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Program Officer, Environment (Oceans)

The Walton Family Foundation is seeking a skilled, highly motivated, and entrepreneurial individual to join the foundation as a Program Officer – Environment, based in Washington, D.C., or Denver, CO. 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. Cover letter required with 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 manage an ambitious strategy and diverse portfolio of grantees to accomplish the Environment Program’s new five-year strategy (2021-2025) to protect water resources in the face of climate change, with an emphasis on oceans. The Program Officer will work both on the small team focused on restoring global fisheries through increased market demand for and supply of sustainable seafood, as well as be part of the overall Environment Program team. Specific duties include the following:

  • Engage with NGO, industry and funding partners to support grantmaking that increases market demand for sustainable seafood in the United States (US) and European Union (EU). The foundation’s seafood markets portfolio is moving into a new phase of grantmaking to ensure robust and readily accessible accountability mechanisms are in place as industry and supply chain actors continue to adopt and deepen their commitments to sourcing sustainable seafood. This includes ensuring that there is transparent and publicly available information and benchmarks to hold industry accountable and support efforts to assess progress against commitments. In addition, the foundation is interested in ensuring these commitments incorporate social considerations in support of the foundation’s overall interest in ensuring equity in the seafood supply chain. This position will help shape and advance the foundation’s overall strategic approach to increasing market demand for sustainable seafood through accountability, transparency, and equity within supply chains.
  • Engage with NGO, industry, and funding partners to support grantmaking that increases the sustainable supply of focus fisheries. In tandem with increasing demand for sustainable seafood, the foundation supports partners in a select number of fisheries to improve sustainability and management of these fisheries, building on past foundation successes. Focus fisheries are predominantly non-US and small scale, and were chosen, in part because they supply the foundation’s target markets in the US, EU and Japan. Foundation grantmaking supports local stakeholders working in our focus fisheries to improve sustainable management and ensure this management is closely linked to market demand strategies.
  • Manage a grant portfolio and lead grantmaking in alignment with strategy. This will include leveraging existing partnerships and identifying new opportunities to advance the team’s goals related to sustainable seafood markets and ensuring a sustainable supply of at least one focus fishery and market demand in the US and EU. 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 sustainable commodities, sustainable seafood, or fisheries management. The ideal candidate has experience in grant or project management and evaluation.
  • Strong understanding and experience in advancing sustainability and responsible sourcing in global food commodities, which could include those outside of fisheries such as palm oil, cocoa, seafood, beef, soy, and coffee. Experience with small holder production or social issues is a plus.
  • Experience developing and implementing environmental strategies in developing country contexts. The ability to work effectively across cultures is essential. Speaking Spanish or Bahasa Indonesia is a plus.
  • Strategy and program management mindset, demonstrating clear action-oriented thought leadership that can move a problem through a strategic prioritization process and deliver a clear rationale and workplan that can drive towards measurable results within a timeline.
  • 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 and demonstrate commitment to equity by understanding and valuing differences in others and seeking input from different groups and cultures.

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 advancing sustainability through global supply chains and how this translates to seafood and fisheries, 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.

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.

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 waltonfamilyfoundation.org and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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.