Jobs Board

Program Officer, Democracy Rights and Governance (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 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


As the Packard Foundation continues 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, both on its own and also to sustain our and our partners’ work on other core issues.

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


Located within the new Just Societies goal area, and reporting to the DRG Director, the Program Officer (PO) will support the development and implementation of the DRG Initiative’s multi-year nonpartisan grantmaking strategy. The PO will execute on all aspects of annual grantmaking for the Initiative portfolio, under the guidance of the DRG Director, including program research, planning and development, project initiation, proposal evaluation, grant administration and monitoring, and post-grant evaluation. The Program Officer role blends subject matter expertise in DRG with exceptional interpersonal and collaboration skills as both a key point of contact for DRG grantees and internal partners for related Initiative teams.


Grantmaking (70%)

  • Working with the Initiative Director, lead the development and implementation of the strategy for one or more portfolios of the Initiative.
  • Identify and cultivate new opportunities for investment; research and conduct analyses in areas of strategic priority
  • Partner with the DRG team to support all aspects of annual grantmaking – assessing opportunities, evaluating the impact of investments and supporting diverse recipient organizations
  • Partner with colleagues across the newly formed Just Societies team, and throughout the Foundation, to support the work of the Packard Foundation’s three main goal areas: to Protect and Restore Our Natural World, to Invest in Families and Communities, and to Build Just Societies
  • Provide expert advice and assistance to grantees and peer funders regarding philanthropic strategies, potential grantee and funding partners, trends in the democracy field, results of academic research, and more.
  • Clearly and consistently communicate with grant recipients, staff and other partners in a transparent, timely, and respectful manner
  • Partner with a grants officer, program associate, consultants and grantees in a highly collaborative environment, to ensure effective grantmaking and operations of the strategy and that deadlines and budgets are met or readjusted as needed
  • Manage the grant proposal process and contribute to the shaping of proposals as needed
  • Review and resolve legal, financial, and technical issues raised by specific grants and grant reports
  • Develop data-driven reviews and summaries, including quarterly Board docket materials, strategy updates, and dashboards, for Foundation leadership and Board members that address key activities, progress, and issues

Field Leadership (30%)

  • Organize foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees, partners, and field experts
  • Ensure that strategic communications and monitoring and evaluation are fully integrated into the portfolio’s grantmaking strategies; maintain a dynamic learning environment for grantees and staff to understand evaluation data to support strategy modifications over time; synthesize and share lessons
  • Collaborate with the Board, Foundation staff, nonprofit representatives, and other key internal and external stakeholders to provide strategic leadership, identify gaps, and develop effective solutions
  • Effectively represent the Foundation and the initiative when meeting with current and potential grantees, giving presentations and attending public forums and conferences on topics of relevance, and when interacting with nonprofit, intergovernmental and private sector leaders, elected officials, academics, collaboratives, and journalists
  • Provide external leadership in the field through writing, collaboration, and thought leadership
  • Engage in cross-cutting Foundation-wide learning and strategy projects to inform the Foundation’s overall work
  • Help to achieve the initiative goals through outreach and direct engagement with individuals and organizations – in the NGO, public, and private sectors – to promote change and build strategic partnerships


The position is full-time. The salary range for this position based in California is $173,000 to $245,000 USD annually. This salary range is an estimate, and the actual salary may vary based on various factors, including without limitation individual education, experience, tenure, certification, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity and alignment with market data.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation offers excellent benefits for eligible employees. Current benefits include medical (HMO and HDHPs), dental and vision coverage; 15% employer contribution to employee retirement plan; life insurance, disability insurance, vacation, and sick leave; an adoption benefit; fertility benefit; a financial wellness program; health advocacy services, paid time off to volunteer for nonprofit organizations; matching grants for employee contributions to tax exempt organizations; commute assistance; and tuition assistance.

Job Qualifications


  • A Bachelor’s degree is required for this role.
  • An advanced degree in a related or complementary field is preferred.


  • Deep expertise in the core issues of the DRG portfolio gained through a minimum of 7 – 9 years of relevant experience.
  • Additional preferred experience would include work: either in or with rural communities; in government at the local, state, or national level; on issues of polarization; with leaders in the business, faith, veterans, or other key communities interested in democratic renewal and/or social cohesion.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • A commitment to, and interest in, the Foundation’s vision, mission, and values.
  • Track record of success as a results-oriented thought leader and program manager within a philanthropic, nonprofit, organizing, management consulting, academic or government context.
  • Innovative, strategic and analytical thinker skilled in understanding and meeting ever-evolving challenges.
  • Highly skilled and persuasive communicator with exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills
  • Proven ability to build effective partnerships and networks and sustain collaborative relationships at multiple levels both internally and externally
  • Self-directed combined with a flexibility and capacity to give and receive feedback graciously
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in a team-based and collegial workplace
  • Deeply committed to inclusion and creating a workplace that is supportive of difference; experience with diverse teams and success at navigating cross-cultural communication
  • Devoted to growing own cultural competence and willing to actively participate in the Foundation’s efforts to integrate justice and equity in all facets of our work
  • Administratively self sufficient

COVID-19: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation requires that all staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except as required by law. Any employment offer will be contingent upon satisfactory proof that you are fully vaccinated from COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.

Hybrid Work Policy: The Packard Foundation’s current Hybrid Work Policy is that staff are expected to be in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week and may work remotely on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

How to Apply

To apply: Nominations and applications are due by October 6, 2023. Please send a resume and cover letter to:

EEO Statement: The Foundation is an equal employment opportunity employer, which means we recruit, hire, assign, train, promote, compensate, provide benefits, discipline, and discharge (and all the other terms and conditions of employment) based on merit, qualifications, job requirements, and other legitimate business factors.

We do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race (including traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles), color, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), creed, sex, gender (including pregnancy, child birth, breast feeding, and/or related medical conditions), marital or registered domestic partner status, age (over 40), national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition (as defined by California law), military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, or on any other category protected by applicable law. We also do not discriminate based on whether a person is associated with someone else who is in any of the protected categories or is perceived to be in any of the protected categories.

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

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