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Program Officer, Environment

The Walton Family Foundation (WFF) is seeking a skilled, highly motivated, and entrepreneurial individual to join the foundation as a Program Officer – Environment, based in D.C. or potentially Chicago or Denver). The foundation seeks to recruit individuals with a demonstrated commitment to an inclusive quality of life, superior interpersonal and communication skills, a respectful but analytical approach to the work of grantees and partners, and a proven ability to work effectively as part of a team.

About the Position

The Program Officer will help manage a diverse portfolio of grantees. The Program Officer will work both on the small team focused on supporting a clean and resilient Mississippi River, as well as be part of the overall Environment Program team. Specific duties include the following:

  • Engage with NGO and industry partners to support grantmaking towards efforts that improve water resources in the Mississippi River Basin and leverage agriculture to address the climate challenge – including through improved agricultural practices, nature-based climate mitigation and resilience efforts, and driving natural infrastructure opportunities. A clean and resilient Mississippi River is critical to meeting the foundation’s goal to have enough healthy, available water for people and nature to thrive. To achieve this vision, the Environment Program works across the basin to support innovative solutions, drive market supply and demand for sustainable agriculture products, bring information to policy development, and empower local communities.

  • Manage a grant portfolio and lead grantmaking in alignment with strategy. This will include leveraging existing partnerships and identifying new opportunities to advance nature-based solutions, including climate mitigation and adaptation in agriculture. Grant management will include performing due diligence on proposals, shepherding proposals through the foundation’s approval process, conducting site visits, identifying new partnerships and opportunities, tracking grantee progress towards objectives, providing guidance and working with grantees in any way that will achieve significant impact. In addition, this position will continue to build new relationships with a broad network of other partners who can leverage the foundation’s goals. The program officer’s grantmaking portfolio will also contribute to the foundation’s shared goals to: champion community-driven change, prioritize diversity, equity & inclusion, and collaborate with partners.

  • Be an effective team member. The success of the foundation’s Environment Program strategy is built on a strong team culture that values partnership. Team members provide support as well as honest and respectful feedback to one another. All team members are held to high performance expectations that include a mindset of personal and professional development, and a commitment to equity.

  • Other projects and assignments. These may be requested by the foundation’s board, Executive Director, or Director of the Environment Program.

Who we are looking for

Qualifications required for your success

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • At least five years of work in the agriculture, water, policy, natural resource management sectors, or related field. Ideally with experience in grant or project management and evaluation.
  • Understanding of agricultural, coastal, and/or natural climate solutions stakeholders and federal programs that could be used towards furthering objectives
  • Experience and track record to serve as a critical advisor and subject matter expert through philanthropic tools and/or public/private leverage
  • Experience in relationship-building in ways that bring different sectors and diverse stakeholders together to reach shared goals, with a demonstrated commitment to equity
  • Excellent written skills and experience in producing both brief and longer-form written products in a timely fashion for internal and external audiences
  • Oral communications skills, with experience in presentations that emphasize conveying complex issues to internal and external audiences
  • Proven skills at organization and time management
  • Demonstrated capacity to work as part of a team, as well as independently
  • Intellectual agility and the ability to analyze and think critically
  • Commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment

Personal attributes that support your success

  • Relationship building: This role requires acting as a trusted advisor to partners and colleagues and building new relationships. A successful program officer can work with a diverse set of stakeholders. This role requires self-direction and decisiveness combined with flexibility and a capacity to give and receive feedback graciously.
  • Subject matter knowledge: Working across a variety of grant types, this role is best served through an understanding of issues related to agricultural conservation, and freshwater systems, as well as a desire to learn more.

About the Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit Walton Family Foundation.

About the Environment Program

The Walton Family Foundation works for solutions so nature and people can thrive together.

  • Improve the quality and availability of water in our nation’s largest river basins;
  • We work through innovation, supply chains, policy, and communities;
  • Restore lost wetlands and the protection they provide to people and communities along the coastal Gulf of Mexico;
  • Protect oceans and rivers and the livelihoods they support;
  • Are open to ideas from farmers, fishermen, businesses, and conservationists, ensuring them an active role in solutions that are good for the environment and the economy; and
  • Work to end overfishing and protect coastal jobs.

Learn more about the Environment Program.

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation Range: $120,000 - $150,000

Benefits Information: We offer a comprehensive and generous benefits package which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance, a 401 (k) retirement plan and paid time off.

*This information is provided to comply with Colorado Law

How to apply:

The Walton Family Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment of any kind. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.