Democracy Rights and Governance Director

The David Lucile & Packard Foundation
California, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Aug 10, 2022

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Position Type
Programs, Grant Administration, Grant Making
Community Foundations, Other Fields
Employment Type
Full Time
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About The David Lucile & Packard Foundation

We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, resilient natural world. Over our nearly 60-year history, we have worked with thousands of organizations and leaders in the U.S. and worldwide to advance progress in the critical areas of science, ocean and land conservation, climate change, women’s reproductive health and rights, and the well-being of children, families, and communities. At a time of multiple, intertwined crises globally and here in the U.S., the Packard Foundation began in 2021 a long-planned review of our grantmaking strategies. The first step of our process was to rearticulate our vision and mission, reexamine our organizational values, and create a strategic framework that builds on and honors the Packard Foundation’s past while advancing justice and equity in all that we do.


Our Vision: A just and equitable world where both people and nature flourish.  

Our new vision embraces a future where both people and nature flourish in a more just and equitable world. We explicitly acknowledge that the fate of people and the natural environment are inextricably linked. Solutions to the complex challenges we face must account for this interconnectedness. 


Our Mission: We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, resilient natural world. 

Our new mission takes on the critical work of addressing root causes of the challenges we face and mobilizing people for collective action. In addition to building on approaches that have guided our philanthropy for decades — working in partnership, committing to issues over the long-term, and grounding our work in science, knowledge, and data – we focus on understanding the systems that either accelerate or impede progress. It is only through just and equitable systems that we can find and sustain solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face today. 


Our Values: Equity, Integrity, Belief in Individual Leadership, Thinking Big, Respect, and Effectiveness.  

In addition to clarifying our long-held values, we added equity. We will champion equity by treating people with dignity, honoring a range of ideas and perspectives from those closest to the issues, creating inclusive processes, and funding people who have been historically excluded to spur progress for all.  For more information, including our definitions of key concepts, please visit our website.


Position Summary

As we continue to actively examine how we can contribute to a more just and equitable society, it is clear that a strong democracy in the United States is critical on its own and also foundational to sustain our and partners’ work on other core issues. 

The new U.S. Democracy, Rights and Governance initiative will seek to advance an inclusive, pro-equity and multi-racial democracy. Initial focus areas include: repairing the United States’ social fabric; supporting effective governance, civic infrastructure and election integrity; bolstering faith in institutions of government; and combatting disinformation. 

Reporting initially to the President and CEO, the DRG Director will develop and manage this nonpartisan grantmaking strategy, and partner with other Foundation colleagues when their program can be strengthened through collaborative work on democracy, especially in state and regional contexts. The DRG Director will identify and advance urgent short-term goals and, in parallel, create a pathway that supports the long-term vibrancy and health of democratic norms, infrastructure and institutions.

The Director must be an exceptional communicator, with strong emotional intelligence. They must be able to effectively represent the Foundation in all situations, including with partners across the political spectrum, in many fields (civil society, academia, philanthropy) as well as on the Hill. They must engage effectively with the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, nonprofit representatives, as well as other key internal and external stakeholders.

The position is based in downtown Los Altos, CA. or Washington, D.C. 

This is an outstanding opportunity for a leader with expertise in the field of U.S. Democracy to shape and evolve the initiative from early-stage to sustained impact.


Key Duties and Responsibilities

Develop and Oversee Initiative Strategy 

  • Building upon early grants and incorporating input from the President, Trustees and colleagues across the Foundation, develop a strategy to address immediate threats to U.S. Democracy as well as longer-term approaches that bolster confidence in government institutions and civic life 
  • Ensure that the strategy and portfolio align with the Foundation’s vision, mission, values and theory of change
  • Provide written and verbal communication to President, Trustees, and other stakeholders about the U.S. Democracy portfolio, learning and evolution, and progress against goals

Collaborative Grantmaking 

  • Consult with key thought-partners across the Foundation, in program, organizational effectiveness, the Director of Justice and Equity Grantmaking, legal, communications, etc.
  • Identify democracy grant and initiative opportunities that:  1) Intersect with other Packard Foundation domestic programs (reproductive health, climate, families and local communities) in order to accelerate outcomes; and 2) Seek to repair the United States’ social fabric, support effective governance, civic infrastructure and election integrity while bolstering faith in institutions of government and combatting disinformation
  • Oversee operations including review and approval of all U.S. Democracy grantmaking decisions 
  • Manage the budget for the U.S. Democracy initiative
  • In cooperation with the Evaluation and Learning team set evaluation and learning goals for the U.S. Democracy portfolio, collect data, and regularly reflect on the results, making changes as appropriate

Field Leadership 

  • Effectively represent the Foundation to government leaders, elected officials, nonprofits, academics, collaboratives and journalists
  • Provide external leadership in the field through writing, collaboration, and thought-leadership
  • Communicate policy and field knowledge through briefings and interviews

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