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Program Officer

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Job Description


Full Job Description

About The Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For more than 50 years, it has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, make the philanthropy sector more effective, and foster gender equity and responsive governance around the world. In addition, we also make grants for special projects and to address other timely problems. Our newest program focuses on strengthening U.S. democracy, and in 2020, the foundation announced a new grant-making commitment focused on racial justice. The Hewlett Foundation's assets are more than $13 billion, with annual grant awards totaling nearly $600 million. More information about the Hewlett Foundation is available at: www.hewlett.org.

About the Gender Equity and Governance Program

The Gender Equity and Governance Program seeks to foster inclusive societies so that all people, especially women, and girls, are able to fulfill their life aspirations. Focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, Mexico, and the U.S., we make grants to expand women's reproductive and economic choices, increase governments' responsiveness to the people they serve, and improve policymaking through the effective use of evidence.

In developing countries, the program's grant-making focuses on:

  • Women's empowerment, including expanding access to high-quality reproductive healthcare and economic opportunities; and
  • Increasing the responsiveness of governments to their citizens' needs and creating the conditions for evidence-informed policymaking.

The program has a geographic focus on East and West African countries, as well as a portfolio of grants in Mexico. Many of our grantees also work at a regional or global level to create norms and standards, support advocacy and advance systems change. In the United States, the foundation pursues an agenda to improve women's ability to exercise reproductive choice and rights. The Gender Equity and Governance Program team consists of 18 staff, including nine Program Officers.

About the Role

The Gender Equity and Governance Program seeks a Program Officer for its Inclusive Governance strategy to manage and develop a portfolio of grants to organizations that create conditions for governments to be more responsive, effective, and accountable, with a particular focus on gender and social inclusion. The Program Officer reports to the Program Director, Gender Equity and Governance Program.

The Program Officer will work with the Inclusive Governance team and work on synergies with other GEG strategies to administer and support a large portfolio of existing grants and over time, transition and evolve our grant-making to effectively implement an updated strategy. Our beyond-the-grant dollars work typically includes coordination and influencing other funders in the field by participating in donor collaboratives and other philanthropic fora; getting to know and working with grantees to identify opportunities for responding to their capacity-building and organizational resilience needs; amplifying grantee voice by sharing their stories and connecting them with other funders and practitioners; and capturing and sharing what we are learning from our grant-making through blogs, speaking opportunities and other forms of knowledge sharing and influencing.

Taking a strategic view of the issues in the fields of social inclusion and gender justice in the governance field, the Program Officer works in partnership with grantees, funders, governments, and others to assess needs and bring stakeholders together to implement the strategy. Operating from a posture of trust and empowerment of grantees, the Program Officer identifies and supports creative approaches to ensure the success of individual grantees on an ongoing basis as well as through formal grant proposal review, due diligence, and assessment. Meanwhile, the Program Officer identifies gaps and opportunities in the field and plans/commissions research, learning, and evaluation processes to explore existing and new approaches to addressing gaps in governments' accountability to the people they are intended to serve.

The Program Officer contributes to the foundation's interest in and practice of outcome-focused philanthropy, developing and updating strategies, identifying benchmarks and milestones to assess progress against these strategies, and planning and commissioning evaluations to contribute to learning and better understand impact. A key aspect of this work is to stay abreast of trends in theory and practice in inclusive governance, gender and social inclusion, and the relationship between citizens and the state, as well as related fields such as evidence-informed policymaking. The Program Officer will also work with other colleagues across GEG to identify opportunities for cross-strategy and cross-sector collaboration and work with colleagues across the foundation to promote cross-foundation learning, contribute to the overall culture of the organization, and promote and put into practice the foundation's values and practices of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Ideal Profile

The foundation seeks an innovative and strategic thinker and resourceful self-starter who is passionate about inclusive governance, gender, and social inclusion, and increasing the responsiveness of governments to their people, especially in Africa. Candidates must have experience and an understanding and appreciation of these fields to effectively shape and implement grant making strategies within the Gender Equity and Governance Program. The Program Officer must have the ability to work seamlessly across strategic, substantive, and administrative aspects of the role.

The successful candidate will be a relationship builder with an effective communication style. They must have the skills necessary to create or foster professional networks and mobilize actors in joint and shared efforts, including other funders active in this field. Ideally, the candidate will have experience working with partners in government, civil society, philanthropic, academic, and private sector organizations, particularly in Africa. The successful candidate will thrive working across diverse fields, making connections and building bridges between fields and movements, especially those relevant to gender, social inclusion, and inclusive governance. The Program Officer must be committed to a nonpartisan, non-ideological approach, and be eager to marshal intellectual resources and practical thinking to solve problems.

To manage and evolve a relatively large portfolio of grantees, the Program Officer will have to apply a combination of sound judgment, creativity, and basic quantitative and qualitative analysis skills. A commitment to fiscal stewardship in both grant making and administrative activities is also essential. The foundation seeks a Program Officer who is comfortable operating with broad strategic parameters and exploring opportunities that can lead to bold and unconventional approaches.

The ideal candidate has the ability to thrive in a role with a degree of autonomy within an environment that is also highly collaborative, communicative, and team-oriented. Success in the role requires curiosity, the ability to identify, absorb and use information from a variety of sources and to apply it in decision-making across program streams, an enthusiasm to share and seek learnings about grant making practices and grantees' activities, and the ability to leverage the skills of people with different perspectives and styles. The ideal candidate will be an agile and rigorous thinker and be comfortable engaging in collegial debates about the future direction of programming. They will be organized, with outstanding oral and written communications skills, including the capacity to communicate complex problems, ideas, and solutions coherently, both verbally and in writing. Excellent listening skills, confidence, candor, curiosity, a sense of humor, humility, energy, and a commitment to the foundation's guiding principles are all essential characteristics for the role.

Qualifications & Experience

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have a minimum of 10 years of relevant experience. They should demonstrate extensive knowledge of global development, international relations, gender and social inclusion, and inclusive governance. Candidates should have experience on policy formulation and advocacy, strategy development, and implementation and management of a portfolio of projects and/or grants in low or lower-middle income countries. The successful candidate will likely have long-term experience living and working in Africa and will have lived and worked in several low- or middle-income countries, preferably including Latin America. Work experience should demonstrate an ability to think strategically, and to translate ideas into practical actions. A demonstrated track record in managing time, deadlines, and budgets are essential.

Essential qualifications include:

  • Demonstrated track record of influencing policy and management practice in low- and lower-middle-income countries at scale. Experience with indirect influence: in advocacy; implementation that is catalytic; and/or applied research that influences how others fund and/or implement programs.
  • Experience and knowledge on the intersections between gender equality, social inclusion, and inclusive governance.
  • Expertise in one or more disciplines relevant to governance and social inclusion.
  • Minimum of 3-5 years of professional experience in managing, tracking, conducting research on, or influencing policymaking processes of multilateral or regional and global institutions, or national government agencies responsible for shaping, exercising oversight or managing government services. Within such roles, experience managing diverse relationships and partnerships with civil society organizations/networks, other funding agencies, private sector, the media or other stakeholders concerned with effective governance.
  • Demonstrated experience/skills in representing or acting as a spokesperson for an organization to external audiences such as public speaking, appearing on or moderating expert panels, facilitating peer-to-peer dialogue, or sharing and influencing ideas through external communications platforms.
  • Strong analytical skills, and ability to use data, evidence, and quantitative/qualitative analytics to develop a strategy, allocate resources, and assess progress.
  • Ability to synthesize ideas and communicate effectively with diverse audiences, including grantees, colleagues, boards of directors, policymakers, and other donors (government and private).
  • Capacity to listen attentively and communicate persuasively, orally and in writing, in a range of settings.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally, as needed, around 25%-35% of time.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications for daily use (Word, Excel, Outlook Calendar).

Desirable qualifications include:

  • Experience leading and/or managing a portfolio of investments, program design, strategy development, and execution in inclusive governance and accountability at a large (i.e., national) scale or in an international institution with cross-sectoral emphasis.
  • Experience working with civil society organizations, grassroots organizations, and/or social movements active in inclusive governance or related fields of practice, either directly or through close collaborations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to integrating feminist principles into a wide variety of work, including efforts to promote inclusive governance and accountability.
  • Proficiency in French and/or Spanish is desirable.
  • Experience in planning and group facilitation in workshops, team meetings, peer-to-peer dialogues, feedback sessions, or other virtual / in-person spaces.
  • Proficiency in Salesforce and social media platforms.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position that carries an 8-year term limit.

The Hewlett Foundation is committed to providing compensation that is competitive within the philanthropic sector. The foundation offers a total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits. The salary range for this role is between $190,000 and $215,000. Offers are based on the candidate's years of experience and our practice of maintaining salary equity within the foundation. A pension plan, life, and medical insurance are included in the benefits package.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation embraces the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion, both internally in our hiring process and organizational culture and externally, in our grant making and related practices. The foundation is an equal-opportunity employer and welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.

Role Location

The role is based in Menlo Park, California, United States and will require relocation. The Hewlett Foundation has adopted a hybrid work environment requiring 2-3 days in the office when not traveling for work.

How to Apply
SRI Executive is exclusively retained by the Hewlett Foundation to undertake this assignment.

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