Program Officer, Global Development and Population Program

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. The Global Development and Population Program team currently consists of 17 staff, including nine Program Officers.

The Position

The Global Development and Population Program seeks a Program Officer to advance policy advocacy, research, and service delivery through grants to support international reproductive health. The Program Officer reports to the Program Director, Global Development and Population Program.

Taking a strategic view of the issues and of the global reproductive health field, the Program Officer works in partnership with grantees, funders, governments, and others to assess needs and bring stakeholders together to seek solutions to problems. Operating from a posture of trust and empowerment of grantees, the Program Officer identifies and supports creative solutions to ensure the success of individual grantees on an ongoing basis as well as through formal grant recommendation and proposal review. Meanwhile, the Program Officer identifies gaps and opportunities in the field, and undertakes research and evaluation initiatives to explore new approaches to solving social problems.

The Program Officer contributes 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. A key aspect of this work is to stay abreast of trends in theory and practice in international reproductive health as well as related fields.

Ideal Profile

The foundation seeks an innovative thinker and resourceful self-starter who is passionate about women’s reproductive health and rights in the Global South, specifically contraception and safe abortion, with a particular interest in policy advocacy and innovative ways to respond to women’s needs for comprehensive reproductive health information and 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, and to work in cross-cultural contexts. 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 ideal candidate has the ability to thrive in a role with a great deal of autonomy within an environment that is also is highly collaborative, communicative, and team-oriented. Success in the role requires the intellectual prowess and curiosity to contribute across Program streams, 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.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have a minimum of seven years of relevant experience, demonstrating extensive knowledge of international reproductive health and rights, global development, international relations, and civil society networks, with an emphasis on the policy environment in developing countries. Work experience should demonstrate ability to think strategically, and to translate ideas to practical actions. A demonstrated track record in managing time, deadlines, and budgets is essential.

Additional qualifications include:

  • Prior work experience in Africa and/or an understanding of African contexts; experience in Francophone West Africa is preferred
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Proficiency working in French; fluency preferred
  • Willingness to travel internationally and domestically as needed, at minimum 25 percent


Candidates must be authorized to work in the United States.

If you are interested in applying for the Program Officer role at the Hewlett Foundation, please submit a cover letter and resume to

The search for a Program Officer is being assisted by a team from Waldron:

Jenn Raley Miller, Search Director
Direct: 415.829.3756

Mary Pelleriti, Engagement Manager
Direct: 415.529.2057

Mikela Topey, Associate
Direct: 415.529.2261

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