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Program Officer, Wildlife Conservation

Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation
New York, United States
$120,000.00 - $150,000.00
Closing date
Sep 9, 2022

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Position Type
Programs, Community Outreach, Grant Administration, Grant Making, Other Programs, Program Administration and Management
Animal Protection, Community Development, Environment, International
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation (LCAOF) is an invitation-only philanthropic foundation dedicated to community-based wildlife conservation. The Foundation seeks an experienced Program Officer to help advance LCAOF’s grantmaking work in key biodiversity landscapes around the world. The Program Officer will report to the Executive Director and work in close collaboration with a small New York City-based team consisting of a Senior Program Officer, a Program Associate, a Grants Associate, and an Operations Manager.

For this pivotal role, LCAOF seeks an individual who is excited to take on challenging projects with ambitious timelines. There will be opportunities to expand the Foundation’s work into new geographic and strategic areas. In close collaboration with the Executive Director and Senior Program Officer, as well as the Foundation’s Trustees and Advisory Board, the Program Officer will help shape future programmatic direction and strategies, while managing portions of the Foundation’s existing portfolio of grants and projects. The scope of the role is broad; as a member of a small team, the successful candidate will need to be adaptable and comfortable in a work environment with cross-cutting responsibilities. Comfort in ambiguity is important as is working in a fast-paced environment with shifting priorities and demands.

The successful candidate is a strategic systems thinker but is also able to translate strategic vision into tangible and organized workplans. The candidate should have a deep respect for and a sense of partnership with the grantee community and be skilled at collaborating with grantees, funders, and others to forge a shared vision, set goals, and manage for results. Working with humility, possessing self-awareness, and having a high degree of emotional intelligence in a wide range of cultural settings is essential to this role, as is rigorous judgment, analytical skills, and careful follow-through.


  • Work with the Executive Director, Trustees, Advisory Board and staff colleagues in refining the Foundation’s grantmaking goals, priorities, strategies and practices.
  • Communicate LCAOF’s mission to grantee organizations and assist applicants in developing proposals that align well with the foundation’s interests.
  • Work with grantee organizations on all aspects of LCAOF’s grantmaking process from inviting and refining proposals, assisting with submission processes, and being a liaison between grantees and the Trustees and Advisory Board.
  • Prepare proposal evaluations, solicit and follow up on feedback from Advisory Board members and outside experts; make recommendations to the Executive Director for Trustee approval of grants.
  • Monitor approved grants through careful review of narrative and financial reports, personal communication and site visits; review and approve grant modifications as needed.
  • Participate in field visits and attend conferences to stay informed and up to date on conservation trends, funding opportunities, and partner foundations;
  • Assist with the preparation, management and tracking of annual grants budgets.
  • Prepare materials, participate in, and make presentations at biannual meetings of Trustees and Advisory Board.
  • Represent the Foundation to the public and in professional meetings, conferences and workshops.
  • Build collaborative strategic relationships with other philanthropic funders, public agencies and non-profits to advance the Foundation’s goals.
  • Participate in the development, planning and organization of program-related events and initiatives.
  • Develop informational materials regarding the foundation’s work and priorities.
  • Perform occasional special assignments, including potential supervision of program interns or volunteers.


  • At least 5 years of professional experience in wildlife and biodiversity conservation, or related field. Leadership or management experience in a non-profit organization is preferable.  Experience in grantmaking is helpful but not required.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work, listen and communicate tactfully with a wide range of non-profit, community, government and philanthropic leaders.
  • Cultural competence and the ability to partner effectively and respectfully in a wide range of professional settings. Fluency in other languages widely spoken in our priority landscapes, in addition to English, is a plus.
  • Strong analytical and financial management skills; ability to interpret and evaluate nonprofit financial statements and written reports.
  • Excellent creative thinking, problem solving and organization skills; strong attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Experience developing and managing partnerships and complex programs, working both independently and with teams.
  • Ability to travel within the U.S. and overseas on a regular basis, and to work occasional evening and weekend hours.
  • Standard computer skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) are required.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, team-oriented, collegial, collaborative, diplomatic and flexible.
  • Knowledgeable and passionate about the Foundation’s mission.
  • Strong relationship builder and manager of people and projects.
  • Well organized, a self-starter with strong professional work ethic.


This position is based out of the Foundation’s office in New York City. LCAOF currently follows a remote-first, flexible hybrid schedule, with employees expected to meet in person at the Foundation’s office located in Midtown Manhattan as needed, but not on a regular weekly schedule. This arrangement may be subject to change in the future.

This position requires approximately 15-25% travel, including extended international trips when it is practical and safe. During field visits, the employee may occasionally be required to travel and live in wilderness or remote rural conditions for a few days at a time, or to travel by boat or small aircraft to access points or people of interest.

The above statements are not intended to encompass all functions and qualifications of the position; rather, they are intended to provide a general framework of the requirements of the position. Job incumbents may be required to perform other functions not specifically addressed in this description.


The salary range for this position is $120,000-$150,000, and will ultimately be based on experience, knowledge, skills, education, or other factors directly related to the position. In addition, LCAOF offers employees:

  • Comprehensive employer-paid medical, dental and vision plans
  • 403(b) retirement plan with 10% company contribution
  • A minimum of 20 days paid time off per year
  • Reimbursement for professional development along with 5 days paid time off to pursue these opportunities per year
  • Disability and life insurance


Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume combined into one PDF or Microsoft Word document no later than September 20, 2022. Email your application to First round interviews will be scheduled via Zoom for selected candidates.

LCAOF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We welcome candidates of all identities, orientations, lived experiences and communities to apply.


The Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation is dedicated to the survival of wildlife and wildlands and to the vitality of human communities with which they are inextricably linked. We support conservation work in a number of key landscapes around the globe with a total grant-making budget of approximately $12 million a year. We emphasize a community-based approach to conservation and support the use of good science to inform sound public policies.  We also emphasize the importance of collaboration and cooperation in crafting solutions to habitat protection, responsible natural resource management and sustainable economies.

The hallmarks of LCAOF grantmaking have been to make long-term investments in on-the-ground projects in important wildlife landscapes, following the practices of trust-based philanthropy; to respond quickly to unexpected community challenges or opportunities; to understand that outstanding leadership is critical to program success; and to recognize that a relationship does not end with a grant award but is the start of a continuing dialogue and partnership. The Foundation views its grantees as strategic partners and seeks to model relationships with them based on reciprocity, mutual respect and accountability. 


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