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Program Associate, Environment & Science – Global Fisheries (The David and Lucile Packard Foundation)

Company Name

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Company City

Los Altos

Company State


Job Location

Los Altos, California

Company Information

The David & Lucile Packard Foundation was founded in 1964 by David and Lucile Packard. We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, resilient natural world. 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.

Job Description


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.


The Program Associate (PA) is the lead 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 internal and external partners to contribute to Initiative and Foundation goals.

This role will be responsible for leading, developing, and implementing the operations for the newly formed Global Fisheries Portfolio, one of three portfolios within the Foundation’s Ocean Initiative. This portfolio takes an integrated approach to systems change from local to global levels by supporting leaders, organizations, and grantee partners that focus on building power and agency within ocean-reliant communities so that they can lead and participate in interventions that advance a sustainable and equitable seafood sector. The program associate will partner closely with multiple local and international Environment and Science (E&S) colleagues, including several Program Officers (POs), a Director, and regional advisors to ensure effective grantmaking of our Ocean portfolios. The Environment and Science team 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, the Ocean Initiative centers the communities who depend most on a healthy ocean and engages them in developing and implementing solutions that protect and restore marine biodiversity, achieving equitable and sustainable fisheries, and harnessing ocean-based climate solutions.

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


Grantee Partnership (~20%)

  • Build strong partnerships with grantees by deeply understanding their work, their unique organization needs and 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 a Program Officer 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 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; draft other written materials as needed

Organizational Collaboration & Process Improvement (~20%)

  • Collaborate across the Foundation’s GDO 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

Job Qualifications

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


  • Four years of related cross-functional operations, partnering, and/or 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

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 within and outside of the Foundation
  • 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 as needed
  • Ability to be consistent and dependable for full-time work and be available to work overtime as needed

How to Apply

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