Cyber Initiative and Special Projects Fellow

Date Posted: 
Thu, October 05, 2017
Job Type: 
Job Category: 
Menlo Park, CA
Company Name: 
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Company Information: 

The Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For 50 years, the foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihood in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, and make the philanthropy sector more effective. The Hewlett Foundation’s assets are more than $9 billion with annual awards of grants totaling more than $400 million. More information about the Hewlett Foundation is available at:

Job Description: 

As the job title suggests, the Cyber Initiative and Special Projects Program Fellow will play an integral role in two distinct grantmaking efforts housed in the foundation president’s office.

The fellow will work closely with the Program Officer for the Cyber Initiative, who will provide the fellow with direction on the initiative’s grantmaking activities. Launched in March 2014, the goal of the initiative (and its $70 million grantmaking budget) is to build a capable field of cyber policy experts and expertise. The Cyber Initiative takes a broad view of cyber policy to include issues ranging from encryption to net neutrality to Internet governance to cyber conflict. Moreover, the 2016 election dramatically raised awareness about cybersecurity and democratic institutions– highlighting new needs, but also creating new opportunities.

Working directly with Foundation President, Larry Kramer, the fellow will help shape and implement grantmaking for the Special Projects portfolio. Special Projects grants are diverse – ranging from support for public broadcasting to exploration of artificial intelligence and the future of work – sometimes ad hoc, and require nimble and thoughtful attention to detail and execution. They strive to promote internal collaboration between different foundation programs, external collaboration with other funders, and/or discrete opportunities outside of the foundation’s core interest areas.
This position presents a unique opportunity to engage in both the strategic and tactical aspects of grantmaking under the Cyber Initiative and Special Projects program. As such, the fellow must be comfortable working across a changing and evolving landscape of work and juggling multiple projects at the same time.

The broad goals and responsibilities for the fellow are:

• Partner with the Cyber Initiative team to implement the initiative’s strategy, evaluate potential grantees, suggest new grant awards to the foundation president and board, and manage its grants portfolio.
• Work with the Cyber Initiative team to evaluate the effectiveness of its grantmaking, monitor its progress, and recommend strategy improvements.
• Work with the foundation president to plan and execute Special Projects grants.
• Manage the Special Projects budget, tracking all active and planned grants and other funding commitments.
• Manage relationships and communications with grantees and serve as their primary point of contact.
• Represent the foundation at meetings with key stakeholders from civil society, government, the private sector, and academia.
• Attend and represent the foundation at external events, including speaking on panels.
• Follow the cyber policy debate globally, stay abreast of trends and developments, and identify new opportunities for the foundation’s grantmaking.
• Travel to conduct site visits and attend conferences.


Candidates should exhibit the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Experience:
• An undergraduate or advanced degree as appropriate in law, policy, business, computer science, engineering, or related disciplines (preferred).
• Demonstrated interest and work experience in areas relevant to the Cyber Initiative.
• Excellent research and critical thinking skills and ability to conceptualize, think creatively, and thoughtfully approach assigned projects.
• Demonstrated capability to process and present complex information (both quantitative and qualitative) in a compelling manner both orally and in writing.
• Proficiency with technology tools and applications including MS Office.
• Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
• Willingness and interest in work travel to conduct site visits and participate in relevant conferences and meetings.

Personal Attributes:

• Possess an open-minded curiosity and willingness to carry out both substantive and administrative tasks
• Passionate commitment to the values and mission of the Hewlett Foundation.
• Poise and comfort representing the foundation externally and engaging a diverse array of partner organizations.
• Excellent organizational skills and ability to pay attention to details, along with a demonstrated track record of consistently meeting deadlines.
• Independent initiative, a sense of humor, and a collegial spirit in sharing ideas and receiving feedback. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively.
• Personal integrity, excellent judgment and flexibility.
• Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.

Physical Demands/Work Environment

The physical demands described are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to sit for extended periods of time and to travel via various modes of transportation for extended periods of time.

How to apply: 

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at Refer to Hewlett/SPF in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

Menlo Park