Los Altos, CA

Strategic Communications Director, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

The David & Lucile Packard Foundation was founded in 1964 by David and Lucile Packard.  We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, resilient natural world. We have worked with organizations and leaders in the U.S. and worldwide to advance progress in the critical areas of science, ocean and land conservation, climate change, women’s reproductive health and rights, and the well-being of children, families, and communities.

At a time of multiple, intertwined crises globally and here in the U.S., the Packard Foundation began 2021 a long-planned review of our grantmaking strategies. The first step of our process was to rearticulate our vision and mission, reexamine our organizational values, and create a strategic framework that builds on and honors the Packard Foundation’s past while advancing justice and equity in all that we do.

OUR VISION: A just and equitable world where both people and nature flourish.  
Our new vision embraces a future where both people and nature flourish in a more just and equitable world. We explicitly acknowledge that the fate of people and the natural environment are inextricably linked. Solutions to the complex challenges we face must account for this interconnectedness.

OUR MISSION: We work with people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, resilient natural world. 
Our new mission takes on the critical work of addressing root causes of the challenges we face and mobilizing people for collective action. In addition to building on approaches that have guided our philanthropy for decades — working in partnership, committing to issues over the long-term, and grounding our work in science, knowledge, and data – we focus on understanding the systems that either accelerate or impede progress. It is only through just and equitable systems that we can find and sustain solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face today.

OUR VALUES: Equity, Integrity, Belief in Individual Leadership, Thinking Big, Respect, and Effectiveness. 
In addition to clarifying our long-held values, we added equity. We will champion equity by treating people with dignity, honoring a range of ideas and perspectives from those closest to the issues, creating inclusive processes, and funding people who have been historically excluded to spur progress for all.  For more information, including our definitions of key concepts, please visit our website.

The Communications department is responsible for shaping internal and external communications that inspire people and communities to create enduring solutions for just societies and a healthy, natural resilient world. Our department focuses on producing engaging communications that embodies our commitment to justice and equity and contributes to consistent, positive experiences for our grantees and partners as we collectively work to accelerate progress towards our common goals.

The Director of Strategic Communications will oversee the Foundation’s communications efforts to make field level change across our Foundation’s three interrelated goals and across our grantmaking initiatives. The ideal candidate brings a demonstrated track record of designing and executing strategic communications efforts that persuade key audiences and inspire them to act. The Director is a thought partner, relationship builder, and strong people and project manager. The Director deploys the Foundation’s resources and influence in service of our grantmaking goals. This is a new role, and an exciting opportunity to join the Packard Foundation as it moves forward in a new direction. The Director reports to the Chief Communications Officer and serves on the Foundation’s Leadership Team.


  • Accelerate Progress Toward Foundation Goals
  • Oversees and supports the creation and execution of strategic communications that contribute to sector-wide progress within the Foundation’s three goal areas:
  • Protect and Restore Our Natural World, Invest in Families and Communities, and Build Just Societies
  • Partners closely with Vice Presidents who oversee goal areas to prioritize communications strategies that intentionally use the Foundation’s influence and other strategic communications tools to further grantmaking goals
  • Supervises, coaches, and mentors two Communications Officers and is responsible for their overall performance and career development
  • Uses policy advocacy, narrative change, and other strategic communications approaches to engage, inspire and influence key audiences
  • Proactively identifies opportunities (e.g., speaking opportunities, convenings, media engagement, and op-ed placement, external events) to raise awareness and spur action on the Foundation’s issue areas
  • Builds media and sector influencer network to share the Foundation’s issues and connects them with Foundation leaders
  • Ensures Foundation issue area messaging is relevant, engaging for both U.S. and international audiences, and aligns with the Foundation’s organizational identity
  • Leads on issue management and prepares potential responses
  • Uses research, opinion poll tracking, and other data to inform communications strategies and makes necessary adjustments; shares this knowledge regularly with Foundation staff
  • Oversees budget and contracts for strategic communications consultants
  • Shares the Foundation’s insights, knowledge, and contributions to encourage collaboration among staff
  • Actively advances the Packard Foundation’s commitment to racial justice and equity

Bachelor’s degree required, preferred in journalism, public affairs, communications, public relations, or liberal arts or equivalent education and experience

At least 15 years of experience with increasing responsibilities, driving successful communications strategies, including issue-based advocacy, public affairs campaigns, narrative change, and message development; at least 5 years of people management experience; at least 5 years of people management experience
Communications leadership role at a nonprofit organization, consulting firm, government agency or similar institution

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities  

  • Exceptional writing and presentation skills with an ability to inform, influence, and persuade a variety of audiences with diverse experiences
  • Communications experience in reproductive health and rights, social justice, civil society, and/or democracy in the U.S. is highly desirable
  • A strategic and collaborative leader, who brings organizational-wide thinking with strong attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to execute and follow through on commitments, prioritize work, and manage time and resources well

May 12, 2023

The position is full-time. The salary range for this position is $173,000 – $245,000 USD annually. This salary range is an estimate, and the actual salary may vary based on various factors, including without limitation individual education, experience, tenure, certification, skills, and abilities, as well as internal equity and alignment with market data, including potential adjustments for geographic location. Offers are based on the candidate’s years of experience and our practice of upholding salary equity within the foundation.

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.

The Packard Foundation’s current Hybrid Work Policy is that staff are expected to be in the office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.

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.

The Foundation is an equal employment opportunity employer, which means we recruit, hire, assign, train, promote, compensate, provide benefits, discipline, and discharge (and all the other terms and conditions of employment) based on merit, qualifications, job requirements, and other legitimate business factors.

We do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race (including traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles), color, religion (including religious dress and grooming practices), creed, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and/or related medical conditions), marital or registered domestic partner status, age (over 40), national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition (as defined by California law), military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, or on any other category protected by applicable law. We also do not discriminate based on whether a person is associated with someone else who is in any of the protected categories or is perceived to be in any of the protected categories.

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