Program Officer, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation – Los Altos, California

Published 15:45 on September 5, 2018  /  Last updated at 15:45 on September 5, 2018  /  Job Postings  /  No Comments

The Foundation’s Conservation and Science Program is seeking a Climate Program Officer to manage and oversee its portfolio of work on bioenergy and carbon dioxide removal. In this newly created position that will join a team working on climate change, you will have an exciting opportunity to help shape and guide the trajectory of the Foundation’s work in the climate space.

Program Officer (Full-time, Exempt)
Job Number: 18-13-6720R

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Foundation) is a family foundation that is guided by the enduring business philosophy and personal values of Lucile and David Packard, who helped found one of the world’s leading technology companies. Their approach to business and community participation has guided the Foundation’s philanthropy for more than 50 years. Today, their children and grandchildren continue to help guide the work of the Foundation with David and Lucile Packard’s enduring core values: integrity, respect for all people, belief in individual leadership, commitment to effectiveness, and the capacity to think big. The Foundation’s goals and how we carry out our work reflects the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We aim to create a workplace culture and pursue practices that demonstrates how we value DEI.

We make grants at the local, state, national, and international levels, supporting innovative nonprofits to create meaningful impact across the globe. We continue to work on the issues our founders cared about most:

  • Improving the lives of children
  • Enabling the creative pursuit of science
  • Advancing reproductive health
  • Conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems
  • Supporting and strengthening local communities

For 2018, the Foundation expects to award more than $300 million in grants.

The Opportunity

The Foundation’s Conservation and Science Program is seeking a Climate Program Officer to manage and oversee its portfolio of work on bioenergy and carbon dioxide removal. In this newly created position that will join a team working on climate change, you will have an exciting opportunity to help shape and guide the trajectory of the Foundation’s work in the climate space. Climate change is a global problem that demands global action and as such, the Foundation has expanded its strategic efforts to address this urgent crisis. This role presents immense possibilities for thought leadership around philanthropic interventions that can support innovations and strategies to mitigate the most defining, pressing issue of our time.

Reporting to the Director of the Conservation and Science Program, you will lead the bioenergy grantmaking strategy, which includes work on both biofuels and biomass energy. The Foundation also recognizes that in order to adequately and holistically address climate change in a manner consistent with the magnitude of the crisis, this portfolio must devote attention and resources to carbon dioxide removal efforts, including both natural and technological solutions. In helping to design and lead the Foundation’s work focused on carbon dioxide removal, you will leverage your strategic skills and vision to chart a path forward in this burgeoning field.

You will also play a pivotal role in shaping the broader philanthropic sector’s strategy around bioenergy and carbon dioxide removal efforts. Working in partnership with Foundation staff and other experts in the field, you will have the compelling opportunity to help deepen the field’s engagement in exploring innovations and non-traditional climate mitigation strategies that may not yet be receiving sufficient philanthropic support.

Key Responsibilities

Portfolio Management

  • Oversee a $5M portfolio of grantmaking for the Foundation’s bioenergy and carbon dioxide removal work, designing and executing against strategy
  • Lead the Foundation’s work to support and advance the development and deployment of technological (e.g. direct air capture) and natural (e.g., reforestation and soil carbon sequestration) means of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
  • Nurture and develop relationships across the organization and with grantees

External Partnerships

  • Partner closely with foundations and organizations in the environmental sector, serving as a Foundation liaison and representative for collaborative efforts with the ClimateWorks Foundation and the Climate and Land Use Alliance
  • Work with Program Officers in other foundations to achieve philanthropic goals related to bioenergy and carbon dioxide removal
  • Convene and collaborate with cross-sector leaders to advance the design, testing and implementation of disruptive breakthroughs

Knowledge Sharing

  • Work with a cross-functional team at the Foundation to meet needs for board decision-making, strategic planning, grant tracking, communications, and grantee relationships
  • Act as a representative for the Foundation in communities of learning and practice, helping to shape the field’s response to and support of this area of work
  • Represent the Foundation and the Conservation and Science Program to external audiences and provide leadership in relevant fields of work

Ideal Candidate

The Foundation seeks an individual who demonstrates an unwavering passion for and commitment to solving the climate crisis. This role requires a seasoned strategic leader, who displays a combination of analytical skills and an ability to influence change in highly nuanced contexts. While climate and philanthropy expertise are not required, experience in the broader environmental sector is highly desirable.

As an ideal candidate, you bring a proven track record of developing and executing against strategies aimed at promoting social, regulatory, policy, private sector or behavioral change. This role requires you to have not only defined strategies on paper, but executed against them in ways that result in tangible, measurable impact. You are someone who understands how to navigate the complexity of diverse environments and stakeholder groups, seeking to understand and driving towards common goals from, at times, competing perspectives. A high level of emotional intelligence and the ability to be versatile and diplomatic are key. Leading with a sense of humility and intellectual curiosity, you display a genuine desire to listen to learn from others. You will operate from a place of respect for the organization’s grantees and help to create an environment of continuous learning with partner organizations and sector experts.

Inherent in all aspects of the Foundation is a commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture that values all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. You are someone who is personally devoted to growing your own cultural competence and will actively participate in the Foundation’s work to integrate justice and equity into all facets of its work.


Candidates must have a minimum of 5 years of relevant leadership experience promoting changes in society, markets, governments, or the private sector.

An intellectual agility and ability to analyze, conduct research, think critically, and understand scientific, economic, social, and policy studies that are directly relevant to the climate space is required. Candidates should also possess exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, as well as a demonstrated ability to lead, motivate, and inspire teams. Impeccable integrity and ethics, along with a diplomatic approach to problem solving are critical.

This role will require both domestic and international travel and will be based in downtown Los Altos, California.

To Be Considered

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool. The Foundation recognizes diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing its work and views diversity as encompassing differences in race and gender, as well as age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, job skills, education, and geographic location.

To be considered, please visit Waldron’s candidate portal to submit your resume and cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role.


The search for a Climate Program Officer for the Packard Foundation is being assisted by a team from Waldron:

Alison Kaneko
Search Director
Direct: 415.678.5001

Sonia Marroquin
Senior Search Associate
Direct: 415.646.4028

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