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Program Officer, Performing Arts

About the Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives.  The Foundation concentrates its resources on programs in education, environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, as well as grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

About the Performing Arts Program

The Performing Arts Program is founded on the premise that the experience, understanding, and appreciation of artistic expression give value, meaning, and enjoyment to people’s lives. Its goal is to ensure continuity and innovation in the performing arts through the creation, performance, and appreciation of exceptional works that enrich the lives of individuals and benefit communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Program supports a wide range of high-quality arts organizations in one of the most culturally diverse regions in the country. The Program currently funds more than 250 arts organizations with an annual grantmaking budget of approximately $17 million. Both the scale of the Hewlett Foundation’s funding and its commitment to offering ongoing, multiyear, general operating support grants make it a key investor in the region’s cultural life.

About the Program Officer Position

The Program Officer will work in collaboration with the Performing Arts team and under the guidance of the Program Director to provide professional, operational, and programmatic support. Responsibilities fall into three categories: 1) ongoing support and assessment of current grantees and special projects of importance to the regional, state and national arts ecosystems; 2) research, identification, and analysis of potential grantees; and 3) assistance and support for Program and Foundation strategies.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Planning and Strategy

  • Collaborates with the Program Director and Program colleagues in planning strategies that will have a strong impact on achieving Program goals. Of particular focus is an arts education strategy with a goal that all of California’s K-12 public school students will have access to multi-disciplinary arts education opportunities. 
  • Invites, reviews, and responds to inquiries and proposals. Offers professional advice and field expertise to applicants and grantees.
  • Partners with grantees to develop strategies to effectively use available resources while fulfilling Program goals.
  • Works with consultants to develop briefing papers and Program-related reports that broaden the Foundation’s understanding of new approaches, best practices, and issues relating to the performing arts.


  • Manages a diverse portfolio of approximately 80 grants, including a cluster of grants focused on arts education delivery and policy and advocacy at the federal, state and local level; assesses progress and responds to financial and programmatic reports.
  • Establishes and maintains effective relationships with current and prospective grantees and other funders and partners in the field.
  • Ensures that sound financial controls are in place for each grant and that funds are spent wisely and according to grant agreements.
  • Manages evaluation of grants and participates in assessments of Program strategies. Develops guidelines for measuring the success of grants and Program strategies.
  • Drafts summaries of grant applications for grant dockets for Board review and approval. Reviews, writes, proofs, and edits the grant recommendation materials.

Foundation Support

  • Organizes and coordinates Foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees and field experts.
  • Represents the Foundation at appropriate external meetings, conferences, and site visits.

Required Skills and Knowledge

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field; master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of five years of related work experience with some management experience. Experience in arts education, public policy or related fields is preferred.
  • Demonstrated exceptional analytical skills necessary for evaluating grants and proposals.
  • Excellent computer skills and technological ability.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Ability to synthesize ideas into coherent material for presentation to multiple audiences.
  • Knowledge of the San Francisco Bay Area arts ecosystem preferred.
  • Ability to thrive as part of a team in a collegial work environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated cultural competency to effectively work with diverse constituents, including rural communities, people with disabilities, LGBTQ communities, low-income people, and communities of color.

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 job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to spend extended hours at the computer and undertake moderate levels of domestic travel.


How to Apply

Please send a resume and cover letter explaining how your skills fit this position to the attention of Human Resources, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

  • Email: (Subject Line: [Your Name] – Program Officer, Performing Arts Application)
  • Fax: 650.234.1985
  • Mail:      Human Resources

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
2121 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all applicants.