New York, NY

Assistant General Counsel, The Rockefeller Foundation

The Organization

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation has brought people together around the globe to try to solve the world’s most challenging problems and promote the well-being of humanity. Today, in a world capable of so much, it is unacceptable that there are still so many with so little. That’s why the Rockefeller Foundation fights to secure the fundamentals of human well-being—health, food, energy, jobs—so they’re within reach for everyone, everywhere in the world. Our approach is grounded in what we’ve seen work over more than a century: It’s inspired by science, rigorous about data, brings together and empowers others, and is focused on real results that improve people’s lives.

Position Overview

The Rockefeller Foundation is seeking a dynamic Assistant General Counsel. The Assistant General Counsel reports to the Deputy General Counsel, and has responsibility for the provision of a range of legal services to the Foundation, working both with the Deputy General Counsel on grants and other program-related legal work, and with the General Counsel on overall corporate legal and compliance matters.

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing grants and other program-related work for compliance with regulations governing the Foundation as a tax-exempt private foundation;
  • Reviewing (and in appropriate cases negotiating) most commercial contracts entered into by the Foundation;
  • Conducting legal due diligence on potential grantees, vendors and external partners;
  • Monitoring compliance with a range of laws, regulations and policies governing Foundation operations, particularly with respect to intellectual property, data privacy,  and external communications including Foundation website;
  • Advising and coordinating with Regional Directors and local counsel and other professional service providers on legal issues affecting overseas offices, including regulatory compliance, employment issues, real estate, registration, and compliance-related filings;
  • Reviewing documentation and supervising outside counsel on legal matters relating to employee benefits;
  • Serving as secretary of some internal Foundation committees;
  • Assisting with preparing board and committee meeting materials and drafting minutes;
  • Conducting legal research as needed;
  • Supervising outside counsel as needed;
  • Providing training to Foundation staff on applicable laws, regulations, and ethics code;
  • Providing other legal services as requested by the Deputy General Counsel or General Counsel.


  • Extremely strong legal reasoning and analytic skills
  • Exceptionally solid judgment and complete discretion and integrity
  • Professional discipline, and a rigorous approach to the practice of law
  • Ability to make sound risk judgments, working with colleagues to find an appropriate solution to enable programmatic work to move forward
  • Pleasant, diplomatic disposition, sense of humor, ability to adapt, and collaborative working style
  • Communication:  Excellent interpersonal abilities; good listening skills; writing and verbal skills; assertiveness in presenting ideas
  • Decision-Making:  ability to evaluate and advise on risks and opportunities; uses analytical and problem-solving skills; takes initiative and drives for results; able to prioritize and follow through
  • Execution:  Strong project management and creative problem-solving skills; meets deadlines; sense of urgency and responsibility; ability to multi-task and work under pressure; detail oriented; careful drafter
  • Integration:  Accesses functional and substantive expertise organizationally; demonstrates inclusiveness, collaboration
  • Leadership:  Thinks innovatively and creatively; displays strong negotiation skills
  • Partnership and Relationship Building:  Professional representation of the Foundation, interpersonal abilities, intercultural knowledge and appreciation
  • Strategic Ability:   Anticipates future opportunities and consequences, demonstrates innovative approach to work, ability to organize competing interests into coherent plan

Education, Training and Experience:

  • Law degree
  • Admission in good standing to the Bar in New York State
  • A minimum of four (4) years of law practice, some of it preferably with or for tax exempt organizations
  • Experience with one or more of the following is strongly preferred:  tax rules applicable to private foundations; international compliance; intellectual property; data privacy issues


The Rockefeller Foundation offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience.  The Foundation provides a very generous package of benefits.

The Rockefeller Foundation is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity and to compliance with all federal, state, and local laws concerning employment discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.  To this end, the Foundation ensures equal opportunity to all employees and applicants regardless of race, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, lawful alien status, physical, mental, and medical disability, veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces

The Rockefeller Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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