About the Foundation
The Heising-Simons Foundation is a family foundation based in
Los Altos and San Francisco, California. The Foundation works with
its many partners to advance sustainable solutions in climate and
clean energy, enable groundbreaking research in science, enhance
the education of our youngest learners, and support human rights
for all people. In 2020, the Foundation awarded more than $127
million in grants. The Foundation, and the affiliated
Heising-Simons Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization, are guided by
the values of humility, courage, justice, opportunity,
sustainability, innovation, relationships, and integrity.
The Heising-Simons Foundation is committed to the safety of our
staff and to facilitating connection and community with one another
and our partners. While we were remote for the large part of 2020
and 2021, we are slowly moving toward a flexible hybrid work
arrangement. In 2022, the Foundation is piloting a new flexible
hybrid work policy. During the pilot, this position may work
remotely and/or from one of our Foundation offices. Staff are
required to be on-site for a minimum of 10 days per quarter and as
needed to successfully fulfill their responsibilities.
About the Climate and Clean Energy
The goal of the Climate and Clean Energy (CCE) program is to
protect people and the planet from the worst impacts of climate
change by cutting pollution and accelerating the transition to a
clean energy future. The Foundation’s and Action Fund’s grantmaking
supports organizations that help advance government policies to
spur large-scale progress curbing pollution, and to ensure that a
low-carbon future is a prosperous one for the most vulnerable
The CCE program currently funds solution-based policy efforts
primarily in the U.S. focused on four strategic areas: 1) advancing
climate policy to limit greenhouse gas emissions; 2) transforming
the energy sectors that are the primary source of pollution; 3)
cutting the most potent pollutants, such as methane; and 4) seizing
time-sensitive opportunities to achieve large-scale emission
reductions. In 2021 the Foundation awarded approximately 60 grants
totaling $25 million in CCE grant funding, and the Action Fund
awarded approximately 20 grants totaling more than $10 million in
CCE grant funding. The program is also increasingly integrating
diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into its strategy and
grantmaking to mitigate climate change.
The CCE Program Officer plays a key role in shaping the
Foundation’s portfolio in response to emerging trends and
cutting-edge opportunities. With a focus on clean transportation,
the Program Officer identifies and works with prospective and
existing grantees, monitors grantee progress, and develops
strategies and grantmaking areas for the CCE program. The Program
Officer is passionate about advancing climate change solutions that
also advance equity, has broad expertise in policy-driven climate
mitigation and clean energy opportunities, and thrives in creative
team environments. The Program Officer works closely with the other
members of the Climate & Clean Energy team to develop
strategies and associated grantmaking plans that advance efforts to
drive down emissions as fast as possible and at meaningful scale.
The Program Officer also partners with staff across the Foundation
to collaborate on initiatives that advance the overall goals of the
The Program Officer reports to the Director of Climate &
Clean Energy. This fulltime, exempt position may be based in either
Los Altos, CA or San Francisco, CA as described above.
- Develop strategies and associated grantmaking plans to advance
key components of the overall Climate & Clean Energy strategy;
author memos on strategies, new subject areas, and/or for new
- Manage the transportation grants portfolio and budget.
- Screen proposals in alignment with the Foundation’s strategy.
Work with organizations to solicit proposals for possible funding,
develop concise and accurate summaries of funding requests, and
answer substantive questions about the proposals. If necessary,
develop a complete and coherent rejection rationale for proposals
that will not be funded.
- Conduct site visits to current and potential grantees and
attend meetings and conferences.
- With a focus on equitable and clean transportation policies,
stay abreast of the climate and clean energy policy and advocacy
landscape, including emerging trends in the U.S. and other
- Build relationships with grantees, thought leaders, funding
partners, and other experts in the field.
- Develop a clear understanding of how organizations fit into the
Foundation’s interest in advancing climate and clean energy
- Seek professional development opportunities to deepen skills
and broaden knowledge of the program area, philanthropy, and/or the
- Lead thorough collaboration, both inside and outside the
Foundation. Plan and host meetings to inform strategy and/or
enhance effectiveness of strategy execution.
- Work with the Climate & Clean Energy program team and
experts in the field to refine and improve the program’s overall
- Participate in joint efforts with other foundations and
affinity groups of foundations to determine synergies,
collaboration opportunities, and/or complementary approach to
achieving shared goals.
- Keep abreast of the funding landscape to determine emerging
trends, areas of interest, current funding trends, and emerging
Evaluation and Learning
- Monitor progress on approved grants and strategies.
- Synthesize information on progress, setbacks, and significant
milestones in the field on a regular basis.
- Collaborate with the team to define and prioritize core
quantitative and qualitative key performance indicators to support
the theory of change.
- Design, create, and maintain an efficient system for tracking
core metrics in line with our own goals, as well as board and
- Contribute to both an internal and grantee culture of
- Inform Board and management of program developments, including
the effectiveness of individual grants, strategies, and
opportunities for future improvements.
- Participate in Foundation-wide committees and internal
- Participate in Foundation-wide training sessions.
- Help the Foundation promote and maintain environmentally
friendly office practices.
- Familiarity with the philanthropic sector and appreciation for
the structure and stakeholders unique to family foundations.
Learning and Networking
- Attend workshops and conferences to learn more about relevant
sector and/or grantmaking topics and trends.
- Join and/or network with relevant affinity groups or
individuals to increase access to knowledge and thought
- Read and synthesize published literature and web-based
resources to increase knowledge of Climate &Clean Energy and/or
- 5+ years of relevant experience in a climate-, transportation-,
energy-, and/or policy-focused role
- Demonstrated ability to advance relevant policy through
first-hand experience in government, nonprofits, philanthropy,
- Passion for achieving the goals of the Climate & Clean
- Strong interest in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion
outcomes in grantmaking and internal practices
- Broad and substantive knowledge of transportation and/or energy
and climate policy in the U.S. (state, regional, and national);
equivalent international or sectoral knowledge a plus
- Familiarity with the climate and clean energy field landscape,
as well as advocacy strategies, tactics, and key leverage points to
- A proactive approach to work, eagerness to learn, and
motivation to stay at the forefront of developments in the
- Demonstrated ability to develop strategies and prioritize
resources to maximize impact
- Understanding of the grantmaking process and how foundations
- Strong research, analysis, synthesis, and written and verbal
- Detail-orientation with proven organizational and project
- A collegial and diplomatic demeanor, excellent interpersonal
skills, and a sense of humor
- A leadership style of facilitation (as opposed to direction)
and a genuine desire to work in partnership
- Integrity, solid judgment, and strong strategic thinking
- Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications
- Ability and willingness to travel
Compensation and Benefits
- The starting salary for this position is $125,000 to $175,000
per year, depending on skills, experience, and geographic location.
We conduct an annual review of our salary ranges and make
adjustments based on data from our peer organizations.
- We offer a comprehensive employee benefits package that
includes employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance for
employees and dependents, long-term disability, business travel,
and life insurance, flexible spending accounts for medical and
child care expenses, a 401(k) plan (with a matching contribution of
up to 16%), commuting assistance, an employee assistance program
(EAP), tuition reimbursement and a generous professional
development budget, matching gifts, fitness reimbursements,
fertility assistance, mental health counseling, and identity theft
protection. In addition, we allow schedule flexibility and
telecommuting, with manager’s approval.
- Paid time off includes:
- Vacation: starts with three weeks/year, with increases based on
- Sick Leave: 12 days/year
- Personal Days: two days/year
- Family Medical Leave: 10 days/year
- Parental Leave: 6-16 weeks, depending on tenure
- Holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; President’s Day;
Memorial Day; Juneteenth; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veterans’
Day; Thanksgiving Day (and day after); Year-End Break (December
24th through New Year’s’ Day)
The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a
diverse pool of applicants. Foundation policy prohibits unlawful
discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual
orientation, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship,
age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability,
military service, legally protected medical condition, or any other
consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.
Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified applicants
with disabilities may participate in the application process.
Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of
Our success is dependent on our ability to build teams that
include people with different experiences who can challenge each
other’s assumptions with new perspectives. We encourage people of
color, from under-resourced communities, immigrants, LGBTQIA+, and
others with diverse perspectives and experiences to apply.
The Foundation has retained
CEA Consulting to lead this search. Interested and qualified
candidates should apply by following the link below to upload a
cover letter, resume, and salary requirements. Please direct any
questions to Eileen Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org. All
correspondence will remain confidential.