About the Foundation
The Bay Area-based Flora Family Foundation (FFF or the Foundation) was established in 1998 by the family of William R. Hewlett (co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Company) and his wife Flora Lamson Hewlett. FFF was created with the specific intent to provide the Hewlett family the opportunity to pursue their personal philanthropic interests, and it operates separately from the institution that is the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is to promote the well-being of people everywhere by supporting selected activities of charitable organizations and institutions as determined by members of the Board and Family Council. It is predicated on the belief that each individual has an obligation to go beyond the narrow confines of their personal interests and be mindful of the broader concerns of humanity.
The Foundation is organized around two groups. The Family Council currently includes the five children and eleven grandchildren of William and Flora Hewlett, along with the spouses of the children and grandchildren. This is a consultative body that meets roughly once a year to help determine the organization’s policies and programmatic directions. It also serves as a forum for discussion and instruction in matters related to the philanthropic interests of the family.
The rotating Board of Directors consists of the children and grandchildren of Bill and Flora Hewlett, plus three non-family members. Spouses of the children and the grandchildren also serve rotations on the Board.
The Foundation places no constraints on grantmaking so long as grantees fit the philanthropic interests of the Board and Family Council and meet IRS requirements. This provides unrestricted opportunities for both responsive and strategic grantmaking. The Foundation’s wide reach reflects a conscious rejection of all boundaries on grantmaking. FFF’s open architecture encourages the initiative of each Family Council member, capitalizing on the wide-ranging talents and experiences of individuals who share equally in decision-making. The Foundation favors general operating support grants and assists work throughout the United States and around the world.
FFF has three staff, including the President, and who are based in Menlo Park, California.
For over twenty years, the Flora Family Foundation has been supporting a diverse array of grantees across the globe. The organization has established a strong reputation for impact and respected grantmaking practices in the philanthropic community. The new President will have the distinct opportunity to build upon this body of work with current and future generations of the Hewlett family, helping shape and guide the trajectory of the Foundation’s philanthropic endeavors in the years ahead.
Reporting to the Board of Directors and overseeing a professional team, the President will serve as a partner for all Family Council members, accompanying them on their philanthropic journeys as well as leading the Foundation in a way that is an authentic reflection of their interests. Ensuring ideas are put into action and that the Foundation moves effectively into its next phase of impact, the President will spearhead and advise on initiatives that will ensure the organization delivers on the family’s priorities locally and internationally.
The President will be joining an organizational culture that embraces collaboration, participation, and consensus. Understanding and encouraging these qualities is essential to the success of this position. Leading with humility, bringing a collective, team-based approach to working with family, and deploying exceptional communication skills, the President will set the tone for a culture that promotes and inspires continuous learning, creativity, and interconnectedness.
FFF’s unique features in grantmaking, such as the willingness to provide multi-year general operating support and the ability to respond rapidly to critical funding opportunities, creates space for the Foundation to work in collaboration with other funders on shared objectives. FFF also uses multiple philanthropic levers—including strategic grantmaking, impact investing, convenings, incubation, and collective action—to support progress on myriad issues in local and global contexts. As such, the President will deploy a broad philanthropic toolset and operate in diverse and far-reaching networks to advise and support the family in their philanthropic pursuits.
The President acts as the chief executive officer of the Flora Family Foundation, providing general supervision, direction, and control of the affairs of the Foundation, subject to oversight by the Board of Directors. Responsibilities typically fall into three main categories of work:
The President will support Family Council members to define and develop their philanthropic interests. This includes investigating areas specified by family members to identify potential grants, perform due diligence and site visits, evaluate proposals, present grant recommendations to the Board, and provide follow-up support to grantees. The President consults with Family Council members on the merits of grant proposals and advises on issues such as the amount, duration, type of support, and criteria for evaluating grants.
General Foundation Activities
The President leads the planning and facilitation of meetings for the Family Council, Board of Directors, and all active committees as well as coordinates and conducts site visits for family members for education purposes. The President is also responsible for formulating policy recommendations requiring board action. Of particular importance for the President is individual consultation with each Family Council member on a regular basis as well as ensuring regular communication with the family on all Foundation activities.
General Administrative Activities
The President supervises a professional team comprised of a Program Administrator and Chief Financial Officer, as well as any consultants who are retained to support the ongoing work of the Foundation. Additionally, the President monitors the performance of the endowment, prepares annual budgets, and manages routine business matters for the organization.
Building Relationships with the Family
Spending the essential time forming meaningful relationships with the Hewlett family in the first two years will be critical in order for the President to deeply understand the legacy and trajectory of their collective and individual philanthropic strategies and interests. A listening tour in the early months will be important, but it is only the beginning as the new President will need to build an authentic and enduring program to get to know the family as well as understand their philanthropic traditions and practices.
The family places great value on the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to the Foundation. It will be important for the President to lead in a way that honors each person’s voice and ability to engage in FFF as an individual and as part of a multi-generational family.
Values Driven Leadership
The President will serve as a guiding presence for the Foundation with a focus on aligning the Family Council, Board of Directors, and staff around a set of values and guiding principles that will drive how the Foundation carries out its work. These values include a staunch commitment to justice and equity for all people and an abiding conviction to protect the systems that support life on the planet. In enacting these values, the President will create an effective and adaptive platform of engagement for a growing Family Council that will help shape their active involvement with the Foundation. Striking a balance between grantmaking that achieves impact, yet is also responsive to the Family’s interests is critically important—the result being an organization that is led both by heart and head.
The President will at times represent the Foundation externally, exemplifying its values in the global philanthropic community. Experience serving as a key spokesperson and representative for an organization is therefore essential as the President will help cultivate partnerships and engage networks for the benefit of the Foundation’s work.
Welcoming the Fourth Generation
The newest generation of family members have recently begun to participate in the Family Council. This represents a rare opportunity to design a new strategic phase of best practices for generational engagement and philanthropic education. The President will create the tools, technologies, and approaches needed so that fourth generation members can start the process of practicing philanthropy and begin lending their voice to the Foundation’s work—where FFF becomes a place to learn about the world and help future generations identify roles to play in making it better for everyone.
The President will partner with the Board of Directors to continually advance good governance and effective committee structures, looking for opportunities to strengthen, clarify, and streamline Foundation practices. The President will also lead and manage a high-performing and highly committed team, fostering a forward-thinking work culture.
Ideal Candidate Profile
FFF seeks an inspiring, compassionate, and values-driven leader to partner with the family in the pursuit of their personal philanthropic strategies and goals. The new President will bring a passion for the field of family philanthropy, and to the family’s commitment to being social justice and climate protection advocates. A true collaborator and consensus builder, the President will nurture an environment where shared vision and collective responsibility can be achieved by all.
FFF is above all else a family endeavor. It’s an institution where family members learn, share, and connect in the experience and joy of impactful giving. The President will enthusiastically embrace broad participation and the diversity of perspectives that comes with a large group, meeting individuals where they are, and creating the conditions that will catalyze active engagement in philanthropy.
The President must be an exceptional listener, communicator, and facilitator who is effective at building consensus and trust. The ideal candidate will bring a high degree of emotional intelligence and an ability to foster individual, purposeful relationships with family members. The President must also operate with a sense of humility and an intellectual curiosity that fosters continual learning and understanding.
Demonstrating a peer-based leadership style with the family will be essential to the success of the role. Candidates must be driven by active inquiry, continuous learning, and a confidence of intellect that thrives by creatively synthesizing ideas and input from multiple sources. A natural coach and advisor, the ideal candidate will be comfortable considering disparate points of view, encouraging constructive discussion to determine how issues should be addressed, and being an honest and effective broker in everything that the Foundation pursues.
Additional attributes that will serve candidates well include flexibility; charisma and an engaging presence; a grounding in the principles of justice, equity, and environmental stewardship; the ability to build trust, respect, and credibility with low ego; and a sense of humor. It is also important for candidates to have an international, multi-cultural orientation and a developed worldly point of view.
Experience working in family foundations or family offices is desirable, but not necessary; however, candidates should have ample working knowledge of the philanthropic field and social impact sector more broadly. Given the Foundation’s diverse grantmaking, candidates should bring a genuine enthusiasm and willingness to learn new issue areas that may be different from ones they have focused on in the past, as well as an ability to build new networks that will benefit the work of the organization.
Candidates must have a significant track record of progressively responsible senior leadership experience with a proven history of successfully leading and navigating organizations through change and evolution. The highest levels of integrity, honesty, and ethics are required. Outstanding interpersonal skills as well as written communication and editing capabilities are essential.
The President is based in the Foundation’s office in Menlo Park, California.
Flora Family Foundation EEO Statement
FFF values, celebrates, and supports a diverse and inclusive environment. All qualified candidates who contribute to the Foundation’s broad commitment to diversity are strongly encouraged to submit their cover letters and resumes for consideration.
To Be Considered
Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the Become a Candidate button below. Letters may be addressed to Jeff Waldron.
The search for Flora Family Foundation’s next President is being led by: