Knowledge Manager

Climate Leadership InitiativeSan Francisco, California

Overview of Climate Leadership Initiative

The climate crisis touches all of our lives and impacts everything we hold dear. There is no question that solving this crisis is a formidable challenge – but the good news is that climate change is a problem with solutions.

With less than 2 percent of global philanthropy investing in climate solutions, the Climate Leadership Initiative (CLI) was created in 2019 and is based on the fundamental premise that today’s leading climate funders are ready to do much more to leverage their credibility, networks, resources, and experience to attract new philanthropists to climate mitigation and inspire them to give on a scale commensurate with the global scope of the problem. The founding funders include Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (Chris Hohn), Hewlett Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Oak Foundation (Kristian Parker), Packard Foundation, and Sea Change Foundation (Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons).

CLI is both an advisory service for new climate philanthropists as well as strategic support to help experienced climate funders enlist their peers. When working with CLI, philanthropists can get started fast, receive tailored guidance, and engage with its network of peers and world-class climate experts. CLI works with philanthropists to match their interests and passions with solutions ready to scale — all with the rigor and urgency this cause requires.

CLI is fully funded, so does not fundraise for itself or any one organization. This frees the CLI team to help philanthropists find the smartest path for them.

For more information, please visit

About the Global Climate Strategies Team

The Climate Leadership Initiative is organized into three pillars of work – Philanthropy, Global Climate Strategies (GCS), and Communications. These teams work in close partnership in a highly matrixed environment across multiple geographies. Together, they draw philanthropists into climate, advise them on the most impactful strategies and solutions, and present ideas in a way that compels action.

In concert with the Philanthropy and Communications teams, the GCS team will leverage CLI’s network of advisors and trusted peers to bring the best possible expertise to:

  • Source, vet, and lift high-impact climate mitigation solutions, matching new philanthropists with trusted opportunities for impact
  • Craft a suite of accessible materials and “on demand” knowledge products for new climate philanthropists
  • Identify and curate big ideas with the potential to draw significant philanthropic investments

The Knowledge Manager Role

In this newly created position reporting to the Head of Global Climate Strategies, the Knowledge Manager will be a force-multiplier for the GCS team and all its work to guide new climate philanthropists to the outsized impact needed to solve the most profound challenge of our time. This role represents an opportunity to leverage core project management and knowledge management skills with systems-level thinking in a position that provides an unparalleled vantage point to the most promising philanthropic strategies and solutions to solve the climate crisis.  The Knowledge Manager will sit at the hub of a dynamic knowledge management system that includes climate solutions, experts, and knowledge products for philanthropists.

The Knowledge Manager will provide vital support to a dynamic team, and take on the following key responsibilities:

Project Coordination

  • Track all GCS deliverables and deadlines, fostering clarity and alignment on roles and responsibilities
  • Expertly shepherd multiple concurrent projects from ideation to completion, overseeing workstreams including but not limited to vetting actionable climate solutions, sourcing and synthesizing expert-backed analysis and advice, and/or commissioning a third-party to landscape promising philanthropic strategies in an emerging area
  • With exceptional organization and communication skills, break complex projects into well-defined steps that streamline collaboration across all internal stakeholders and CLI’s external network of advisors, ensuring clear, judicious, and efficient use of their time
  • Track progress against workplans to ensure follow-through against agreed-upon timelines
  • Support in the creation of team agendas, facilitation of meetings, and own follow-up to ensure clarity and alignment around action items

Knowledge Management of Climate Strategies and Solutions

  • In partnership with the Head of Global Climate Strategies and the Director of Operations, manage, maintain, and administer the knowledge management system with an eye towards efficiency and scalability
  • Support the GCS team in vetting strategies and solutions, including documenting learnings and expert opinions synthesized during the vetting process, and track accordingly in CLI’s knowledge management system
  • Capture incoming climate mitigation strategies and catalog them in a manner that facilitates quick recall of information for product creation for interested philanthropists
  • In concert with the Philanthropy team, manage the queue of strategies in need of vetting

Tailored Knowledge Products

For requests from new climate philanthropists that CLI actively advises:

  • Partner cross-functionally to define and scope what is needed for knowledge products and a plan for sourcing and delivering on schedule
  • Mine the knowledge management system and leverage colleagues’ insights for existing content that can serve as building blocks for a range of knowledge products
  • Build out accessible and user-friendly infrastructure/architecture that supports modular organization of content for tailored knowledge products

Ideal Candidate Profile

CLI seeks a Knowledge Manager with three to five years of relevant experience who is drawn to the unique opportunity to leverage their skills to further accelerate high-impact climate philanthropy. Prior climate expertise and experience is preferred but not required. Candidates must, however, possess the intellectual curiosity and drive to learn about this complex, global issue in a manner that facilitates their ability to provide the highest level of service in support of CLI staff and stakeholder needs.

A true utility player for the team, the Knowledge Manager will bring an entrepreneurial spirit and energy to successfully build internal systems and infrastructure, as well as to navigate a start-up environment with ease and grace. Understanding how to prioritize, define, and execute against competing tasks and timelines, the ideal candidate will be well-versed in setting structure and clarity for work plans, while also building in the flexibility to effectively operate in a fast-paced, matrixed environment. Wearing many different hats, the successful candidate will bring a sense of humility and willingness to undertake a breadth and depth of work that spans both strategy and execution.

While systems design and development expertise are not required for this position, the Knowledge Manager will bring the systems mindset and orientation required to architect the infrastructure to catalogue, track, and report out on complex and interrelated content. Candidates must bring experience incorporating a modular approach to content management and knowledge products, supporting the ability to seamlessly and quickly respond to stakeholder needs. Furthermore, the incoming Knowledge Manager must bring a comfort with reporting, data analysis, and data interpretation.

Operating with a customer/client service orientation, the ideal candidate will balance the need to be responsive with the comfort and confidence to manage up and through influence to achieve goals and desired outcomes. Working across a myriad of internal and external stakeholders and advisors, the successful candidate will display a nuanced understanding of project management, tailoring their approach to ensure the highest levels respect, consideration, and clarity.

Location and Response to COVID-19

The Knowledge Manager position normally operates out of CLI’s primary office located in San Francisco, CA. Candidates should expect to work on-site once it has been deemed safe to return to work. However, due to circumstances caused by the novel coronavirus, the team at CLI is currently working remotely full-time. Recognizing that this is a highly unusual and rapidly evolving situation, questions on work logistics and travel requirements will be actively addressed during the course of the search process.

Knowledge ManagerClimate Leadership Initiative San Francisco, California

Climate Leadership Initiative EEO Statement

CLI values, celebrates, and supports a diverse and inclusive environment throughout its organization. All qualified candidates who contribute to CLI’s broad commitment to diversity are strongly encouraged to submit their materials for consideration.

The search for a Knowledge Manager is being assisted by a team from GoodCitizen: 

Alison Kaneko
Search Director
Direct: 415.678.5001

Mollie Smith
Search Associate
Direct: 206.462.6190