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Associate Program Officer (Crohn's Disease)

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

New York, NY

Posted August 1

Job Description


The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust (“Helmsley”) is a global philanthropy driven by a vision of a world where everyone has the resources they need to thrive by increasing access to healthcare, advancing new research and ideas, and improving people’s quality of life no matter where they call home. Helmsley strives to make a meaningful impact in its focus areas, matching its significant financial assets with a rigorous and results-oriented approach. Helmsley is committed to close and productive partnerships with its grantees, as well as with other funders and impact players in government, academia, and the private sector who share its interests and goals. Above all, Helmsley endeavors to be forward-thinking in every aspect of its work and will take risks that others cannot or will not take when the risk/reward trade-off warrants.

Since 2008, when Helmsley began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $3 billion.

The Crohn’s Disease Program

Helmsley’s Crohn’s Disease Program, which made its first grant in 2009, is committed to finding cures, and until then to improving quality of life and care and finding better treatments for Crohn’s disease. To date, the program, which has rapidly become the largest private foundation funder in Crohn’s disease, has awarded over $500 million to scientists and clinicians across the five focus areas of disease biology, prevention, diagnostics, therapeutics, and disease management.

Position Summary

Helmsley’s Crohn’s Disease Program team is growing and seeking an Associate Program Officer (APO) to directly support the Crohn’s Disease Program Director and Officers. The APO will have a broad visionary mindset to help identify and develop new initiatives in one or more of our program’s focus areas.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The APO will assist the Program Director and Officer in the administration of funded projects, as well as help to identify and develop new initiatives in the focus area. Primary responsibilities include:

Grant Making and Monitoring

  • Assist Program Officers and other team members to:
    • Ensure timely and effective grants management processes.
    • Monitor a growing program and grants portfolio.
    • Manage the program’s grants through each grant life-cycle, including grant application evaluation, due diligence, and implementation.
    • Track program budgets, ensuring accurate payment and accounting of grants.
    • Maintain positive and proactive communication with grantees and work with them to track the scientific progress and outcomes of grants including the review of interim grantee reports.
    • Provide technical support to applicants and grantees.
    • Organize and attend program-related meetings and relevant conferences.

Development of Strategic Plan

  • Assist in designing and implementing a focus area strategy, with a patient-centered mindset.
  • Contribute to the development goals of the program by organizing site visits, meetings, and symposia.
  • Manage the administrative duties related to the above and other areas as needed.
  • Some travel, both domestic and international, is required for meetings with potential and current grantees, as well as to relevant conferences.

Helmsley Collaboration and Personal Leadership

  • Collaborate with our Communications team to drive further impact through effectively communicating or working to select audiences and at key moments.
  • Share Crohn’s Disease Program knowledge and expertise to assist other Helmsley programs and departments achieve their goals.
  • Lead by example, be a role model, and advocate for Helmsley’s culture of:
    • continuous learning and improvement in the pursuit of excellence,
    • embracing a sense of urgency, innovation and informed risk taking,
    • respecting and valuing the individual, and
    • working and learning together as partners.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in cooperative approaches to grantmaking.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience in biomedical research or related field is required.
  • Completion of an advanced science or medical degree (PhD or MD) is preferred.
  • Knowledge of Crohn’s disease and/or immunology, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, or bioinformatics is preferred.
  • Must be organized, detail-oriented, and have strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Must demonstrate excellent written and oral presentation skills for both technical and lay audiences.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise independent judgment and initiative, prioritize and accurately complete multiple tasks, and work under deadlines.
  • A strong team player with a diplomatic, professional manner.
  • Background in the nonprofit or foundation sectors and grantmaking is a plus.

Health, Well-being, and Living Our Mission

Helmsley is dedicated to creating stronger, healthier futures for communities in the U.S. and around the world. Our departments and grantmaking programs are comprised of subject matter experts from a range of backgrounds in basic science, global health, and precision medicine, as well as the private sector and public policy.

Helmsley colleagues are intelligent, creative, forward thinking, and strongly committed to working productively with our grantee partners. Each was drawn to Helmsley by the same opportunity: to help build this young organization into a leading global charitable institution that will drive meaningful and measurable positive change in lives throughout the U.S. and around the world for years to come.

Comprehensive benefits currently offered to employees (subject to change) include:

  • Employer-paid medical, dental, and vision for employees and their families
  • Generous 401(k) employer contribution
  • 23+ paid vacation and sick days
  • 13+ paid holidays
  • End of year office closure
  • Summer Fridays
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Personal and team professional development opportunities

Application Information

The position is based at Helmsley’s main office in New York City. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.

Except for when working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to work and collaborate in person with colleagues at Helmsley’s office is an essential function of this job. To protect the health and safety of our employees, and consistent with Helmsley’s mandatory vaccination policy, all new hires (except those granted reasonable accommodations in accordance with applicable law) are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before their start date. 

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the incumbent(s) of this job.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and activities required for the position. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Helmsley provides equal employment and promotional opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law.

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