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Vice President, Strategy and Programs
Westlake Village, CA

Explore Company PosterThe Conrad N. Hilton Foundation seeks to recruit a strategic leader as Vice President, Strategy and Programs. The role will lead our Program team in optimizing the grant making resources of the Foundation and exploring innovative ways to leverage donor legacy and demonstrated impact of a family foundation’s philanthropic assets.


The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (Foundation) is a family foundation established in 1944 to provide funds to nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of individuals living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage throughout the world. The Foundation pursues approaches that touch a diversity of people, places, and needs, investing in eleven program areas, each of which involves partnering with grantees, generating new knowledge, giving voice to issues and joining with others to achieve measurable impact. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $2 billion in grants.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is guided by the intent of its donors, Conrad and Barron Hilton, who gave virtually all of their personal wealth to the Foundation and gave its directors a noble, global philanthropic mission. “As the funds you will expend have come from many places in the world,” Conrad Hilton counseled, “so let there be no territorial, religious, or color restrictions on your benefactions.” In the workplace culture and in their collaborative efforts to alleviate human suffering, the Foundation applies its values of integrity, thinking big, humility, stewardship, and compassion.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has created a Philanthropic Approach, which outlines how the vision and mission of the Foundation’s grantmaking program is implemented.
The four pillars which guide the Foundation’s work, include:

  • Grantmaking: The Foundation selects issues where they can make the greatest impact by investing for the long term to serve populations experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage.

  • Communications: The Foundation uses its voice to advocate for what they have learned to be effective strategies in driving policies and pursuing stronger and improved systems.

  • Collaboration: The Foundation recognizes that they do not have all the answers, financial resources, or capacity to achieve their goals alone, they seek partners beyond their grantees and Prize laureates. By collaborating in such vibrant networks, the Foundation can share solutions, hear about lessons learned, identify familiar challenges, ensure the viewpoints of impacted populations are at the table, and coordinate funding.

  • Learning & Measurement: The Foundation is committed to learning and accountability. They have designed a thorough approach to monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning for each of their funding areas, where they track their impact and learn how to be a more effective philanthropic actor.

The Foundation seeks a collaborative and engaging leader as Vice President, who will lead our Program team in optimizing the grant making resources of the Foundation and exploring innovative ways to leverage donor legacy and demonstrated impact of a family foundation’s philanthropic assets.  

For more information about the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.

ABOUT THE POSITION:   Vice President, Strategy and Programs

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Vice President, Strategy and Programs will join the Foundation at an exciting and important moment in the execution of the Foundation’s current Strategy 25. With oversight of an annual grant portfolio of approximately $300 million, the Vice President guides implementation of programs and initiatives, ensuring that the Foundation’s programmatic priorities align with the mission and values and the donor’s intent.

As the Foundation approaches the midpoint of its “Strategy 25” (2021-25), the Vice President will have oversight for the staggered evaluations of seven current Initiatives[1] over the period 2024-27, while also guiding the overall strategic planning which will take the Foundation from Strategy 25 to Strategy 30. This approach will allow the Foundation to build on the evidence-based and rigorous approach and momentum of the current Strategy 25 Initiatives’ implementation, while also adding strategic and impactful elements to the next phase of the Foundation’s programmatic planning. Furthermore, the staggered approach creates time and space for the Board and staff to engage deeply with all seven Initiatives by taking each in turn.

The broad strategic goals and responsibilities of the Vice President are the following:


  • Working with the Board Program Committee, CEO, and Program Leadership Team, continue to implement the program strategies that are in sync with the Foundation’s Philanthropic Approach, grounded in the Foundation’s mission and values, and expressive of the broad current priorities.

  • Provide leadership and support in fostering a dynamic program team culture - empowering a program team that blends the collective wisdom and insights of a dedicated group of professionals.

  • Provide strategic insight and facilitate the process of exploring with Board and Foundation lessons learned from Strategy 25 and how these insights will shape the next generation of programmatic investment.

  • Provide the Board with optimal information regarding Initiative goals and strategies, and their progress and impact. Work closely with the Board’s Program Committee on questions of strategy oversight and Board engagement.

  • Identify emerging issues of global significance and explore practices and lessons learned from other sectors to enhance strategic impact.


Provide leadership as a strategic leader of an incredibly talented, motivated, global program team with a thoughtfully designed grantmaking process and articulated deliverables.

Serve as a member of the Foundation’s Executive Management Team, which works to foster organizational cohesiveness and alignment in support of the donor’s intent and family’s legacy.

Provide oversight to the Strategy, Learning, and Evaluation Division (SLED) to conduct regular detailed and candid “deep dive” reviews of each Initiative’s impact and progress toward its goals, including mid-course corrections where necessary.

Partner with the President and CEO on matters related to donor intent and other organizational issues that enhance the Foundation’s ability to thoughtfully execute its mission.

Support the CEO in representing the Foundation externally to philanthropic, governmental, business, religious and civil society leaders; build partnerships and alliances which leverage the Foundation’s grants and efforts.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Attributes:

The Vice President will serve as a strategic implementor and possesses emotional intelligence and interpersonal finesse, problem-solving competence, management skills, and humility. The Vice President serves as a thought partner and operational steward to the President and CEO and program leadership, as well as a team member working alongside administrative, communications, investment, and other Foundation staff.

The ideal Vice President, Strategy and Programs should ideally embody the following professional qualifications and personal attributes:

Professional Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated experience leading a large and complex grantmaking program, setting and achieving ambitious goals, and ensuring quality, effectiveness, efficiency, and compliance.

  • Experience in working effectively with a Board, and facilitating a board and staff led Strategic Planning processes, bringing significant clarity and alignment to grantmaking activities, and increasing their impact.

  • Experience with Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning, including research, measurement, program monitoring, and program evaluation with exposure to a broad range of evaluation tools, methodologies, and techniques.

  • Experience leading a diverse global team of professional staff, inspiring trust, and optimizing the potential of the overall team.

  • An entrepreneurial spirit and innovated ability to leverage financial and human capital to advance the programmatic goals and overall mission of the Foundation.

  • Ability to effectively synthesize and distill complex information in a clear and persuasive manner to multiple audiences.

Personal Attributes:

  • A deep commitment to the donor intent, mission, and values of the 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 eagerness to improve.

  • Persuasive communicator with excellent listening, speaking, and writing skills.

  • Personable, articulate, and diplomatic, but also honest in identifying challenges, problems, and risks.

  • Intellectually humble, open to constructive feedback and personally grounded.

  • Strong facilitation, teamwork, and client-service skills; experience exercising influence and managing change while setting an open and inclusive tone with others.

  • Experience working in both international and domestic US contexts preferred; otherwise, a demonstrated willingness to learn about new contexts.


Compensation for the Vice President, Strategy and Programs includes a base salary, and a  compelling package of health and employee benefits.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter responding specifically to the experience and qualifications required to:

Daniel Sherman, President, Explore Company, resumes@explorecompany.com.
Refer to Hilton Foundation/Vice President, Strategy and Programs in the subject line. No phone inquiries please.

The Conrad N. Hilton 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.

[1] Catholic Sisters, Early Childhood Development, Foster Youth, Homelessness, Opportunity Youth, Refugees, Safe Water


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