agility and an open inquiring mind supported by an advanced degree in a relevant field.

  • Understanding of processes, policy issues, and trends in the visual arts and museum field, with a fluency in the intersection of the arts and social justice.

  • Understanding of the role of philanthropy in the arts and cultural heritage sector.

  • Knowledge of and active concern with major challenges to artists, art museums, and cultural heritage preservation.

  • Experience in managing large and complex projects, facility with data collection and analysis, and working knowledge of and interest in applied research.

  • An experienced multitasker who requires minimal supervision and can perform within quarterly deadlines yet sustain long-term goals.

  • Outstanding interpersonal communication, team building, mentoring, and leadership skills.

  • Demonstrated fluency in public speaking and written communication.

  • Advanced computer and office skills, and ability and willingness to use the Foundation’s communication and data management systems.

  • Willingness to travel domestically and internationally.

  • Commitment to a collegial work environment and to collaboration with colleagues in all of the Foundation’s program areas.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a résumé, cover letter, and salary requirements to We will consider each response carefully but only contact those individuals we feel are most qualified for the position. The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer offering a competitive salary, generous benefits, and excellent working conditions.

Posted on November 12