Senior Associate

King PhilanthropiesSan Francisco Bay Area

About King Philanthropies

King Philanthropies is a private foundation based in Menlo Park, California whose mission is to catalyze solutions at the intersection of climate and livelihoods. They seek to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those living in extreme poverty by multiplying the impact of high-performing leaders and organizations. King Philanthropies conducts rigorous due diligence and then deploys capital through grants, debt, and impact investments in key areas critical to improving livelihoods and addressing climate change.

King Philanthropies focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, because they are home to over 78% of people living in extreme poverty in the world. Programmatic priorities include nutritious foods, water, land rights, climate-smart agriculture, preventing food spoilage, electricity/clean energy, and education (especially for girls).

King Philanthropies is guided by the personal values of Bob and Dottie King. Following a successful investment career, Bob and Dottie shifted their focus to philanthropy in 1995. King Philanthropies was established in 2016; its work flows directly from the inspiration of its founders who care deeply about improving livelihoods in low-income countries.

A fisherman glides through the water by poling a dugout canoe in Bangweulu Wetlands, Zambia to check his traditional nets.

The Opportunity

Climate change is having a massive and unavoidable impact on those in extreme poverty. King Philanthropies is responding by supporting organizations and leaders working to improve the lives of those in poverty while also fighting climate change through mitigation and adaption efforts. They seek to find “win-win” solutions that decarbonize the future of economic development.

The Senior Associate will play a critical role in King Philanthropies’ grantmaking while also supporting other key initiatives at the Foundation. Reporting to the Senior Portfolio Manager, the Senior Associate will help the team identify and support a grant portfolio of high-performing organizations addressing extreme poverty and climate change. They will deepen the team’s knowledge on priority grantmaking areas and emerging macro-issues that may impact the foundation’s focus geographies and populations. The Senior Associate also plays a valuable role across the organization as a “team of teams” player, by providing targeted research and analysis spanning different functions, such as the CEO’s office, Strategy, and Communications.

Key Responsibilities

Portfolio Development

  • Source and evaluate potential funding opportunities by talking to peer funders, interviewing experts, and conducting financial and organizational analyses around impact evidence, business modeling, scaling, and capacity to deliver results.
  • Independently conduct in-depth research and gather evidence to fill knowledge gaps, test hypotheses, describe industry trends, and map competitive landscape and players. 
  • Synthesize and present findings to King Philanthropies colleagues and Board of Directors.

Supporting Grantee Partners

  • Support King Philanthropies’ portfolio organizations to deepen impact by regularly reviewing external reports and data, engaging in conversations with grantees and peers, and facilitating introductions to relevant experts and potential partners.
  • Regularly evaluate data on King Philanthropies’ grantee portfolio, including review of reports and tracking progress against key metrics.
  • Travel internationally for site visits, primarily to Sub-Saharan Africa, to meet with existing and prospective grantees as needed.
Farmers transplanting rice seedlings.


  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum of four years of professional work experience; a master’s degree is preferred.
  • Prior knowledge of extreme poverty, global development, and/or climate change. Experience in programmatic priorities areas such as nutritious foods, water, land rights, climate-smart agriculture, preventing food spoilage, electricity/clean energy, education, women and girls is a plus.  
  • Proven ability to efficiently research, analyze and synthesize large volumes of information from diverse sources — including academic papers and impact evaluations — to identify emerging trends and opportunities.
  • Grantmaking experience is a plus.
  • Excellent written communication skills, with the ability to structure and clearly convey complex ideas. Ability to design effective PowerPoint presentations and data-rich materials to tell a compelling story.
  • Excellent listening skills with strong interpersonal skills across cultures.
  • A demonstrated passion for and commitment to King Philanthropies’ mission.
  • Bias for action and ability to work independently toward stated goals with minimal oversight.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty.
  • A curious mindset and self-learner, with flexibility, humility, and a sense of humor.

Ideal Candidate

Above all else, the ideal candidate has a genuine interest in improving livelihoods while fighting climate change. They have prior knowledge of extreme poverty, global development and/or climate change.

The Senior Associate will bring a proven ability to research, analyze, and synthesize information from a variety of sources. Strong listening and exceptional analytical skills are essential; along with the ability to capture, distill, and share what is important, why it matters, and how it supports the organization’s mission and goals. The Senior Associate will have excellent oral and written communications skills and can share complex information in a compelling and powerful way.

Successful candidates are naturally curious, lifelong learners who enjoy delving into new topics and issue areas. They are able to toggle between high-level systems-thinking and in-depth analysis. They are a deeply curious systems-thinker with knowledge of global development, poverty alleviation, livelihoods development, sustainable food systems, and/or climate change. They can easily organize and prioritize in a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands. The preferred candidate has a tolerance for and thrives in ambiguity.

Experience supporting programs in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa is a plus.

Aerial view of Pulkkilanharju Ridge, Paijanne National Park, southern part of Lake Paijanne. Landscape with drone. Fog, Blue lakes, fields and green forests from above on a sunny summer morning


Candidate must be authorized to work and reside in the United States.

The preferred location for the role is the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, employees are required to work in-person with colleagues a minimum of 25% of the time each month, averaged over a three-month period. At least some of that time will be in the Menlo Park office. Some of that time might be elsewhere, such as site visits, conferences, or offsite convenings. Role may require 3-4 international trips per year.

King Philanthropies is an Equal Opportunity Employer

King Philanthropies is an equal opportunity employer and seeks a diverse pool of candidates in this search. Diversity is an asset essential to accomplishing their work. They value differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make employees unique. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

To Be Considered

Please submit your Resumé and Cover Letter. In lieu of a cover letter, you have the option of submitting a Summary of Qualifications expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate” button. 

The Summary of Qualifications document should answer the following questions:

  • Which of King Philanthropies’ program priority areas resonates most with you? Can you please share how this aligns with your expertise and experience, and any successful projects or contributions related to these areas? (500 words max)
  • How do you approach assessing organizations and programs to ensure they have the maximum impact on their intended beneficiaries and effectively combat both poverty and/or climate change? (300 words max)
  • Have you worked on poverty and climate change issues in either Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia? If yes, can you briefly list those experiences and the specific countries you worked in? (100 words max)

If you are submitting a Summary of Qualifications in lieu of a Cover Letter, when the system prompts a Cover Letter attachment, please attach your Summary of Qualifications instead. Should you prefer to submit a video or audio file for your Summary of Qualifications answers please reach out to Tonisha Idowu for further instructions.

For details on benefits and compensation, please reach out to Mollie Smith at or Tonisha Idowu at

Applicants applying by September 18 will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled.

Senior AssociateKing PhilanthropiesSan Francisco Bay Area

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by King Philanthropies to lead this search. For questions, please contact:

Jailan Adly
Managing Director
Direct: 202.993.7976

Mollie Smith
Engagement Manager
Direct: 206.462.6190

Tonisha Idowu
Senior Associate
Direct: 202.753.9075