Los Altos, CA

Fellows - Program Associate, The David and Lucile 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.

To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.packard.org.

About the Packard Fellows Program:   

The Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering was established in 1988 and arose out of David Packard’s commitment to strengthen university-based science and engineering programs. The fellowship supports the nation’s most promising professors to pursue science and engineering research early in their careers with few funding restrictions and limited reporting requirements.

Over the past 33 years, the Foundation has awarded $464 million to support 657 scientists and engineers from 54 universities. Each Fellow receives $875K over five years to pursue innovative research in a broad range of disciplines that include physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, astronomy, computer science, earth science, ocean science and all branches of engineering. From unraveling the mysteries of aging, to studying emerging virus strains for rapid detection and prevention, to better understanding the physics of insect flight, Packard Fellows are encouraged to think big and look at complex issues with a fresh perspective and follow new ideas wherever they lead.

About the Role:  

As the Program Associate, you will be responsible for grantmaking and program operations, working in close collaboration with the Packard Fellows Program Manager, foundation colleagues across departments, the Packard Fellows Advisory Panel, and our community of Packard Fellows. This position reports to the Program Operations Manager.

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Program Operations:
• Together with Packard Fellows Program Manager and IT, ensure ease and functionality of Packard Fellows grant/application system by helping to develop, improve, and test systems
• Lead and continuously improve the annual process to compile 100 Fellowship nomination packages for Advisory Panel review (establishing review timelines, ensuring consistency and quality-checking work)
• Work with Packard Fellows Program Manager to coordinate logistics for the annual Packard Fellows meeting, such as supporting the creation of materials and working with external vendors on contracts and deliverable follow-up; help conceptualize creative forms of engagement and community-building among the Fellows
• Manage and maintain accurate contact information and content of Packard Fellows Directory, coordinating with Communications to ensure online Fellows directory is accurate; Annually update directory of 50 University Presidents on the Fellows’ Invited Institutions list
• Develop and manage a tracking system to regularly monitor social and news media channels for noteworthy and timely updates on Fellows’ scientific discoveries; Create a “story bank” of Fellow research breakthroughs, which can be used as a source for Board memos or Foundation communications/reports (internal and external to the organization)
• Actively participate in meetings with internal and external audiences to produce collaborative work products by drafting agendas, preparing supporting materials, taking notes, facilitating, and contributing to discussions
• Develop and maintain ongoing documentation on Fellows program systems and processes

Grantmaking Operations:
• Collaborate with Packard Fellows and Universities to support the creation and submission of grant proposals, annual reports, and required compliance documents following Foundation guidelines; address all ongoing grant-related inquiries and implement updates for grant extensions and transfers as needed
• Manage grants through their full lifecycle, including creating, maintaining, and updating electronic grant files according to Foundation legal and financial requirements
• Oversee all Fellowship grant payment schedules and partner with universities to ensure timely and accurate payments, with special attention to accuracy of wire contact  details
• Act as lead on creating operational efficiencies and resolving issues as they arise for the Packard Fellows Program, ensuring systems and processes are in service of just and equitable grantmaking in partnership with Grantmaking Process Management team and IT

Relationship Management & Organizational Partnering:
• Support a community of 650+ Packard Fellows (approximately 150 active grants at a given time) and foster engagement, connection and community-building as program grows
• Serve as key point of contact for community of Fellows through timely review of correspondence and response to program-related inquiries in the Packard Fellows Inbox
• Develop and maintain trust-based and productive relationships with a wide range of organizations and individuals, including Packard Fellows, peer science funders, Advisory Panel members, consultants, funding partners, and foundation colleagues
• Collaborate with team members in ongoing learning and process improvement, incorporating external and internal feedback to continually improve how we do our work
• Participate in, and/or lead cross-foundation initiatives, as appropriate, to achieve Foundation goals


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
•Strong operations, project management, and administration skills and experience, including the ability to plan and implement projects both independently and with colleagues
•Excellent attention to detail and the ability to complete tasks with a high degree of accuracy and dependability
•A track record of being able to meet tight, sometimes simultaneous, deadlines with a keen ability to prioritize, adapt to changing needs, and partner with others to meet common goals
•Strong written and verbal communication skills to communicate effectively with Fellows and partners
•Ability to establish and maintain positive and productive working relationships with all people, internal and external to the organization
•Ability / interest in scanning news sources and tracking Fellows breakthroughs and, over time, the ability to identify what is considered newsworthy for Fellows social media/sharing
•Proficiency in Microsoft Office products (Outlook, Sharepoint, Word, Excel,  PowerPoint) and a willingness to learn and become proficient with Foundation systems, eg, Fluxx and Packard Fellows Online grant systems
•A desire to grow your own cultural competence and dedication to actively participating in the Foundation’s work to integrate justice and equity into all facets of our work
•Willingness and ability to travel to annual Packard Fellows meeting (each September) and occasional grantee site visits.
•Ability to be consistent and dependable for full-time work and be available to work overtime when occasionally required

Education and Experience:
•A minimum of 3 years of related operations, project management, and administration experience required
•Appreciation for science and passion for conservation, as well as experience in the nonprofit sector, experience in grantmaking processes and familiarity with best practices, either through a foundation or grantee perspective, is desirable but not required


The David and Lucile Packard Foundation requires that all staff be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except as required by law. Any employment offer will be contingent upon satisfactory proof that you are fully vaccinated from COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.

How To Apply


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