Program Officer

Job Title:  Program Officer (Full-time, Exempt)
Job Number:  18-17-3930

About the Packard Foundation

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 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

For 2019, we expect to make grantmaking awards of approximately $350 million. Our staff of 130 conducts our day-to-day operations and the Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees.

Our staff and senior leadership team are deeply engaging on our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and in our grantmaking.

The Organizational Effectiveness Team

The Organizational Effectiveness (OE) team invests in the core strengths of grantee leaders, organizations, and networks, enhancing their capacity to achieve their missions. One core belief has driven Organizational Effectiveness since the program began in 1983: Organizations are more effective when they are equipped with thoughtful strategy, strong leadership, and sound operations. Today, we carry on this work by making investments in leaders, organizations, networks, fields, and movements around the world to build their core strengths and maximize their impact.

We have two primary grant making strategies:

  • Support for key organizations funded by the Foundation, allowing them to invest in their core strengths in areas such as strategic and business planning, financial management and resilience, racial equity and inclusion, board and staff leadership, and communications capacity. These organization-focused grants range from targeted short-term support for single projects to multi-year comprehensive capacity building approaches.
  • Development and funding of customized cohort projects that strengthen capacities among groups of leaders and organizations, allowing participants to share knowledge, learn from their peers, and grow their networks. This is a growing body of work and emphasis.

The OE team also:

  • Provides mentorship and support to Packard Foundation staff on capacity building at the leader, organization, network, field, and movement levels.
  • Works to grow the Foundation’s role as a leader among capacity-building funders to increase investments in high quality capacity strengthening approaches.

The team works across the Population and Reproductive Health, Conservation and Science, and Children, Families and Communities programs. Historically, the OE team has made approximately 90 OE grants per year, investing a total of $4M in OE funds annually. In 2019 this investment is expected to double. You can learn more about our work at the OE Knowledge Center and the Foundation’s webpage.

The Program Officer Role and Key Responsibilities

In response to the growth in OE funding, we are thrilled to be adding a third Program Officer to the existing OE team. This is a multi-faceted role offering the opportunity to work with the leadership of the Foundation and across a range of departments and program areas.

As the new OE Program Officer, you will support the Foundation’s program teams in identifying the leaders and organizations who are at inflection points for transformational change and who welcome additional investments from the Foundation to strengthen their capacity. The goal of leaving a stronger ecosystem of organizations and leaders in the Foundation’s program areas will be your north star. In this role you will primarily support the Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) Program. PRH focuses on South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa internationally, Louisiana and Mississippi domestically, and on global reproductive health and rights.

You will work with program teams to analyze the capacities of systems and fields, bringing ideas and energy about potential capacity building models and approaches. You will work with a wide variety of leaders and organizations — from some of the largest NGOs in the world to small grass roots community organizations — approaching these relationships with a service and learning mindset, meeting our partners where they are, listening to their opportunities and challenges, and supporting them in the design of an approach and funding to support their goals.

As part of OE’s role in improving the practices of the field and the Foundation, you will also attend conferences, trainings, and gather learning from the field on equity, diversity, and inclusion (such as the Racial Equity to Accelerate Change Fund) to inform the Foundation’s work with our grantee partners. You will have opportunities to learn, write, and speak about a variety of topics of importance to OE’s work.

Ideal Candidate

Our ideal new colleague has deep experience in leadership development and/or organizational development and is energized by a desire to apply highly-tuned skills in service of the issues the Foundation supports. You are eager to support program strategies in strengthening the capacity of our partners on the full range of issues that the Foundation supports, and are deeply committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion. You are ready to stretch our thinking about how trends in organizational design and structure, networks, information sharing, and the blending of sectors impact the goals of the Foundation. You have the same comfort level and enthusiasm working with Foundation leadership, colleagues, and grantees ranging from large international development groups to small, grassroots, domestic groups. You have a broad and diverse network of colleagues, particularly in the leadership and organizational development fields.

You enjoy working with a close-knit team, bringing humility, positive energy, and your best effort to work every day. You are an excellent communicator, and gain energy and a sense of accomplishment working behind the scenes rather than in the spotlight. You are a proactive and patient partner and coach who enjoys serving both program staff and grantee partners, working to build positive, effective relationships with a high level of credibility and trust.

Key functional skills and background you will bring include:

  • Proven interpersonal and coaching skills, exceptional cultural competence and sensitivity, and ability to communicate across cultures
  • High level written and verbal communication skills
  • Understanding of success factors for nonprofit leaders, organizations, and networks
  • Well-developed diagnostic, planning, and program development skills, including assessment of strengths and capacity challenges in organizations at different levels
  • Experience developing, launching, and implementing complex projects with individuals and customized cohorts with a high level of customer satisfaction


  • At least eight years’ experience in the nonprofit organizational or leadership development field, as a service provider, a philanthropic advisor or practitioner, and/or as a local nonprofit leader who has managed foundation grants
  • Experience working within or consulting to nonprofits or NGOs
  • Comfort with all aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion
  • Interest in working on issues across the Foundation’s program areas
  • Willingness to travel both domestically and internationally
  • Knowledge and experience in reproductive health, rights, and justice would be an asset
  • Lived experience in the geographies where the Foundation invests would be an asset
  • Knowledge of the field of philanthropy is welcome but not essential

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 Program 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 annually 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 to 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 OE 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