Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.




Program Director New York, NY

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (Sloan), a prominent nonprofit philanthropic organization, seeks an innovative and strategic Program Director to define and build its next programs to support research in science. This is an extraordinary opportunity for a creative scientist to design grant-making programs with the potential to revolutionize fields of study at a foundation known for driving innovative research with widespread impact.

Established in 1934, Sloan was one of the first foundations to support original research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and economics. The Foundation believes that these fields—and the scholars and practitioners who work in them—are chief drivers of the nation's health and prosperity. It supports a reasoned understanding of these forces of nature and society, which when applied inventively and wisely, can lead to a better world for all.  Ongoing programs, for example, currently address topics that range from digital information technology to diversity in STEM, and from economics to the public understanding of science.  

This new Program Director will join Sloan at a critical moment. Under the leadership of its new president, Adam Falk, the Foundation is beginning to plan its next set of path-breaking programs aimed to catalyze progress in the physical and life sciences. With a number of the existing science programs winding down, the new Program Director will have significant opportunities and resources to develop new programs and projects. She or he will be charged with identifying areas in which the Foundation’s investments in the physical and life sciences can have a distinctive impact and with utilizing its resources and network to seed areas of inquiry that will shape the future in ways that complement, extend, and break new ground relative to ongoing programs and traditions.

As the leader of a core program area, the Program Director will nurture relationships with global leaders and potential grantees across the physical and life sciences to identify areas of high potential impact. The Foundation affords its leadership team a high degree of flexibility in strategy and approach, and its ethos is to fund programs driven by curiosity, discovery, and learning rather than by ideology. By taking a long-term view and keeping a sharp eye for finding nascent scientific efforts or niches that are overlooked or underfunded, the Foundation has been able to support major breakthroughs time and again. Within this context, the Program Director will develop a strategy for the next wave of scientific programs.

The Program Director will join the tightly-knit senior leadership team of the Foundation, including seven program director colleagues. The directors share a distinctive and highly collaborative approach to grant-making, working as a team to review proposals from potential grantees in the Foundation’s program areas. It is imperative that this individual be broad and intellectually curious and open to the Foundation’s work across programs, while also bringing considerable academic rigor to the science programs specifically. The Program Director must be aware of current developments and emerging trends in relevant fields of science and technology, demonstrate a strong appreciation for excellent research, and convey a commitment to spurring innovation through interdisciplinary approaches.  

John Muckle is leading this search with Greg Esposito and Joanna Cook.


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