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The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Environment Program Officer

Explore Company PosterThe William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is seeking an Environment Program Officer to focus on climate-related transportation and related systems.

About the Position:

Preserving the environment has long been a cornerstone of the Hewlett Foundation’s philanthropy. To that end, the Environment Program supports organizations working on land, water, climate and energy issues, and looks for opportunities to engage people on the ground where issues are unfolding. Reflecting the global context of threats and challenges to our sustainability, the Hewlett Foundation’s board made a renewed, five-year commitment to addressing climate change. Under its new strategy, the program will assess its climate and energy related grants through the lens of their contributions to achieving deep decarbonization by 2050. This new framework reflects both the sense that we will not solve the problem with small incremental steps – and that there is a deep urgency to immediate, scaled up emissions reductions across the global economy. Historically much of the international climate change mitigation effort has been segmented by sector. Transportation, energy, and urban infrastructure are becoming increasingly intertwined and changes in any one will have impacts on the other. The Environment Program Officer will work with private and public-sector leaders to advance a strategic framework that addresses the intersection and integration of transportation, urban planning, energy and supply chains. Moreover, the Program Officer will support innovative approaches where people have choice, flexibility, and seamless connectivity, and where goods and services can move efficiently with the least possible impact on greenhouse gas emissions. The Program Officer’s priority will be on the biggest emitting countries and regions in the world: China, the United States, Europe, and India, all of which offer the potential for major emissions reductions, and opportunities for spillover effects into other countries. The Program Officer will support a mix of analysis, advocacy, innovation, business sector engagement, public-private partnerships and building public support for policy change.

The Program Officer’s goals and responsibilities, include:

  • Identify grantmaking opportunities that support systemic approaches to the way we transport people, goods and services and explore ways in which automation, urban development, supply chains and energy development intersect with sustainable transportation systems.

  • Identify grantmaking opportunities which support a realignment from near-term and incremental efforts to reduce GHG emissions to longer-term changes needed to mitigate the climate problem. • Assess challenges and opportunities to achieve greater overall system efficiency (optimized infrastructure and use of modes, high shared-use) with growing urban populations, higher incomes in middle classes (particularly in India and China), and as autonomous and connected vehicles become reality.

  • Work in partnership with grantees, re-granting organizations, funders, governments, industry leaders and others to assess needs of the field and bring stakeholders together to seek solutions to problems. Recommend funding for the implementation of these solutions.

  • Identify knowledge gaps in the field, and undertake research, analysis, and evaluation initiatives to explore new approaches to solving problems.

  • Contribute to the Environment team and particularly the integration of transportation strategies in the larger cross-cutting climate mitigation agenda.

  • Make site visits, attend conferences and engage private sector, academic, nonprofit and policy leaders in exploring integrated perspective on the future of mobility and other economic and energy systems.

  • Contribute to the Hewlett 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.

Professional Qualifications

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

  • A systems-thinker focused on getting emissions reductions from the transportation sector and urban development.

  • Experience with electric mobility, mass transit, shared-use, autonomous, connectivity, logistics, and energy development and utilization.

  • Excellent‭, ‬demonstrated quantitative‭, ‬analytical‭, ‬and research‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬.‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  • Strong interpersonal skills plus proven competency and interest in working in an international environment with a highly‭ ‬diverse employee populations.‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  • Great organizational and collaboration skills‭, ‬combined with flexibility and a positive attitude‭.‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

  • Experience managing staff and a working in a highly collaborative team culture.

  • Demonstrated experience in program development and ability to involve and mobilize interdisciplinary teams.

  • Persuasive oral and written communication skills.

  • Experience working on an international level; a history of work in China, India or Europe desirable.

Personal Attributes:

  • Passionate commitment to the values and mission of the Hewlett Foundation.

  • Personal creativity and strategic vision, coupled with an ability to listen to others and learn from their best ideas – a sense of inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity.

  • Ability to generate and deliver clear and persuasive oral and written communications.

  • Ability to inspire trust, to organize people into teams and to motivate team members to work well together.

  • Possessing a high level of energy and optimism about the future – a sense of humor.


Compensation for the Program Officer includes a competitive base salary, and an excellent employee benefits package. The position is based in Menlo Park, California.

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 the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to sit for extended periods of time and to travel via various modes of transportation for extended periods of time.

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, the foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities and make the philanthropy sector more effective. The foundation’s assets are more than $9 billion, with annual awards of grants and gifts totaling over $400 million. A 13-member board of directors provides overall direction for the foundation. For more information about the Hewlett Foundation, please visit www.hewlett.org.

To Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications being sought to: Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company at resumes@explorecompany.com. Refer to Hewlett/PO in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and
invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.

All correspondence will remain confidential.


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