Los Altos, CA

Communications Officer, US Programs, David and Lucille Packard Foundation

The Organization

About the David and Lucile Packard Foundation:

The Packard Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children, families, and communities—and restoring and protecting our planet. Guided by the principles of our founders, we think big and serve with humility.

Our grantees are making positive change all over the world and in our own backyard. We are known for our work protecting the climate, oceans, and land and for advancing reproductive health and rights. We also work hard to ensure that all children and families have what they need to succeed. Our capacity-building projects help non-profit leaders build more powerful and impactful organizations and movements.

People join the Packard Foundation because they believe in our mission. They stay for the community of talented and thoughtful colleagues who care deeply about making a meaningful impact. Advancing diversity, equity and inclusion is central to all our endeavors. We are committed to continually improving our efforts to lift up diverse voices, to advocate for justice and to foster inclusivity — both within the Foundation and in our grantmaking.

The organization lives the values it supports. Our green headquarters is net zero energy and LEED® Platinum. Our bathrooms are gender neutral. Employees get a full week of paid time each year to volunteer with a non-profit of their choice. The Foundation also has a generous donation matching program for staff.

There is much work to do in the world and our local communities. At the Packard Foundation, we are committed to doing it with the highest levels of integrity, effectiveness and caring.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.packard.org.

Position Overview

About the Department:

The Communications Team develops and implements communications strategies in partnership with our grantmaking program staff that are designed to leverage the Foundation’s influence and increase grantmaking impact.

Our communications efforts are guided by the following priorities:

  • Communicate with grantees and stakeholders with consistency, clarity, and transparency to build strong trusting relationships with them.
  • Integrate justice and equity throughout communications to reflect our values.
  • Strengthen and enhance the Foundation’s unified voice to advance our collective impact, amplify the Foundation’s grantmaking, and advocate for the issues we fund.
  • Support grantees’ communications capacity and share their work.
  • Advise program teams on communications-related grantmaking to advance our programmatic goals.

You will be part of a strategic, cohesive, and collaborative team led by the Communications Director who is a member of the Foundation’s leadership team.

About the Role:

We seek a Communications Officer to lead the Foundation’s communications strategies and initiatives for our U.S.-based program areas, which include support for women, children, and families; local grantmaking; and our justice and equity commitments. Candidates should be passionate about the Foundation’s work in these issue areas, social change communications, advocacy, and civic engagement. Candidates should have experience in tracking and monitoring local, state, and federal policies and in translating these opportunities into communications that inspire our audiences to act.

Individuals should be intellectually curious and have experience working with subject-matter experts and leaders across these various fields. A successful candidate is an accomplished communications strategist, project manager, coach, and relationship builder who can prioritize, confidently make decisions, and move easily across projects.

Candidates best-suited for this role are collaborative, solution-oriented with strong interpersonal skills to establish effective working relationships with Foundation staff, grantees, external consultants, media, and other stakeholders.

Inherent in all aspects of the Foundation is a commitment to creating an inclusive culture that shows respect for all backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. A strong candidate should be personally committed to growing their cultural competence and will actively participate in the Foundation’s work to integrate justice and equity into all facets of our work.

This position is in downtown Los Altos, California. Initially, the role may start remotely but will require working onsite at the Foundation offices in downtown Los Altos, California once the Foundation offices reopen. All employees must be California residents.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

Communications Officers develop and lead creative campaigns, shape Foundation thought leadership, and amplify grantees to influence social change and inspire new audiences. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Work in partnership with program staff to develop and implement communications for the Foundation’s grantmaking related to women, children, and families; local grantmaking in San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito counties in the San Francisco Bay Area; and our justice and equity fund.
  • Provide active thought partnership, guiding colleagues through communications planning and budgeting, campaign strategy, and execution.
  • Lead on message development, media engagement, drafting and editing content including articles, blogs, social media posts, and other external and internal communications.
  • Work directly with grantees as needed, organizing around shared projects, and providing communications counsel and/or technical assistance.
  • Provide counsel on communications-related grantmaking.
  • Serve as a supportive, creative, and flexible Communications Team member on Foundation- wide projects, initiatives, and learning.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • In-depth knowledge of and communications experience on social change.
  • Superb professional writing skills with the ability to quickly create content for opinion articles, web content, social media, and stories.
  • Experience translating policy issues into compelling communications that inspire action.
  • Significant project management experience with large teams and external consultants.
  • Excellent analytic abilities and critical thinking skills with the ability to see the big picture and chart a path towards achieving goals.
  • Proven experience with media relations, media training, and earned media.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach, partner with, and support subject matter experts.
  • Adept at quickly absorbing and understanding new subjects.
  • Excellent time management and prioritization skills; proven ability to navigate and manage several varied responsibilities at once.
  • Ability to travel domestically (as conditions allow.)

Important personal attributes for success include:

  • A solutions-oriented attitude.
  • Flexibility to shift and pivot as needed.
  • Collaborative and culturally thoughtful team player.
  • High emotional intelligence, including the ability to read and navigate difficult situations with respect.
  • Discernment; excellent judgement.


  • Has led social change communications for a domestic, nationally focused nonprofit, philanthropy, government agency, and/or other policy advocacy organization.
  • Experience providing communications counsel to an organization’s senior staff.
  • Experience leading communications strategies and advocacy campaigns that furthered the organization’s goals.
  • Significant writing experience and success in landing regional and national media placements.

Compensation and Benefits:

The position is full-time, exempt. Salary will be commensurate with related work experience and education.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation offers excellent benefits for eligible employees. Current benefits include medical (HMO and HDHPs), dental and vision coverage; 15% employer contribution to employee retirement plan; life insurance, disability insurance, vacation, and sick leave; an adoption benefit; fertility benefit; a financial wellness program; health advocacy services, paid time off to volunteer for nonprofit organizations; matching grants for employee contributions to tax exempt organizations; commute assistance; and tuition assistance.

To Apply:

To apply, go to the Packard Foundation Careers page. Please submit a cover letter indicating your interest in the Packard Foundation’s mission and programs.

Sign up