Democracy Rights and Governance Director


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.


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.


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.


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.


As we continue to actively examine how we can contribute to a more just and equitable society, it is clear that a strong democracy in the United States is critical on its own and also foundational to sustain our and partners’ work on other core issues.

The new U.S. Democracy, Rights and Governance initiative will seek to advance an inclusive, pro-equity and multi-racial democracy. Initial focus areas include: repairing the United States’ social fabric; supporting effective governance, civic infrastructure and election integrity; bolstering faith in institutions of government; and combatting disinformation.

Reporting initially to the President and CEO, the DRG Director will develop and manage this nonpartisan grantmaking strategy, and partner with other Foundation colleagues when their program can be strengthened through collaborative work on democracy, especially in state and regional contexts. The DRG Director will identify and advance urgent short-term goals and, in parallel, create a pathway that supports the long-term vibrancy and health of democratic norms, infrastructure and institutions.

The Director must be an exceptional communicator, with strong emotional intelligence. They must be able to effectively represent the Foundation in all situations, including with partners across the political spectrum, in many fields (civil society, academia, philanthropy) as well as on the Hill. They must engage effectively with the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, nonprofit representatives, as well as other key internal and external stakeholders. The position is based in downtown Los Altos, CA. or Washington, D.C.

This is an outstanding opportunity for a leader with expertise in the field of U.S. Democracy to shape and evolve the initiative from early-stage to sustained impact.


Develop and Oversee Initiative Strategy

Building upon early grants and incorporating input from the President, Trustees and colleagues across the Foundation, develop a strategy to address immediate threats to U.S. Democracy as well as longer-term approaches that bolster confidence in government institutions and civic life

Ensure that the strategy and portfolio align with the Foundation’s vision, mission, values and theory of change

Provide written and verbal communication to President, Trustees, and other stakeholders about the U.S. Democracy portfolio, learning and evolution, and progress against goals

Collaborative Grantmaking

Consult with key thought-partners across the Foundation, in program, organizational effectiveness, the Director of Justice and Equity Grantmaking, legal, communications, etc.

Identify democracy grant and initiative opportunities that:

Intersect with other Packard Foundation domestic programs (reproductive health, climate, families and local communities) in order to accelerate outcomes; and

Seek to repair the United States’ social fabric, support effective governance, civic infrastructure and election integrity while bolstering faith in institutions of government and combatting disinformation

Oversee operations including review and approval of all U.S. Democracy grantmaking decisions

Manage the budget for the U.S. Democracy initiative

In cooperation with the Evaluation and Learning team set evaluation and learning goals for the U.S. Democracy portfolio, collect data, and regularly reflect on the results, making changes as appropriate

Field Leadership

Effectively represent the Foundation to government leaders, elected officials, nonprofits, academics, collaboratives and journalists

Provide external leadership in the field through writing, collaboration, and thought-leadership

Communicate policy and field knowledge through briefings and interviews



A minimum of 8-10 years of experience in philanthropy and/or the field of U.S. Democracy

Experience using evidence as well as sound judgment and integrity to develop effective, productive programmatic partnerships

Advanced degree in a related field or equivalent education or work experience

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Passion for, and belief in, the system of democracy. Ability to work in a nonpartisan, productive and collaborative manner across the ideological spectrum

Skilled communicator with exceptional interpersonal, facilitation, and written and oral communication skills

Diplomatic and respectful approach to problem-solving; demonstrated ability to thrive in a team-based and collegial workplace

Comfortable with ambiguity, a fast pace of work and risk-taking inherent in a highly dynamic setting; can move start-up projects from concept to completion, and adapt as needed based on learning and input from others

Experience in the design and facilitation of meetings and agile internal planning processes

Deeply committed to inclusion and creating a workplace that is supportive of difference; success at navigating cross-cultural communication and diverse teams

Devoted to growing their cultural competence and willing to actively participate in the Foundation’s efforts to integrate justice and equity in all facets of the work

Independent and decisive leader with a point of view, who demonstrates initiative, responsiveness, pragmatism and thoughtfulness. Comfort in admitting what they do not know and asking for input

Knowledge of evaluation-based approaches

Meticulous adherence to compliance, due diligence, and cost-effective processes.

Proficiency in Microsoft Office products (e.g., Outlook, SharePoint, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and a willingness to learn and become proficient with Foundation systems

The position is full-time, exempt. The salary for this position starts at $215,000 annually. Offers are based on the candidate’s years of experience and our practice of upholding salary equity within the foundation.

Nominations and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please send a resume and cover letter (non-pdf) to:

The David Lucile and Packard Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants. The David Lucile and Packard Foundation lives the values it supports. Our green headquarters is net zero energy and LEED® Platinum. Our bathrooms are gender neutral. Employees get a full week of paid time each year to volunteer with a non-profit of their choice. The Foundation also has a generous donation matching program for staff.

Viewcrest Advisors is supporting this critical search and is committed to social justice and access to opportunity; the organization actively cultivates relationships with leaders who have varied life experiences as well as the skills needed to lead strong, innovative programs and organizations. To view Viewcrest Advisors’ privacy policy, please visit