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Open Position

Program Director, Arts

Title: Program Director, Arts
Location: New York, NY (must have ability to be in-person)
Reports to: Chief Program Officer
To Apply: Please send cover letter and résumé as one PDF to with title format “Last Name First Name – Letter Resume.”

The mission of the Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. DDF’s activities are guided by the will of Doris Duke, who endowed the foundation with financial assets that currently total over $2 billion.

DDF’s Arts Program is among the leading philanthropic programs focused exclusively on performing artists. The program supports artists with the creation and public performance of their work. The foundation focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them.

Historically, the program has pursued a range of initiatives, from investments in the leading programs that commission works and support artists, to grants for presenting organizations. These programs seek to provide direct resources to practicing artists, often at the beginning of their careers, and to enable greater opportunities for performing artists to present and tour their work. For the past 10 years, DDF has annually presented the signature Doris Duke Artist Awards, a $275,000 unrestricted grant that is among the leading distinctions in contemporary dance, jazz and theater.

This field-leading body of work has been nationally recognized. In 2014, DDF was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama for “a bold commitment to artistic risk.”

Now DDF is moving in a new direction, building on its legacy of commitment to performing artists who are pushing their disciplines forward. In particular, the DDF Arts Program is increasingly focusing on two areas: growing the foundation’s role as an advocate for the fundamental conditions that enable artistic creativity and helping the performing arts to adapt and shape the role of technology in changing how the performing arts are produced, distributed and consumed.

The program’s next leader will have the opportunity to chart a new course to identify opportunities for distinction and relevance in the arts, one that builds on DDF’s track record and reputational assets. This leader will be responsible for both maintaining the foundation’s credibility and commitment to the nation’s vibrant performing arts communities and challenging these communities—and their patrons—to conceive and implement a vision for the performing arts that remains relevant and vital. In an era marked by profound shifts across society—many of which have been exacerbated and accelerated by the direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—now is a critical time to reevaluate how to nurture and unleash creativity for the betterment of society.

Reporting to the chief program officer, the program director for the arts is a proven and innovative leader and is responsible for devising a comprehensive programmatic vision that draws upon all the foundation’s assets to advance the program and grow the foundation’s role as a vocal leader in the arts. The program director is responsible for a significant portfolio in annual grantmaking, manages a team of professionals and is a member of the foundation’s executive management committee.

DDF is seeking an open-minded, creative and enterprising professional who can identify opportunities for transformational impact distinct to the foundation. This will be a leader who can envision how the foundation can play a leadership role in the field beyond its grantmaking.


  • Drive grantmaking opportunities distinct to DDF that have the potential to maximize the foundation’s impact on the performing arts.
  • Identify and leverage key trends that can amplify the foundation’s impact and that of its grantees.
  • Use diverse tools, including communications, thought leadership and collaboration, to enable the foundation to directly participate in the field.
  • Build and nurture networks of leaders, policymakers, practitioners and others to extend the reach and relevance of the foundation’s programs.
  • Lead and mentor the Arts Program staff and oversee the day-to-day operations and administration of the department.
  • Actively participate in the foundation’s executive management committee, helping to shape key enterprise decisions.
  • Work with the chief program officer, the president, and the board of trustees to advance and continually evolve the Arts Program.

The ideal candidate will be a strategic, visionary leader with a passion for DDF’s mission and an investor’s discipline. The foundation is open to a range of professional backgrounds. More significant than any particular professional experience is evidence of the following:

  • Demonstrated interest, experience and accomplishment in the field of the performing arts or a related field. A perspective shaped by more than one vantage point is also welcome.
  • Demonstrated interest in performing artists’ needs and priorities.
  • Discernment and discipline to identify and drive opportunities for DDF to maximize its impact on behalf of performing artists. A willingness to assess the benefits and trade-offs of pursuing different avenues, and then move forward with an informed opinion, tempered by ongoing curiosity.
  • Demonstrated initiative through strategizing, conceptualizing, planning and then driving ambitious projects.
  • Experience in public and stakeholder engagement and organization. A capacity to build alliances and partnerships across diverse interests.
  • A track record of successfully managing a high-performing team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to collaborate both internally and externally, inspire others, negotiate, compromise and coordinate action.
  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication and presentation skills.

The successful candidate should be:

  • Highly motivated by the opportunity to drive impact in a socially important field.
  • Strategic, disciplined and ethical.
  • Open-minded and curious; willing to take risks in the pursuit of reasonable rewards.
  • Collaborative and a consensus builder.
  • Willing to travel.


  • The program director for the arts reports to the chief program officer.
  • The program director works closely with and oversees the work of the Arts team.
  • The program director has considerable interaction with other program directors and colleagues, working closely with the director of grants management and evaluation, the communications director and the foundation’s administrative staff.
  • The program director interacts with the board, including in making presentations.


  • Anticipated salary range is $225,000–$270,000, and the final offer will depend on experience.
  • Industry-leading benefits.

The following values underpin everything we do in pursuit of our mission across the Doris Duke Foundation:

Integrity: We must be honest and ethical in all that we undertake. As a private foundation, we are accountable to the many stakeholders affected by our work.

Excellence: We will insist on the highest standards of performance in fulfilling our mission, will ground our work in best practices and will make decisions based on the best available information.

Openness and Imagination: We will be a listening and learning organization that is responsive to ideas and opinions from a variety of sources. We value imagination and creativity, the ability to think in new ways about the work we do and how we do it.

Collaboration: We value a collaborative and supportive environment in which to advance our mission and objectives. Creating a working environment that promotes trust, honesty and respect within our organization is as important as earning the trust and respect of our colleagues and peers in the fields in which we work.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: We believe in the essential value that a diverse set of perspectives, experiences and abilities brings to the table. Our commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice is an ongoing, active engagement reflected in our funding areas, grantees, museums, centers, board and staff. At the core of our work is a dedication to serving and learning from organizations and individuals addressing inequities and working toward a more just, healthy and inclusive society. (Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and how we incorporate this value into our work.)

The Doris Duke Foundation is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and workplace culture. We provide equal opportunity for employees and applicants in all aspects of the employment relationship, without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, citizenship, marital status, military or veteran status, disability, age, religion or any other classification protected by law; and we strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, orientations and communities to apply.