Program Associate, Environment & Science

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Published
January 6, 2023
Location
Los Altos, California
Category
Program  
Job Type

Description

ABOUT THE DAVID AND LUCILE PACKARD FOUNDATION

We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, resilient natural world. Over our nearly 60-year history, we have worked with thousands of organizations and leaders in the U.S. and worldwide to advance progress in the critical areas of science, ocean and land conservation, climate change, women’s reproductive health and rights, and the well-being of children, families, and communities. At a time of multiple, intertwined crises globally and here in the U.S., the Packard Foundation began in 2021 a long-planned review of our grantmaking strategies. The first step of our process was to rearticulate our vision and mission, reexamine our organizational values, and create a strategic framework that builds on and honors the Packard Foundation’s past while advancing justice and equity in all that we do.

OUR VISION: A just and equitable world where both people and nature flourish.  

Our new vision embraces a future where both people and nature flourish in a more just and equitable world. We explicitly acknowledge that the fate of people and the natural environment are inextricably linked. Solutions to the complex challenges we face must account for this interconnectedness.

OUR MISSION: We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, resilient natural world. 

Our new mission takes on the critical work of addressing root causes of the challenges we face and mobilizing people for collective action. In addition to building on approaches that have guided our philanthropy for decades — working in partnership, committing to issues over the long-term, and grounding our work in science, knowledge, and data – we focus on understanding the systems that either accelerate or impede progress. It is only through just and equitable systems that we can find and sustain solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face today.

OUR VALUES: Equity, Integrity, Belief in Individual Leadership, Thinking Big, Respect, and Effectiveness. 

In addition to clarifying our long-held values, we added equity. We will champion equity by treating people with dignity, honoring a range of ideas and perspectives from those closest to the issues, creating inclusive processes, and funding people who have been historically excluded to spur progress for all.  For more information, including our definitions of key concepts, please visit our website.

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT
This role will be a key member of the Grants and Data Operations team (GDO). GDO leads the Foundation’s grantmaking operations and data practices to further our Foundation’s goals.  GDO is responsible for continuous assessment and improvement of our grantmaking practices to enable staff and our grantee partners to do their important work. As a center of excellence for these practices, GDO team members work across the Foundation in close partnership with all departments and functions to understand current and future needs to deliver exceptional grantee experience, insightful data, and information, and proactively adapt to meet those needs.

ABOUT THE ROLE
The Program Associate (PA) is the main point of contact for our grantees when it comes to ensuring the grantmaking cycle and process is understood, effective, and streamlined. Through partnership with the grantees, an understanding of their needs, and strong knowledge of our internal processes, the Program Associate works with many internal and external partners to contribute to Initiative and Foundation goals.

This role will be responsible for leading, developing, and implementing the operations for our Forests for People and Climate Initiative (FPCI). They will partner closely with multiple local and international Environment and Science Program Officers (POs) and regional advisors, to ensure effective implementation of our climate strategies, with our work always centered around grantees. Environment and Science (E&S) supports work to achieve the Foundation’s three goals, with a particular focus on the goal of protecting and restoring our natural world. To do this, we champion bold climate solutions, an ocean that sustains us, and scientific innovation and discovery to secure the health and future of people and planet. Across our globe, the fate of both people and our natural world are inextricably linked, and all solutions must account for both. Within E&S, FPCI contributes to a collaborative program of donors, non-governmental organizations, and civil society organizations, that brings to bear the ambition, focus, knowledge, and partnerships required to halt and reverse tropical deforestation while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation. An interest in or passion for the environment and some knowledge of Indonesian Bahasa is preferred, but not required.

This position reports to the Program Operations Manager and joins a team of passionate individuals committed to developing effective processes and strong, trust-based relationships, designed to support the needs of our grantees.

PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Grantee Partnership (~20%) 

Build strong partnership with grantees by deeply understanding their work, their unique organization needs & processes, and their local jurisdiction requirements to collaboratively identify the most effective pathways to funding while ensuring a positive grantee experience

Serve as the main point of contact for grantees for needs related to initiating and moving the grant through its full lifecycle, creatively problem solving as complex grantmaking issues arise, and negotiating in multiple directions to meet internal and external requirements

Invest in learning and understanding Initiative strategies and key partners to draft grant summaries, inform work with grantees, and support strategy measurement and refinement

Grantmaking & Initiative Operations (~60%) 

Manage a portfolio of ongoing grants, payments, and reports on various timelines and ensure accurate and timely set-up/review/submission of files and information within the grantmaking system through each step of the grant lifecycle, leveraging developed expertise in legal compliance, grantmaking systems, and financial grantmaking requirements

Work with Program Officers to develop and execute annual and ongoing grantmaking plans with knowledge of prior work with grantees, identification of opportunities for collaboration across the Foundation, and understanding of up-to-date budgets, timelines, and grantmaking requirements

Proactively identify, develop, and lead implementation of team operational processes and tools for Initiative collaboration and planning, with an eye towards equity, effectiveness, and easing grantee burden to better serve grantees, our partners, and the goals of the Foundation

Serve as the Fluxx Grants Management System expert on the Initiative team, with working knowledge of the back-end database structure, fields, and user-interface, along with grant file requirements and associated rationale for those requirements; develop Fluxx dashboards to enable effective creation and team tracking of grants

Facilitate the development and management of strategy grant and operations budgets; For grant budgets, develop team processes and utilize existing tools to reconcile for accuracy and track actual/projected payout on an ongoing basis

As needed, manage the quarterly Board docket preparation process for the Initiative team, including developing and tracking timelines for content creation, crafting content and editing materials, and coordinating the feedback process and on-time material submission to the docket site

Organizational Collaboration & Process Improvement (~20%) 

Collaborate across the Foundation’s Grants, Data, and Operations team to create greater operational cooperation, transparency, and accountability for the Foundation, including supporting our ability to gather insightful data to guide our work

Provide ongoing feedback/ideas and contribute to Foundation-wide process improvements to grantmaking operations; act as representative for specific needs of the Initiative and associated geographies within these conversations

With other PAs and Initiative teams, identify, manage, and implement internal processes required to ensure alignment and coordinated implementation for workstreams and partners/grantees spanning multiple teams

Participate in, and occasionally lead, guest speaker events, cross-Foundation working groups, and program forums to enable learning across the Foundation

Pursue ongoing professional development opportunities and participate in Foundation-wide training sessions

QUALIFICATIONS

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities  
Strong operations and project coordination/management skills and experience, including the ability to develop, lead, and implement projects, processes, and systems, both independently and with colleagues

Ability to manage and collaborate across multiple stakeholders, both internal and external to the organization, to understand needs, negotiate priorities, and develop alignment; Ability to establish and maintain positive and productive working relationships with all people

Excellent attention to detail and the ability to complete work with a high degree of accuracy and dependability

A track record of being able to meet tight, sometimes simultaneous, deadlines with a keen ability to prioritize, adapt to changing needs, and partner with others to meet common goals

Strong written and verbal communication skills

A desire to grow your own cultural competence and dedication to actively participating in the Foundation’s work to integrate justice and equity into all facets of our work

Proficiency in Microsoft Office products (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) or similar tools and a willingness to learn and become proficient with Foundation systems including Fluxx and Microsoft SharePoint

Ability to work with individuals and teams across functions, organizations, and countries, including coordinating among different time zones and being available for periodic early morning or evening calls

Willingness and ability to travel occasionally to conferences and grantee sites, both domestic and international, as needed

Ability to be consistent and dependable for full-time work and be available to work overtime as needed

Education and Experience 
An Associate’s degree or equivalent experience/training is required for this role.

Four years of related cross-functional operations, partnering, and project management experience required.

Passion for the Foundation’s mission, as well as experience in the nonprofit sector, experience in grantmaking processes and familiarity with best practices, either through a foundation or grantee perspective, is desirable but not required.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

The position is full-time. The salary range for this position starts at $78,000 per year. Offers are based on the candidate's years of experience and our practice of upholding salary equity within the foundation.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation offers excellent benefits for eligible employees. Current benefits include medical (HMO and HDHPs), dental and vision coverage; 15% employer contribution to employee retirement plan; life insurance, disability insurance, vacation, and sick leave; an adoption benefit; fertility benefit; a financial wellness program; health advocacy services, paid time off to volunteer for nonprofit organizations; matching grants for employee contributions to tax exempt organizations; commute assistance; and tuition assistance.

HYBRID WORK POLICY

The Packard Foundation’s current Hybrid Work Policy is that staff are expected to be in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.

 COVID-19

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation requires that all staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except as required by law. Any employment offer will be contingent upon satisfactory proof that you are fully vaccinated from COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.

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