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Vacancy: Hewlett Foundation, Program Officer, Global Development and Population


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The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, seeks a Program Officer for the Global Development and Population Program.

About the Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has been making grants since 1967 to help solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation’s assets are more than $7.5 billion, with annual awards of grants and gifts totaling over $350 million. A thirteen member Board of Directors provides overall direction for the Foundation. For more information about the Foundation, please visit

About the Global Development and Population Program

The Global Development and Population Program make grants to improve the well-being of vulnerable people. In developing countries, this grantmaking focuses on promoting women’s empowerment, including through expanded access to high quality reproductive health care; and on promoting transparent, accountable governance to deliver social services. The program also makes grants to strengthen the capacity of research-based organizations, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, to collect and use data. The Global Development and Population Program team currently consists of nineteen staff, including eleven Program Officers.

About the Position

The new Program Officer will report to Ruth Levine, Program Director, and work collaboratively with other Program Officers and Program Associates. A particular focus of this position will be on the generation, use, and communication of data to inform and influence policy decisions and to improve accountable governance. Specific roles and responsibilities include:

  • Participate in strategic planning for grantmaking related to research capacity, transparency and accountability.
  • Maintain current knowledge of trends, practices, technology applications, and other related aspects of the Program field.
  • Review and assess grantee proposals in light of Program strategies.
  • Provide assistance to grantees and other parties in the field.
  • Draft proposal summaries for Board consideration and discretionary awards.
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with colleagues in the Foundation’s headquarters, and with diverse groups of professionals and professional organizations, foundations, and funding sources.
  • Make site visits, attend conferences, and represent Foundation programs to the public and to leaders in the Program area.
  • Evaluate grants and Program initiatives and respond to annual grantee reports.
  • Contribute to the Foundation’s interest in and practice of strategic philanthropy, including due diligence, goal setting, review of business plans, knowledge building, and evaluation.
  • Represent the Foundation’s programs to a variety of external entities.
  • Guide potential grantees through the Foundation’s proposal process, including its compliance-related procedures.
  • Organize Foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees and field experts.

The Program Officer’s responsibilities involve working with a broad array of collaborators, including grantees, multi and bilateral donors and civil society organizations. Ideally, the Program Officer will possess knowledge of relevant international social and economic development issues. The Program Officer should bring a deep understanding of African contexts; a demonstrated track record of building and fostering sustainable partnerships at the regional and international level; an ability to work with advocacy organizations in the collection and use of data to inform key policy making actions; a strong methodological and analytical capacity; and an abundance of energy and intellectual curiosity.

Moreover, the Program Officer should possess exceptional interpersonal skills and a capacity to work in highly collaborative teams comprising colleagues as well as individuals in government, private-sector, and international institutions; public policy organizations; think tanks; and academic institutions engaged in the international arena.

The Program Officer should ideally possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:


  • Advanced degree in development economics, population science, or related discipline.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of transparency and accountability issues and actors, as well as issues related to the generation and use of data for research, for policy formulation and for monitoring government performance in developing countries.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of approaches to mobilize citizen participation and catalyze citizen feedback a plus.
  • Applied knowledge of social science methodologies in research design, data collection and quantification, modeling, and analysis.
  • Relevant grantmaking experience, preferably including designing and implementing strategies, developing budgets, and managing portfolios.
  • Demonstrated success mobilizing and working with multilateral and development organizations, foundations, other nonprofit entities, and academia, as well as government officials and technical personnel in developing countries.
  • Excellent writing skills and capacity to distill complex ideas in simple language, both verbally and in writing.

Personal Attributes

  • Deep commitment to the values and mission of the Hewlett Foundation and to the vision and goals of its Global Development and Population Program.
  • Ability and flexibility to travel extensively.
  • French language skills and work experience in Africa strongly preferred.
  • Exceptional ability to articulate and realize a vision, to motivate others, and to work collaboratively with a high-caliber team of staff and external partners.
  • Capacity to learn from experience, to adapt as needed, to generate new and practical ideas, to listen, and to work with others to shape emerging issues.
  • Excellent organizational skills, with a demonstrated track record of consistently meeting deadlines.
  • Natural talent for bridging differences, finding common ground, and building relationships with people at all levels of society.
  • Capacity to communicate persuasively, orally and in writing, in a range of settings.
  • Clear personal integrity and sense of humility.

Compensation and Benefits

The Hewlett Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a salary commensurate with experience and education. This position is exempt and full-time.

To Apply

Please email your resume and cover letter detailing your interest in this position to Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company: Please refer to PO/HF in the Subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcome a diverse pool of candidates for this search.

The Foundation uses an outside firm to check the accuracy of information supplied by applicants.

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