Los Altos, CA

Communications Officer (Temporary), The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

The Organization

About the David and Lucile Packard Foundation:
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Foundation) is a family foundation that is guided by the enduring business philosophy and personal values of Lucile and David Packard, who helped found one of the world’s leading technology companies. Their approach to business and community participation has guided our philanthropy. Today, their children and grandchildren continue to help guide the work of the Foundation. Located in Los Altos, CA, the Foundation makes grants at the local, state, national, and international level.

We work on the issues our founders cared about most, which are improving the lives of children; enabling the creative pursuit of science; advancing reproductive health; conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems; and supporting and strengthening an array of local nonprofit organizations.

In 2020, the Foundation plans to make grantmaking awards of approximately $350M. A staff of 140 conducts the day-to-day operations and a Board of Trustees oversees the work of the Foundation. David and Lucile Packard passed on to the Foundation the following core set of values: integrity; respect for all people; belief in individual leadership; commitment to effectiveness; and the capacity to think big.

At the Packard Foundation, we strive for a diverse workforce and ensure that respect for cultural diversity is fostered. We recognize diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing the work of the Foundation and view diversity as encompassing differences in race and gender as well as age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, job skills and levels, education, and geographic location, to name a few.

More information about the Foundation can be found at www.packard.org.

Position Overview

About the Department:
The Communications Team develops and implements communications strategies and activities to amplify the Foundation’s impact on the issue areas we fund. Our communications efforts are guided by the following priorities:

  • To support grantees by strengthening their communications capacity and amplifying their work,
  • To communicate with grantees, partners, and other stakeholders in a clear, consistent, and compelling way about the work we fund and goals we collectively seek to achieve,
  • To selectively and intentionally use the Foundation’s voice when it is uniquely positioned to augment grantmaking and grantee efforts and strengthen the fields in which we work, and
  • To provide counsel on communications-related grantmaking efforts in service of programmatic goals.

The Communications Team is comprised of a strategic, cohesive, and collaborative team of six led by the Communications Director who is on the Foundation’s leadership team.

About the Role:
The Foundation has three full-time Communications Officers and an Associate Communications Officer who proactively lead the development of communications strategies and initiatives for the Foundation and in collaboration with one or more of the Foundation’s program areas.

We seek a temporary Communications Officer position to expand the capacity of the team during a year of CEO leadership transition and a temporary staff leave. An adept project manager, teacher, and relationship builder, the one-year temporary Communications Officer will serve as an internal partner to program staff, and others across the Foundation, with high communications expertise who can prioritize, confidently make decisions, and move easily across issue areas and projects.

Candidates should demonstrate keen interest in and knowledge of the complex issues the Foundation addresses. We seek candidates who can translate technical or scientific information and concepts into communications that inspire our partners on an issue, policy, or action. Individuals should be intellectually curious and at ease working with subject matter experts and leaders across various fields.

Best suited to this role are individuals who offer their expertise with a consultative approach. Candidates must have a respect for the diversity of the grantees with whom we work, and strong interpersonal skills to establish effective and respectful working relationships across the Foundation with program teams, grantees, external consultants, media, and other stakeholders.

This position reports to the Communications Director and is located in downtown Los Altos, California.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

Communications Officers work in close partnership with grantmaking teams and Foundation leadership to amplify the Foundation’s mission and the issues we support. Leveraging deep understanding of the dynamic field of strategic communications, Communications Officers create and execute innovative campaigns to influence social change and inspire new audiences. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Contribute to the planning and implementation of communications strategies that amplify our grantmaking.
  • Function as a leader and coach to Foundation staff, guiding colleagues through communications development, campaign strategy and execution.
  • Manage activities such as message development, strategy updates, media engagement, writing opinion articles and blogs, and external communications surrounding Foundation-branded activities
  • Work directly with grantees as needed, organizing around shared projects and providing communications counsel and/or technical assistance.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated understanding of communications strategy development and ability to execute and implement
  • Highest level of professional writing skills; ability to create content for opinion articles, press releases, web content, and social media
  • Significant project management experience with large, diverse teams and external consultants
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize and translate complex and/or scientific concepts and lexicon into clear, compelling content for non-technical audiences
  • Comfort with media relations and media training
  • Digital media content development and strategy support
  • Adept at absorbing and understanding new subjects quickly
  • Excellent time, project management, and prioritization skills

Important personal attributes for success include:

  • Humility and a “can-do” attitude
  • Flexibility to shift and pivot as needed
  • Collaborative, inclusive team player
  • High emotional intelligence, ability to read and navigate situations and diverse audiences with respect
  • Resilience and optimism
  • Discernment, excellent judgement

Education and Experience

  • A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • At least 5 year(s) of  relevant work experience including: communications experience in one or more of the issue areas the Foundation supports; experience providing communications counsel to an organization’s senior staff is ideal

To Apply:

To apply, go to the Packard Foundation Careers page.

Principal applicants only — Candidates whose qualifications most closely fit the criteria for the job will be contacted — No phone inquiries, please

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool.

The Foundation uses an outside firm to check the accuracy of information supplied by applicants who are extended an offer of employment.

How To Apply


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