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Program Officer, Transparency, Accountability and Participation

Global Development and Population Program

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Program Officer, Transparency, Accountability and Participation
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 it makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation’s assets are more than $8 billion, with annual awards of grants and gifts totaling over $350 million. A fourteen-member Board of Directors provides overall direction for the Foundation.

Learn more about The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

About the Global Development and Population Program

The Global Development and Population Program makes grants to improve the well-being of vulnerable people. While the majority of the program’s work is focused on improving social and economic outcomes in low-income countries, an important component of the program’s grantmaking includes the United States as well.

In developing countries, the program’s grantmaking focuses on:

  • Women’s empowerment, including expanding access to high-quality reproductive healthcare and economic opportunities; and
  • Increasing the responsiveness of governments to their citizens’ needs, by promoting transparency and accountability, and creating the conditions for evidence-informed policymaking.

The Program has a geographic focus on East and West African countries, as well as a significant portfolio of grants in Mexico.

In the United States, the Foundation pursues an agenda to improve women’s ability to exercise reproductive choice and rights. Specifically, grantmaking has focused on efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy and protect access to family planning and abortion services.

The Global Development and Population Program team currently consists of nineteen staff, including ten Program Officers.

The Position

Reporting to the Program Director for Global Development and Population, the Program Officer will work collaboratively with the team to develop and implement a grantmaking strategy in the field of transparency, accountability, and citizen participation. This position will be a strategic member of the Global Development and Population Program and will explore areas of opportunity and contribute knowledge to the field. Grants in the portfolio may include support for efforts that: promote the generation, use, and analysis of data on public resources and service delivery outcomes; strengthen accountability mechanisms to solicit and respond to citizen engagement; and/or deepen understanding of how to enable citizen participation for accountability.

In developing and managing a portfolio of grantees, the Program Officer will review and assess grant proposals aligned with the Program’s overall strategy and guide prospective grantees through the Foundation’s proposal process, including compliance-related procedures. This position will also develop strong working relationships with grantees, providing assistance to them and to other parties in the field, evaluate grants and program initiatives, and respond to annual grantee reports. The Program Officer is also responsible for drafting proposal summaries for Board consideration and discretionary awards.

The Foundation expects Program Officers to develop and maintain effective, cross-organizational working relationships with colleagues as well as externally with diverse groups of professionals and organizations, foundations, and funding partners. This includes representing the Foundation and the Global Development and Population Program to a variety of constituencies, and organizing Foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees and field experts. Site visits and participation in relevant conferences are also important responsibilities for the role.

The Program Officer will contribute to the Foundation’s interest in and practice of strategic philanthropy, including carrying out due diligence, developing and updating strategies, and engaging in learning and impact assessments. To this end, the Program Officer will stay abreast of trends in theory, practice, and technology applications within the transparency and accountability field.

Ideal Profile

The Foundation seeks an innovative thinker and resourceful self-starter who is passionate about enabling citizens and civil society organizations to advance the transparency, accountability, and responsiveness of governments around the world so that citizens are able to access quality services. Candidates must have a full understanding and appreciation of this field to effectively shape and implement grantmaking strategies within the Global Development and Population Program. The Program Officer must have the ability to work seamlessly across strategic, substantive, and administrative aspects of the role.

The successful candidate will be an effective relationship builder with a clear, articulate communication style. S/he must have the skills necessary to create or foster professional networks and mobilize actors in joint and shared efforts. Ideally, the candidate will have experience working with partners in academic, nonprofit, philanthropic, public, and private sector settings. The Program Officer must be committed to a nonpartisan, non-ideological approach, and be eager to marshal intellectual resources and practical thinking to solve problems.

To build and manage a portfolio of grantees, the Program Officer will have to apply a combination of sound judgment, creativity, and basic quantitative and qualitative analysis skills. A commitment to fiscal stewardship in both grantmaking and administrative activities is also essential. The Foundation seeks a Program Officer who is comfortable operating with broad strategic parameters and exploring opportunities that can lead to bold and unconventional approaches.

The Foundation is highly collaborative, communicative, and team-oriented. Candidates must demonstrate these qualities in their work and have the intellectual prowess and curiosity to contribute across Program streams. To succeed in the role, they should also possess an enthusiasm to share and seek learnings about grantmaking practices and grantees’ activities, and the ability to leverage the skills of people with different perspectives and styles.

The ideal candidate will be an agile and rigorous thinker, and be comfortable engaging in collegial debates about the future direction of programming. S/he will be organized, succinct, and precise with outstanding oral and written communications skills, including the capacity to write complex documents quickly. Excellent listening skills, confidence, candor, a sense of humor, humility, energy, and a commitment to the Foundation’s values are all essential characteristics for the role.

An advanced degree in a related field, such as political science, public policy, economics, and/or international relations is strongly preferred, with a minimum of 8 years of relevant work experience, including in global contexts. Candidates must demonstrate an understanding and sensitivity to cultural differences, and openness to new ways of doing things.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Extensive knowledge of global development, international relations, and governance and civil society networks.
  • Familiarity with the policy environment in developing countries.
  • Familiarity with African and/or Mexican contexts is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, and to translate ideas to practical actions.
  • Demonstrated track record in managing time, deadlines, and budgets is essential.
  • Willingness to travel domestically and internationally as needed, a minimum of 25% time.
  • Fluency in Spanish for those working on the Mexico portfolio.

To Be Considered

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. To be considered, please go to and submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and fit for the role. Letters may be addressed to Jeff Waldron:  

11 Funston Avenue, Suite B
San Francisco, CA 94129