Evaluation and Learning Officer

Job Title:  Evaluation and Learning Officer

Job Number:  19-06-3050

We are a family foundation 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. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Foundation) is guided by the core values of integrity, respect for all people, belief in individual leadership, commitment to effectiveness, and the capacity to think big.

We invest in organizations and leaders, collaborate with them to identify strategic solutions, and support them over time to reach common goals. We continue to invest on the issues our founders cared about most:

  • Improving the lives of children, families, and communities
  • Advancing reproductive health and rights
  • Restoring and protecting our planet

A staff of 130 conducts our day-to-day operations, and the Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees. For 2019, we expect to award $350M in grants.

The Evaluation and Learning Team

Our Evaluation and Learning Team (E&L Team) strives to stay on the leading edge of monitoring, evaluation, and learning methodologies to ensure strategies for each of the Foundation’s 23 subprograms and their impacts are effectively evaluated and aligned with our mission, values, and goals. We are grounded in the belief that consistent monitoring, third-party evaluation, and shared learning enable us and our grantees to continually improve and achieve the changes we seek in the world.

Our monitoring, evaluation, and learning work is guided by five principles:

  • Continuously Learn and Adapt
  • Learn in Partnership
  • Use a Variety of Information
  • Cultivate Inquiry
  • Share Learning to Increase Impact

The Opportunity

The Foundation is adding another Evaluation and Learning Officer (ELO) to our dynamic E&L Team. The new ELO will join the Foundation during a period of significant growth in funding and support to our grantees and will have the opportunity to help shape and guide the trajectory of the Foundation’s evaluation and learning work.

Reporting to the Evaluation and Learning Director, the new ELO will have the opportunity to use their technical expertise from the field of strategy, evaluation, and learning to act as a thought partner to the Population and Reproductive Health program (50% of role), Climate program (20%), and the Mission Investing team (15%). The new ELO will spend the remaining 15% of their time supporting Foundation-wide evaluation and learning initiatives.

In this newly created role, you will provide thought leadership to ensure that programs have the necessary mechanisms in place to effectively assess their current strategies and use the insights gathered to optimize their impact. The new ELO will play a pivotal role on the E&L Team in strengthening the Foundation’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) practice across all program areas.

Using learnings gathered from collaboration across the field, you will assist program teams in refining their theories of change, reassessing their priorities, and refreshing their goals and objectives.

Key areas of responsibility will be:

  1. Direct Service and Technical Support. Partnering with internal teams, the ELO will provide a full suite of ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and learning guidance including support for strategy, monitoring and evaluation design, and identifying capacity gaps. Tapping into their professional network, the ELO will also help identify evaluation partners to conduct the monitoring and evaluation work.
  2. Cross-Foundation Learning. The E&L Team is responsible for curating and facilitating cross-program learning around philanthropic effectiveness. The new ELO will be a knowledge gatherer and will seek best practices from the field, at conferences, and in relevant trainings to bring to the Foundation in order to strengthen both internal evaluation practices, as well as practices in the field of philanthropy at large.
  3. Processes, Tools, and Systems Management. The E&L Team ensures that program teams have the mechanisms and tools in place to effectively understand outcomes and use these insights to maximize their program’s impact. As part of the E&L Team, the ELO will support continual resource development and recommend and deliver improvements to existing processes and systems.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate has deep technical expertise in the design and implementation of measurement and evaluation techniques. The ELO is an evaluation methodology generalist, possessing a mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches to share with our program teams to help them build effective strategies. The ELO has the emotional intelligence, tact, and professionalism to know when and how to ask the right questions to provide technical expertise to program teams as a true thought partner.

The ELO has excellent communication skills, particularly in synthesizing, interpreting, and presenting complex information to a variety of audiences. The ELO brings demonstrated experience engaging on a deep level with high-level researchers, as well as on a less technical level with colleagues and partners. The selected candidate has the ability to design and facilitate learning sessions with both internal teams and external audiences.

The ELO has a track record of approaching institutional partners with humility, grace, and commitment to learning. The selected candidate brings deep professional networks they can leverage to support partners with the resources they need to achieve their goals.


Candidates must have a minimum of eight years of experience leading strategy, measurement and evaluation, and promoting ongoing learning and adaptive management in the nonprofit, government, academic, or private sector. Candidates must be well-versed in using a variety of qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques.

Intellectual curiosity, strong analytical and critical thinking skills, and the ability to balance multiple, often competing priorities 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 in this role.

Experience working at organizations as a grant recipient is helpful. A knowledge or deep interest in current issues in population and reproductive health, climate science, and/or mission investing is essential to success in this role.

The ELO will be based in Los Altos, California and will travel both domestically and internationally. On the ground work experience in geographies where the Foundation invests is valuable.

Working at the Foundation

Located in Los Altos in Northern California, the Foundation is housed in two adjacent buildings, including a beautiful certified net zero energy and LEED® Platinum building, which is a manifestation of our commitment to preserving the earth’s natural resources. We offer a broad selection of benefits to our staff that commute to Los Altos including Caltrain passes with shuttle service to and from the station and electric car charging stations.

The Foundation also provides outstanding health benefits and a small onsite gym. We offer competitive salaries plus a discretionary 15% contribution to a retirement fund. The Evaluation and Learning Officer will earn 16 days of vacation to start, two personal holidays, one week of paid volunteer time, and a scheduled paid office closure week in December each year.

We continually work toward equitable compensation for all employees across different job functions in our organization. One of the actions we take is to utilize pay ranges. We review the ranges regularly for job functions to be commensurate with the responsibilities and the needed related work experience. The median of the pay range for this position is $140,000 per year.

To Be Considered

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation values diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing our work and views diversity as including differences in race and gender, as well as age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, job skills, education, and geographic location. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply.

Please visit the candidate portal submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role.

A team from Waldron is assisting the search for the Evaluation and Learning Program Officer:


Melissa Merritt, Principal

Direct: 206.792.4300



Mikkell Roeland, Director, Executive Search

Direct: 206.792.4222



Joanne Machin, Senior Associate

Direct: 206.792.4219