Chief Program & Impact Officer

M.J. Murdock Charitable TrustVancouver, WA

About M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust (The Murdock Trust) is a private foundation supporting the capacity and growth of nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest. From day one, their mission has been to serve individuals, families, and communities across the region, including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, through grantmaking, enrichment programs, and convenings that strengthen the region’s educational, social, spiritual, and cultural base in ways that are innovative and sustainable.

The Murdock Trust has partnered with more than 3,000 nonprofits serving the diverse needs of the communities that comprise the Pacific Northwest. The Murdock Trust likes to say, “the fruit of our labor grows on the trees of others.” The work they do and any success they may see are directly tied to the tireless work of the individuals and nonprofits with whom they partner. The Murdock Trust serves the following sectors: arts and culture, education, health, human services, scientific research, and religious organizations.

As a “faith-friendly” private foundation, approximately 30% of The Murdock Trust grants are made to faith-based organizations that serve a variety of communities. Several of the Murdock Trust enrichment programs are designed for faith-based individuals and organizations. In addition, some of the convenings hosted by the Murdock Trust are targeted to a faith-based audience or involve faith-based topics. The faith-friendly environment of the Murdock Trust is something in which staff can be silent or participative, where people of faith and those who are not of faith are equally respected.

The Murdock Trust was created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock., co-founder of Tektronix, Inc., in 1975. Jack was an entrepreneur who took seriously his responsibility to invest, both financially and through his time and resources, back into the communities of the Pacific Northwest.

In 2018 the Murdock Trust moved to new offices on the redeveloped Vancouver, WA waterfront that offer meeting spaces to support the evolving needs of the nonprofit and philanthropic communities in the region. In early 2022 the Trust welcomed a new CEO, Romanita Hairston.

To learn more about the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, visit their website

The Opportunity

This is a unique opportunity to join the Murdock Trust at a pivotal moment of growth and change and to positively impact how the organization approaches grantmaking and programming in the future. This is a newly created role designed to innovate approaches within the foundation’s areas of focus as well as operationalize their ambitious programmatic objectives. The Chief Program & Impact Officer will be a key contributor in setting the direction for and shaping over $100M of annual grantmaking.

The programmatic areas of focus include:

  • Arts & Culture
  • Health
  • Scientific Research
  • Education
  • Human Services

As a member of the executive management team, the Chief Program & Impact Officer (CPIO) will report to and serve as a thought partner and collaborator with the CEO. Acting as a strategic generalist across the Foundation’s portfolio of work, the CPIO will provide program leadership, design, and implementation rooted in the values, culture, and grantmaking philosophy of the Murdock Trust.

The role allows the CPIO to showcase exceptional planning and implementation capabilities while establishing best-in-class, forward-thinking grantmaking practices that build on Murdock Trust’s strong history of supporting successful leadership in the nonprofit sector.  The position also offers significant opportunity to collaborate and work in partnership with grantees, as well as other foundations and stakeholders across the region.

Key Responsibilities

Program Strategy and Design

  • Work with the CEO and Trustees (as appropriate) to set annual priorities and participate in strategic decision-making regarding the direction of Murdock Trust’s programs and services; while the Foundation has already developed a new structure and emergent programmatic framework, the CPIO will contribute to the redesign and lead the associated change management and implementation
  • Collaborate and work with other departments within the Foundation to ensure that activities are aligned with mission and goals, and well-coordinated to meet shared objectives
  • Serve as a thought leader and expert on programmatic best practices, trends, and innovation

Program Implementation and Impact Assessment

  • Implementation of new programmatic strategy, including redesigning workflows, defining the processes and tools required, and ensuring systems and technology support scale and growth across programmatic streams
  • Assess and evaluate impact across program areas to ensure goals are met and learnings are shared in support of the growth and direction of the organization
  • Support the high-performing team through program and process improvement with an eye on leveraging the diverse strengths they bring to the work while also building team capacity with hiring and training, and keeping the culture strong
  • Lead departmental and program budgeting and oversight, including monitoring expenditures and preparing financial reports, ensuring fiscal responsibility and sustainability

Community and Partner Engagement

  • Cultivate and steward relationships with key constituents, partners, other funders, and other stakeholders
  • Effectively engage with grantees, clients, volunteers, and other stakeholders in program visioning, strategy, and impact to ensure that programs center their needs
  • Represent the organization at external events, conferences, in community networking, and with other funders to build partnerships to further the reach and impact of programs

Ideal Candidate

The CPIO will bring a history of successful leadership in the nonprofit sector with significant foundation experience to contribute to the Foundation’s practices. As a proven leader with a collaborative orientation and strong change management skills, the CPIO is an innovator and strategic problem solver who seeks out input from others. They have a track record as a gifted strategic planner who works with and through teams, as well as strong analytical, communication, and program/project management skills. The CPIO we seek will work each day to bring The Murdock Trust’s values to life by connecting the operational business objectives with the social impact of the Trust’s work.

Operating as a true and authentic leader who thrives when working in service to others, the CPIO will build and foster an environment based on trust, co-creation, and collaboration with the experienced, high-performing grants and program team in an evolving grantmaking and programmatic environment.

Direct experience working in any specific Foundation program area is not necessary; however, experience setting strategy and direction across multifaceted and sometimes crosscutting issue areas is essential. The position requires a skillset that can toggle between high-level strategy, operationalizing ideas, and driving cross organization collaboration.

A minimum of ten years operating in senior programmatic leadership roles is important. Experience in philanthropy is required and additional experience in nonprofits is valued. 



  • A master’s degree in a related field, such as public health, sociology, social work, or non-profit management is valued but not required. Completion of coursework in areas such as program evaluation, program management, and program design is a plus


  • 10+ years of combined relevant experience in foundations, grantmaking, and program leadership. Must have philanthropic program leadership


  • Demonstrated working knowledge of current technology (e.g., Office 365, mobile applications, grants technology products)


  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to the mission, ethos, and core values of the Trust and the grant-making initiatives
  • An understanding and appreciation for the nonprofit sector
  • Familiarity and comfort in a work environment where faith-based organizations and individuals are present and part of the day-to-day programming and operations 

Salary and Location

The salary for this role is expected to be approximately $275,000-$320,300, commensurate with the desired level of program leadership experience.

There is a preference for candidates to be based in Portland, Oregon or in Vancouver, Washington. The Trust has a policy of working in-person, in the Vancouver office three days/week, with Mondays a mandatory in-person day. 

M.J. Murdock Trust EEO Statement

 It is the policy of the Trust to provide equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, pregnancy, disability, genetics, marital status, veteran/military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, compensation, benefits, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, training, and leaves of absence.

To Be Considered

Please submit your resume and either a cover letter or statement expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate” button.

Applicants applying by April 10th will be given priority consideration, with the position open until filled. All applicants will receive communication on their status in the search by May 1st.

Chief Program & Impact OfficerM.J. Murdock Charitable TrustVancouver, WA

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by the M.J. Murdock Trust to lead this search. To offer a nomination or for questions, please contact:

Melissa Merritt
Managing Director

Kevin Bryant
Managing Director

Celene Haque Tanner
Engagement Manager

Gabe Sapuay
Senior Associate