Minneapolis, MN

Program Officer - Midwest Climate and Energy, The McKnight Foundation

The Organization
Background: Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota based family foundation has assets of approximately $2 billion and granted about $88 million in 2014. McKnight concentrates resources in the arts; early literacy; the environment; the region and communities; neuroscience and crop research; and select efforts in Southeast Asia and East Africa. McKnight subscribes to the Minnesota Council on Foundations’ “Principles for Minnesota Grantmakers.”

Position Overview
Position Purpose:   The newly created program officer position for the Midwest Climate and Energy program reports directly to the program director. This is an exciting opportunity to have a meaningful impact on efforts to advance a low-carbon economy in the Midwest, and to work in close partnership with the Foundation’s other grantmaking and impact investment programs to promote climate and clean energy goals as a coordinated, organization-wide strategy. Please see The McKnight Foundation website for information on the program.

Key to the position is the ability to link strategic program vision to effective grantmaking and to leverage opportunities in both the public and private sectors. Good communication and project management skills are essential. The position participates in the assessment of grantee capacity for success and fit with funding criteria, including in the letters of inquiry, proposal review and reporting processes. Key to this work is strong analytical skills and the ability to manage and maintain effective working relationships with grantees, key stakeholders, and other members of the Foundation staff.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Provide expertise internally and externally related to the Midwest Climate and Energy program
  • Work with the Program Director to implement the mission and program priorities established by The McKnight Foundation board.
  • Review letters of inquiry and grant requests within program area.
  • Prepare grant- and program-related documents for quarterly board meetings and other communications needs.
  • Develop and manage outcomes and evaluation plans for key investments and projects.
  • Collaborate with McKnight’s Impact Investment program to find and assess potential investments that advance the Foundation’s climate and clean energy goals.
  • Collaborate with program intermediary partners: the Energy Foundation, and the RE-AMP network of grantees and funders focused on clean energy and climate advocacy in the Midwest.
  • Through close collaboration with program director, coordinate use of data and information for learning and use in written reports, website, and presentations.
  • Stay current on information about local, national and international activities related to the Foundation’s grantmaking interests and areas of intersection with other program areas.
  • Foster and nurture relationships with community, business, and intermediary partners Foster working relationships with leaders in the public and private sectors working on climate and clean energy issues.
  • Model behavior that ensures that grantmaking principles and program practices align with Foundation values and operating principles.
  • Present information about McKnight’s Midwest Climate and Energy Program at selected gatherings that will advance the goals and objectives of the program.
  • Manage and participate in program-related workshops and meetings.
  • Manage and participate in other program-related activities including: convenings, participation in grantee and funder networks, special events, and the commissioning of reports and publications.

Minimum Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree, master’s degree preferred, and a minimum of 7 years of related full-time professional work experience in the private sector, nonprofit, or government field applied to clean energy or climate solutions.
  • The ideal candidate will have applicable private sector, regulatory, and/or advocacy experience.
  • Experience working with a family foundation is desired.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Knowledge of:

  • Utility business models and power markets;
  • Renewable energy policy;
  • The policy landscape of the Midwest;
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively across organizational functions.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with a variety of people and groups, particularly nonprofit organizations, public and private sector leaders, government agencies, and research institutions or universities.
  • Ability to analyze, question, and identify key issues and use data to support conclusions.
  • Ability to view issues and challenges from multiple dimensions and apply intellectual energy and creativity.
  • Ability to prepare clearly written summaries and analysis.
  • Ability to engage others and influence outcomes.
  • Knowledge of governance and operations of nonprofit organizations.
  • Ability to communicate effectively interpersonally and in group presentations.
  • Ability to use Microsoft Office components including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook with skill and proficiency.
  • Ability to handle heavy workload and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to skillfully juggle multiple projects simultaneously and manage unexpected events smoothly.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

  • Work is normally performed in an office work environment with very little physical effort required.
  • There are frequent off-site meetings required.
  • There are frequent evening meetings or events required.
  • Regional and national travel is required.
  • Regular operation of normal office machines (computer, copier, and fax) is required.
  • Individuals must be able to demonstrate that they are legally eligible to work in the United States.
How To Apply
If you are interested in this opportunity please go to https://www.mcknight.org/about-us/job-openings on The McKnight Foundation website and submit a thoughtful cover letter and resume.
Competitive salary with excellent benefits.
Apply via The McKnight Foundation website Applications accepted through October 15, 2015.

Sign up