Grants Officer

The David and Lucile Packard FoundationLos Altos, CA
Credit: Octavio Aburto

About The Foundation

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a family foundation guided by the enduring business philosophy and personal values of Lucile and David Packard, who helped found one of the world’s leading technology companies.

The Packard Foundation continues to support the issues its founders cared about most and awards over $400 million in grants domestically and internationally to: improving the lives of children; enabling the creative pursuit of science; advancing reproductive health and rights; conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems; and supporting and strengthening local communities.

This is an exciting transformational moment at Packard. With the participation of its talented and thoughtful foundation staff and partners, Packard Foundation is refreshing and building upon its vision, mission and values and actively advancing justice and equity to foster even greater impact in the years to come.

The Opportunity

This ‘vision to strategy’ review of all grantmaking strategies is creating new opportunities for growth, innovation, and elevation of grants management operations. This new Grants Officer role will be the resident expert in grantmaking operations and have the opportunity to build from the ground up, contributing to best-in-class grantmaking tools, strategies, and approaches for end-to-end grantmaking in the Office of the President.

The Office of the President oversees all operational, administrative, and programmatic work of the Board of Trustees. It makes grants to organizations and projects that lie outside the established program areas of the Foundation and are directed by the CEO and the Board of Trustees.

Reporting to the Director, Grants Process Management, the new Grants Officer will lead grant operations for the Special Initiatives portfolio which includes three funds: The President’s Fund, the Special Opportunities Fund, and the Agility Fund. It will also oversee the budget and grant operations  in the areas of justice and equity, and new emergent opportunities.

The unique vantage point of the President’s Office allows the Grant Officer to liaise and collaborate with administrative and program teams across the foundation. This expansive role allows them to share grants and compliance knowledge, advocate for new ideas for technology and systems innovation, and support consistency and improvements across the Foundation’s grantmaking.

Credit: Maheder Haileselassie/Getty Images

Key Responsibilities

Operational Leadership and Change Management

  • Provide support and grant operations guidance to President Office staff and grantee partners
  • Partner with program and administrative teams to assess and define ways to enhance effective, equitable, and transparent grantmaking practices across the Foundation
  • Advise, guide, and serve as a thought partner and key contributor on operations best practices
  • Ensure grant operations are consistent with the Foundation’s policies and further its values and new vision, mission, and direction

Compliance and Due Diligence

  • Shepherd grants through from inception to closeout with a focus on overseeing the compliance and regulatory aspects of working with 501(c)4 social welfare organizations and 501(c)3 private foundations and public charities
  • Conduct pre-award due diligence on grant materials, ensuring completeness and adherence to applicable law, Foundation policies, and processes for U.S. and international grants
  • Identify potential technical compliance issues and propose recommendations
  • Manage post-award process to ensure accurate data and reporting and compliance with the Foundation and IRS rules and regulations
  • Provide technical assistance and training to grantmaking staff in compliance requirements of the Foundation, and U.S., international, state, and local laws

Process and Systems

  • Advance best practices for grants management across a large and diverse portfolio of grants as a pilot for rollout across the Foundation
  • Design a centralized approach to the full grant lifecycle that ensures grantmaking operations are timely, efficient, and clear
  • Oversee grant operations with a keen eye for efficiency in budgeting, processing, compliance, payout, data analysis, reporting, shared resources, and training
  • Proactively identify and propose workflow improvements, participating in the iteration and refinement of critical operating structures and processes that support work across the Foundation
Credit: Maryam Salassi, Hi + Hello Photography

Ideal Candidate Profile

The Packard Foundation seeks a grants management professional with at least 8 years of progressive grant operations experience, preferably in a nonprofit or private philanthropic institution. Candidates should arrive with an understanding of the nuances and complexities of grantmaking across a breadth of funding vehicles to a diverse array of grantees and partners. Knowledge of the legal and compliance issues pertaining to a U.S.-based private foundation with domestic and international grantmaking is required.

A grants expert who enjoys building and shaping operations, teams, and practices in partnership with colleagues is set up for success in this role. Comfort with ambiguity and change is essential, as the officer will be joining Packard at a transformational moment of growth and development. The ideal Grants Officer fosters openness and collaboration, seeking input across teams and contexts to drive a vision of grants management that will support the Foundation as a whole. Self-driven motivation is important, as is the comfort and confidence to express one’s expertise and manage through influence and persuasion.

The Grants Officer serves as a primary contributor to the development and management of the grants management infrastructure and process workstreams; an analytical mindset and systems orientation is therefore key. They need a strategic view of the grants management operations  and approaches, while also being able to track the necessary details of execution with efficiency.

Key Characteristics that are valued by the Packard Foundation for this role include:


  • Strategic; anticipates and prepares for concerns, challenges, outcomes, and long-term impacts
  • Clear, authentic, direct, and transparent communicator
  • Inspires and encourages others to do their best work by removing roadblocks and offering support/encouragement 
  • Optimistic and positive


  • Establishes strong working relationships
  • Diplomatic and self-aware in varied settings, audiences, and situations
  • Values, encourages, and supports diverse perspectives
  • Recognizes the contributions and viewpoints of others


  • Motivated to work toward a high level of success
  • Adaptable and able to adjust easily to new or changing circumstances
  • Resourceful in approaching problems or limitations
  • Persistent in the face of opposition or difficulty


  • Effectively identifies and solves challenging problems
  • Data-driven, draws conclusions from evidence in a logical, systematic way
  • Detail-oriented, shows rigorous and meticulous attention to detail
Credit: Maryam Salassi, Hi + Hello Photography

Additional Considerations

The midpoint of the salary range for this position is in the $160K range.

The Foundation returned to the office in Los Altos in April 2022. The initial policy calls for all employees to be on site on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. Given this policy, all employees must reside in the Bay Area. All staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to reasonable accommodations for medical or religious reasons, and/or as otherwise required by applicable law.

To Apply

GoodCitizen has been exclusively retained by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation to support this search. Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the “Become a Candidate” position on the GoodCitizen website here. Submissions should be received no later than June 10, 2022. 

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from people of all backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.

Grants OfficerThe David and Lucile Packard FoundationLos Altos, CA

The search for a Grants Officer at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation is being led by:

Melissa Merritt
Managing Partner
Direct: 206.792.4300

Celene Haque Tanner
Engagement Manager
Direct: 206.462.6189