Eden Prairie, MN

Program Director, Environment, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

The Organization


Founded by the late Margaret A. Cargill, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP) actively partners with capable organizations to make a lasting difference for individuals and communities, with particular attention to overlooked causes.

MACP develops and implements integrated grantmaking strategies across seven programmatic domains: Arts & Cultures, Disaster Relief & Recovery, Environment, Animal Welfare, Quality of Life, Teachers, and Legacy & Opportunity. MACP believes that the best way to make a lasting difference on issues they care about is by investing in long-term relationships with key grantees, strengthening their combined abilities to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Cultural values inspire MACP’s team to learn, create, and excel through strong relationships with one another, their grantee partners, and the communities where MACP funds programs. They are guided by a set of core values: making a difference, respect, excellence, learning, integrity, and humility. The culture is one of engagement, thoughtfulness, and ongoing discovery. And they are constantly inspired by the good work carried out by their grantee partners. MACP is a team of diverse individuals inspired by a common mission, shared values, and a desire to make a difference by working together.

MACP is comprised of two grantmaking entities, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and the Anne Ray Foundation, and their combined assets place them among the top ten foundations in the US. In 2019, their national and international grantmaking efforts consisted of 498 grants totaling more than $240M.

For more information on Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, please visit macphilanthropies.org.

Position Overview


MACP is seeking a Program Director to oversee the environment grantmaking domain for the organization. Reporting to and collaborating with the Managing Program Director, the Program Director, Environment will work with Program Officers and Associates, the Director, Program Operations, the Vice President, Programs, and other cross-functional colleagues in building, managing, and evaluating an effective grantmaking domain. This individual will be based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

MACP recognizes that this search is unfolding during a very challenging time, when people around the world are navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and social injustice issues. MACP’s mission of providing meaningful assistance and support to society, the arts, and the environment is more important than ever, and they need exceptionally talented leaders to help continue to advance this mission, especially in this critical moment. If you are such a leader, please review this job description and consider joining the MACP team.


The Environment Program at MACP supports grantees working in and with communities to deliver effective, sustainable solutions to a set of priority problems defined by the MACP Boards.

The team addresses the problem of degradation of the Earth’s freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. Under its existing and well-honed strategy, the domain supports community-based conservation in a set of defined focal geographies in some of the world’s most important tropical forest, grassland, coastal marine, and freshwater ecosystems.

The Program Director, Environment also serves on a leadership team with other MACP program leaders to share learning, improve operations, and coordinate work. The Program Director, Environment helps to inform MACP leadership on emerging issues related to the domain’s work and to identify and cultivate partnerships with grantees, funders, and others in order to maximize MACP’s understanding of conservation issues and the impact of its program investments.

The Program Director, Environment’s core responsibilities are as follows:

Values and Culture Alignment

·       Demonstrate a personal commitment to Margaret A. Cargill’s legacy and approach, including an investment in community-based work and a focus on developing deep and impactful grantee relationships

·       Operate with a high degree of humility and respect for both internal and external stakeholders

·       Demonstrate a desire to play a leadership role in a highly collaborative, community-minded organization that values engagement, culture, and relationships

·       Support MACP-wide goals, identify and develop solutions to improve MACP’s effectiveness, and foster the organization’s values-based culture and philanthropic expertise

Demonstrated Experience in the Global Environmental Sector

·       Leverage significant environmental sector experiences across the team, with a programmatic focus on partnering with grantees to create long-term, sustainable change working in and with communities

·       Bring a strong reputation in the field, cultivating deep relationships with funders and both current and potential grantees

·       Engage with individuals across a wide range of communities, cultures, and experiences; an intersectional and global approach is critical to the success of this work

Excellence in People Management

·       Lead a highly capable and seasoned staff, taking every opportunity to coach and mentor as the team works through grant development, program implementation, and impact assessment

·       Empower staff to continue to drive forward their own areas of work in collaboration with one another

·       Travel with Program Officers and others to assess grantmaking opportunities, monitor program and grantee performance, build constructive relationships, and stay current with program strategies and relevant fields of knowledge


Program Leadership and Strategy Implementation

·       Serve as a member of the Program Leadership Team, supporting MACP-wide goals and identifying and developing solutions to improve MACP’s effectiveness

·       Collaborate with the Managing Program Director on all aspects of strategy implementation, including grants planning, execution, and evaluation

·       In partnership with the evaluation function and grantee partners, develop and implement measurement, evaluation, and learning (MEL) plans to assess program impact

·       In partnership with the legal, finance, and grants management functions, maintain accountability for due diligence on all grants within the portfolio

·       Lead a cross-functional team to develop the domain budget and program plan

Internal and External Communication Skills

·       Represent MACP formally and informally to a range of external stakeholders, developing relationships with peer funders and organizations involved in community-based work, in and beyond the global environmental space, through speaking, writing, and other opportunities

·       As required, interact effectively with the Vice President of Programs, the President & CEO, and the MACP Board, providing ongoing updates and insights into the domain’s work


The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

·       15+ years of experience in the environment field as a grantmaker, administrator, or program director; preference will be given to candidates with some degree of grantmaking experience

·       Experience working with a range of large and small nonprofit organizations that support programs in community-based conservation, wildlife or fisheries management, grantee capacity building, or related fields

·       Experience developing and implementing long-term evaluation and learning strategies relevant to community-based conservation

·       Knowledge, experience, and a high level of comfort communicating in cross-cultural contexts with diverse communities internationally and domestically; facility with a second language is a plus

·       Supervisory experience of a professional team, with demonstrated ability to develop individuals’ strengths and to build effective, values-based teams

·       Strong interpersonal and communications skills, with a professional demeanor and proven ability to build collaborative relationships, operate in a team environment, and honor donor intent

·       Perseverance, resilience, flexibility in the face of change, humility, and a high degree of emotional intelligence

·       Demonstrated ability to translate the goals and strategies of an organization into actionable plans that align to the stylistic preferences of the organization

·       Undergraduate degree required; graduate level degree and/or equivalent professional experience is preferred, including in conservation biology, community-based natural resources management, anthropology, or other field directly related to the understanding of effective strategies for sustaining ecosystem function and supporting the positive interaction of people and ecosystems

·       Ability to travel up to 25% of the time, including trips of two weeks or longer outside the US a few times each year, plus several shorter domestic trips


MACP’s office in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, known as The Preserve, strongly reflects the organization’s culture and identity. Expanded in 2016, The Preserve is testament to MACP’s environmental values and commitment. The building is LEED Platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and is a space that promotes collaboration and a connection to nature while reflecting MACP’s values.

Eden Prairie is part of the Twin Cities metro area, including Minneapolis and St. Paul, which have over 3 million residents and together make up the 14th largest metropolitan area in the country. A unique blend of small town and major cosmopolitan hub, both urban cores boast a thriving business atmosphere. Saint Paul, as the state capital, is home to state government and has a more historical vibe. Minneapolis is the larger and more commercial of the two cities. Both cities share a common root of being river towns – and the great outdoors are still a major attraction for residents and visitors alike, with over 100,000 acres of parks, walking and bike paths, and other outdoor spaces.

The Twin Cities offer something for everyone, from national sports teams to a robust theater and arts scene, to a thriving “foodie” culture. The area also has a diverse range of neighborhoods and homes, with an atmosphere of a small town feeling with the conveniences and cultural hallmarks of a big city.

MACP recognizes that the COVID-19 outbreak has made relocating a challenging option and may require a longer transition period than usual. But for candidates seeking a welcoming, highly livable community with a strong focus on access to arts, culture, and the outdoors, the Twin Cities offers all of this and more.


MACP is invested in the health and well-being of their staff and offers a comprehensive and valuable benefits package, including but not limited to:

·       Relocation support when applicable

·       Strong medical, dental, and vision benefits for individuals and their eligible dependents

·       Retirement programs, including 401(k) matching and access to employer-paid financial planning resources

·       A broad range of insurance programs, including employer-paid life, short and long-term disability, and business travel accident insurance

·       Access to legal insurance plan and identity theft protection program

·       A generous matching gift program

·       Paid holidays and personal time off

·       An employee assistance plan

·       Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts

·       An onsite fitness room

·       Domestic and international travel resources

·       Paid parental leave

·       Tuition reimbursement

How To Apply


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Molly Brennan and Meghan Franklin are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role, please visit this link: https://talent-profile.koyapartners.com/search/3949 All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer and encourages candidates of all identities, experiences, orientations, and communities to apply.

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