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Vice President, Programs Strategy San Francisco, CA

ClimateWorks Foundation seeks a globally minded, externally focused, and innovative strategist to serve in the inaugural position of Vice President, Programs Strategy (VP Programs Strategy). As the world responds to a global pandemic and its economic, environmental, and social impacts, the commitment to and sense of urgency around combatting climate change has never been stronger. Following the recent adoption of a new strategic plan focused upon expanding ClimateWorks’ reach in the context of a growing field and increasingly diverse and integrated society, the VP Programs Strategy will play a crucial role in expanding transformative climate strategies; scaling the most promising initiatives to new heights; and further positioning the Foundation for planet-wide impact.

Since its founding in 2008, ClimateWorks has awarded over $1 billion in grants to more than 500 organizations advancing climate solutions around the world. Through its Global Programs and Services, ClimateWorks helped grow the field of climate philanthropy to where it stands today, and it continues to help climate funders maximize their philanthropic impact. As experts in climate science, public policy, economic and social analysis, and strategic philanthropy, the Foundation’s staff understands the multi-faceted challenges and opportunities of climate change. They are researchers, strategists, collaborators, and grantmakers who care passionately about the Foundation’s mission to end the climate crisis by amplifying the power of philanthropy.

On April 30, 2021, Charlotte Pera ended her eight and half year tenure as President and CEO of ClimateWorks Foundation to join the Bezos Earth Fund as Vice President for Strategy and Programs. During Pera’s tenure, ClimateWorks grew its staff three-fold, expanded its donor base to more than 40 donors, built its budget to more than $140 million in 2021, and moved approximately $640 million in grants to organizations advancing climate solutions around the world. The Board of Directors has appointed Chris DeCardy as the Acting CEO and is preparing to launch a global search for a new CEO. With the recent completion of a strategic refresh, the Board and Foundation have a clear charge and vision for ClimateWorks’ direction and priorities, which includes the creation and implementation of the Vice President, Programs Strategy role. Given the critical nature of the position, the stability of the Executive Team, and the Board’s strong investment in and commitment to this VP’s success, the decision was made to continue moving forward with this important recruitment.

The ClimateWorks Programs team, in particular, is strong and growing. Currently a staff of 33, it includes 12 senior experts (Program Directors and Strategists), each of whom engages partners in many countries to advance climate solutions globally. As the size and scope of the ClimateWorks Programs team expands, the VP Programs Strategy will work in partnership with an experienced VP Programs Management to provide the leadership bandwidth and external representation this active, growing team needs. Broadly, the VP Programs Strategy role will be focused on strategy and external relationships and communication, and the Vice President, Programs Management will be focused on internal management, team culture, and operations. It will be important for the VP Programs Strategy and VP Programs Management to work together as high-functioning and collegial partners.

Reporting to the next President and CEO, the VP Programs Strategy will be an active and contributing member of the Foundation’s Executive Team. In close collaboration with the Vice President, Programs Management, this individual will co-lead a growing team of dedicated programmatic experts while expanding the level of connectivity across a wide range of sectoral and geographic climate change mitigation opportunities. The VP Programs Strategy will represent the breadth of ClimateWorks’ programs and strategic thinking to external constituencies to enhance existing global partnerships while simultaneously forging new ones. This individual will also lead strategy discussions among the Programs Team on cross-cutting themes and topics to enhance all programmatic strategies; synthesize insights of ClimateWorks program experts; and drive ClimateWorks’ programmatic thought leadership.

As it pursues its climate mission, ClimateWorks is steadfast in its commitment to deepen its efforts on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, both internally as a team and externally through its global programs and services. As the Foundation grows, ClimateWorks is committed to building a team that reflects the global community that its mission serves and is especially interested in candidates from historically underrepresented backgrounds and those experienced in addressing climate and environmental justice.

Rachel Ellenport and Regan Gough are leading this search, with Nicole Poe and Megan Gorman.

ClimateWorks Foundation is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes a diverse candidate pool. The Foundation recognizes diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing its work and views diversity as encompassing differences in race and gender, as well as age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, job skills, education, and geographic location. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

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