Opportunity

Program Director, Gender Equity and Governance Program

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Menlo Park, California, United States

About The Hewlett 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, it has 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. In addition, we also make grants for special projects and to address other timely problems. Our newest program focuses on strengthening U.S. democracy, and in 2020, the foundation announced a new grant making commitment focused on racial justice. The Hewlett Foundation’s assets are more than $14 billion with annual grant awards totalling more than $600 million.
 
More information about the Hewlett Foundation is available at: www.hewlett.org.
 

Role Purpose

The Gender Equity and Governance Program (GEG) seeks to foster inclusive societies so that all people, and especially women and girls, are able to fulfil their life aspirations:

Our grant making focuses on:
  • Women’s empowerment including expanding access to high-quality reproductive healthcare and economic opportunities; and

  • Contributing to improved government effectiveness by increasing the responsiveness of governments to their citizens’ needs, especially women and youth, and creating the conditions for evidence-informed policymaking.

The program has a geographic focus in East and West African countries, though many of our grantees also work at a regional or global level to create norms and standards and support advocacy and collective action across sectors and geographies. In the United States, the foundation pursues an agenda to improve women’s ability to exercise reproductive choice and rights, and a portion of our Inclusive Governance strategy work is in Mexico.
 
The foundation now seeks a Program Director of the Gender Equity and Governance (GEG) team to lead a staff of 18 professionals. The Program Director works with the team to oversee a portfolio of grants to expand women’s reproductive and economic choices, and to improve government effectiveness by enhancing inclusive governance and better policymaking through evidence. The GEG program’s annual budget is roughly $110 million. In recent years, the program has increasingly sought to advance its strategic goals by funding organizations headquartered in the countries in which it works and by supporting women’s empowerment and agency through feminist movements and women’s rights organizations.
 
The program works closely with other private foundations and bilateral and multilateral development agencies. Foundation staff seek to contribute to the intellectual development of the fields in which they work, and to share learning widely among peer funders and grantees. Moreover, they spend considerable effort on the organizational health of grantees, both through the provision of general operating support when appropriate, and through the foundation’s organizational effectiveness, evaluation, and communications expertise.
 
For further information, candidates are invited to consult published GEG strategies:
 

Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting to the President, the Program Director provides strategic direction and overall leadership to the program. Building on the strength of the current program and existing staff, the Program Director is responsible for the ongoing development and evaluation of the program’s strategies and strategy implementation, including grant pacing and grant and administrative budgets. The Director is also responsible for continued follow through on the program’s DEIJ work and other related efforts. The Director manages and guides an 18-person team, including recruitment, supervision, and professional development. The Director serves as an external spokesperson, representing the foundation as a thought leader in the field, in media, and in funder dialogues. The Director also serves as a member of the foundation’s Senior Staff leadership team, engaging with the President and peers on policies, practices, and other cross-foundational issues.

Specific responsibilities include:
Reporting to the President, the Program Director provides strategic direction and overall leadership to the program. Building on the strength of the current program and existing staff, the Program Director is responsible for the ongoing development and evaluation of the program’s strategies and strategy implementation, including grant pacing and grant and administrative budgets. The Director is also responsible for continued follow through on the program’s DEIJ work and other related efforts. The Director manages and guides an 18-person team, including recruitment, supervision, and professional development. The Director serves as an external spokesperson, representing the foundation as a thought leader in the field, in media, and in funder dialogues. The Director also serves as a member of the foundation’s Senior Staff leadership team, engaging with the President and peers on policies, practices, and other cross-foundational issues.

Specific responsibilities include:
Program Strategy and Leadership
  • Lead the continuing evolution, implementation, communication, evaluation, and dissemination of program strategies and outcomes to demonstrable and sustainable impact.

  • Develop and manage operations and programming budgets, including processes to ensure that allocated grant and administrative resources are properly and fully utilized.

  • Maintain efficient systems for managing large workloads, and ensuring adherence to grantmaking and other deadlines during the annual cycle.

  • Ensure measurement and evaluation systems are robust and consistent.

  • Ensure that the program’s strategic and operational objectives are aligned with those of the foundation overall.

  • Ensure that the GEG team operates and aspires to live up to the foundation’s Guiding Principles.

Collaborative Management
  • Manage and promote a collaborative working environment that capitalizes on the GEG team’s diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills to accomplish program and foundation goals.

  • Foster strong and continuous communication across the program team.

  • As part of the senior management team, contribute to the development and implementation of the foundation’s mission, policies, strategies, and operations.

  • Work closely with the President and other Senior Staff, along with the GEG program staff, to develop the strategy for and implementation of cross-foundational efforts.

Leadership in the Field
  • Have breadth of knowledge of, appreciation for, and strong policy acumen across issues and actors in the fields of gender equity and women’s economic empowerment, government effectiveness and inclusive governance, and reproductive health and rights.

  • Represent the foundation and its work with governments, multilateral and bilateral aid agencies, non-profits, business, and civic and social movement leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings, and media interviews. Engage these sectors regarding key programmatic issues.

  • Help to develop and strengthen organizations that are central to the program’s strategies, focusing on their goals and strategies, governance, staffing, financial health, communications and fundraising;

  • Provide external leadership on key issues to the foundation’s mission. Demonstrate leadership in the sectors in which the foundation participates.

 

Education, Qualifications & Experience

The Hewlett Foundation seeks a leader of unusual vision and intellectual breadth with practical experience in the field and an ability to manage a dynamic and diverse team. Broad-ranging programmatic experience is needed, including long-term experience living and working in the Global South, intercultural competence, and an appreciation of priority setting in differing domain areas. Working with program staff with varying subject matter expertise, the Program Director will need to identify and support opportunities for collaboration, mutual learning, and integrated grantmaking. The Program Director must understand the broad, complex, and differentiated contexts in which the foundation’s grantees work.

The successful candidate will be skilled in building constructive dialogue and collaboration, while at the same time managing within a large, decentralized organization for results in a way that is responsive to both budget and time constraints. The Program Director will have outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal, and the ability to represent the foundation effectively to many types of audiences.
 
Specific competencies include:
Leadership: The successful candidate will demonstrate a collaborative leadership style. The candidate will model and promote transparency and openness in order to lead within an inclusive organization that encourages creativity and innovation. The candidate will lead with passion, confidence, a sense of humor, humility, intelligence, humanity, energy, and respect. They will be adept at engaging with and managing intellectual debate to productive effect. Preference will be given to candidates with long term experience managing diverse teams, including field experts and other professionals from the Global South.

Setting Strategy and Achieving Results: The successful candidate will have the capacity to develop a compelling view of the future of the Gender Equity and Governance Program and how it can best address rapidly evolving challenges in its areas of focus. The candidate will have the strategic vision to guide and implement the elements of a program focused on outcomes that align with the mission and values of the foundation. The candidate will have demonstrated organizational and managerial skills to lead a diverse team to meet grant making goals, timelines, and other benchmarks.

Building and Strengthening Teams: The candidate will have a demonstrated track record in building and strengthening collaborative teams that could include other Program Directors and external partners, such as grantees and other funders and organizations. The position requires a person of high emotional intelligence and self-awareness, with a proven ability to recruit, retain, motivate, and develop diverse and talented individuals focused in both thematic and administrative roles, and engage them in an intellectually rigorous environment. They will be a person of good judgment, with a strong commitment to inclusive leadership that enables them to listen, value, and leverage the skills and talents of people with different perspectives and styles from a range of backgrounds.

Judgment: The candidate will make timely and clearly communicated decisions and take appropriate risks to achieve results. Likewise, the candidate will be thoughtful about deploying the program’s grantmaking and administrative budgets in a way that maximizes outcomes aligned with core institutional values while managing risk. The candidate will be a person of unquestioned personal and professional integrity. The candidate will listen to and learn from key stakeholders inside and outside of the foundation and will be an inclusive and independent thinker, drawing on current research when applicable. The successful candidate will be able to manage ambiguity and devise solutions in a timely manner even when a clear path is not evident.

Passion and Shared Values: Evidence of such passion and commitment should be demonstrated through significant contributions to reducing structural and other inequities through public service, the non-profit or private sectors or other appropriate venues. The successful candidate will have demonstrated expertise and interest in global issues with great cultural awareness and understanding of power imbalances and inequities that exist in the U.S. and internationally.
 

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position, with the successful candidate being contracted for a maximum of eight years. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. A pension plan, life, and medical insurances are included in the benefits package.
 

Role Location

Menlo Park, California
 

How to Apply 

If you wish to be considered for this position, please send the most recent English version of your CV to [email protected]. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by the Hewlett Foundation to undertake this assignment.