Published 8 days ago

Program Officer, Economy and Society Initiative

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Hybrid, Work must be performed in or near Menlo Park, CA


Job Type:Full Time
Education:4-Year Degree Required
Salary:USD $195,000 - $223,000 / year


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation invests in creative thinkers and problem solvers working to ensure that people, communities, and the planet can flourish. Together with their partners, they are harnessing society’s collective capacity to solve our toughest problems — from the existential threat of climate change to persistent and pervasive inequities, to attacks on democracy itself. As one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the United States, Hewlett promotes constructive dialogue across difference and provides reliable, responsive, and strategic support to its partners.

A nonpartisan philanthropy, the Hewlett Foundation has made grants in the U.S. and globally for nearly six decades based on an approach that emphasizes long-term support, collaboration, and trust. In 2022, the foundation awarded more than $560 million in grants, with more than two-thirds of that total awarded as flexible funding. At any one time, they have nearly 3,000 active grants to organizations around the world. That includes support to organizations large and small — from research universities building public knowledge to grassroots organizations supporting community advocacy, from Bay Area artists engaging local audiences to African think tanks developing policy solutions.

The Foundation now seeks a collaborative and outcomes-driven Program Officer for its Economy and Society Initiative (ESI). As a key member of the ESI team, this Program Officer will engage in grantmaking within the initiative’s strategy, serving as a thought partner with the Director, building and maintaining strong relationships with grantees, and actively monitoring progress and engaging in strategic planning for ESI’s strategy. The Program Officer will also be deeply engaged in building and nurturing networks of practitioners and funders working to shape a new economic paradigm.


Launched in 2020, the Economy and Society Initiative aims to move beyond the outmoded intellectual paradigm of neoliberalism and foster a new common sense about how the economy works and the aims it should serve. To date, the Hewlett Foundation has committed more than $100 million to support a range of academic thinkers and institutions, think tanks, organizing leaders, and other efforts. In 2024, the Initiative’s annual grantmaking budget is $20 million. By funding efforts across the ideological spectrum, ESI seeks to support the development, translation, and transmission of ideas that could form a new intellectual paradigm for years to come.

The Program Officer role works closely with a dedicated and dynamic team of colleagues to advance the initiative’s goals, focusing on grantmaking to support a growing field that is developing the ideas that can make up a new intellectual paradigm better suited to address the challenges of the 21st century. Working in tandem with Hewlett Foundation staff, grantees, and other partners, the Program Officer will contribute to field-building efforts among nonprofit organizations and fellow funders. Additionally, they will monitor progress for purposes of ongoing strategy development and refinement.

Interested applicants can learn more about the Economy and Society Initiative here.


The Program Officer will report to the Director, Jennifer Harris, and work collaboratively with members of the ESI team and other colleagues across the foundation. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Partnering with the ESI team to implement the initiative’s strategy, conduct research and evaluation, and engage in grantmaking for the initiative’s portfolio.
  • Continually learning about and tracking trends and evolutions in the field of post-neoliberal economic thought and policy debate – in the U.S. and globally – identifying new opportunities for the foundation’s grantmaking.
  • Establishing and maintaining trust-based, aligned, productive relationships with grantees and peer funders.
  • Organizing foundation-sponsored meetings of grantees and field experts.
  • 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 ESI team members, and Hewlett colleagues working across programs, including those in 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, including tracking grantees’ progress, responding to financial and programmatic reports, and advising on grant renewals.
  • Traveling domestically and internationally to attend grantee meetings and conferences.


The Program Officer will need to be an adept strategist with exceptional relationship and network building skills, who also has a strong grasp of the ideas and issues core to the Economy and Society Initiative’s goals and strategy. The ideal candidate will exhibit the following skills, values, and competencies:

  • Demonstrated commitment to learning and collaboration, working in authentic partnership, an unwavering commitment to Hewlett’s Guiding Principles, and a passion for improving society.
  • Deep interest and work experience in areas broadly relevant to the Economy and Society Initiative, including economic policy and political economy.
  • Relationship orientation, with meaningful experience partnering productively across the political and ideological spectrum.
  • Persuasive communication skills, with the ability to articulate complex themes for multiple audiences/settings (academia, think tanks, career, and elected officials, etc.) both orally and in writing.
  • Strong analytic mindset, with experience researching, processing, and organizing complex information in a highly dynamic environment. Ability to present ideas in a pragmatic, compelling manner while also being rigorous and striving to wrestle challenging issues.
  • Experience with strategy development, including goal setting, initiative development, resource allocation, and implementation through project management with multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Ability and comfort with working both autonomously and in collaboration with colleagues and partners.
  • Excellent time management, project management, and organizational skills. Proficient with technology tools and applications including MS Office (or similar).
  • An undergraduate degree is required, and a relevant advanced degree or equivalent professional experience in law, political science, economics, policy, or related disciplines is a plus.
  • Exceptional personal and professional integrity, judgment, and the highest work standards. Someone who brings flexibility, good humor, high energy, and humility.


The Hewlett Foundation has approximately 125 employees in programmatic, operational, and investment roles. Their 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. They are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.

While performing the duties of this position, the Program Officer is required to spend extended periods of time at a computer.

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 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 is $195,000 - $223,000. 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.


The Program Officer position is based in Menlo Park, CA, and staff are currently expected to work from the Hewlett Foundation offices at least 2-3 times per week, when they are not traveling (Tuesdays and Wednesdays are required in-office days).

Travel will vary, but they should expect to travel up to 25 percent of the time.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation invests in creative thinkers and problem solvers working to ensure that people, communities, and the planet can flourish. Together with their partners, they are harnessing society’s collective…


Work must be performed in or near Menlo Park, CA
Menlo Park, CA, USA

How to Apply

To learn more about the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation please visit:

This search is being led by Emily Wexler and Rachel Burgoyne of NPAG. Candidates may submit their cover letter, outlining their interest, qualifications, and commitment to equity and transparency as a central tenet of effective grantmaking, along with their resume via NPAG’s website.

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.

To learn more about the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation please visit:

This search is being led by Emily Wexler and Rachel Burgoyne of NPAG. Candidates may…

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