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Program Officer, National Governing Institutions
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, based in Menlo Park, California, seeks a collaborative and
outcomes-driven Program Officer for its National Governing Institutions strategy. As a key member of
the U.S. Democracy Program, the Program Officer will lead the foundation’s efforts to strengthen our
nation’s legislative and executive branches, making them more resilient, responsive, effective, and
inclusive institutions in the face of our increasingly polarized politics. Over the next five years, the U.S.
Democracy Program’s grant budget is expected to increase substantially from its current level of $30M,
in response to pressing challenges.
About the Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that
advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world.
For more than 50 years, we have supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the
environment, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities, make the philanthropy
sector more effective, and foster gender equity and responsive governance around the world.
Started in 1966 by engineer and entrepreneur William R. Hewlett and his wife, Flora Lamson Hewlett,
with their eldest son, Walter Hewlett, today the foundation is one of the largest philanthropic institutions
in the United States, awarding $516 million in grants in 2021 to organizations across the globe to help
people build better lives.
The foundation has approximately 125 employees in programmatic, operational, and investment roles,
located in Menlo Park, California. Our employees are challenged with meaningful work, have the
resources for ongoing professional development and learning, and contribute to a collegial and
engaging environment where they can thrive. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and
encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply. For more information about
the Hewlett Foundation, please visit www.hewlett.org.
About the US Democracy Program’s National Governing Institutions Strategy
The Hewlett Foundation’s U.S. Democracy Program makes grants to strengthen America’s electoral
and governing institutions. We believe that strong national governing institutions are part of the
foundation of, and build trust
in, our democracy.
Hewlett Foundation job description 2022: Program Officer, National Governing Institutions
In recent decades, ideological opposition to “the era of big government” fostered bipartisan neglect,
under-funding, and disinvestment; hollowed out expertise; demoralized career staff; tarnished the luster
of their public service; and failed to update and upgrade the technology, processes, and management
of the federal government. The people most affected by the shortcomings in our governing institutions
are usually in racially and economically marginalized groups that already bear the burdens of disparities
in our society.
More than anything, neglecting the effectiveness of governing institutions makes for a self-fulfilling
prophecy where voters’ lack of confidence in government leads to a lack of confidence in our
democracy. Our belief is that more nimble, well-managed governing institutions that can make and
administer laws and policies that represent the preferences of the people and are responsive to their
needs are fundamental to our democracy. In order to earn the confidence of Americans, the legislative
and executive branches require a high-quality workforce, technological sophistication, expertise, and
funding needed to fulfill their responsibilities in the 21st Century.
The Program Officer role offers an exciting opportunity to advance short- and long-term strategies to
meet these goals. From executive agencies’ implementation of bipartisan laws to bolstering
congressional operations, the U.S. Democracy Program is nonpartisan and supports organizations
across the ideological spectrum, including academic researchers, advocacy groups, think tanks, media
platforms, infrastructure providers and civic leadership organizations who share our goals. We partner
actively with other foundations in this field.
Interested applicants can learn more about the U.S. Democracy Program’s strategy here, and the
approach we have taken to strengthening National Governing Institutions here.
About the Position
The Program Officer will report to the Director and work collaboratively with members of the US
Democracy Program team and others throughout the foundation. Specific responsibilities include:
Leading the ongoing development of the strategy, evaluation, and grantmaking for the National
Governing Institutions strategy with a focus on executive and legislative branches of the federal
Continually learning about, and tracking, trends, and evolutions in these areas.
Establishing and maintaining ongoing grantee relationships.
Organizing foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees and field experts.
Framing, commissioning, and overseeing team as well as field learning from evaluations for the
portfolio spanning the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.
Developing reports and briefing papers that contribute to the foundation’s understanding of new
approaches, best practices, and program issues.
Representing the foundation at appropriate meetings, conferences, and site visits as well as in
all interactions with prospective and current grantees.
Partnering to develop strategy, grantmaking, and evaluation plans with the Director, other U.S.
Democracy team members, and Hewlett colleagues working across programs as well as
Communications; Effective Philanthropy; Finance and Accounting; Grantmaking, Learning, and
Operations; and Legal.
Identifying and guiding potential grantees through the foundation’s proposal process, including
its compliance-related procedures and financial controls.
Overseeing active grants: tracking grantees’ progress; responding to financial and
programmatic reports; and advising on grant renewals.
Qualifications, Skills, and Personal Attributes
Demonstrated commitment to learning and collaboration, and to working in authentic
partnership; an unwavering commitment to Hewlett’s Guiding Principles.
Passion for improving democracy; has demonstrated deep personal commitments through
public service or nonprofit work and brings knowledge of the workings of the legislative and
executive branches of the government of the United States.
Relationship orientation, with experience partnering productively across the political and
Persuasive communication skills: can articulate complex themes for multiple audiences/settings
(academia, think tanks, career, and elected officials, etc.)
Strong analytic mindset, with experience processing and organizing complex information; able
to present ideas in a pragmatic, compelling manner; is rigorous and organized.
Experience with strategy development to include goal setting, initiative development, resource
allocation, and implementation through project management with multi-disciplinary teams.
Exceptional personal and professional integrity, judgment, and the highest work standards;
brings flexibility, good humor, high energy, and humility.
Compensation and Benefits
The Hewlett Foundation is committed to providing compensation that is competitive within the
philanthropic sector. We offer a generous total compensation package that emphasizes both base
salary and comprehensive benefits.
The salary range for this role starts at $170,000. Offers are based on the candidate's years of
experience and our practice of maintaining salary equity within the foundation. This position is exempt
and full-time. Program officers of the Hewlett Foundation serve for an eight-year term.
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 position. Reasonable accommodations may be
made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.
The position is based in Menlo Park, California. Staff are currently expected to work from the Hewlett
Foundation offices at least 2-3 times per week, when they are not traveling. While performing the duties
of this position, the employee is required to spend extended periods of time at a computer. Travel will
vary, but employee should expect to travel up to 25 percent of the time The Foundation requires all
staff, vendors, and visitors accessing the office to be fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the virus
that causes COVID-19 (including boosters when eligible).
How to Apply
Viewcrest Advisors (www.viewcrestadvisors.com) is supporting with the Hewlett Foundation on this
search. Please send your resume and cover letter, to include a description of when you have
successfully worked across political and ideological diversity:
Hewlett Foundation job description 2022: Program Officer, National Governing Institutions
Application deadline: December 5, 2022. Interviews will begin soon after this date, with a target for
final interviews to take place in early January 2023.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation embraces the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion
both internally, in our hiring process and organizational culture, and externally, in our grantmaking and
related practices. We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from people of all
backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.
Viewcrest Advisors is committed to social justice and access to opportunity, and actively cultivates
relationships with individuals who have varied life experiences as well as the skills needed to lead
strong, innovative programs and organizations. In addition, the organization is committed to your
privacy and to protecting your personal data; for more information, please visit:
Job posted: 2022-10-29