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 Denver. The foundation seeks to recruit individuals with a demonstrated commitment to support healthier ecosystems and more vibrant communities, superior interpersonal and communication skills, a respectful and analytical approach to the work of grantees and partners, and a proven ability to work effectively as part of a team.
Please include a cover letter with your resume.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
We are committed to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the organization to foster an environment where all associates THRIVE and belong. We do this by creating:
- a culture committed to continuous learning that recognizes and values differences
- an environment of respect and connection to learn from the richness of identities, experiences, and perspectives
- fair access for all to opportunities for growth and advancement
About the Position
The Program Officer will help contribute to an ambitious strategy and manage a diverse portfolio of grantees to implement the Environment Program’s new five-year strategy (2021-2025) to protect water resources in the face of climate change, with an emphasis on the Mississippi River Basin. The Program Officer will work on the small team focused on supporting a clean and resilient Mississippi River, as well as be part of the overall Environment Program team. WFF’s strategy is focused on how to scale up the implementation of key agricultural and natural infrastructure practices through federal and state policy, as well as supply chain and community initiatives. Specific duties include the following:
- Engage with NGO, industry and funding partners to support grantmaking that improves water quality in the Mississippi River Basin – including through improved agricultural practices and nature-based climate mitigation and resilience efforts. The Mississippi River policy portfolio is moving into a new phase of grantmaking with a dual focus on 1) advancing natural infrastructure, particularly flood protection and climate resilience infrastructure, through federal, state, and local programs and 2) continuing to advance agricultural conservation through private, state and federal opportunities. Using these approaches, this position will help shape and advance the foundation’s basin-wide strategy to achieving a clean and resilient Mississippi River with enough healthy, available water for people and nature to thrive.
- Manage a grant portfolio in alignment with strategy. This will include leveraging existing partnerships and identifying new opportunities to advance nature-based solutions through federal and state policy, with an emphasis on natural infrastructure. 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 to 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 [PE1] required for your success
- Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree preferred.
- At least seven years of work in policy, water, agriculture, natural resources management, or related field. The ideal candidate has experience in grant or project management and evaluation.
- Strong understanding of federal policies and programs that could be used to advance natural infrastructure and/or agricultural conservation.
- Experience and track record to serve as a critical advisor and subject matter expert while advancing strategy using advocacy or philanthropic tools. Experience working at the interface of business practices and policy preferred.
- Experience in relationship-building in ways that bring different sectors and diverse stakeholders together to reach shared goals, with a demonstrated commitment to equity. Coalition management experience is a plus.
- 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 succinctly 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.
- Experience or interest in the Mississippi River basin.
- Willingness to travel.
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 floodplain restoration, resilience, and agricultural conservation, as well as a desire to learn more.
- Commitment to fostering an inclusive work environment: This role is highly collaborative. The candidate should demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion with colleagues, peers and partners outside the foundation.
All offers of employment are contingent on your successful completion (where permitted by state law) of a confidentiality agreement, background check, credit check, drug screen and verification of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccination exemptions as a reasonable accommodation for a qualified disability or sincerely held religious belief can be discussed at the time of an offer. In addition, you will need to provide proper identification verifying your eligibility to work in the United States on your first day of work.
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 and work to end overfishing.
- work through innovation, supply chains, policy, and communities;
- protect oceans and rivers and the livelihoods they support; and
- 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.
Learn more about the Environment Program.
How to Apply
Applications must include an updated resume and a cover letter that explains how previous experiences have prepared you for this role and why this role in particular aligns to your career goals.
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.