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Opening: Senior Program Officer

Publication date: 
May, 2019

Position: Senior Program Officer
Organization: Ascendium Education Group
Location: Madison, Wisconsin or Remote Worker

Organization Summary

Ascendium Education Group (formerly Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates), the nation’s largest federal student loan guarantor and a leading post-secondary education and workforce training philanthropy, recently unveiled a new funding strategy that builds on the organization’s existing grantmaking approach and expands its focus to new areas.

Ascendium makes grants to researchers, postsecondary institutions and workforce training providers for initiatives aimed at expanding opportunity for learners from low-income backgrounds so they can better achieve postsecondary educational and career success. The organization’s grantmaking focuses on increasing equity for low-income populations, especially those in historically underrepresented groups: first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color and veterans.

They are looking for an experienced grantmaker to advance our rural education and workforce training focus area. Senior program officers are responsible for leading work in a particular area of team strategy by contributing deep subject matter expertise and designing and leading complex grants and partnerships to advance team goals.


  • 5+ years of private foundation or nonprofit experience
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational, problem-solving and coordination skills, with demonstrated ability to manage a diverse and demanding workload

Preferred Background and Experience

  • Significant track record of progressively responsible senior leadership experience, with a proven history of successfully navigating organizations through strategic evolutions and leadership transitions. 
  • Deep knowledge of the philanthropic sector with direct experience gained in a foundation or other philanthropic enterprise. 
  • Genuine passion for the impact that giving families can have on the world and an innate curiosity about the future direction of the field of family philanthropy.
  • Demonstrated ability to build an organization’s financial capacity.
  • Participatory and inclusive leadership style that fosters diverse points of view, respectful collaboration and accountability.


If you're interested in this job opening, please visit our careers website at Select the option to apply online, create your profile and fill out the application for the job opening you are interested in. A fully completed application must be submitted to be considered for this position. 

Ascendium Education Group, Inc. (Ascendium) provides equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, creed, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. We are strongly committed to this policy and believe in the concept and spirit of the law.

If you would like assistance with the application process, please contact us at We invite all applicants to complete the Voluntary Affirmative Action questions when submitting application materials. The questions are found at the end of the online application process. To learn more about our commitment to Equal Employment Opportunity, please visit

Ascendium Education Group employees enjoy an outstanding benefit package designed to provide employees and their families with a high degree of security.

Ascendium has contractual obligations that require criminal, employment and education background investigations as a condition of employment.

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